Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

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Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:52 am

[TL; DR - I got a new bike.]

After the CB500 well and truly shit it’s ass out for the 25th time in a month, I’d had it. So I bought a GPZ500. Cams were fucked. Sold it. So I bought a CBR600. More nonsense has ensued, so that’s being sold too (not to mention it was so heavy and the riding position so uncomfortable that it needed to be basically rebuilt for me to be able to ride it). So for the third “new” bike I’ve bought in less than 2 months, I finally shut up and put my money where my mouth is and bought a new-ish FI bike with low mileage and 1 previous midlife crisis owner. And it’s a weirdo.

Enter the 2008 Yamaha MT03.

https://imgur.com/a/8OIrA

So far it’s been a BLAST to ride. It’s an absolute hooligan in the corners and torquey as fuck, which is perfect for me. It won’t do over 80 mph comfortably, but it’s such a little grunter of a thing, that 40 feels like 90 so I don’t even care. It picks up from stopped like a dream, filtering is a breeze, and the constant backfire is addictive. Nice low seat and upright position means my girly legs can reach the ground and gives it stupid good balance (Hoon - I’ll beat you in any slow race now). It’s weird and quirky and feels like a dirt bike, but with more juice. For me, I’ve not missed the lack of horsepower at all. Can’t wait to waste the sport bikes in the corners.

Major problem? VIBRATION. Blurred vision due to vibration is leaving me with eye strain and headaches. My hands are ok (no white fingers yet) but at about 50mph I can’t read the road signs or see ahead properly. This is forward vision, not just the mirrors buzzing. 2 hours of this and I’m popping pain killers. Even at the stupid slow speeds I like to ride at, not being able to cruise at 50 does pose a major problem. I knew highway speed would be intolerable (which is fine since I’m on a highway about 3 times a year tops), but B road bimbling is a must and I hadn’t heard the vibe was this bad at 4,000rpms.

I imagine, once again, all the reviews I read were written by taller, heavier men, whose weight distribution (and just plain arm weight) meant that they didn’t feel it as bad as I do, and certainly not until 6 or 7k rpm. Nate’s riding experience is completely different. (But don’t get me started on the “lack of female riders except as T and A” argument, or I’ll be here all day...)

So the bike was mint for about 20 miles and now will be undergoing some mods (that hopefully won’t magically fuck the engine up somehow)

- raised bars (DONE, courtesy of Roland’s moving clear out - thank you!)
- oil change to super amazing oil of holyshit (DONE cause I’m taking no chances with a 10 year old bike thank you very much)
- gel insert into the seat
- sprocket change to help move the buzz to a higher rev (fingers crossed)
- massive fucking grip puppy things (who knows if these will stay - my hands are as big as a 5 year olds’)
- led shot in the bars? Why fucking not.
- sand bags. Yup, I’m gonna put some sand on it to see if reweighting will help

If this cures the vibe issues, or at least moves the problem up to 5500 or 6k rpm where I spend no time cruising, some more changes are on the cards as well:

- metal tank plates (fucking tank is plastic! WHY IS THIS A THING? My tank bag is a must)
- bigger battery and possible relocation (the battery is hysterically small, 10 years old, and currently sits directly under the tank - well done engineers)
- pillion seat removal chop job so the back end is money
- luggage luggage luggage luggage
- straight through loud as fuck exhaust (***I’ve been told by my “mechanic” that I only need to reach 200 miles before I get this one - that leaves about 4 miles to go)
- cosmetic overhaul, cause shiny is bad
- weatherproofing/ protective shite - radiator guard, ACF50 spray, fork protectors cause the chrome is hilariously bad, mudguard extensions, etc etc
- knobbly back tire (duh)
- oh, and this sodding alarm and immobiliser needs to go. If anyone is in need of a laugh, come round our place the day that happens...

I hope everyone out there is crossing fingers and toes for me that this bike doesn’t implode. I have actually touched it and ridden it a few times now, which usually is the moment when it all starts to go wrong. The time I’ve spent off two wheels has been miserable, and despite rain or sleet or snow, I’m desperate to feel like myself again. Hopefully the extra cash and time spent finding something that wasn’t ragged about by 12 drunk chavs will mean a year or two of riding with regular maintenance and no major explosions.

If you made it to the end of this exhausting write up, well done you. I’ll try to not pull a Nate (still waiting for part 7 of the video) and update on the mod progress as we go. Wish me luck!!!
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by Monglord on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:23 am

"(Hoon - I’ll beat you in any slow race now). "........... Can I use the Zombie? Surprised

Challenge accepted- see you at the traffic lights skag!

Good luck with the bike mods and yes to keeping us updated with pics as well please.

Why not ape hangers to ensure a total lack of blood in the arms to improve the vibration issue?
Rubber mount your eyeballs?

