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Thread: Vibration

  1. #1

    Unhappy Vibration

    I just picked up a new F650GS yesterday. While riding home I experienced blurred vision at normal highway speed (45 - 55 MPH) while sitting on the seat. If I stood on the pegs, I could see clearly. Is this vibration normal during breakin period? Will it go away after breakin period and the engine loosens up a little?

  2. #2
    That doesn't sound normal. Did you test ride one before buying?

    Try tightening up the handlebar mounts, where the bars mount to the bike. I believe they're torqued to 21NM, which is 15 ft lbs. It's possible that when you're standing on the pegs you're putting enough additional pressure on the bars to reduce the vibration (it's a long shot, but I suppose it's possible). Make sure the handlebar weights are on the end of the bars and are tight ( they do get left off). Check the engine mounting bolts, make sure they're tight. You can find more info on vibration including the torque numbers for the engine mounting bolts here -

    - it's a discussion of vibration on the 650's. The bike will smooth out a little over time, but what you're describing doesn't sound normal.

    Please post back here if you find something wrong.

  3. #3
    Is there a windshield on the bike? If there is, that might be the problem. If not look in to bar end wieghts and this thing called the snake. it is a wieght that goes instide the hadle bars. It is supposed to cancel aout a lot of vibs.

  4. #4


    I read your thread last night and was thinking about it this morning during my 40 mile commute into work. (while on the 650...)

    I too have experienced -on occasion- "blurred vision" while riding and hitting certain RPMs.

    I thought about "WHEN" this occurred and realized almost every time its happened its been either a stressful day at the office, crazies galore on the road trying to "end me"...You can fill in the blanks i.e. (NEW BIKE - FIRST FEW RIDES??)... Can be stressful!

    And these things where making me put the "FIST of Death Grip" on the bars.
    Could of been that the vibs then had a "solid" substrate to pass cleanly to my empty head, shaking the optic nerves...!

    There is a nice article in the latest ON about riding "softly"??
    -Geeze', read it yesterday and can't remember if it was "softly, gently, lightly"...

    Basically -Focus on a light grip, don't allow the arms to tense up.

    Ride it like a dirt bike, loose.
    It appears to help greatly on the "Thumper"...


  5. #5
    I did not test ride before buying. I read a lot of good things about the bike and when I sat on it, it felt right. Everybody I talked to that had one loved it. I also have an 05 R1200RT which I love and thought this would be a good complement. The windshield on the bike is stock and it looks like the bar end weights are there. It seems like the vibes are coming through the seat. Even if I lift my butt just slightly off the seat my vision becomes clear. I talked to my dealer today and he said by all means bring it back to get it checked out. To me it appears like the vibes are coming from the seat area. For what it's worth, my dealer is a small dealer in the NH area and they have been great. Everybody that I talk to that deals with them has good things to say.

  6. #6
    The F650 engine is rough and can make things blurry if the engine is under load at too low an RPM. Roll on at 3000 and the engine growls and shakes - it is lugging. Roll on at 3500 and it startes to take it but doesn't really like it. Roll on at 4000 and it is happy - but it isn't really a smooth motor until you are at 4500 to 5000, or above.

    So "at normal highway speed (45 - 55 MPH)" if you were in 5th gear the engine is going to be rough, growly, and the bars and seat will vibrate.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  7. #7


    Completely agree with Paul.
    I ride the F650 GS also and have wonkey vision at 4000 rpm no matter what gear I am in. For this reason I gear up or down in consequence to stay away from 4000 rpm. I have found that by riding at 3500 works well and is good for gas consumption. Riding between 4500 and 5500 smoothes out nicely and engine will handle high revs nicely and is made for it, but you won't get as much mileage between refueling.
    No one tells you about this when buying the bike.

    The 650 nonetheless is a great bike and you will enjoy immensely!!

    Have fun!


  8. #8
    Where can I find info on tightening the engine mount bolts and head bolt?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hankles View Post
    Where can I find info on tightening the engine mount bolts and head bolt?
    Go here and poke around. That info is there, I know because I found it.

  10. #10
    Don't forget your towel
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Bainbridge Island WA
    I'll echo what Flash said and then add to it.

    I have about 15K miles worth of travels on my 2001 Dakar, the vibration isn't any worse than my '91 K100RS- a different frequency yes, but certainly not anything close to blurring my vision. The airflow coming off the stock windscreen is another story. Especially with the faceshield "cracked" there can be a lot of buffeting at certain speeds. There are a number of solutions offered in the FAQs on the chaingang site, I'm leaning towards no screen at all right now.
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  11. #11
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Birmingham, AL - Heart of Dixie
    Quote Originally Posted by hankwojt View Post
    I also have an 05 R1200RT which I love and thought this would be a good complement.
    Hankle, bear in mind the contrast here. Big opposed twin vs. big unopposed single.

    I've owned and ridden 2 650GS' in the last 4 years, and have seen many online riders lament the vibration. Obviously, much of this feeling is just that - a subjective feeling. I had reservations prior to my first one, having just come off a large, smooth, blinding-fast Honda inline-4. My Dakar is none of those things, but - those reservations proved unwarranted.

    IME, the vibration was noticeable - but only noticeable, not objectionable.

    Check the suggestions as noted above; consider a second opinion by another 650 owner - NOT the dealership! You'll find Chain Gang Inmates literally all over this country, most are helpful, and some are even nice.

    Tell us what you find!

  12. #12
    Mum Thinks Im Terrific :) Pezz_gs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Sydney AUSTRALIA

    I have a KTM660 Rallye . . . . .

    Now there is a motor that Vibrates . . . . LC4 Trademark

    Not that it is unexpected, its a BIG single

    Try fitting a sheepskin, takes the vibes out

    Im selling the Katoom to buy a F650GS Dakar, they are smooth as silk compared to the Rallye

    Here is a pic of my 660 being ridden by Andy Haydon in the Australian Safari, long before I owned it
    Sydney Australia # 63592
    I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are missing
    1980 BMW R80 G/S, 1985 BMW R80 G/S Dakar, R90/6 (90/5) Project, R65LS Resto

  13. #13
    Thanks to all for your input, info and suggestions. I will definitely let you all know how this turns out. Now . . .if the weather would only warm up a little here in the northeast.
    Pezz_GS, great picture, Thanks.

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