Handlebar Vibrations

I replaced my stolen hornet with a 2002 CBR600F and have noticed a lot of vibration through the handlebars, even when going pretty slow.
I have been given a lot of different advice eg:
weighted handlebar ends
get front wheel balanced
soften front shocks
I am not sure what to do.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated

First, I assume everything is as standard and all nuts and bolts are nicely nipped up to the manufacturers recommended torque settings?

After that lots been checked, there is probably a single fix. Finding it is the problem.

Does the beast have bar end weights? If not, were they fitted originaly? If yes, go get some (ideal breakers yard spare) and try it out.

If the bar vibes are from the front forks, I’d be surprised, but you’re in for a strip/re build checking everything as you go. Can be expensive.

Missing the obvious. I assume the engine is in good tune with the fuel system well balanced? Been serviced by someone decent recently?

After that, things get complicated. I assume the vibes are not a “characteristic of the bike”?

I had a problem like this once with my old hornet 99. My problem was frt wheel bearing and the frt wheel was out of balance. Front wheel balancing only cost a couple pounds.

Just bought it from a garage so it was serviced before I collected it.
Doesn’t have weighted ends and, as far as I can tell, the previous owner has made a few changes (different exhaust, mini indicators, black paint job and screen, scottoiler etc)
Have no idea about any of the other stuff you asked and have no mechanical skills to do anything myself.
I will have to ask someone to look at it or even just ride it as perhaps it is me!

i would say balanaced front wheel and reason why i say this i had same, bought bandit 1200 and rode home, my hand was nearly numb due to vib through front.

Was no weights on wheel at all, get it balanced shouldnt cost ya more than a tenner.

If not that least ya can tick it off the list.

All good advice.

Always start with the cheap jobs. e.g. checking everything is as tight as should be? bar end weights? front wheel balance? front wheel bearings? fuelling balance? and so on.

The worst that can happen that way is that the bike can only get better as things get elliminated.

Had a terrible afternoon
So took your advice and went to a garage who said they would check if the wheel needed balanced.
They lifted up the front of the bike, spun the wheel and told me that the right front disc was slightly warped and that was the cause. I couldn’t see what he was trying to point out.
They weren’t particularly nice and made me feel like an idiot girl who bought a bike with dodgy brakes The main guy said it would be £107 plus labour to fix when they got the part in and then walked off.
I then popped into a Honda garage to ask their opinion as I’m going to Brands Hatch tomorrow and was a bit concerned about potentially having a problem with the brakes. (I hadn’t noticed anything when braking though)
Anyway the Honda garage guy said the disc didn’t look obviously warped but he put it on the MOT test machine anyway and said it wasn’t braking smoothly (the wee needle was moving about too much, almost enough to fail!!!). He then said there was a notch in the steering head and that something may have been overtightened (this bit was getting technical for me!). Unfortunately they were about to close so couldn’t do anything but they guy was really nice and ended up taking it out for 10minutes as he worried about what he was letting me ride away on! Fortunately he said it rides okay but the steering affects filtering.
So the good news is that it’s safe to go to Brands Hatch in the morning!
But I am pretty upset about the general situation which is that I bought the bike 7 days ago, it was serviced 8 days ago and its from a dealership in Edinburgh!! I had hoped that buying from a reputable shop would have made this sort of thing less likely than buying privately. The honda garage also said that most of the bolts are not right and the bike has been messed about with way too much - things that perhaps I should have noticed.
Not looking forward to calling the dealership in Edinburgh - have no idea what they will say. Is it my fault for not checking this stuff?

This is totally off the top of my head - (I’m sure more knowledgeable people will reply soon) - but if you are not happy with the bike and can get an independent engineers report saying that the bike is defective/not roadworthy then you will have proper grounds for a refund (presuming you are in the three month warranty period usually provided by dealers of motorcycles - you will also have to check what your warranty covers - read the small print).

On the other hand - if the bike is defective - then whether your warranty covers the problems specific to this bike or not should be irrelevant - it probably comes under The Sales of Goods Act - contact the Office of Fair Trading for advice - I’m sure you can get your money back if it there is a serious problem with the bike. http://www.oft.gov.uk/ :wink:

Things may not be as bad as they seem Anita (you may not need to go down the legal route etc) - get some more in-depth professional advice (from the Honda garage you saw previously but fleetingly) on the precise state of the bike - what in their opinion is not standard/wrong with it - and what it would take to put it right. As Oldguy said above - It might not be that drastic and could be worth a little extra investment to bring it up to spec. :wink:

yeah wot sid said.

also if you have AA or RAC phone them they might be able to help/advice, i mean in a way cos they check cars over b4 ya buy em etc might be able to do bikes.