Seen or heard of these?:
http://www.barsnake.com/about/
Maybe more expensive than lead shot but worth suggesting.
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:30 am

Well thanks Hoon for sending me down a rabbit hole of anti-vibration cure-alls. Also, why are they all named after reptiles...

http://www.bikernet.com/pages/The_Vibranator_Handlebar_Mounted_Vibration_Damping_Device.aspx

Also noted on a lot of these forums is filling the bars with silicone. Makes sense, conceptually, but I hate irreversible "maybe-it-will-work" solutions...
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by virusjohn on Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:51 am

if silicone doesnt work then you can take the bars off and blowtorch em to melt it out. id go for a load of old wheel balancing weights jammed in, avaliable at all car tyre shops by being a cheeky fucker and maybe offering a fiver if fluttering eyelashes doesnt work Razz

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:12 am

virusjohn wrote:by being a cheeky fucker and maybe offering a fiver if fluttering eyelashes doesnt work Razz

Sounds like a job for Dan.
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by june_whitfield on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:56 am

theyank wrote:
[TL; DR - I got a new bike.]

well done, congaratulations


theyank wrote:
(that hopefully won’t magically fuck the engine up somehow)



bwahahaha
hahahahahahahaha
best joke i heard in years

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by june_whitfield on Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:04 pm

oh and about handlebar vibrations.
lead shot is great, but it takes a shitload to fill a complete handlebar. not to mention raw lead shot is super messy and gets everywhere

instead, do this:

steal a couple of whiteboard markers from your office, that look to be the right size to fit inside handlebars
if they don't fit steal some different ones until you have some that do

pull the end cap out of the marker pens, remove the ink reservoir thing, fill the marker with lead shot, and push the end cap back on

bang the now lead-filled pens down the end of your handlebars, just deep enough to leave room for the bar ends

win!


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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:09 pm

june_whitfield wrote:
steal ... from your office

DONE
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by voodoo on Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:08 pm

Nice bike!
I've had three bikes with that same engine (2 MuZ Skorpions and 1 Yamaha XT660Z) and I'm really surprised vibration cause trouble. Anyway; success solving the problem!

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by june_whitfield on Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:45 pm

voodoo wrote:Nice bike!
I've had three bikes with that same engine (2 MuZ Skorpions and 1 Yamaha XT660Z) and I'm really surprised vibration cause trouble. Anyway; success solving the problem!

oh THAT kind of MT03 ... doh
for some reason I thought Leigh bought a "modern" MT03 which is 300cc twin, what with Uncle Nate used to be really into that sort of engine size

in which case disregard anything that was said about dampening vibrations - eyeballs jumping about in your head is perfectly normal for a big single cylinder bike.
it's generally referred to as "character", you'll get used to it.

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:19 pm

june_whitfield wrote:in which case disregard anything that was said about dampening vibrations - eyeballs jumping about in your head is perfectly normal for a big single cylinder bike.

Challenge accepted.
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by Monglord on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:26 pm

I`m a bit sceptical about silicone in the bars- could be just that I`ve never heard about it.

My XBR500 (big single) never had an issue with vibration but then it was an older Honda and thereby perfect by nature with enough character in my book to qualify as this `soul` which VJ speaks of- and he had a CB250RS which was a lovely bike.

You meet the nicest people on a Honda don`t you know Very Happy
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:44 pm

Both my Honda’s were fucking garbage.

Not that I’m bitter or anything... Wink
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by virusjohn on Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:51 pm

Monglord wrote:I`m a bit sceptical about silicone in the bars- could be just that I`ve never heard about it.

My XBR500 (big single) never had an issue with vibration but then it was an older Honda and thereby perfect by nature with enough character in my book to qualify as this `soul` which VJ speaks of- and he had a CB250RS which was a lovely bike.

You meet the nicest people on a Honda don`t you know Very Happy

the cb250rs was basically just a bigger CG which is why it was awesome. that and ive still never had a bike that made killswitch backfires so bloody loudly.

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by magnamaniac on Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:44 am

With a big one cylinder bike forget about trying to eliminate the vibrations, it's just what these bikes do. And the vibrations do not only go through the bars, but also the rest of the bike, i.e. in your feet/legs/ass. Good luck with that

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:29 am

voodoo wrote:Nice bike!
I've had three bikes with that same engine (2 MuZ Skorpions and 1 Yamaha XT660Z) and I'm really surprised vibration cause trouble. Anyway; success solving the problem!

magnamaniac wrote:With a big one cylinder bike forget about trying to eliminate the vibrations, it's just what these bikes do. And the vibrations do not only go through the bars, but also the rest of the bike, i.e. in your feet/legs/ass. Good luck with that

Well, at least I'm getting a nice consistent message here from the experienced bikers Wink

I'm still going to try to move the frequency/ vibration to a higher rev and dull it down. I'm not aiming for silky smooth - I'm aiming for the ability to see at 4-5k rpm. If I'm blind at 5,500, so be it. I'm too stubborn to accept "it is how it is" with this (or with pretty much anything else tbh.)
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by Monglord on Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:54 pm

I don't blame you for wanting to see whilst riding- have you explored MT03 forums to see if other riders of a similar weight have similar troubles?
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by voodoo on Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:40 pm

Or try to find another mt03 or xt660 in a local bikeshop and do a testrun, just to know wether it is your mt03 that causes the problem.

