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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #1  
Old 6th October 2008
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Default Vibration/Rideability Issues

I have an 03 XLR with about 16k on it. ive got a Screaming Eagle stage one kit and a Burly lowering kit. The problem im having is that after about an hour the damn thing has vibrated me to the point of numbness and agony (depending on which body part your asking about). i was wondering if there was anything i could do to smooth out my bike? I know the 03 is a solid mount engine...is there a rubbermount kit? i figure on getting the Baker XL6 kit for lower highway RPMs, but i doubt that will fix my prob completely. help?
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Old 6th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambler View Post
I have an 03 XLR with about 16k on it. ive got a Screaming Eagle stage one kit and a Burly lowering kit. The problem im having is that after about an hour the damn thing has vibrated me to the point of numbness and agony (depending on which body part your asking about). i was wondering if there was anything i could do to smooth out my bike? I know the 03 is a solid mount engine...is there a rubbermount kit? i figure on getting the Baker XL6 kit for lower highway RPMs, but i doubt that will fix my prob completely. help?
No rubbermount kit, there's too many differences.

Honestly I would start with the tuning.

You might want to change pipes though it's a trial and error kinda thing.

Gearing might help, but before you go that route you might want to consider a bar snake or filling the bar with lead, plus different grips, pegs etc.
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Old 6th October 2008
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Better grips and footpegs, barsnake, different riser bushings.
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Old 6th October 2008
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You can dump a ton of money into that issue, but before you do that...
I would agree with what Kev said.

Just start with the worst vibration issue: ie, if your hands are going numb; look for better hand grips. (Work from the outside of the bike to the inside.)
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Old 6th October 2008
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I really don't understand the vibration issues people talk about. I added an aftermarket AC and had the bike rejetted 8 years ago, so I don't remember if that made a difference, but stock pegs and stock riser bushings have worked fine for me, and I can put hours in the saddle without a problem. There's still vibration, but nothing to upset the body, hands, or feet.

I don't know what cc bike and the corresponding gear ratio you have, nor do I know if you're saying the bike vibrates at all RPM for ya. I will say, however, that before I got used to the bike I used to shift to fifth at 50mph and it would shake alot. I didn't realize that I was lugging the engine at near idle RPM at that speed with my stock gearing. It will do this whenever you try to accelerate at an RPM that's really too low for driving.
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Old 7th October 2008
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Hehe, I shift my bike into 5th at 50 on level and downhills to stop the vibration, maybe better described as buzzing of the bars.
I figure on trying the trick riser bushings and maybe zip-tie some weight to the bars to see if it makes a difference.
Some peoples hands don't go numb, others do.
I think my bike has been bored to 1200cc by a previous owner as the bigger pistons create more vibes. Lots of nice low end torque, though. Enough to easily pull at 50mph in 5th.
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Old 7th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambler View Post
The problem im having is that after about an hour the damn thing has vibrated me to the point of numbness and agony (depending on which body part your asking about).
If your feet are going numb, get rid of those chrome, O-Ring, etc foot pegs and go back to the OEM rubbers. I did the same thing and there was a night and day difference. Much better!!
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Old 7th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weo View Post
I really don't understand the vibration issues people talk about. I added an aftermarket AC and had the bike rejetted 8 years ago, so I don't remember if that made a difference, but stock pegs and stock riser bushings have worked fine for me, and I can put hours in the saddle without a problem. There's still vibration, but nothing to upset the body, hands, or feet.
That would be because there are differences in bikes and differences in people.

Suffice it to say that IF your bike isn't BREAKING SHIT or SHIT ISN'T FALLING OFF the difference may be the bike and tuning even moreso than the difference in your tolerence/perception.
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Old 7th October 2008
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I never understood this vibration issue. I have a '95 883 Deluxe with Screamin' Eagle pipes and the vibration is not even noticeable to me at all. I haven't ridden any other sportsters so I can't really compare, but mine rides smooth as silk. I think that the Deluxe model has an upgraded suspension, so maybe that's why. Still I wouldn't expect there to be a big difference. So, like Kev M mentioned, my guess is that it's really just a matter of personal tolerance/perception. If you don't like how a bike rides, maybe you should consider getting a different bike.
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Old 7th October 2008
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Gearing the bike a little higher will help on the highway, and a good seat that doesn't transmit much vibration will make a world of difference. A few teeth bigger on the front sprocket will be much cheaper than a 6-speed, even if you have to replace the belt. As others have said, real rubber pegs and grips will help, as will a well-tuned engine, properly adjusted primary chain, tight motor mounts, etc.
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