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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all


I have just passed my full bike test here in the UK and have started commuting to work on my 2017 matt black CBR500RAH. All is going well apart from the vibration!


My commute is about 70 miles and takes about 1 hour 15 mins. It is mainly motorway (highway) riding at 70 - 75mph.


Day 1 my hands were completely numb for most of the ride due to the vibration coming through the handlebars.


Day 2 (having fitted some Grip puppies - foam covers) it was a bit better but still a fair amount of numbness going on.


The bike had c. 2500 miles on it when I got it and I bought it privately. It has had the 600 mile service.


Just wondering if there was anything I should check mechanically on the bike or if this is normal? I have read that some vibration between 5k and 6.5k rpm is normal but this is quite bad to make my hands numb.


I have tried adjusting my grip - thinking it might be my new rider holding on too tight style but it doesn't seem to be having much of an effect.


Any ideas - I wonder if the chain is too tight? It only seems to have less than a cm play in the bottom run? Should it be 2-3cm?


Any help much appreciated!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Congratulations on choosing a black bike. We can be friends.

It should have weighted bar ends which help reduce vibration. Check that. If not sure check the bar end screws for any tampering.

Check fairing / fender is all aligned and not lose. Any plastic flapping around could cause a few vibes. Even one of those reflective discs on the front forks, if it is lose or not aligned right could contribute to vibes at the front end.

Front tyre ok?

Chain adjusted correctly? Should be 40mm play. See side arm, should have the spec there

All bolts and nuts at spec?

Windshield correctly installed?

Are you wearing motorcycle gloves?

Some vibration is normal and at certain revs / speeds is more pronounced. But from what you say seems yours is worse than I experience. I do get numb hands sometimes.


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply - a fair few things to check out there that I will get on to. I will check the chain tension properly but just went down to have a look with an experienced colleague and he thought it was thereabouts ok.


However, when I ran the engine stationary he felt the grips and was surprised at the amount of vibration coming through. Not having owned a bike before I have no reference really (other than the bikes I used for my test).


So it would seem that the vibration is coming from the engine and is present through the rev range. Could valve adjustment be an issue? Oil looks clean and is only about 2000 miles old.
 

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It’s really hard to say what the issue could be. There are many more mechanically minded on this forum who will no doubt suggest other ideas, but what I’ve suggested are easy to check and eliminate first.

If the vibration is happening stationary, then you can eliminate the cause as something flapping in the wind.

Any signs of crash damage?


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Thanks hillscbr - No signs of any crash damage - it was spotless when I collected it. It had been decatted but I have replaced the decat header with a stock one. It runs nicely, good acceleration etc its just there is a lot of vibration through the grips. I have also wondered if my gloves are too tight as I get the same effect (but not as bad) when riding my racing pedal bike on rough roads and wearing gloves. Would be good to see how much someone else's grips vibrate to compare.


I also wonder if I can increase the bar end weights to try and mitigate the vibration some more?
 

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If the bar ends are stock then they should be doing their job. Changing them won’t fix the source of the vibration.

I mentioned the gloves bcs if I (rarely) ride without gloves the vibration is more pronounced. You (and me) should always wear gloves.

The only other thing I can think off is check all the bolts and nuts you can see for damage. If an incompetent person has been near the engine or top of the forks then there will probably be damage to those bolts.

If all looks good, make sure everything is nice and tight. If still bad vibration I’d take it under warranty for a check to a Honda dealer. Maybe they’ll also let you test a similar model for comparison.

You mentioned the cat was taken out. If one of the exhaust pipes is a bit loose I imagine that would cause vibrations. As it seems that is the only thing that’s been messed with, perhaps that’s the issue.

Probably disheartening for you not being completely satisfied with the bike, but once you figure out the vibration issue rest assured the 500s are great bikes.






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Since you are a new rider on an R, it could be your riding style. Make sure you are not putting weight on your hands. I know I had a problem at first, and had to remind myself to squeeze the tank a little with my legs and relax my arms. Don't try to squeeze the grips and muscle the front wheel, especially in high winds at fast speeds. Just relax and counter steer to keep you on course. See if any of that helps, but continue to look into the vibration problem.
 

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It’s instinctive/unconscious to grip the bars harder than you need to, particularly on bikes where the ergonomics put more of your weight on your arms. Gloves being too tight can also be a real problem; it also leads to cold hands too.

Call me an old duffer if you like, but removing the cat and changing the exhaust will, IMHO, have impacted on the performance of the bike, and may have contributed to the vibes. Did the person you bought it from offer you the originals as part of the deal? Maybe see if there’s anyone near you with the same model that you can try a back-to-back comparison?
 

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On my r model i feel almost zero vibes in the bars, something is very wrong, ive never heard of this on this bike. Something very wrong is going on. The exhaust on this bike is rubber mounted to the frame. My guess the rubber grommets did not get put in when the exhaust got screwed with. You may need to pull that bike up to an all stock one and start comparing things on that exhsust. These bikes are smooth other then a tiny vib if you run up 1st and 2nd gear, and even that is mild. Freeway a slight hint at like 85, even that is mild.
 

