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Normal vibration level in Vrod Engine

15737 Views 70 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  sxrxrnr
I just purchased a new 03 Vrod. Have owned a 03 Heritage for past couple of years.

As noted in another thread, I am having a stalling problem that I hope will go away once I have emptied my first tank of fuel and fill with new fuel.

However another issue that I am uncertain how to deal with is the perceived vibration level of this bike verses that of the Heritage. At any engine speed, whether not moving or cruising I feel a quite noticeable vibration thruout the bike and particularily in the hand grips. If cruising say at 50 mph it is as though an automobile has out of balance wheels or driveshaft. If I disengage the clutch all is well and smooth.

I took bike to the shop where I purchased and had 2 different mechanics and one salesman sit on the bike and run to 3000 rpm. Vibration was quite noticeable but they all agree that it is normal. In the Heritage there is some at idle, but at any engine speed is goes completely away and is smooth.

My question is, is this normal? Perhaps the Heritage is so smooth because of the internal balance shaft, which the Vrod does not have.

Max, in another thread suggested that engine should be smooth and if mine is not, that perhaps my plugs could be somewhat fouled. I guess my real problem is that I do not know what is normal and I am being too critical, but again it is a very severe vibration thru my hands via the grips. I suspect that I need to mount another Vrod to see how it feels.

Thanks to all for any help :vrod:
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Hey if you don't mind funding my trip I will drive out there and let you ride mine as a comparison! I'm in New Hampshire so I would probably need food and lodging for a couple of weeks :rofl2:
My sportster was a giant vibrator. That sporty used to make my feet and hands numb. My Ultra has vibes until it reaches 75 then it's like sitting on my Italian sofa and watching OCC. My V-Rod is smooth at idle. The V-ROD has higher frequency vibes that I can feel when the RPM's are cranking. At 80 MPH my V-Rod vibrates and you know your riding a motorcycle. I wonder if some of that vibrations could be attributed to poor shocks?
Excessive vibration

Hi,
I have a 2004 V Rod, and I also have excessive vibration, and I was also told by the dealer service department that it is normal. My vibration begins at about 2900 RPM, and gets worst until at 3500 RPM, where it is at its maxium. It then begins to ease off and is gone at approximately 4200 RPM. The vibration buzzes the mirrors, the handlebars, the footpegs, and even through the seat. The vibration was not there till I had my first service. I noticed it on my way home from the dealer???? The dealer says that nothing that they did would have caused the vibration. The vibration takes place regardless if I am standing still and just rerving the engine, or I am on the road moving along. It is definitely an engine condition. I have checked out several other V Rods, and none of them have the severe vibration that I have. There is usually a light vibration somewhere in the RPM range, but never enough to blur the mirrors, or vibrate any other part of the bike. The bike is going back to the dealer, as I refuse to accept their stating that its normal. I spoke to the HD customer service representative over the phone, and they do not know of any problems regarding vibration on the V Rods. I am now on file with HD regarding the condition. They are willing to get with the dealer if necessary, but at this time I decided to just be friendly and nice, but very firm with my complaint.The excessive vibration takes the pleasure out of riding the bike, which I really am happy with, other than the vibration. I had an 2002 FXD which had a rubber mounted engine, and the vibration from it was minor, and smoothed out when cruising. I am not about to accept their calling the condition normal, as it is not. It was not there when I bought the bike, and it was not in the test bike I rode before buying mine. The engine is counter balanced and rubber mounted, so why does it vibrate to the degree that it can be felt thru the whole bike??? Lets see what the dealer has to say after they get it back and check it out. Unless people fight back against what the dealer and their PAID mechanics call normal, they will continue getting away with fixing legitimate customer complaints. If you would like to contact me directly through my personal e-mail, it is [email protected]
Sincerely,
Al Bachur :kaz:



sxrxrnr said:
I just purchased a new 03 Vrod. Have owned a 03 Heritage for past couple of years.

As noted in another thread, I am having a stalling problem that I hope will go away once I have emptied my first tank of fuel and fill with new fuel.

