SW Motech Crash Bar install help needed! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Question SW Motech Crash Bar install help needed!

Hey all, I've been installing my newly delivered SW Motech crash bars this morning and have run into a problem. Everything was going great until I started torqueing down the u-bolts.

My problem is that the install instructions that came with it says to torque down the u-bolts (M8) to 23 Nm (17 ft.lb.). So, I set up my torque wrench at 17 ft.lb. and started wrenching with the 13mm socket. The problem is, I keep wrenching and wrenching and it still doesn't pop at 17 ft.lb. It looks as if I'm tighting it all the way to the end of the threads on the u-bolt and I still can't get the right torque.

The secondary problem to this is that the black caps they give to cover the bolts on the u-bolt are now way too short and don't fit.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? Am I doing something wrong here? How can I correct this?

FYI, my torque wrench works fine. I just used it for the engine mount bolts (set at 33 ft.lb.). If I lower the torque wrench to 12 or so, then I get the pop on the ubolts.

Pics of my issue:



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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 12:37 PM
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Hi,

I have installed the same SW-Motech crash bar without this problem. I did not use a torque wrench but I wrenched both nut "symmetrically, so try this method and the cap will cover nut. I can not see the other nut at the bottom, I can just imagine that there the u-bolt is too short.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I did tighten them symmetrically. The bottom bolt shows just as much as the top one pictured.

I've got to get the bike buttoned up for work this afternoon so what I settle on is simply not torqueing the ubolt nuts. I tightened them down to where I could still get the caps on, which equates to just about 5 ft.lb.

I'm hoping this won't cause me any issues. The only thing I can think of to get the right torque specs is to either cut the tipsnof the u bolts off or to try and find shorter u bolts that would fit.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 01:10 PM
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Understood. I think the easiest solution is cutting a bit from the ends of the u-bolts.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 04:02 PM
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It has been my experience with these bars that the least amount of torque possible on the ubolts is necessary to avoid excessive engine vibration.

Not everyone has experienced this, but many have.

Before you do any bolt cutting, RIDE THE V! You may find a high level of vibration.

Loosening the ubolts seems to be the solution to this problem. I actually replaced the ubolt nuts will nylock nuts and tightened them only enough to engage the nylon inserts; effectively zero torque.

On my V the crash bars have a high level of high frequency vibration at the upper rear mount. Tightening the ubolts at all transmits this vibration into the frame and the whole bike.

Michael
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, just took my first ride. Here's the verdict:

There is WAY more vibration now. I mean like, triple the vibration. Like, this is absolutely ridiculous. I'll try the loosening of the ubolt tonight, but if it doesn't go away, they're going back to TT.

Another observation, there is no way more sound coming from the engine area. It's probably caused mostly by the vibrations, but the engine itself is a lot louder now (in a bad way).

After driving it to the store, I came back out to it and when I hit the starter like I normally do I heard a slight crack. Curious, I rolled on the throttle slightly and heard a faint squeel sound when I did.

Everything is torqued to spec, except the u bolts. What am I missing? Is this normal? Help!
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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Not Good Vibrations

Well after reading this I am not going to get any engine guards. I have the 2010 with the improved rubber engine mounts. I still want highway pegs so I will do like others have done and build mounts.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchristian79 View Post
Ok, just took my first ride. Here's the verdict:

There is WAY more vibration now. I mean like, triple the vibration
Yes sir they do that.

As I said, I totally loosened my ubolts. I also added rubber between the ubolts and the plastic frame protectors, and added rubber washers under the ubolt nuts.

As I said before, I replaced the nuts with nylocks which aren't as tall as the nuts that came with the bars (but are 13mm, so the plastic caps fit).

Loosen the nuts so that they barely touch the bars, but engage the locking portion of the nut. Zero torque. I think that will solve your vibration. In general, I think I went overboard, but I thought I'd mention what I did so that you can have some options.

My bars have been on for several months and vibration is not a problem.

