I recently bought a '99 SE, and am really enjoying it. One thing that I find odd, however, is that the bike is very smooth, with barely perceptible vibrations, but both mirrors are much blurrier than I would have expected at typical cruising RPM's (2500-3500). Is there some kind of dampener I can use to reduce this? I also have a Kawi Concours, which is fairly buzzy at high freeway speeds, and it's mirrors are much steadier/clearer than the GW.
Any ideas as to why the GW mirrors seem to be so much more susceptible?
Hmm... the mounting screws don't seem to be loose - could it be that I'm being too critical here? I expected to have perfectly smooth mirror images, and am a bit peeved that they have more fuzziness than I like.
The mirrors on my 98se are, well, smooth as glass....no pun intended. I don't have any vibration issue at any speed.........although, I didn't pay much attention the one time I took it up 120, just to see if it could..........wasn't fun........too much buffeting with the larger windsheild.........
I have a 98SE and the mirrors don't vibrate at all except when I roll off the throttle. If yours is doing it then, it is normal. If it is doing it going down the road, you might check the tightness of the screws where the mirrors are fastened to the fairing.
Reading along here -- and i some other rrecent posts, it's been mentioned that the steerin head bearings (I'd imagine also font wheel bearings, fork bushings, etc there for the front suspension) could contribute to shakey mirrors as well.
The OP mentions 2500 - 3500 RPM -- is the "shake" apparant when you're NOT moving and only the engine is spinning at that speed (to isolate the issue out of all the rotating and berring items)??
Well, I'll have to try the "high idle" test & see what happens. I can't find anything loose, so far. It really feels as if the engine is vibrating more than it should, but I don't have any point of comparison, other than 4-cyl inline bikes, and it's less than those. Stay tuned!
This really looks like an engine vibration issue. In neutral, bringing the revs up to 3000-3500 very definitely causes noticeable vibration & the mirrors get blurry.
Is this a carb sync issue? What else would cause this? The bike does not seem to be misfiring - power is excellent, fuel mileage is in the 40mpg range.
I'm open to suggestions!
It couls be a simple as a bushing in one of the engine mounting locations too --
Odd though... Lemme take a good walk through mine to see if I can get the mirrors to vibrate -
At least you know you're looking for a harmonic mechanical thing and nothing from the rolling gear or suspension -- chase engine to frame to fairing - something's touching that shouldn't, or not touching that should.
Good luck with your hunt - I'll look around here to see (fairing mounting if the engine is on its bushings)
If you dont have 'em, those little 2" stick on convex mirrors will add a little weight to the mirror glass and will change whatever harmonics are going on there. That is after you find out where the vibration is coming from.
oinoyou - you make a good point, but to me, this is a safety issue. The mirrors don't just 'bounce' a little - they are blurry enough that rear vision details are lost, and I'd prefer a clear picture.
It really seems as if the engine is vibrating more than it should, but I'm not sure what to look for, other than the mounting points as someone pointed out earlier. It's not in any way a deal-breaker (I'm not going to stop riding because of it) but it's one of those little irritations, like a little sliver in your finger, that you want to resolve.
I appreciate the advice from all, and will continue to look for the root cause. The little convex mirrors sound like an interesting idea!
Now that you've isolated it to engine vibration, I would be suspicious it is the alternator. Pull the left engine covers and you should be able to see some kind of identification as to the brand. Hitachi is the OEM brand and Compufire is a much larger and more powerful aftermarket. Some Compufires tend to vibrate at 2500 - 3500 rpms.
Well, I had a nice Purple '82 Magna V-45; I had it about a month. I was sitting at a Red light one day, a guy on a Sportster pulls up along side me, he's checking out my bike, he asks me how I like it? I tell him it's a real nice ride,but,around 7K the right mirror vibrates a bit...He starts laughing so hard I thought he was going to fall off his bike! When I ask him what's so funny..I swear he says; "At 7K your mirror vibrates? At 30 MPH I can't even read the road signs!!" Then I started laughing...it really was funny!!....It reminded me of the 1943 750 (45) Harley springer I had when I was 16...that monster would shake out your fillings! I have read that aftermarket mirrors for the wings are not as "tight" as factory mirrors and won't stay where you set them.
But, I have not tried them.. :~)
I have a Hitachi (stock) alternator. I was able to "troubleshoot" a bit today - some of the major vibration IS road (not engine) based, but still the engine is definitely a contributor. More throttle (not just RPM) seems to exacerbate the problem, so it seems as if there is maybe a power stroke imbalance. That's why I wondered if it could be a carb sync issue.
I'm not familiar with carb sync issues, so I can't give any help there. I've read on other forums that the rubber dampers between the alternator and motor harden over time and will cause some vibration and sometimes alternator bearings going bad will also cause vibration but I have never experienced either myself. Alternators on the 98 and later 1500's have a known weakness and mine quit charging at 55,000 miles. I removed it myself and had it rebuilt locally. During replacement, I put in new dampers ($ 16) since I was already in there any way. The ones I removed felt slightly different than the ones I removed but since I already had the parts, I went ahead and changed them.
At this point, if it isn't alternator related, I am out of ideas.