However another issue that I am uncertain how to deal with is the perceived vibration level of this bike verses that of the Heritage. At any engine speed, whether not moving or cruising I feel a quite noticeable vibration thruout the bike and particularily in the hand grips. If cruising say at 50 mph it is as though an automobile has out of balance wheels or driveshaft. If I disengage the clutch all is well and smooth.

I took bike to the shop where I purchased and had 2 different mechanics and one salesman sit on the bike and run to 3000 rpm. Vibration was quite noticeable but they all agree that it is normal. In the Heritage there is some at idle, but at any engine speed is goes completely away and is smooth.

My question is, is this normal? Perhaps the Heritage is so smooth because of the internal balance shaft, which the Vrod does not have.

Max, in another thread suggested that engine should be smooth and if mine is not, that perhaps my plugs could be somewhat fouled. I guess my real problem is that I do not know what is normal and I am being too critical, but again it is a very severe vibration thru my hands via the grips. I suspect that I need to mount another Vrod to see how it feels.

Thanks to all for any help :vrod:
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Al,

That's one heck of a first post! You go get em' and let us know what the outcome is.

Mark
As noted in another thread on this forum, my stalling problem is just about gone(had about 6 stalls the past 5 weeks verses up to 6 per day; this was fixed by getting a dealer other then the one who sold me my bike to do the "02a" download of the ECM to match the SE exhaust installed by the selling dealer. I think that 6 stalls are too many and I have yet to find anyone at HD or my local dealers who claim that this is a feature of the bike, so I must assume that something still is amiss that no one will take the time to assess and repair. The selling dealer did not have the proper download cartridge so I guess just did not do it and thought that no one would notice.) but I still think the bike vibrates too much for a bike of this quality and expense.

I have had a large number of opinions on this--is the vibration on my bike normal?--am I too sensitive?--Vrods should be very smooth and mine is say many--is their something wrong mechanically? many opinions as to what it could be failing from fouled plugs, to a partially plugged injector, to loose engine mounts, to improper engine timing, to bad fuel regulator,to improper mounted vibration dampner, and on and on.

Here is what I finally concluded. I suspect my bike does not vibrate any more then any other Vrod, shame on Porsche and HD engineers for this, but what I was comparing it too was the smoothness of my 2003 Heritage with its internally balance shaft engine and heavier bike chassis. I believe that all who reported to me that their Vrods are smooth are comparing its feel to either older HD's without this balance shaft or current models such as Road Kings that do not have this shaft either but are rubber mounted. So in comparison to them the Vrod may seem very smooth but if you switch back and forth between a Heritage and a Vrod as I do, you readily notice how much more vibration that you feel thru your grips and pegs(and arse) on the Vrod at all RPM from idle to 9 grand. I have no experience with Japanese bike(especially 2 cylinder) so do not know how they feel.

There must be some secret readers(HD engineering employes or some such) who read this forum regularly and know the answers we seek. But for some reason they are not speaking up to let us know what is normal vibration and if abnormal what is causing it. Depending on you dealer for answers is fruitless as most of their employees do not know enough about what is normal to be of any help and if they do think it is abnormal they do not want to get involved in sorting it out as HD is not going to pay for the time to troubleshoot.

So for now, I enjoy the good and take the bad as price of admission for the pleasures that this bike can offer. Perhaps someday we will get the answers but for now I will just assume that this motor is suppose to feel like a John Deere and run like a Ferrari.

Roger
Silicon Valley, Ca
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V Rod engine vibration.

sxrxrnr said:
I went to my dealer today and the salesman who sold me the bike said that it feels normal to him when he did a test drive. I then axed to take out their demo bike.

On acceleration it felt the same as mine(both have a Screaming Eagle Exhaust, the demo had a different belt gear), however at cruise the demo was quite smooth where mine the vibration level is much higher and quite severe and felt thru my hands, feet and butt. If I disengage the clutch at say 40 mph on the demo bike, there is a minor improvement in smoothness, if I do so on my bike there is a very pronounced improvement.