The engine noise may be directly related to the vibration, as it vibrates the whole bike.

I'm not sure about your "crack" or "squeal". Sorry.

Michael
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Michael, I did as you suggested when I got home last night. Actually I had a friend over to help me reinstall the whole thing. When it came time for the u bolts, I just barely tightened them. Just enough where they aren't rattling. That seems to have helped a ton. It's still more viby than before, but much less so now. I believe I can live it with it now.

Here's another thing I did too I wanted to get your take on. I noticed that there was about a 1mm gap on either side of the front engine mount between the mount and the engine. I had read here about this gap causing some problems so I shimmed it with a single washer. But I also had an idea that I tried.

I installed neoprene washers on many of the contact points of the crash bars and engine mounts. There isn't any more than one rubber washer in any given point. And each mount has at most 3 rubber washers. The theory was that maybe it will help reduce some of the vibration. I'm not positive if it has helped at all, but I'm kind of wondering now if it was a good idea or not?

My concern is that the neoprene would melt/burn with the heat of the engine. I was able to torque all the engine mounts down to the recommended 32 ft.lb. with loctite on the threads so I'm pretty confident in the mounts, but I just don't know what side effects may come (if any) with the rubber washers.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 09:29 AM
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Not to worry on rubber washers as when the time come just replace them. i have a lot of it on my V and no vibration at all. On the engine mount spacing did the same with some Teflon material to reduce the gap and no side effect at all.

Just keep an eye on things for a few rides and you should be good.

&
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastoman View Post
Not to worry on rubber washers as when the time come just replace them. i have a lot of it on my V and no vibration at all. On the engine mount spacing did the same with some Teflon material to reduce the gap and no side effect at all.

Just keep an eye on things for a few rides and you should be good.

&
Thank you Fastoman! That's what I thought, but this is just what I needed to hear to put my mind at ease
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 09:37 AM
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As far as the u-bolts. I basically put mine on hand tight, maybe a slight turn with the wrench or something. Then the plastic caps.

After commuting everyday for a couple months they still haven't fallen off. And no extra vibrations at all.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 10:20 AM
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I just put mine on yesterday and followed the advice on the TT page for the SW Motech crash bars. Basically, the writer said not to tighten the ubolts very tight. I used threadlocker on the ubolt nuts and snugged them down about right (25 years as a mechanic helps get the right feel). I rode it today, and noticed no difference in the feel of the bike. I also used black RTV to glue on the little plastic caps.

Oh, also some black RTV in the gap between the black cowl piece and the instrument panel killed the nasty buzz that just started a few miles ago.

Some pics of bars and barkbusters.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg crash bars 001.jpg (430.5 KB, 846 views)
File Type: jpg crash bars 002.jpg (419.7 KB, 663 views)
File Type: jpg crash bars 003.jpg (363.2 KB, 546 views)
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchristian79 View Post

Here's another thing I did too I wanted to get your take on...

I installed neoprene washers on many of the contact points of the crash bars and engine mounts. There isn't any more than one rubber washer in any given point. And each mount has at most 3 rubber washers. The theory was that maybe it will help reduce some of the vibration. I'm not positive if it has helped at all, but I'm kind of wondering now if it was a good idea or not?
I experimented with many different torques on the various mounting points; with many test rides in between. This is the only way to know what works and what doesn't.

I haven't played around with the engine mounts other than to try different torques (which made no discernible difference on the engine mounts), and have no first hand knowledge about the engine mount gap problem.

If your neoprene washers help, keep them. But if you aren't sure, then I probably would remove them. I would stay with the known.

I have noticed that at cruising speed if you touch the upper bar of the crash bars, it is vibrating like crazy. Since mine is now rubber mounted and lightly tightened, this vibration is not transmitted to the frame. I would keep the focus on the ubolt mounting area. I used a 1/4" slice of an old hand grip between the ubolt and the plastic frame cover, with rubber washers under the ubolt nuts.

