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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past few years and 20k miles or so, my '03 Z1000's vibration issues seem to have gotten steadily worse. It's not known for being a smooth engine, but when I first got it, it was a minor annoyance at best. Right around 55mph the mirrors would get blurry and you'd feel a buzz in the bars, but at highway speed, and low speeds it was fine. This has gotten steadily worse with time. The buzzy RPM range seems to have gotten larger, and what used to be a minor tingle is now a very intense, hand numbing buzz that occurs anywhere from about 50 to 90mph, and seems to peak in intensity of course right at highway speed.

I've tried a few things lately to combat this, with minimal help. I got heavier bar end weights, which marginally helped. I filled the handlebar with BBs, again, maybe a marginal improvement. Got gel layered grips, couldn't tell any difference at all. From reading a lot of forums and reviews, one of the biggest "solutions" was getting rid of the stock steel handlebar and using an aluminum Renthal one instead, so I swapped on a Street Ultra Low which seemed to be the favorite of the Z1000 crowd. I like the bend/posture of it, but now the vibration is worse than ever- granted I no longer have it full of BBs or the stupidly heavy bar end weights I had on the stock one. It's so bad it makes my hands get all pins and needles after only a few minutes on the highway, it's like holding onto a pair of palm sanders. The bar end mirrors are a worthless blur anything much above 50mph which never used to be the case either.

There's lots of products out there- Vibranators, bar snake, ect that claim to help, but reviews seem to be all over the place. Some people say it was a miracle cure and other said it had barely any effect- anybody try these, or better, have any experience with a Z1000? I know it's not the smoothest engine out there and has a reputation for being buzzy, but it's gone from a minor annoyance to making the bike virtually undriveable for any length of time.
 

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I have an 03 z1000. It is a big issue. I did the usual gel grips gel palm gloves blah blah blah. I installed vibranators on a set of renthal ultra low fatbars with aprilia clamps with rubber isolators under the risers. With the stock weights. Wasn't even an issue anymore. I even stopped wearing the gel gloves.

Also buying a bicycle inner tube and cutting it into some strips and placing them in between the bar and clamp seemed to help dampen also.

The bar setup was the single best investment I've made.


















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Sorry. That last one wasn't necessary. Hope this helps.
 

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BLACK BELT
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When my 2-stroke handlbars start buzzing, it's usually a loose motor mount bolt or the rubber engine mounts are worn. Not sure if this applies to your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. I see listed on the vibranators website one for Renthal handlebars that comes with the tap. Looks like you have the same mirrors as I do also and just have them sandwiched between the stock weights and the dampers?

I also had a loose motor mount bolt- the right side frame slider has a definite wiggle to it. That probably explains why this has gotten worse in time. I'll check and re-torque all four of them tonight- I suspect that's most of my problem. Thanks for the tips guys.
 

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Yeah I cut an inch off each end of the bars. The vibranator inserts are 7/8" diameter so I just mounted the mirrors on the inserts.
 

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I would recommend huge bar ends haha, I tried the vibranators on my last bike (buzzy gsxr 600) and I couldn't tell a difference tbh. There's also throttle meister and things like that that allow you still give throttle but you don't have to grip the bars.

Biggest thing that helped me though was posture, putting no weight at all on the bars cured the problem. Still riding though I'll do it and my hands will start to tingle and all I do is support myself with legs back and abs for a while and the tingle disappears. Keep your elbows loose!

Also you might try adjusting your bars so your wrists stay straight and aligned with the levers, and your elbow. That way you don't have to bend your wrist so you'll fatigue less.
 
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To start with basics on a carbed bike balance the carbs :D

On anything else that buzzes as stock & gets worse, start with checking for loose mounts, headlights, mirrors etc & remember if you have lightweight renthal type bars the buzzing is liable to be worse that with heavy steel bars

you can never totally get rid of vibrations through the bars anyway but you should be able to move it up or down the rev range to where it is less intrusive, to do this i add a rolled up strip of lead sheet to each end of the bars & also fill them with expanding foam before putting on the bar ends, some experimentation with different end weights & amounts of lead usually moves the vibration out of the problem area

The above comes from years of dealing with the notorious gsxr 5k buzz :)
 

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but you don't have to grip the bars.
No,no. I know what you're getting at, but grip those bars. Like your life depends on it. ;)

I'm with Smoker. If it didn't do it new ,but it does now, then there's some maintenance needed somewhere. Whatever maintenance is required is probably cheaper than a host of Band-Aids, too.
 

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BLACK BELT
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Loose steering head, or loose exhaust mounting brackets can also transmit buzz to the bar.

As mentioned - it could also be a balance issue with the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I tightened up the loose motor mount and checked the rest. This helped the buzz though it's definitely still present.

I might look into sync'ing the throttle bodies, I've never done it since I owned the bike. The idle is smooth as a baby's ass though, which on previous bikes a lopey or rough idle was the telltale the throttles were out (my vmax was notorious for carbs that didn't want to stay in sync)

I tried filling the Renthal bar with BBs, which made no appreciable difference and now makes an extremely annoying rattling noise as the bbs buzz around in there, so they came right back out again. I've read about people filling the bar with silicone caulk, that "great stuff" foam(this seems way too light to do anything?), ect which I guess I could try also.

Probably going to try re-fitting my extra heavy bar ends next, if that doesn't work, I'll order a set of the Vibranators.
 

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FNG
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i tried a bar snake once, worked ok, but i traded those bars away. now i have a couple of my bikes set up with #10 lead shot, works well and cheap. but the real cure for the problem came when i had my carpal tunnel surgery, my hands never go numb anymore. the big problem is leaning on the bars stretches the transcarpal ligament and puts pressure on the nerve bundle. keep your wrists straight and try not to put too much weight on them to keep the numbness to a minimum. and the lead shot makes a significant difference, i also use bar end mirrors.
bb7
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put the solid stainless bar ends back on along with bar end mirrors on top of them. This definitely helped, I'd say around a 50% reduction in intensity, and probably better than it's ever been since I've had the bike. It's by no means gone, but it's pretty tolerable now. It still peaks right about 6-7k rpm, or around 75-90mph but I think that's just the character of the engine. Surprisingly toward top end it smooths right out. I'll have to take it on a longer trip to get the best idea, though I don't think it's bad enough anymore I want to pop $100 on Vibranators.

I actually found this "sanded grout" that seems to weigh about twice as much as a regular tube of caulk, might try filling the bar up with that also. It's just what it sounds like, caulk with a ton of sand mixed in, kind of a decorative finish. My only concern there is that it's essentially impossible to remove if somehow it makes things worse.
 

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I'll be popping in something similar to the Vibranators, but one's specifically made for my FasstCo bars.

This winter I will be looking into replacing the steering head bearings as those have caused vibrations in the past with my other bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Adding that sanded heavy caulk in the bar also helped. Again, not a dramatic difference, but definitely a bit better still. I pumped it in from one side, with the holes for the switchgear plugged with those foam earplugs. You need a very strong hand, or a power caulk gun to get it all the way to the other end, as it fills up it gets harder to push.

I rode about 350 miles last weekend and didn't have any numbness- before my hands were tingling within about 30 minutes.

On a side note, I had started noticing an odd high speed vibration in the bike this year- kind of like an out of balance tire feeling, but more irregular. I checked the tires and the balance was fine. This vanished once I tightened the motor mount, since the engine is a stressed, solid mount frame member on this bike, it was actually making the chassis wobbly.
 

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Indeed. If its been getting worse, you need to either retorque your steering head, and/or your main engine mounting bolts. Most people forget to do this.
 
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