A lot of brainpower goes into making motorcycles comfortable and safe for you. It includes simple yet essential things at the design level by the people at the task. Most of these factors will not be visible to us at the first glance of our motorcycles.
However, replacing or removing even the simplest of parts will change our driving dynamics. It will either change the safety aspects or the motorcycle’s efficiency.
The reasons why motorcycles have bar-end weights comes down to the rider’s comfort and safety. With the factors of balancing and fall prevention of the motorcycles coming into play to add bar end weights.
Here, I review why do motorcycles have bar-end weights and how they help. Moreover, you will also find what happens if you decide to change or remove them. It stands valid for every motorcycle, irrespective of their usage or performance needs as per you.
What Are Bar End Weights?
To know why they are there, you need to know about the bar end weights. You will often come across terms such as the handle weights, dampers, or rubber clamps.
However, all these terminologies will lead you to the same point of conclusion. Motorcycle bar end handle weights are the cylindrical or conical rubber weights on your handle. You will find them on both the ends of your motorcycle handle, rising out of the structure.
Generally, rubber fillers have a size more than the diameter of the handle. It also includes the covering or the grip coming on the end of the handle for size comparison.
These end weights have a flat surface towards their outward sides with no sharpness. In comparison to the cylindrical handles, they either have a taper or conical design. You will also notice some bar-end weights having treads or files on the top of their surface for certain motorcycles.
Most of the time, these weights have a shrink-fit that goes inside the open end of the handle. Hence, placing them will need you to position and tap with a small mallet.
However, some bar end weight designs also have a thread system to lock in place. It makes them fit better than the ones that need you to tap or push.
Before I focus on why do motorcycles have bar-end weights, their material and make are essential. Most of these weights either come from a high-quality rubber or rigid material. However, some makers also use Teflon fillers instead of rubber ones.
The focus always remains on keeping them compressible and flexible during their usage. Hence, the material that has such properties and weather resistance will fit in perfectly you’re your motorcycle handles.
In general, the bar-end weights are heavier than the material you find on the motorcycle grips. If they are too light, then the entire purpose of using them becomes pointless in place.
Meanwhile, too heavy or unequal bar weights are also not helpful for the cause. Common ones range between 50 to 150 grams for the standard edition motorcycles on the street.
Need for Motorcycle Bar End Weights
So, after your clear understanding of the bar end weight construction, its needs are easier to figure. I will explain these to you in the aspect of designing as well as running functions.
#1: Vibration Damping
Motorcycles have their front design arrangement that the shocks come directly on the frame. The only damping between these is the shock absorber while running. However, the other vibrations coming from the running do not find solutions from these absorbers.
The vibration starts either from the engine and its operation or the mechanical causes. Hence, when you drive these motorcycles, this vibration reaches your body directly. If the handles are light and naked, the entire thing reaches your hand.
However, bar-end weights provide the ideal damping effect by lowering the resonant frequency. It means that by and large, you get a steady handle with stable conditions for driving every time.
#2: Driving Comfort
The first idea about why do motorcycles have bar-end weights relates to vibration damping. So the ideal question is what goes wrong if the vibrations disturb you for too long.
In such conditions, the blood flow into your hands and fingers becomes erratic. It leads to a fizziness in your fingers that will lower your grip over time. Hence, as a long route rider, you will experience quite some discomfort in riding if the vibration is excessive.
The bar end weights, with a lesser resonant frequency, remove this discomfort from the picture. Hence, your hand remains steady, warm, and comfortable while driving. It means that motorcycles with higher engine power for the rough terrains are no longer a trouble for you.
#3: Dynamic Balancing
The motorcycles use your ability to balance the handle in the dynamic state for running. It means your body weight and any opposing forces are equally essential for safe running. In the case of high-speed running, the actions on the motorcycle handle change considerably.
It is mainly coming from the air resistance and drag on the front that makes it shaky. An easy example is that if you ride your cycle too fast, the handle starts wobbling.
The bar end weights provide the steadying effect onto the handles to counter these effects. Hence, they not only increase the counterweight but also increase the damping. It means you do not need to push the handle hard for a steady drive if the bar end weights are good.
#4: Fall Safety
The majority of your falls on a motorcycle ride come sideways, irrespective of the impact direction. It means the body and the handle are both vulnerable to dents when you go down. Hence, the bar weights also indirectly act as a cushioning medium for absorbing your falls.
In the point of material discussion, this fall impact is also essential for understanding. Rubber or Teflon has a good damping effect against vibration and impact too.
It makes sure that the handle does not get bent or does not shift upon falls. Any change in the handle shape disturbs your driving safety and balancing abilities too.
#5: Slip Prevention
A minor effect that also changes your dynamic driving ability is the position of your grip. For driving too long, a steady grip position becomes impossible to hold. Hence, the bar end weight prevents the slipping of the grip in case of sweat or moisture.
It also allows you to position the handle with different holding grips. These weights maintain the handling balance by equal distribution of the hand load at all times.
As a fan of vintage motorcycles, parades and shows are a part of your life. It means several attachments can come along your bar end weight that fit your choice. It includes improving the aesthetic finish of your motorbike for events of your choice.
For such needs, you can also find weights with metal or other materials. While they are not for the original tasks, they offer recreational value for you.
Bar End Weights Complications
After understanding why do motorcycles have bar-end weights, their complication comes to light too. It includes the changes that come with wrong usage and their absence as well.
- The incorrect pairing of the motorcycle bar end weights is a cause of your problems. A big one is that it disbalances the handle by creating unequal drag due to weight differences. That is why it is suggestible to use conventional bar weights that fit right at the handles.
- It also reduces the aesthetic looks of your motorcycle and the symmetry. Hence, it gives an odd shape or appearance while you drive the motorbike around.
Incorrect use of the bar end weights for the wrong model will trouble you every time. It primarily creates trouble in fitting them in place because the diameter does not fit.
The inner diameter of the handle should have minimal clearance for fitting the bar end weight. It can be a complication if you go around searching for loose ones from the market. I suggest using the original fits as they have the correct weight as per your motorbike’s handle.
If you endure a fall, the sides of these bar weights often run out of shape. It can also make them sharp and incorrect for use safely. Hence, incorrect handling can also be a big changing headache for you.
Motorcycle Bar End Weights: Conclusion
The reasons why do motorcycles have bar-end weights come down to your comfort and safety. With the factors of balancing and fall prevention, their use is quite important. Hence, I recommend to you as riders to ensure the bar end weights are correctly in place.
Some people choose to remove these for aesthetic reasons from the handlebars. However, that does more harm to your motorcycle and also disturbs you while driving. These tiny yet essential parts are just as important as every other indispensable part of your motorcycle!