Feeling a motorcycle engine rumble through the bars, pegs, and seat can often add to the exhilaration of riding a two-wheeled machine. That’s not to say that motorcycle vibrations can get a little bit excessive for some riders. Engines of all shapes and sizes can sometimes have the tendency to vibrate a little bit more than needed. An hour on the road on a daily basis may not be heavy on the body when it comes to engine vibrations, but riding over 3 hours on a single day can surely take a toll on your hands and feet. If you’re looking for a few solutions to your engine vibration woes, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 things you can do to reduce the engine vibrations for short and long rides alike.
Engine oil change
The first and most important thing you can do to reduce vibrations is to replace your engine oil with new oil. Engine oil has a tendency to thicken up and get dirty over time which can cause your engine internals to move less smooth. An oil change can help reduce your engine vibrations significantly so long as you load up with the correct weight and viscosity as recommended by your manufacturer for your motorcycle.
The next item on the list is an adjustment for your motorcycle’s valve clearances and valve timing. When your valves go out of the factory setting as a result of regular use over time, the process in which your engine burns fuel for power can go out of specification causing poor fuel economy, poor performance, and excessive vibrations from the engine. Make sure to have your valves checked and adjusted by a reputable shop or service center in order to reduce the vibrations produced by your engine.
Carburetor and EFI cleaning
Similar to the issues caused by your valves, poor fuelling can also cause excessive vibrations due to poor air-to-fuel ratios and a faulty combustion process. Carbureted engines will benefit greatly from a thorough cleaning job and a proper tune thereafter. Electronic fuel-injected (EFI) motorcycles on the other hand will benefit in the same way with a full EFI cleaning job. The net result of this would be better engine performance and reduced vibrations due to a more complete and smooth combustion process.
Motorcycle chains are often one of the more overlooked components when it comes to maintenance, and can cause excessive vibrations if not properly cared for. An old and dirty motorcycle chain without lubrication will spin around the sprockets more rigidly and will not smoothly make contact with your sprocket teeth. If your motorcycle chain and sprockets are worn out of specification, replacing these items with a brand new set would help do the trick. If your chain and sprockets can still be saved, however, it would be important to give your chain a thorough cleaning followed by proper lubrication for reduced vibrations.
If none of the maintenance items above will cut it for you, you may want to look into purchasing accessories that can reduce the vibrations felt by your hands and feet. Comfortable handlebar grips, anti-vibration handlebar risers, and steel bar-end weights can significantly reduce the vibrations absorbed by your hands and arms. Using footpegs that have rubber inserts can help reduce vibrations absorbed by your feet, and installing a touring seat can help do the same for your bottom and back.