Handlebar vibration; got caulk? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Handlebar vibration; got caulk?

I really like the bend of the stock bars, but was seriously considering putting on aluminum bars to cut down on the vibration a little. I have aluminum bars on my KLR650, and it is much smoother than my buddy's KLR with stock steel bars.

I started scouring the forum trying to determine a good set of aluminum bars that were recommended by others. I came across a post from a guy who put caulking compound in his mirrors to cut down on vibration. I wondered if it would work for the handlebars themselves.

I had previously tried lead shot in the bars of my buddy's KLR, which didn't seem to help. I thought "Why not? I've got nothing to lose but a little time and some caulk".

I removed my KTM handguards, and opened up the switch pods (didn't want to fill them with caulk through the locating hole). I had previously removed the OEM cable guides that fit into holes in the bars (they were in the way of the handguards). I loosened the clutch and brake perches and moved them out of my way.

This left me with 6 holes in the bars. I had a tube of Bathtub caulk, from a previous project, which was mostly full and so this mod was going to be "free".

I shot caulk into the end of the bar until it started coming out the switch pod locating hole on that side. Then I screwed a bolt into the end of the bar. I then shot caulk into the switch pod locating hole until it started coming out the cable guide hole. I then taped over the previous hole, and moved to the next. Repeat as necessary until you run out of holes.

This can be messy, so go slow. I kept a box of tissues and a waste basket handy to clean up as I went along. When I was done, I removed the tape from the holes and remounted all the parts I took off. (Remounting the right switch pod and getting the throttle cables located correctly is a patience-testing endeavor).

This mod costs almost nothing (generic store brand bathtub caulk can be $2-3) and takes only about an hour if you take your time.

I had hoped to fully test this on a 2up 4day ride last weekend, but we had problems (see Clutch cable blues). But I do think that the tingly vibration has been reduced to more of a rumble. It's hard to quantify. I've only occasionally been bothered by the vibration on this bike, but under certain conditions, it can make my hands numb.

I think this mod helped. I had nothing to lose.

Michael
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 10:24 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that typical "bathroom caulk" and most anything caulk with silicone in it is that it contains a lot of acetic acid (that vinegar smell). This is corrosive and needs to be able to pass out of the caulk for it to cure. As long as it is present, the caulk will be soft and corrosion will be likely.

I would like to try the higher density spray foam in a can. I've used it to dampen vibrations in non-motorcycle projects and it works well and isn't corrosive.

2009 Kawasaki Versys
SWM Engine Guard; Windscreen de Jour on a MadStad bracket; Motowerk Peg Lowering kit & Stand Big Foot; ProTaper ATV Low bars; Stebel horn; KTM Duals Rear Rack; Coocase 36L topcase...and more to come


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-24-2010, 11:41 PM
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Can you elaborate on the spray foam please? Brand, etc. I have never used or seen one.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 12:51 AM
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sir,

perhaps you can consider Space Invader fm Selleys :

http://www.selleys.com.au/Selleys-Sp...m/default.aspx

rgds.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datawiz2012 View Post
Can you elaborate on the spray foam please? Brand, etc. I have never used or seen one.
It's a spray foam used mostly for insulating--filling in cracks and crevices. You can get it at most any hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes. I forget the name but if you ask for "spray insulating foam" they will lead you right to it--there are a few brands that make it. I've used it in dirt bike bars for years and it does work; not a huge difference, but noticeable.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 01:10 PM
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If your hands get tingly, you're holding on too tight.

"I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride my Motor-sickle"
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 08:10 PM
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You could use small ball bearing, too.

I wasn't keen on the chalk as it would be messy to clean out if it did'nt work.
The ball bearing solution worked for me but the Versys was not too vibed to begin with.
Could check your throttle bodies are balanced at idle.

If all doesn't work, new bars like Pro Taper has been used and proven to eliminate the vibes.

Good Luck.

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Ride safe,
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimel View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that typical "bathroom caulk" and most anything caulk with silicone in it is that it contains a lot of acetic acid (that vinegar smell). This is corrosive and needs to be able to pass out of the caulk for it to cure. As long as it is present, the caulk will be soft and corrosion will be likely.
I would like to try the higher density spray foam in a can. I've used it to dampen vibrations in non-motorcycle projects and it works well and isn't corrosive.
I tried the spray foam on my 600 Bandit years ago and it didn't make a bit of difference. I also tried making little caulk beads that were cured before putting into the handlebars. These had absolutely no effect on my wife's V-Star either.
Best luck I've had is with changing to ProGrip Gel 714 grips, and putting gel foot pads into the palms of my gloves.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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