So now here I am with four members of their staff(2 mechanics and 2 salesman)telling me all is normal so I am outnumbered and in their eyes out experienced. I do not suppose that their is a vibration meter that can be attached to the bike for a test ride and the results downloaded to a computer for analyses. It is beyond me why they think that my level is normal unless a short ride and not living with for any period of time does not give them a feeling of annoyance that this has on your psyche. If their new auto's shook like this they would be all over their dealer support system.

I also reported again the stalling of the engine. It happened 3 times today, once on the way to the dealer, and twice on the way home. This was my third visit to them on this problem. Oh did I mention my earliest date that bike can be scheduled for an analyses of my problem is April 21st. They suggested that I leave the bike with them, and perhaps they would find time to "squeeze" it in before then. I suppose warranty repairs do not pay well. I purchased the bike brand new 10 days ago and reported the stalling problem the very next day as it stalled a 1/2 dozen times on the way home(10 miles or so). I elected not to leave the bike sun-bathing there for the next few weeks and rode it home. I will report this on the stalling string also.
I do not understand after going through all of the vibration conditions that everyone mentions, why there are so many different vibration conditions at various RPMs, and also having different degrees of the vibration??? The mechanical parts of all of these engines should be the same, and the engine assembly and setup should also be similar for all the engines. How can there be so many various conditions just regarding the vibrations??? Why do I have almost as much vibration from my V Rod at 3,500 RPM as I had on my buzzy sportster??? I had a smooth running engine till it had its first service. Shortly afterwards the vibration appeared, and now the bike is not fun to ride because the mirrors blur, and there is a buzzing through the seat, footpegs and the handgrips. This is definitely an engine condition. With the clutch disengaged the bike is 100% smooth. I had synthetic oil put in, could this have made the difference??? HD customer service said that they have not heard of any complaints regarding vibration. Am I the only one with the vibration problem to call them??? I wonder if there is something other than the mechanical engine parts that can change conditions electrically and cause the vibration to increase or decrease. The mechanical parts CANNOT change themselves, so I believe we have something else causing these various forms of vibrations, and the various changing of the degree of vibrations on the same bike over a short peroid of time. I have not heard about any V Rods having actual mechanical problems, so it appears that we are having electronic problems. If anyone has any ideas about what I have said here please let us hear from you. Collectively, we certainly have as much brain power as HD has at this time regarding the V Rod. Our V Rods are not cheapo bikes, and we do not deserve to have these annoying problems that the dealers or anyone else calls normal. The cheapo bikes out there do not have these various vibration problems, WHY SHOULD WE. Call HD customer service and lets demand that they seriously look into this annoying problem and make a real effort with the dealers to find the problem and correct it. For a bike that is claimed to be the ultimate of technology, is counterbalanced and rubber mounted, we should not be having any problems. Speak up guys.
Al Bachur :kaz:
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When I purchased my 2004 Rod it had minimum vibration throughout the RPM range. After the 1000 mile service it developed a very annoying vibration at 3500 RPM that buzzed the mirrors, the footpegs, and even through the seat. It happened suddenly. I doubt that it is a mechanical condition. I refuse to accept that on a bike that cost over 20,000 dollars there is what some dealers call normal vibration. Something changed, and mechanical parts do not change their position or adjustments suddenly. I have not heard of any mechanical failures of the V Rod engines. Could we be having electrical problems. I love my bike, but the vibration takes the pleasure out of riding the bike. The severest vibration takes place at 60 miles per hour, which is right in the middle of the cruising range. Any ideas will be appreciated.
Al Bachur, Lakeport, Ca.
My Theory

