Proper grip - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Proper grip

I know this may sound silly but curious how experienced riders would describe their throttle grip. I'm a pretty new rider and cannot ride more than 30 mins without throttle hand going numb. I've heard of death grip and pretty sure that's not the main issue. I've congnizant of trying to stay relaxed. I just got grip puppies and that is only slightly helping.
My question is are you holding more with fingers wrapped around the throttle or more in palm? I have mainly in Palm and wondering if the vibes to my palm is what's creating the numbness...? I am always trying to adjust grip like sliding hand and adjusting fingers almost like you'd hold a screwdriver but that's not the answer either.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 03:13 PM
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Jeff - MAINLY the palm w/ a BIT of finger pressure. The BIG thing - RELAX!

Keep working at it - it'll come...!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 07:32 PM
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The wrist should be fairly straight, not bent down or backwards. When you grip the throttle, do so with your hand further forward than feels natural so that when you rotate it to normal position (such as cruise speed on the highway), your wrist is not bent.

Both your wrists should be in the same position, too. If your throttle wrist is bent more than your left wrist, you aren't in a balanced position.

Elbow position could be causing hand numbness. Try riding with straighter elbows.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 11:23 PM
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There are four things I'm aware of that will cause numbness in the hands and aches in the wrists:

Hanging on too tight
Vibration through the handlebars
Too much weight on your wrists
Levers set up incorrectly.

Add a fifth: old throttle cables that don't move easily. Heavy return springs on the throttle will exacerbate this problem.

As others have said, be conscious of relaxing. I regularly go through a relaxation regime to address this and other aches and pains (I'm not getting any younger).
You don't indicate what bike you are riding. I assume a Versys, but which year model? The 2015 comes with rubber mounted engine. This eliminates vibration. Earlier models are prone to vibrating.
The seating position on the Versys already minimises weight on wrists, so this should not be a problem.
When you are sitting on the bike, put your hands on the bars then extend you fingers so they are in line with your lower arm. They should be just resting on the levers. If not, adjust the position of the levers.
If your bike is getting on in years a new set of throttle cables will make life much better. I change my cables every 60,000km as routine maintenance. It is amazing how much difference it makes.

I have found that the throttle return spring on my 2015 V is just a tad on the heavy side, but not enough to make me do anything about it.

A major problem is that a number of the above issues can combine to make matters horrible. Some years ago I had a 650 Ninja. Same engine as V, but no rubber engine mounts. I also could not get the weight off my wrists. I really liked the bike, but could never stop my hands going numb, so I sold it. The 2015 V resolved virtually all the issues the Ninja had.

If you address the issues I've detailed above, about the only one left is the heavy throttle return spring. Try using a throttle jockey (or palm rest - whatever you want to call it). Some people find these OK, others can't stand them. You won't know until you give it a go. I use one on my DR650 but not on the V. The DR vibrates and the throttle jockey allows me to not use as much pressure to hold on to the bars, thus eliminating the vibration part of the problem.

Hope this helps,

BruceC
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 10:55 PM
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You might want to try a Cramp-Buster. It will allow you to relax the death grip, and get used to just using downward pressure from your palm (with your fingers just loosely draped over the throttle for security)... no more numb digits...
I'd go with the CB2 wide... You might need the CB4 w/ the Grip Puppies.

http://www.amazon.com/Crampbuster-CB...rampbuster+cb2

Ride safe...

Barry
2015 Versys 650 Pearl White
[space holder for farkles...]

Last edited by BKP; 04-04-2016 at 10:58 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 07:25 AM
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I would not recommend a cramp buster... it has been the source of a few accidents mid corner and if the road is rough a bump can force you hand to nudge the throttle.

People use them love them for cruising the slab but when you are in the twisties it will be more of a liability. YMMV

Now...

As you have issues with sore hands, address the ergonimics first.
Do you have large hands? then the thin diameter of the grips will cause you more pain as you need to close the hand more - get grip puppies. they make the grip diameter about 4mm lager (2mm thick neoprene) this means you dont need to clench to get a grip. The foam also absorb some of the vibrations in the bar that can cause numbness as well.

Learn grip technique... you dont need to man handle the grips to control the bike or hand onto it. Use your knees more to hold the tank, this will give you more bike control and you can loosen your grip. We were told when learning that you should only grip the bars as tight as a open tube of toothpaste... if anything comes out then you are gripping too hard.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 05:54 PM
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I would not recommend a cramp buster... it has been the source of a few accidents mid corner and if the road is rough a bump can force you hand to nudge the throttle....
I have personally been involved in TWO accidents caused by using Cramp-Busters, to friends of mine. One on a Bandit 1200S, the other on a Versys (on dirt).

BOTH guys threw them away after....
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 07:34 PM
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I have personally been involved in TWO accidents caused by using Cramp-Busters, to friends of mine. One on a Bandit 1200S, the other on a Versys (on dirt).

BOTH guys threw them away after....
yup...I was going to mention that you have a better chance of crashing with the Cramp Busters...

