125cc Motorcycle Owners Club

Honda CBF125, CBR125 and Yamaha YBR125

Anti Vibration Handlebar Devices

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Numbness (loss of feeling), tingling (pins and needles) and bone pain can be caused by handlebar vibration.
It can affect hands, fingers and arms; the vibration normally comes from the engine.

You can reduce the problem by not griping the handlebar so tightly, relax your fingers and arms,
keep fingers off clutch and brake levers until absolutely necessary.
Reduce the weight on your hands by using your stomach and leg muscles more.

The amount of vibration is related to engine speed, load (headwind speed, steepness of hill etc.) and which gear the bikes in.
For example going up a very steep hill at 40mph in 3rd gear,
the vibration would be low, but on a flat road the vibration would be terrible at that speed in that gear.

Some gloves have thicker leather or padding in the finger part of the glove than others
(downsides are reduced feel and not as good as methods below).

Using a higher quality engine oil,
may reduce vibration (depending on engine); see Which Oil quality to use (Silkolene Pro 4 Plus section).

Foam Brake and Clutch Lever covers

The largest amount of vibration comes from the brake and clutch levers since they are metal with no padding.
You can buy universal motorcycle round foam lever covers
that will remove all the vibration (costs around £2 to £3 a pair in the UK).
I do not recommend them to people with short fingers since they increase the size of the levers
(if your glove size is medium to large you will be ok).
The foam lever covers will also improve grip and control of the levers.

The foam has rubber inside and can expand by a large amount to go over the lever end,
put a small amount of washing up liquid over the rubber to allow it to slide over the levers,
let it dry for up to a day before use to stop the excessive sliding.
Do not stick the foam covers on with glue; they need to slide forwards and backwards in places when you use the levers.

Foam covers can be found on the internet and ebay by searching for motorcycle foam lever covers.

Dual Compound Handlebar Grips

I use 135mm Motrax Fas' Grips which are dual compound, but unfortunately the company no longer exists.

Other companies make Dual Compound grips.
They are only available in 125mm length or less and probably closed end
(some are designed to have the end cut off to make them open).
Companies like PROGRIP make them and can often be found in off road motorcycle shops
(since off road bikes often suffer from vibration).
Be careful when buying dual compound grips,
since some are far better designed for off road use than others (fat instead of thin).

The Motrax Fas' Grips (are thin, designed for road use)
are brilliant at removing vibration from the engine as well as vibration from holes in the road.
They do not appear to have any side effects (unlike Foam grips).
They are Dual Compound type (dual compound simply means 2 materials are used),
the first compound is a special anti vibration material.
Then there is a more durable rubber material on top to reduce wear from the rider's hands.

I expect you will find the other manufacturers of Dual Compound grips similar to the Motrax Fas' Grips.
They may say they have gel or soft rubber on the inside.

To work out what length of grip you need simply measure the length of your old grip with a ruler.
Nearly all motorcycles that are used on the road are 125mm or 135mm.
If you have handlebar weights at the end you need open ended (if not you need closed).
Off road style bikes may be 115mm or 125mm.
Custom (Harley style) bikes may be something over 135mm.

Any anti vibration grip could easily remove so much vibration,
that you could easily over rev the engine when in a low gear, so keep an eye on the rev counter if you have one.

Foam Handlebar Grips

Foam is the old fashioned way to reduce vibration;
they have terrible side effects
and do not reduce vibration anywhere near as well as the Dual Compound Grips mentioned above.
I have used foam grips for many thousands of miles; I then replaced them with the Dual Compounds Grips mentioned above.
If you need 135mm length grips, they may be your only choice (they stretch a bit),
but they are only worth trying if you have very bad vibration problems,
be prepared to try them and then have to replace them with normal grips.

How to remove old Handlebar Grips

To remove old grips you may have to cut them off,
but you can probably get them off by sliding a screw driver under them and spraying some WD40
or anything else that will let the rubber slip off.

With my Honda CG125 Front Disc brake model.
The only big problem was getting the handle bar end weights off the bike (round metal weights at the end of the handlebar).
The screws were so tight (probably glued on in the factory) I could not use a normal screw driver;
I also needed a tool to hold the round metal weight still.
I had to use a plumbers water pump pliers to hold the round metal weight
(I put some cloth between them but still managed to scrap some black paint off).
Luckily my socket set had a screw driver bit that fitted and an adapter to fit the ratchet handle,
so I had much more leverage than a normal screwdriver.
I do not know if someone helps you, if you could use another set of pliers on a normal screw driver instead to get the leverage.

The throttle side grip was not glued on; it was wrapped over a plastic ring at the end furthest away from the handlebar end.
I simply pulled it off without any tools or any liquid.

The clutch side grip was only glued on at the furthest end from the handlebar end,
I had to use some liquid (I used WD40) and a screw driver to remove it.
I pushed the screwdriver under the grip at the end that used to have the handlebar weight,
I then sprayed a little WD40 around the screwdriver,
and I then moved the screwdriver around the inside of the grip and sprayed some more WD40.
I kept doing that until the entire inside of the grip had WD40 on it.
Even though the screwdriver did not reach all the way down the grip, gravity let the WD40 run down it.
The WD40 lubricated the rubber and made it slippery; it also dissolved some of the glue,
so the grip became very easy to pull off.

How to put on new Handlebar Grips

You need to clean the handlebar (maybe the throttle as well) before you can fit new grips.
Especially if you put something slippery on to remove old grips.
Cleaning will also remove any glue or deposits left from the old grips.
You can use petrol / white spirit or turps to clean (dissolves glue and removes slippery chemicals and deposits),
but make sure it has totally evaporated off (I would wipe it as well) before trying to fit new grips.

Motorcycle grips have a different internal size for the clutch side compared to the throttle, the throttle side is much larger.
You can buy special Grip Glue, but it really is not necessary.
Hairspray works just fine and I bet you will not be able to tell any difference.

Spray loads of hairspray (I use the strongest version) inside the grips (along the whole length and all the way around).
Every single part of the inside of the grip that touches the handlebar or throttle must be soaking wet in hairspray;
else the grip will not slide on (too much resistance).
Then immediately (within seconds) push (will need to twist and force it) the grip on to the handlebar or throttle,
before the hairspray has a chance to start drying.
If you find it's too hard to slide on, spray more hairspray in to the grip,
you may even need to spray a bit on to the handlebar or throttle.
If you still have trouble, you probably still have some of the old glue / deposits left on from the old grips
(so clean it again and more thoroughly).

When you have got the grip on to the handlebar or throttle, you should find it will slide around for a while,
use this time to get it in exactly the right place and straighten it up if it looks twisted (depends on grip style).

The hairspray will take hours to fully evaporate, leaving a small amount of glue behind.
I would always leave it overnight or just in case 24hrs.
The grip will then not slide at all on the handlebar or throttle.

The grip does not actually need any glue to stop it sliding on the handlebar or throttle,
it just needs something to help it slide on (which totally evaporates).
Hairspray is often used by people fitting handlebar grips and that's what I use, things like petrol may damage the grip.

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