Singles and vibrations....

Big singles and for that matter all single cylinder engines vibrate. It’s the nature of the beast. With a big piston thumping away down there in the engine it’s going to make vibrations. That’s why the little men in the white dust coats with the pens in the top pocket and the slicked comb overs at Yamaha fitted a counter balance shaft to the 660 engine. To try to smooth out the vibes. It does do a good job of it I must say. Better than the SR500 I once had. The front wheel on that thing would wobble away when the engine was just idling.

So when I bought the Traveller I started to play around with the handle bars. They are sperate bars mounted to each fork tube. They have a far bit of adjustment range. Being used to the sit up and beg seating of the Virago I raised the Traveller’s bars all the way to the top of the fork tubes. I also slide the bars out to their furthest reach. The seating position was also changed by this rearranging of the bars. Not a bad thing as I was still getting used to the ergonomics of the bike.

After these changes I found a few kilometres into a ride my left hand would be numb. Even just riding around the burbs here. Something was wrong. I fitted the thick handle bar grips off the Virago and this did nothing at all to the numbness. I was concerned as it was really spoiling the bike. So I went to the MZOG • MZ Owners Group with my concerns. Some of the very knowledgeable gents there replied with some ideas that might fix this. So taking onboard what they said I fiddled with the bars again. I lowered them by 12mm from the top of the fork tubes. They are now almost sitting on top of the triple clamp. I slide the bars in so that my hand are closer to centre of the bike. Also removed the bar end weights as one of the guys on the MZOG group had said he had taken his off. I took the bike for a ride and the vibration way less that before.

I also tried out the rubber grips that had been fitted to my Matchless. I bought these brand new a few years ago from Ryan’s in Parramatta before they closed up shop. These rubber grips and setting the bars back to where they were when I first got the bike have made a big difference to the level of vibration that now comes through the bars. In fact it is very comfortable now. My hand no longer gets numb. In the end the bars went back to the position the last owner had set them up in. I wonder if he did the same thing I did.

The fairing mounted mirrors I hated. I could not see a thing in them besides my elbows and I knew they where there. So I took them off. The clutch and front brake mountings on the handle bars had the mirror screw in mounts still there blanked off. So I fitted the Viragos mirrors. These were ok. But I still had trouble seeing what was behind me. A set of cheap mirrors from MCA did the trick. I can see what’s behind and behind at the sides now.

You may have read in here my blog about the engine oil going all over my back tyre. Here is a photo of the offending oil tank. Now you can see why it is so easy to spill oil all over the rear end and the dip stick is at the top right of the tank.