XR650L Handlebar Vibration Revisited

I'm running the stock handlebars on my XR650L. I'm trying to reduce vibration. I've seen several posts on this forum that offer suggestions.

  • Expandable Foam
  • Fasst Inserts
  • BBs, birdshot, etc.
  • Bar Snake (assuming epoxy)
  • Replace with aluminum handlebars
  • Fill bars with silicone
  • Different Grips
  • Change the way you grip the bars (don't hold on so tight)

I like fixes that are removable (and cheap), so I started with BBs.

Test 1: Filled a 6" long rubber tube with BBs, wrapped that with duct tape, and stuffed it into the throttle end of the handlebar. Result was very little change, if any. :thumbsdn:

Test 2: Same as test 1, plus another tube on the clutch side. Result: no change. :thumbsdn:

Test 3: Removed rubber tubes from tests 1 & 2. Filled the entire bars with BBs. Result: no improvement. Might have made things worse. :thumbsdn: And a few are still rolling around on the garage floor :thumbsdn:

Bar snake and fast inserts are a bit expensive, and I have read mixed reviews. I'd rather spend my $ on new bars, if I knew it would work.

The expandable foam idea seems good (and cheap), but it's non-reversible, so if it doesn't work, I'd need to buy new bars anyway. Would like to hear from anybody else that has done this.

Does anybody know of something that really works, based on experience? The only thing that seems proven is to buy new bars.

I understand that the bars are going to "shake", especially at low RPM, and that's OK. It's that higher frequency tingly/buzzy vibration that gets me.

OK, here's an update.

Test 4: Took 5" long piece of 3/4" OD conduit, filled it full of BBs, with plugs at both ends of the pipe. Took the throttle off, and started up the bike and let it idle. I put my fingers on the handle bars where the throttle went, while my wife slid the conduit in and out of the end of the handlebar. With my eyes closed, I could tell when the conduit weight was in and when it was out. :applause:

I went for a ride (following the exact same route as all the other tests - streets and highway) and I could tell that the throttle side had less buzz than the clutch side. :ride:

I don't know why filling the entire bar with BBs didn't seem to work as well.

Looks like a big honkin' weight at the bar ends is the way to go. Duh...guess that's why every sport bike comes with 'em already :bonk:

:applause: The BB's are an old Harley trick and it works if you dont mind the extra weight. My 650 doesn't have the prob. but my TW mirrors are useless at speed. Call a Harley dealer with a grizzled old man answering the phone( not the 30 something, asschap wearin', weekender:lame: ) and ask him for the lowdown on the vibes.:prof:

Rman....

dont try exp. foam!!:foul::censored:

i filled my bars with that crap, it didnt stop expanding, dripping goo, clogging my trhottle assy., and i had to pull my turn sig. switch apart and clean it 3 times. pain in the ass!:bonk::rant:

dont try exp. foam!!:foul::censored:

i filled my bars with that crap, it didnt stop expanding, dripping goo, clogging my trhottle assy., and i had to pull my turn sig. switch apart and clean it 3 times. pain in the ass!:bonk::rant:

HaHaHaHa I had a friend I used to work with that had this bright idea about insulating for sound by spraying foam between his headliner and the roof of his truck. Needless to say, it didn't work.:busted:

It does plug quarter-panel holes quite nicely, though. Just let it dry, and saw off the drippings.

On my rougher vehicles, I would just stab the can with a pick, and throw it into the quarter-well.

Dave

HaHaHaHa I had a friend I used to work with that had this bright idea about insulating for sound by spraying foam between his headliner and the roof of his truck. Needless to say, it didn't work.:busted:

what a mess that must have been!!!:rant:

It does plug quarter-panel holes quite nicely, though. Just let it dry, and saw off the drippings.

On my rougher vehicles, I would just stab the can with a pick, and throw it into the quarter-well.

Dave

FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!!!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

OK, so I know this thread is old...but I'm updating for completeness, in case anybody searches for vibration.

I removed the inner bar end-weights, and replaced with ProTaper Pillowtop grips. Don't expect too much from those grips - barely noticeable improvement, if at all.

The vibes aren't as bad as they used to be. I think it's because I've just gotten used to it. I've got 7000+ miles on my XR650L now. Rode 180 miles yesterday. Key is to relax your squeeze on the grip, take breaks, stretch fingers on downhills where you can let the bike coast, etc.

I may be wrong, but the stock steel bars are bound to vibrate more than aluminum bars to start with:excuseme:

I may be wrong, but the stock steel bars are bound to vibrate more than aluminum bars to start with:excuseme:

I had some bar vibes on my 650R, i put on renthal fatbars, and that helped a little, but not really any diffornce. What really helped was acerbis handguards. They give the bars some extra support, and it helped a lot:thumbsup:

Alright, I don't have much vibration on my L. I will say though the pirelli mt-21's wear a little funny on my hondas. When they are fresh, there is litterally no vibration on the L. Once they wear, they are terrible on the road. You can go to much with anti-vibe which will work against each other. The idea is to change the harmonics of your bars, but not leave to much "looseness". I played around with this problem on my cr500 a long time ago. It came with rubber grommets to secure the bar clamps. It helped, but that thing is a workout to ride anyhow. FF today, I still have it and now have a "L" built. I used the 2" risers, 7/8 to 1-1/8, antivibe from ROX. Threw Renthal fatbars, and good grips to boot. Added the moose pro rally's and can ride around on the pegs comfortably without much fatigue. I saw martinfan pick up a set of nonanti-vibe 2" risers and followed his suggestion only to find an anti-vibe set to play with for 159$ or so. They do not interfere with my large tank either. I wish ROX would send me a sample for one of my other bikes:worthy: :thumbsup:

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I don't feel much vibration either. The XRL seems pretty darn smooth to me.

I work hard at not putting the grips in a death-grip, maybe that makes a big difference?

Dave

OK vibration. Is it al XRL's or just mine that have bad vibration in the bars?

I'm running the stock triple clamp with big bar adapter and Tusk bars CR high bend. Regular MX dual compound grips. I'm running Kenda 270 tires.

It gets pretty rough ridng 200 miles and gets to the point were my hands go numb.

Any suggestion on smoothing out my bike? I will be using it for mainly gravel and paved roads. Very little off-roading will be done with it now since I have gotten another plated dirt bike.

Fill the bars with BB's. Not the end all fix but you will notice a difference!

Fill the bars with BB's. Not the end all fix but you will notice a difference!

Well that could be a problem. I also got an idea from someone else to fill them with silicone.

Should of done BB's first.

rox risers make vibration isolation mounts I've been meaning to try

also , those ridiculous foam grips actually work! Really! I ( sad to say ) have a pair on mine.

reducing rpms can help. Is gearing up an option for you?

Since I installed a set of aluminum bars (Factory 909) and a Steering Damper , the vibration has all but disappeared from my hands/arms on my XRL. :smirk::thumbsup:

rox risers make vibration isolation mounts I've been meaning to try

also , those ridiculous foam grips actually work! Really! I ( sad to say ) have a pair on mine.

reducing rpms can help. Is gearing up an option for you?

I have already planned on getting the foam grips. And I'm back to stock gearing so the RPM's are back down again.

I know some of it is me. Whenever I ride trails I get arm pump and hand cramps bad. But I really want to be able to ride more miles for some trips I'm wanting to take in 09. I don't see me doing 400 mile days unless I can find a fix for my hands

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