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Thread: Are Thumpers All That Buzzy?

  1. #1
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    Are Thumpers All That Buzzy?

    I've never owned a single cylinder motorcycle. Never. I don't recall even riding one--at least not for any distance to speak of. But I find myself wondering if they really do vibrate as much as most folk say? If so, how noticeable and how objectionable is the vibration? BTW, I want feedback about a late-model, even new, bike, not a 20 year old beater.
    My reason for asking is that I am considering buying one and I don't think a simple test ride will give me enough of an impression about it. I will use it for all-day rides and the occasional weekend trip, as well as an everyday around-town ride.
    What is the wisdom of the group?
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    I've never owned a single cylinder motorcycle. Never. I don't recall even riding one--at least not for any distance to speak of. But I find myself wondering if they really do vibrate as much as most folk say? If so, how noticeable and how objectionable is the vibration? BTW, I want feedback about a late-model, even new, bike, not a 20 year old beater.
    My reason for asking is that I am considering buying one and I don't think a simple test ride will give me enough of an impression about it. I will use it for all-day rides and the occasional weekend trip, as well as an everyday around-town ride.
    What is the wisdom of the group?
    Properly designed - with a countershaft, for example - and properly maintained, no they are not buzzy generally. They might have a narrow RPM where there is a little buzz. My 4 cylinder K100 was a lot worse than our F650s or dirt bikes. The F650s were also less buzzy than any Airhead or Oilhead slightly out of tune. The worst bike we have ever owned for buzziness was a 1979 R65. They were notoriously so bad that the aftermarket sold rubber rear engine mounts composed of a rubbery elastomer between two metal washers to attempt to damp the buzz.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
    My wife has a '13 G650. It kinda vibrates in the seat, which I think is a low seat. The bars don't seem to vibrate very much at all. Then again I was going 50-70mph. Of course, it's in a particular rpm range (maybe 4k). It could just be this bike. Others don't report any issues.

    I test rode a '97 F650GS, it wasn't very vibbey at all. trying to figure out why hers has more vibrations. Could be the seat, something needs torqued down.

    It seems there was a HP increase from 42hp up to 53hp in later models that may make them more vibbey than their predecessors.

    Related:

    http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/Vibrations.htm

    It makes a distinctive sound under load. Pop-pop-pop. Then again this is a 650 single. I have a R12GS and the thumper is a fun bike. I can see why people prefer this bike for it's light weight and general purpose utility.

  4. #4
    bored, bored ... dlowry's Avatar
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    Have a G650GS and I don't find it that bad. I've had twin motorbikes that would leave my hands feeling numb way back. Even with the knobby Coni's on it's pretty smooth.
    Dave...
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    83 XN85 D Turbo

  5. #5
    Registered User Subman's Avatar
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    My son has a new G310R; I've ridden it some and don't find it "buzzy" at all. Sure, you can tell it's a small displacement motor, but it's not objectionable in any way. Just my opinion, YMMV.

  6. #6
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    In a while, Iíll move this to the Thumper section
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  7. #7
    I had four of the singles and never noticed the buzz. You can nit pick anything to death if you want to.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  8. #8
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    In my experience, a thumper is no more buzzy than a twin-cylinder bike.

    I owned two Suzuki Burgman 400s. Supposedly, they were buzzy because they were single-cylinder bikes. I started wearing ear plugs at one point and noticed an amazing transformation. But the engine noise out, and just go by what you feel...and the bike seemed very smooth.

    I suggest not ruling out a thumper, and try it on your test ride with ear plugs. You might be very pleasantly surprised.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  9. #9
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    ...They might have a narrow RPM where there is a little buzz....
    This was my experience with an older 650 GS that I did some touring on.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  10. #10
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    We have three, a f650, 390 and 690 KTM Dukes. They all have characteristics, but not a buzz like an out of tune Boxer as mentioned.
    The BMW drones along, the KTM 690 dislikes 30 mph zones in any gear and the 390 is its milder sibling that can manage commuting traffic. The Thump is definitely there, moreso on the 690 and takes me a few miles to adjust to throttle responses.

    I hear folks compare twins and thumpers to four cylinder UJM models, never going to be sewing machine smooth as most in that class.

    And do folks not wear hearing protection all the time I waited too long in life to get the memo and regret the consequences.

    Anyways, at some RPM range each of ours may have a buzz that some feel, some do not...lotta help huh?

    Ride a few and see how it works for you
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  11. #11
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    Smile

    Thanks for all the replies, folks. I do intend to get as long a test ride as Engle's will allow me and, with the help from this thread, I think I will be able to make an informed decision. (Sure wish the new 310 was available already.)
    Again, thanks for the replies.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  12. #12
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    I have a 2016 kTM 390 Duke. My only real complaints is that the seating position is a bit cramped and the gas tank is small. Having said that, I frequently drive it 120 miles non-stop (cuz that's as far as I dare on a single tank). It's quite happy cruising at an indicated 80MPH. On the positive side, it's amazing quick (as long as you don't mind shifting a lot) and it's really, really light. Compared to the BMWs it feels like the world's fastest pedal bike.

    I test drove a 2015 KTM690. I found the vibration excessive. They are supposed to be better from the 2016 model on.

    College friends had BSA 441 Victors and a BSA 500 single. They were serious vibrators.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    I have a 2016 kTM 390 Duke. My only real complaints is that the seating position is a bit cramped and the gas tank is small. Having said that, I frequently drive it 120 miles non-stop (cuz that's as far as I dare on a single tank). It's quite happy cruising at an indicated 80MPH. On the positive side, it's amazing quick (as long as you don't mind shifting a lot) and it's really, really light. Compared to the BMWs it feels like the world's fastest pedal bike.

    I test drove a 2015 KTM690. I found the vibration excessive. They are supposed to be better from the 2016 model on.

    College friends had BSA 441 Victors and a BSA 500 single. They were serious vibrators.
    And serious bikes....

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using Tapatalk

  14. #14

    Vibration in the seat....

    If you intend to ride the 650 single mostly off road - then its an ok ride. However, if you plan on doing any kind of road miles on it: it will vibrate your fillings out and make your bum buzz. It is my understanding that this is model was really meant for off road riding. The twin is a much smoother ride on road and off. Could you improve the buzzy feeling in the seat? Probably - but in my experience (limited to 3 days) the twin is much better. I would agree that a simple test ride wonít give you a full sense of how much vibration there is - and frankly, what one person decides is tolerable for vibration, another wonít. I spent 3 full days of on road and off road riding and decided that the extra money on the 650 twin was worth it to me.

    The new 310 is a single but it is my understanding that it is engineered a bit differently so there is less vibration.

    Enjoy the shopping!


    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    I've never owned a single cylinder motorcycle. Never. I don't recall even riding one--at least not for any distance to speak of. But I find myself wondering if they really do vibrate as much as most folk say? If so, how noticeable and how objectionable is the vibration? BTW, I want feedback about a late-model, even new, bike, not a 20 year old beater.
    My reason for asking is that I am considering buying one and I don't think a simple test ride will give me enough of an impression about it. I will use it for all-day rides and the occasional weekend trip, as well as an everyday around-town ride.
    What is the wisdom of the group?



    The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page - St. Augustine of Hippo

  15. #15
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I think you underestimate the suitability of the 650 single as a long distance ride. It has been the choice of BMWMOA mileage contest winners, around the world riders and Prudhoe to Tierra del Fuego.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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