New R1200GS - buzzy handlebars?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by GypsyWriter, May 27, 2012.

  1. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    I just purchased a brand new R1200GS Rallye on Friday and am having a blast putting some miles on her. I've been playing around with the seating and suspension options but something that's really giving me issues are how my hands go numb from the buzzy handlebars. :huh I've always heard how smooth these engines are but at highway speeds (60-80) my hands go numb within 15 minutes. Now admittedly she has very few miles on her (got to 160 today) so is this something that'll go away once I break in the engine? Are there handlebar options that could help with this? The Rallye came with hand guards and what look like bar end weights but would getting seething even weightier for the tips of the bars help? As much as I love this bike I'm a little nervous about this particular issue so any thoughts or reassurances would be much appreciated, thanks!! :ear
    #1
  2. James Bond

    James Bond Tight is best

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Eagle Point, OR
    It is likely that you have a tendency to have carpal tunnel, you will need to get risers on the bars and take the pressure off of your ulnar nerve in your palm. I have the same thing myself and had to get into a more upright riding position to relieve the pressure. there have been many posts relating to this conversation. I would search the threads for all of these conversations and what individuals have done to resolve this issue.
    #2
  3. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    No carpal tunnel, the bars buzz such that my hands go numb. I'm going to look into a throttle lock as an early farkle to allow my throttle hand a break but after hearing so much about the "smoothness" of the engine I'm hoping this is just a new bike thing and not something I'll be looking forward to from now on. :cry

    Still, risers might be a good idea as I feel myself leaning forward a bit especially since I raised the seat to the higher setting to give my knees a break. I'm wondering what the Adventure seat would feel like but I'm still getting my body used to the new ergonomics so don't want to go too drastic yet. These buzzy bars though could be a proverbial deal breaker - maybe more substantial bar end weights?
    #3
  4. Beemer Rob

    Beemer Rob Stuck in Ohio

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    70
    Check the run out of your wheels, actually run out of the tires,
    You may have excess run out causing the vibration @ speed.
    Get it up to the speed you feel it most & pull the clutch in & see if you still feel it.
    This eliminates the engine and lets you feel the wheels.
    Might be time for a trip to Woody's Wheel Works?
    #4
  5. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,086
    Location:
    Maryland
    Try a pair of Beemer Buddies. They give you some cushion on the grips, and also make the circumference of the grips larger. This tends to help keep your hands more relaxed, which should help prevent numbness.
    #5
  6. JBADV

    JBADV searching for sanity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,432
    Location:
    right here,right now
    Get some miles on it and have the first service done.Let the dealer know it seems rough.You just might need to get the engine run in for it to smooth out.When your bike is at the dealers test ride another one and see how it feels.
    #6
  7. El Gato

    El Gato Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    784
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    I was about to recommend this too. +1 for the Beemer Buddies.
    #7
  8. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,094
    Location:
    RGV Texas
    Beat me to it, I was going to point this out. BMW GS wheels are known to have issues. Besides run out the boys in Germany putting together the wheels seem to get too aggressive with the grinder and some wheels (like mine) end up with gouges/divots that play havoc on the ability to balance them. Link to a thread on the subject.
    #8
  9. RidingAgin

    RidingAgin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Near Black Diamond, WA.
    I have a 08. R1200GS. And never buzzy handlebars even with scalloped tires... I also have a F650GS that I put knobbies on.... Buzzy for the first 80 miles till I got some wear including dirt. Still buzzy compared to dual sport tires, Do you have knobbies?

    :-D
    #9
  10. mattjw916

    mattjw916 never wears lip balm

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    SoCal
    relax the death-grip on the bars, get a cruise control device of some sort, get comfy gloves...

    unless you're doing 100+ I don't see how anyone could call a GS "buzzy"
    #10
  11. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    I'm headed out for a ride so I'll check the buzzy engine vs. tires deal. I honestly wanted to avoid wider grips but agree they may help and cushion my hands a bit. The tires I believe are the stock Tourance and I never had problems with those buzzing on my Wee but could they need to be balanced? At the rate I'm going I'll be taking my bike in early this week for its first service and will ask then but it's good to have as much info as possible. I talked to them Saturday and they said I was probably too high RPMs but even in 6th whenever I go 60-80 I get buzzed out.

    Always nice to have an excuse for a nice ride. :D Yay for having the day off!!!
    #11
  12. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    Nope it's definitely not the tires. Took her for a quick spin and figured out its the engine buzzing not the tires. Which stinks.

    I'm going to give her miles to break in before I get truly disappointed but as I do mostly highway commuting this will probably be issue #1 I'll want to address. Pooh...
    #12
  13. pfarrell

    pfarrell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    New York
    i bought a 2012 1200GS TB a month or so ago...put the breakin miles on it immediately after purchase...no buzzing
    of any kind.... 5'9", 165, 30" inseam, stock seat in low position...in case any of that matters...1000 miles on it now, definitely getting "smoother"...but it was really smooth to begin with, especially when compared to the F650GS i traded in for it....definitely have it checked out at the breakin service...
    #13
  14. drmajor

    drmajor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    538
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Had similar on my 07.

    Agree with above advise- get some miles on it first and have the first service done and see if that helps.

    Then, get http://www.jimvonbaden.com/R1200.html video on the 1200 service. Learn to set the valves and throttle bodies. Be careful not to have valves too tight.

    I set my throttle bodies after the motor is hot. Pull into garage where I have a big fan to blow on it. I then balance the TB with the motor running at the RPM that I plan to travel at.... IE, 4500 is about 75 mph. Play with this----it really helps.