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I’m with Sonic on this. I ride a stock F model & it is one of the least vibrating bikes I have ever owned. Try to compare it with another R if you can. I have done plenty of 5+ hour rides & never had a hand numbness essue. These engines are very smooth for a twin.
 

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Thank you all so much for your input. I think it may be a combination of a few things!


When I bought the bike I got most of the stock stuff thrown in with it (including a practically unused muffler), however the headers had been "converted" so I got a replacement set second hand off ebay.


The bike now has standard headers with an Arrow exhaust (which came on the bike) - I may try putting the stock exhaust on it to see if that makes any difference. One thing - I have a bolt missing where the rear end of the headers secured to the frame (through the rubber grommits) - I have ordered one from Honda as it needs the collar as well but it is currently unsecured here. It feels very solid anyway but guess this could also be contributing?? The "converted" headers that were on the bike didn't have a mounting point here and I didn't get the bolts with the bike. Having just looked at it again, the outer grommet has fallen out so I will need to replace that also.
 

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OMG - an OP who updates with progress!

Nice.

He/she/it has a black bike so obviously a decent person.


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OMG - an OP who updates with progress!

Nice.

He/she/it has a black bike so obviously a decent person.


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Lol - I always try to otherwise no one finds out how problems get solved!


Thanks all - will update further once I have tried a few things this weekend.
 

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Try different gloves, too. I had been wearing nice comfortable deerskin gloves and my old army dress gloves with no problem.

I bought some motorcycle-specific gloves with thicker leather (Icon Super Duty) and more protection in the right places. They are tighter, less comfortable, and make my hands number and colder. Being too tight is a double-whammy: it cuts circulation AND transfers more vibration.

The damned things were $65, so I'm hoping they'll break in. If not, I'll have to shelve them and go back to deerskin.

By all means, tackle the problem with the exhaust, but don't discount the simple things either.

Thanks for posting this; I had been experiencing numbness now and then on my R, but had not attributed it to gloves or even considered it. My bike's not fully broken in yet; I thought it might be that.
 

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I have the "numbness" issue too, but thought that it may be due to my age! I did change grips that now do not require me to grip so tightly. I also raised the bars a bit which makes it so I am not leaning over and putting weight on my arms and hands.

Much better, but occasionally my left hand (mostly thumb) will go a bit numb. I just raise up my arm, and flex a bit, and the numbness goes away.
 

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Sonic, a weak ago you said you were leaving the forum bcs of all the chit. Now you’re causing it. I was one of those who asked you to stay. You have a lot to offer in constructive advice and humour. You have character which can add positively to this forum. These snide comments are below what I thought you were like. Whatever the issue is, please deal with it constructively.


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I took a long ride yesterday on my CBR. I had previously noted that at certain speeds, (ex. 50 mph in top gear, on my bike) the grips were buzzy enough to put my hands to sleep.

Granted, my bike is new, less than 1,000 miles, so it could be that it isn't fully broken in yet. I also have new gloves, which are a bit on the tight side. Could be that too.

But on yesterday's ride, I was thinking of this thread. I had my cold weather gloves on, which aren't tight and have some vibration-absorbing cushion to them. (the insulation) I noticed that it is a bit buzzy at certain RPMs and smooth at others, and it isn't necessarily more RPM = more vibration.

From my studies in engineering, I know it is complicated and has to do with the harmonics of the whole bike. But I noticed that mine is a bit buzzy at 50, but buttery smooth at 70-74. 75-78 is buzzy again, and 80 is smooth again. Complicated. I can see why even the mighty Honda cannot beat it once and for all. :laugh:

I don't like it to be buzzy ANYWHERE. But it is what it is. I think I'm going to add grip puppies, which will also increase the grip diameter and ease strain on the throttle wrist caused by holding the throttle open for those long rides.

For what it's worth I had a first-gen FJR1300 before, which is a much higher-end bike, and it had the same thing. Annoyingly, it was buzzy at 65-78 and didn't smooth out until 80+ mph. My old Nighthawk 250 was buzzy everywhere above 55. Ninja 250 wasn't buzzy anywhere, despite having a 12k RPM redline. The SV650 wasn't buzzy anywhere. (90° V-twin, perfect primary balance) I rode a buddy's ST1300, and it wasn't buzzy anywhere. Ditto for a first generation of the GL1800 Gold Wing.

Perfect engine balance is a start, but not a guaranty.
 

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I have noticed that my "buzzziest" times are all above 5,500 RPMs. I find that the smoothest is around 4,500 to 5,500 RPM's. In each of my formerly owned bikes, I have had the same thing - even on my horizontally opposed BMW's. Each had a RPM spot where the vibes were more prominent.

I wonder, has anyone analyzed and cracked the engineering of the handlebar inserts on this bike? Did Honda come up with what they (Honda) thought was a cure? My CB500F still has some vibes, but much less noticable than other bikes. I can remember on my Honda 305cc SuperHawk, it had an unbearable place where it vibrated terribly. Other places better.
 
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