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 08:19 PM
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My co-worker crashed into the back of his garage (on his Harley) due to his cramp buster.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 05:48 AM
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I have successfully used a crampbuster on my Concours 14, but I have several hundred thousand miles under my belt. Definitely would not recommend onenforan inexperienced rider.

"Total Control" by Lee Parks has a good section on setting up the ergonomics Olathe bike, and proper control.

A good pair of riding gloves can help with numbness. A bad pair can cutoff blood flow.

I grip with my legs which is why I like the forward slope of the seat on sporty bikes. My had are lightly on the grips. The back of my hands are in line with my forearms, palms on the grips with fingers loose so they are ready to apply brake and clutch.

My Versys Travels:


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 12:58 PM
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Here is another way to help determine if you are tensing up on the grips - Take a 12 oz can of soda pop, extend your arm out in front of you, like you are riding. Hold the can horizontally (like your handlebar grips). Use the minimum about of grip on the can, just enough to keep it from falling out of your hand. Remember that feel - because that is how soft you should be gripping your handlebar grips.

When you are in the turns, you should be using your torso, hips, legs and feet to hold yourself in position. Not your arms or your hands. Your arms and hands are for steering input only. Not for hanging onto the bike.

Also, remember to breathe in a relaxed and full manner while riding.

Taking in a couple of "Total Control" training days really helped me on this. Luckily I attended these session when they were still offered in my town.

Last edited by trialsguy; 04-06-2016 at 01:01 PM.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffhauser77 View Post
I know this may sound silly but curious how experienced riders would describe their throttle grip. I'm a pretty new rider and cannot ride more than 30 mins without throttle hand going numb. I've heard of death grip and pretty sure that's not the main issue. I've congnizant of trying to stay relaxed. I just got grip puppies and that is only slightly helping.
My question is are you holding more with fingers wrapped around the throttle or more in palm? I have mainly in Palm and wondering if the vibes to my palm is what's creating the numbness...? I am always trying to adjust grip like sliding hand and adjusting fingers almost like you'd hold a screwdriver but that's not the answer either.
I hate to break the news to you... I was you two years ago. Seems like my throttle hand was always going numb on rides. I took a 1000 mile Ozark trip through Missouri and Arkansas and my hand was numb for most of it. After I got back it just didn't go away like usual. I had to get carpal tunnel surgery to fix it. The fascia in my palm was bearing down on the nerves, and there was no amount of physical therapy, or waiting it out, that would've fixed it because that long repetitive ride finished off an already bad condition. I was concerned I was never going to get rid of the buzzy numbness because even after surgery there was nerve damage that has to heal... months of waiting. Finally it was gone and no problems since.


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Last edited by Biz; 04-06-2016 at 02:34 PM.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffhauser77 View Post
I know this may sound silly but curious how experienced riders would describe their throttle grip. I'm a pretty new rider and cannot ride more than 30 mins without throttle hand going numb. I've heard of death grip and pretty sure that's not the main issue. I've congnizant of trying to stay relaxed. I just got grip puppies and that is only slightly helping.
My question is are you holding more with fingers wrapped around the throttle or more in palm? I have mainly in Palm and wondering if the vibes to my palm is what's creating the numbness...? I am always trying to adjust grip like sliding hand and adjusting fingers almost like you'd hold a screwdriver but that's not the answer either.
I use one of these for long trips. It works great, and it allows me to rest my right hand and wrist periodically. It also allows me to adjust my jacket zippers, etc. while riding on straight, flat road sections.

Go Cruise? Throttle Control :: Aerostich Motorcycle Jackets, Suits, Clothing, & Gear

I use this throttle lock because it does not interfere with the wiring in my aftermarket heated grips.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 05:46 AM
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Had a cheap pair of gloves that were slighly tight found that resulted in the big numb constantly shaking out the hand and so on and so forth.
Bought a good quality set that fit snug but super comfy and didnt strap up too tight but enough so to not rip off in a stack and also what previous posters said about knees tight to the tank loose grip and over time and miles you will become more resilient to wrist numbness then move to iradicating the next one...the dreaded numbass !
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeffhauser77 View Post
I know this may sound silly but curious how experienced riders would describe their throttle grip. I'm a pretty new rider and cannot ride more than 30 mins without throttle hand going numb. I've heard of death grip and pretty sure that's not the main issue. I've congnizant of trying to stay relaxed. I just got grip puppies and that is only slightly helping.
My question is are you holding more with fingers wrapped around the throttle or more in palm? I have mainly in Palm and wondering if the vibes to my palm is what's creating the numbness...? I am always trying to adjust grip like sliding hand and adjusting fingers almost like you'd hold a screwdriver but that's not the answer either.
What year is your Versys? The main cause is the cheap steel handlebars. I never even bothered with them, and started with tapered aluminum handlebars on my then new 2007... You can get a Rox pivoting adjustable handlebar riser which can also be an adapter for tapered aluminum handlebars. I've never had numbing problems, and my stock mirrors always showed a clear image... It's even better now with billet aluminum mirrors which are also more aerodynamic.

Riding with a loose grip will get you in deep trouble when you least expect it.

Last edited by invader; 04-16-2016 at 06:18 AM.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 09:38 PM
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