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Vibration & Buzz
by Ted Verrill

What's that buzz?

Find your hands falling asleep while you ride? Can't stand the extra feedback coming through the seat, footpegs or handlebars? Don't listen to anyone that tells you "they all do that."

The K11 will indeed buzz, but this can be lessened to just a bit more than a K75 through some regular maintenance and careful adjustments.

In general, there is no one thing that will totally stem the buzz and many bikes will change the RPM range of buzz as the bike ages. There are indeed some things that you can do.

First, the big three

  • Throttle Body Sync. This basic service should be performed every 12,000 miles or so, and at a BMW dealer with the correct digital equipment can be performed in less than a half an hour.
  • Ignition Timing: Believe it or not, this can often be quite off and again is not a difficult procedure at your local dealer with the correct equipment.
  • Spark Plugs: I am not sure why, but simply changing tired spark plugs has a great affect on lessening the buzz.

The some specifics...

  • Handlebars
    The largest complaint comes from excess vibration through the handlebars. If you have already had the three previous services completed, check to make sure all connections are tight - a loose bar-end weight can wreak havoc.
  • Footpegs
    Check to make sure that the footpag cradle has not been bent and is occasionally touching the exhaust pipe (caused by the bike falling to the left.)
  • Seat
    Making sure the seat is isolated from the tank is critical. If you look at the underside of your seat you will see several rubber "buttons", made I believe not only to facilitate air flow around the tank but to isolate the front of the seat from vibration. There is probably a good chance one of these buttons is missing, or that the seat is misaligned and part of the seat is making contact with your tank (and probably rubbing a nice patch in the paint!)

The final word is that the buzz diminishes not only with a well-tuned and maintained bike, but over time at the bike breaks in.


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