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:28 am

Problem is that this is a rare model. The engine isn't so rare, but I have a feeling the issue isn't with the engine - it's with the whole bike (frame, seat, riding position, etc) that makes it vibrate at this exact frequency. I'm on the yamaha forum and there isn't anyone who's ridden one of these, never mind a shorter, lighter, female rider. I test rode 2 others before buying this one (in nasty condition) and this was by far the smoothest ride and smoothest sounding.

I think it's my weight/ height/ position that is in PRECISE discord with a properly running vibey single. So if I can a) move the frequency by changing the sprocket or b) move the weighting by adding weight to the bars or the bike somehow, that's where I'm most likely to find any success.

It's just such a fucking good time of a bike I don't want to give up on it just yet!
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by june_whitfield on Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:46 am

theyank wrote:Problem is that this is a rare model.

Go test ride any other large single cylinder bike, just to give you an idea.
You may well realize that, in the greater scheme of things, your MT hardly vibrates at all Wink

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by virusjohn on Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:05 pm

Has it wheelied on you yet? On b roads on a fast run my mates used to spend all its time scraping pegs on corners or lifting the front wheel on the straights. He was trying to keep up with me on deathtrap when i was young and immortal mind, not following grandad nate at 45mph

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:42 pm

It's amazing what happens when the first 2 years riding bikes is spent riding on absolute unpredictable shitters. It's made me pretty damn decent at throttle control.

No unwanted wheelies to report.
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by voodoo on Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:22 pm

Tis a rare bike indeed. And a lovely one as well.
Trial and error it is then. I think starting to put extra weight on/in the handlebars is a good plan.
Is everything as it left the factory at the mo?
As a tuning measure sometimes the balancershaft gets disconnected, you sure that is not the case?

Edit: on the picture it looks like it has aluminum ;-) bar end weights, there should be fucking heavy iron weights. I still got the xt660 weights somewhere in the shed, I'll put them on the scale . Soon. Ish.

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by Monglord on Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:52 pm

Hmm, I did wonder about balance shaft type of things but didn't know enough about the engine to comment- deffo worth asking the previous owner about.
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by voodoo on Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:05 pm

voodoo wrote: I still got the xt660 weights somewhere in the shed, I'll put them on the scale . Soon. Ish.

460 grams each!

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:27 pm

Greg also mentioned the balance shaft to me... but the thing that gets me is that Nate doesn’t have the vision issues I do. Nate feels it vibey, but it’s not so bad for him. This leads me to think there isn’t a massive engine problem, but more a problem with ME riding it (my height, weight, something...)

The bike is as from the factory in lovely condition.

The bar end weights on it feel fucking heavy. Idk if therm my are 460 grams but I’ll have one off this weekend and see whats the reading.

I think round 1 will be adding weight and a new sprocket to see if I can shift the resonance to a higher rev. I think the balance shaft would be round 4 or 5, after ruling out a few more bits.
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by june_whitfield on Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:35 pm

theyank wrote:the thing that gets me is that Nate doesn’t have the vision issues I do.


maybe that's because Nates eyes are constantly shaking
in his head, as a result of years and years of shitty bikes and pumping techno music?

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by twofiddy on Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:18 am

june_whitfield wrote:
theyank wrote:the thing that gets me is that Nate doesn’t have the vision issues I do.


maybe that's because Nates eyes are constantly shaking
in his head, as a result of years and years of shitty bikes and pumping techno music?

I've no idea what you're on about.


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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by theyank on Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:56 am

This WHOLE thread and that is what you chime in about...?
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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by Big Chris on Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:21 am

Well done on buying a new bike.

For (relative) hassle free riding and reduced time off the road there is A LOT to be said for buying a modern (ish) low mileage bike.

Might I suggest you continue to test ride other similar bikes to see if there are others which suit you better. You may want to sell this one soon, to swap it for something less vibey.

I did several squillion miles on a big single, a KLR650, and can confirm that all big singles vibrate. They have a piston the size of a gigantic sports direct coffee mug doing several thousand RPM. Even with balance shafts there will be some buzzing somewhere in the rev range.

Multi cylinder bikes are smoother. If smoothness is a priority I recommend you try the Honda CB400SF super four. My ex had one, it was managable (weight wise) by a lady of similar size to you, it was super smooth, it was a Jap home market model (much higher spec than UK model) and most of all it was as smooth as a sewing machine, as it had 4 small pistons offsetting each other's vibes. They may all be a bit too old now though.

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by twofiddy on Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:11 am

theyank wrote:This WHOLE thread and that is what you chime in about...?


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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

Post by magnamaniac on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:38 pm

theyank wrote:This WHOLE thread and that is what you chime in about...?
you should be used to it by now?

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Re: Round three - ding ding! [beware long post]

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