    I have large hands- so I wrapped the grips with cushioned tennis racket wraps.

    Used to ride dirt bikes- big ones that vibrate like crazy. There were several tricks- Some guys filled their bars with silicon calk, but to me it seems silicon has a vibration frequency... I think.

    Another trick, which I have done on my 07 GSA- fill the bars with lead shot, I used #7 shot. Comes in 25lb bag usually and I am not sure how much it takes, but not much.

    The biggest help is to have the valves and throttle bodies set right----for your motor. They do vary and one motor will like it one way or another.
    #14
  15. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    Yeah this is going to be something I bring up at the first service. I'm planning on getting a factory manual and tool kit so I can eventually do my own wrenching but I'm hoping the gear heads at the dealer can give me some advice. It happens more at certain RPMs rather than speeds, usually 4k+, and I'm hoping a full check will fix it. I read here on AdV that they don't adjust valve clearances or throttle bodies in the initial check so I'll be asking for that specifically, or at least for them to check. I may not even wait for 600 miles but we'll see how the work schedule permits. Would be cool if I could watch the service to demystify the process. :thumb
    #15
  16. drmajor

    drmajor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    538
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Typical BMW vibration in the 4200-4500 RPM range. That is why I tune the throttle bodies with a hot motor and RPM at about 4500. Really helps.

    Some people tune at idle.... you can start there, but need to be at your cruising speed.
    #16
  17. Bluecomet

    Bluecomet What, me worry?

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    131
    Location:
    Georgia
    I have an '07 1200 GS and have experienced similar symptoms twice. The first time was cured with new tires....both the front and rear were badly scalloped. Second time was when a local mechanic transposed the valve adjustment specs and did them backwards. I knew immediately that something was NOT RIGHT with very buzzy bars, pegs and seat. A correction cured the vibration.
    #17
  18. WayOutThere

    WayOutThere Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Concord, in Bay Area, northern CA
    I've had the same problem with buzzyness with my 08 GSA since day one and I've mentioned it before on this forum. Now with 23K miles on the bike it has smoothed out somewhat but still vibrates more than what I think it should. And I also firmly believe that it is ridiculous to expect to have to break in a bike over years before one has a truly smooth engine. Having said that, I've found several things which have improved the buzzyness somewhat even though it has never fully disappeared. Switching to a full synthetic oil truly imparts more smoothness. You'll be able to do that comfortably after 5-6k miles but others have different opinions and schedules. Making sure your bar end weights are absolutely snug tight will help as some can be a bit loose. Makes sure you're using good premium gas too as lower grades affect engine performance as the engine brain cuts back on ignition timing. Throttle body synch can help (I've had over five different TB synchs performed over the years with varying results by the way) but my experience indicates it just tones down the buzz but doesn't really make it go away. Making sure your wheels are not out of round has been mentioned and that's very important too although your ability to get your wheels "tuned" is quite limited for most owners without shipping them off for an expensive tweak. No, I'm concerned/afraid that the root cause for some of our bikes is that the internal components such as pistons and connecting rods are not closely enough weight balanced at the factory. Now I can't prove this but I know that there are weight tolerances that are used in engine building because not all pistons or connecting rods can be manufactured to the exact same weight. As a result, pistons should be grouped into similar weight groups as should connecting rods but even so these matchings are given acceptable parameters of differences. With a mismatch of a heavier piston and a heavier connecting rod on one side versus a lighter set of piston and connecting rod on the other side, this would set up a natural inbalance which cannot be tuned out. This is my idea/opinion of why some bikes just vibrate more than others. And unfortunately, there's really no good way to prove this is what's going on. I would love to have someone knowledgeable convince me that this weight mismatch of internal components cannot possibly be the case but the fact remains that some bikes are problematic is this regard to buzzyness while many others have no such problem. So, long story short, I share your buzzyness "pain".
    #18
  19. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    I'm really hoping its not an engine imbalance issue. Right now a throttle body sync, valve check/adjustment and tire/wheel alignment are on the list of things I want done, then I'll start looking into vibe-reducing replacements. My tide this morning also had me backfiring while downshifting and engine breaking in 2-3 gear; I wasn't doing anything extreme but definitely heard more backfiring than I wanted.

    Someone somewhere mentioned a set of risers that dampened vibes, any links or brands there? I need risers anyway and I figure that's a decent place to start. The vibes are also affecting my feet now so maybe some pegs that are cushioned (and longer)? I'm disappointed - the test ride was in rush hour traffic and we never got above the in-town speed limit of 55 but I know I didn't feel these vibes at any RPM. :cry I'll be heading to the BMw dealer tomorrow or Wednesday to see if they can look at it, and might take out the demo again just to see if it's just how the bike rides or if I have a (so far, still hoping some maintenance fixes the problem) factory lemon.
    #19
  20. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,660
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH/Stuart FL
    Something is wrong, you have to put up with that on a brand new bike. All the previous suggestions are spot on, i'd have the dealer check things in the following order... Tire imbalance, valve adjustment, rocker arm endplay, TB sync, wheel bearings, warped disks, etc, etc.

    If it has Trail Attacks on it, I have heard a lot of people say they have gotten a bad front tire, which will do that.

    You should NOT have to add risers, change grips, or any of that other stuff to make that bike go down the road smoothly.

    Oh yea, mine backfires when I wind it up and let off, I think that's pretty normal.
    #20