I consider my bike to be mostly vibration-free, or as much as can be expected of a 650 vertical twin.

HTH,

Michael
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 10:32 PM
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I listen when people say stuff, so I added a layer of bicycle inner tube under the neoprene sleeves provided and snugged the nuts to the point that the black caps went on properly. No extra vibes, at all.

Sometimes I think German engineers simply pull stuff, such as these torque values, out of their ass just to appear to be smart. Common sense rules. Other than that, my Motech bars are well thought out and top rate.

V-Zee
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 08:19 AM
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Not trying to be a smarta**, but I never took the suggested torque values in the sketchy SW Motech instructions to apply to the ubolts. Torque values are for fasteners that snug down to a surface. The only time you would tighten a ubolt really tight is say, a muffler clamp where you are going to squeeze and distort the pipe to secure it.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Well...I know it's only been 2 days, but...I've tried multiple torque settings on the ubolts from nothing to a lot and I've tried adding rubber dampers behind the ubolts as well. I've had a friend of mine with 20 something years of experience working on bikes come over and verify that I did indeed install these correctly. We triple checked all the torque settings on the engine mounts and tried them mounted with and without rubber washers.

I know it's probably just me being super picky. That and my bike may just be one of those bikes that give extra vibes with these on. Either way, I've decided to pull them off. I'm going to attempt to return them to Twisted Throttle, although I'm not sure I can since they've been installed. If not you'll probably be seeing them for sale up here shortly

I'm pretty bummed considering I spent almost all my birthday money on these and will now be out $40 or more. I love the way they look on the bike, but I know I'm not going to be happy with these.

Once returned/sold I'm considering giving the Hepco & Beckers a try. Either that or going with the LSL sliders. Ugh
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 01:08 PM
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I figure not installing them gives me even more incentive to stay upright and keep it smooth. If you read the Givi thread, you know there was a fitment issue with the 2010 engine guards and they've been returned to the manufacturer. I'm good at this point with going naked since I got my drop of of the way on my front lawn on day #2, heh.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djg View Post
Not trying to be a smarta**, but I never took the suggested torque values in the sketchy SW Motech instructions to apply to the ubolts. Torque values are for fasteners that snug down to a surface. The only time you would tighten a ubolt really tight is say, a muffler clamp where you are going to squeeze and distort the pipe to secure it.

Just my 2 cents.
+1, as I mentioned, common sense rules. Without that, you're pretty much lost anyway.

V-Zee
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I decided this weekend to sell the bars since I couldn't get rid of the vibrations. I even had a seller lined up (sorry again if you read this) but my wife insisted I give them another try.

I reinstalled them yesterday morning and ended up wrapping the frame (under the plastic sleeve) with a cut old bicycle inner tube. I then snugged the ubolts down just enough so they wouldn't rattle. After that, on the advice of the guy at TT I looked into the CA emissions canister as a possible source of problems. Sure enough I realized that the bars fit with the canister still on, but they cause the canister to be pushed back in the mount and sit awkwardly resting partly on it's mount box and partly on the ubolt mount point. I ended up squeezing pieces of the innertube in between the points where they contact to see if that would help.

Sure enough, when I took it for a spin yesterday, it felt great! I can still tell just a tad bit extra vibration around 4k to 4.5k rpm but only a tad now, as in, I can just barely tell when I feel for it. I've put 3 hours of riding time on it at all speeds and riding types (freeway, twisties, backroads, fast/slow) and I can't really notice a difference anymore. So I decided to keep them.

BTW, V-Zee & djg: I'm new to all this. I'm still just learning the common sense rules of mechanics. The instructions with the bars list two recommended torque values, one for M10 and another for M8. After looking over the parts list & descriptions I saw that the engine mount bolts were listed at M10 and the ubolt nuts were listed as M8. That's what I was going off of.

With that said, what you guys say really does make a lot more sense to me...so consider me educated!
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