My theory is that most of the problems with vibration are due to throttle body syncronization. The engine is born to be smooth and there arent stray parts on the inside that would make such a difference in several different bikes. The throttle valves should open and close exactly the same amount and at the same time. Even small differences will cause vibration or even a feeling of a miss.
It has to be this, or unequal ignition firing, which has been brought up in other threads (bad coils).
I have to say my V is smooth as silk throughout the rpm range. I have to laugh at my friends Road King when he's idling and his engine looks like a paint shaker.
Mine shakes to bit's under 3500, I just put it down to being in too high a gear or not enough revs. It's ability to pull from down low is better, now she's run in, but it does vibrate some. More revs are the answer for me.
HD Customer Service(yea rite!) also tells me that they have heard of no vibration problems. When axed how it can be measured to establish if abnormal or not, they had not a clue. I remember a quote that I once saw in a technical manual(IBM Mainframe stuff) describing an IBM bug by a competitor of IBM's. The quote went something like this "It is not a known IBM bug until every user has reported it twice". I too feel strongly that what I feel in my bike is not normal(who would be stupid to design into such a work of art, a feature such as this?) but have found no way of establishing if it is or not so that I could demand that it be taken care of by HD. It would be great if someone from HD engineering(or Porsche) would be involved in this to give us some insight on to what is normal and what is not. On the other hand I understand why they would not.

Perhaps some of the techs who have done dyno tuning on Vrods could share what they have observed when running these engines up on their dynos as to smoothness of some bikes verses others. I also sometimes wonder if the SE exhaust installation may cause the perception of increased vibration as it does seem to me to be in sync with the engine firing pulsations. I have checked by throttle plates and they seem ok. This was a good thought however.

Just changed oil at 1000 miles and used HD synthetic. Certainly smoothed out transmission shifting in Vrod(now like a hot knife thru butter). Also put in my Heritage(transmission only) at 5K service and made world of difference in smoothness and clunkiness. Recommend highly.

Roger
Silicon Valley, Ca
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Roger,

I can start my bike and let it idle with the sunglasses on the seat! Anything more than that and their is something wrong! On my old Sportster, I could NEVER have don that without the glasses falling on the ground.

Hope you can get this worked out!

Gary
Damn vibration

KEVINS said:
I want to add that I have 250 miles on my 100% stock '03 and at 4000rpm I also have a VERY noticable vibration. I can rev it to around 4000rpm in the drivway and you can feel the entire bike vibrate as if something is out of balance in the motor. The more I rev it the more vibration I get. It runs perfectly fine otherwise.

I may have to see a demo bike to compare it.. :(

ks
Just got back from the dealer. The bike was road tested and the vibration was considered normal. Another bike was started on the showroom floor, and in neutral it also had some vibration when revved up. When I road tested the showroom bike on the road, the vibration level was minimal compared to mine. On my bike, when running ( at a steady speed / RPM on the road ) at the RPM where the vibration is at its worst ( 3,500 RPM ), if I back off on the throttle the vibration level is considerably less??? At this time, if I open the throttle for more power, the vibration level increases in proportion to the throttle opening. This in my opinion eliminates the engine itself from being the cause of the worst of the vibration. :banghead: :banghead: . I will now, on my own, start checking what I believe are the possible causes of the vibration. I noticed that when in neutral, and throttled up to 3,500 RPM, the mufflers did quite a vibration / shaking dance of their own. No way to safely check this out under actual riding conditions, but will try a few things along the way, and maybe I will hit on something that will help??? I will check to verify that the throttles are opening at the same time as suggested in several of the threads. Thats it for the moment, but as soon as I check things out and maybe find a reason for the annoying vibration I will post what I have found.
As for the dealer, HD of Ukiah, I believe that the service department has done whatever they could to assist me. They are a really nice bunch of guys, and the owner and the service department is certainly willing to go 100% of the way to assist their customers. I am probably their biggest pain in the ass, but they were always pleasant, and did their best to satisfy me. I would recommend this dealer to anyone intending to buy a bike. Till next time. Al Bachur :jeannie:
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Al,
You're one hellofa guy.
Got a vibrating bike and you're saying nice things about the dealer.
Shoot, I'd give them the dam bike back and want either a well behav'in, not so shak'in Vrod, or I'm outta here...........

Good luck and I do hope you problem is solved. These bikes are not cheap and they should be right.