For what it’s worth it seems reasonably common on CBR600F’s. My F6 has this some times. I think it’s on days when I’m holding on just that little too firmly.

If they still do them, the AA and RAC sure know how to charge for motorcycle inspections. I’d sooner spend the money productively.
No, it’s not your fault for not checking!

Far from it. It’s the dealers responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is right.

Buy half an hour from the (sounds) decent Honda garage and get the full SP on your bike, preferrably in writing. If their list is long/expensive and prognosis bad, you have the right to take the bike back to the dealer that sold it and reject it (Correct legal term) and get your money back.

Any problem with them and you can report them the local Trading Standards office and take out a Small Claims Court action against them. But who wants all that stuff?

If things are just not great but not expensive to fix, get the work done by some nice guys, then go back to the vendor and ask for the costs back.

They will tell you to go forth, etc, but it’s always worth a try and a mention of Trading Standards might help them see the error of their ways. But don’t hold your breath.

If it’s not going to cost you a fortune, just look on it as a learning experience. All dealers are lying toe rags unless you find they are good guys.


Perhaps the first thing you should do is to call, or write a letter, to the dealer you bought the bike from. It sounds like taking it back to Scotland is not an ideal solution, but they might be willing to compromise on the repairs and pay something towards them, especially if it has ‘just been serviced’. If it has been serviced then they could have problems with trading standards if you wanted to report them, although I wouldn’t threaten to do that initially.

I’m not sure where you are in London but Southern Cross in Kilburn (Aprilia dealers, but they do repairs to all kinds of bikes) are a great outfit.

I’m sure the vibration is caused from having no handlebar weights, you could even make your own if you have a bit of lead sheet, (or knock some off a church roof).

Many dealers will fob you off if they are given the chance, I’m sure somebody from this forum could go to a garage with you if necessary to avoid the “little lady” jibes.

Good luck…

So who’s free tomorrow afternoon???
I should be fine if go back to Slocombes but post again if I feel male company would be helpful!

I think I want to get the brakes tested again, at a different place though, to see if they would be failed elsewhere. I had my old bike MOTd at Essential Rubber and they were helpful so might pop in there before going to Slocombes.

I didnt get a chance to call the garage in Scotland today and am a bit nervous about it as dont know what I am going to say. I might have a better idea by tomorrow afternoon. I suppose I dont want to come across like a neurotic woman moaning about her bike when she hasnt got a clue!

Anita, its not hard to see if brake discs are warped, just spin wheel and you should be able to see if it wobbles sort of, also if is brake disc surely vibration would only happen when braking, unless they are severly warped which you should see just by looking at them.

Another way is to take wheel off, take disc of and lay it on a flat surface, if its not laying flat on its warped.

Where you based?

get some1 you know personally to take bike out and see wot they say.

I agree with CR.

Are we talking a high pitched vibration akin to engine vibration or a wobble of the bars?

How about bringing the bike along to the meeting tonight, I’m sure there will be plenty of experts on hand to offer advice?

I’m even thinking of making my first appearance!

Cant make it tonight
I didnt think it was the brake disc as the problem is not just when braking, I dont feel the lever pulse and cant see anything when the wheel is spun.
I think perhaps I was just holding on too tight - thanks for the advice!
Essential Rubber put it on their MOT machine and said it was fine - his words were something like “I’d have no concerns using that round a track!” which made me feel a whole lot better about the bike and much more confident instantly!
I am pretty pissed off with the first place as think they were trying to scare me into parting with a lot of cash. So the brakes are alright and I dont have to complain to the garage in Scotland.
Going to get the steering head adjusted to see if the notch can be lessened a bit and if not I will just pay for it to be done. Its not dangerous and I dont want any hassle. I actually assumed that the wobble when filtering was due to me needing more practise at slow control!
Thanks again for the advice. I will relax, enjoy the bike and see if the vibrations go away

There you go Anita! Not as drastic as we feared! Good stuff! - Now enjoy your bike;)