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From American Motorcyclist, September 2004 issue!
Do you ride a big single or a V-twin on the road? Does vibration
from the handlebars get to you after a while, making your hands
tingle or go numb?
A company with the odd name of Manic Salamander says it has an
answer, in the form of extra-heavy bar-end weights. Just bolt these
on, the company says, and vibration goes away.
We wanted to see if they really worked, so we ordered up a set
for a Kawasaki KLR650. The big KLR may be one of the most versatile
bikes made, but it's also one of the most notorious paint shakers
in the motorcycle world.
Installation was pretty simple--just cut off the outside ends of
the handlebar grips (this step is unnecessary for bikes that
already have bar-ends), then pick up the weights (wow, they
are heavy) and slide them into place, tightening the
adjustment bolt with the included Allen wrench.
The first ride was a revelation. The stock KLR powerband has a
couple of areas you avoid because of vibration, but the Manic
Salamander weights quiet the vibes so much you can use the entire
rev range. They don't eliminate all vibration, but they reduce it
so much that the bike takes on a different, more user-friendly
Manic Salamander says they can do the same for your dual-sport,
vintage, or V-twin bike, as long as it has standard 7/8 or 1-inch
bars. And based on the evidence of our KLR, we believe
Manic Salamander bar-end weights range in price from $59.99
to $79.99 a pair, depending on finish. For more information, call
(763) 234-7242; or visit www.manicsalamander.com.
Reprinted with permission of
American Motorcyclist magazine.