Bob
Hi again.
Its too late now to tell about what I have done, but I will be back here tomorrow afternoon or evening.
Al Bachur
Al Bachur said:
Hi again.
Its too late now to tell about what I have done, but I will be back here tomorrow afternoon or evening.
Al Bachur
Hello again.
Finally had to check into the vibration myself. As I earlier stated, my dealer, HD of Ukiah did what they could, but that did not cure or even eliminate any of the vibration. They did all of the checks normally done, but nothing mechanical was looked into, and that was the cause of the excessive vibration. The engine was not the problem, it was the exhaust system. At 3,500 RPM, the point of worst vibration, the muffler was buzzing away, and it transmitted into the frame causing everything to have a high frequency vibration. The engine and the exhaust system are supposed to be isolated from the frame by rubber cushioning. That works to help eliminate most vibration, but if everything is not in what I call a free to move, or neutral condition, something in the system will be forced against its cushion, which is made of hard rubber, and the exhaust vibration will be transmitted to the frame, and to the rider. What I did was to loosen every bolt and nut in the complete exhaust system. That included the four engine exhaust pipe mounting nuts. I then started the engine and let the engine run for about 30 seconds and reving up the RPM several times before shutting down. I then started retightening the loose fasteners, begining with the engine exhaust pipe retaining nuts. NOTE:, only snug up the nuts, do not tighten them. Snug them up evenly. I then started the engine again, and the severe vibration was now gone, and all I had was a low modulatd vibration that was totally acceptable. Shut down again. Next, I tightened the lower muffler support bolts, ( four of them ) making sure that nothing in the mounting assembly was binding or being stressed. I then started the engine again, and ran it through the RPM range where the vibration occured. Some of the vibration did reappear after the bolts were tightened, but it was considerably less than when I started, and at a less annoying degree of frequency. I will try to modify the mounting assembly in order to cut down even further the muffler vibration. I have several ideas, but it will be a trial and error effort. One thing for sure, on my bike it definitely was the muffler causing the severe vibration. My bike does have the original exhaust system. Changing to aftermarket mufflers will most likely change the vibration conditions. I will pass along any worthwhile information that might help other V Roders out there. I also synchronized the throttles, but thats another story for another time. Till next time, enjoy your V Rods, as there is nothing better or more fun.
Al Bachur
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Excellent detective work Al. In an earlier post of mine on this thread I had mentioned that installation of the after market installation by my dealer of SE exhaust could be related as the vibration appeared in tempo with engine firing pulsations. You are now suggesting that any incorrectly installed exhaust rather HD factory or after market could be at the root of some of our problems. Good work. Now if I can just get my dealer to check this out(oh sorry there I have gone losing my head again).

Would be interested in your findings on syncing throttle body.

Another thread had questions on chrome upper/lower chain guard installation. I just installed on my bike today. Took all of 20 minutes. Probably saved 2 hours of dealer labor time.

Roger
Silicon Valley, Ca
Sorry if this hurts anyones feelings - but IMHO this is the worst thread I've seen on this forum in a long while.

Do us all a favor - and hold off from posting anything more in this thread until such time as you actually find something wrong with your bike.
Like Howard said- "you can always change the channel if you dont want to watch..."
vroddrew said:
Sorry if this hurts anyones feelings - but IMHO this is the worst thread I've seen on this forum in a long while.

Do us all a favor - and hold off from posting anything more in this thread until such time as you actually find something wrong with your bike.
Drew,

Sorry if I hurt your feelings but he DID find a problem and has posted a very detailed explanation, one that could help out many who seem to have uncomfortable vibrations.

BTW, I've had 3 different HD exhaust systems on my bike and each one changed the vibration curve. For me it's never been uncomfortable, just different.

Buy an older Buell tube frame bike and you'll learn about exhaust vibrations and the stress that a poorly installed or designed exhaust system can put on a bike.
mjw930 said:
but he DID find a problem and has posted a very detailed explanation, one that could help out many who seem to have uncomfortable vibrations.
Yeah - he found out he had a loose exhaust system. I'm sure glad it wasn't the "electronics" that were causing the problem - you know how those electrons bouncing around can be so unpleasant.
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