Reducing handlebar and footpeg vibration

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Several of our experienced riders think that, compared to some other bikes, the Ninja 250 really doesn't have much vibration. But you wouldn't be reading this if you agreed. If you haven't been riding for long, try wait-and-see. Things might not seem so bad in a couple weeks or so.

One of the first things you should do is check your motor mount bolts. If those are loose, the bike will give noticeably more vibration. It's also a safety issue.

A common cause of perceived vibration in the handlebars is the so-called "death grip". You shouldn't be holding onto your bike for dear life; practice being light on the bars.

If you still have an unacceptable amount of vibration after you've tried the above stuff, try one or more of these:

  • Bar ends: Try using heavier bar ends.
  • Stock footpegs: The stock pegs, with rubber under the foot, are usually less prone to letting vibration pass than are aftermarket all-metal replacements. If you've switched to aluminum pegs, switch back.
  • Gel grips: This is a standard replacement for a lot of riders. Will reduce vibration somewhat - individual opinion varies. Give better feedback and control of the bars than the thicker foam grips.
  • Foam grips: One option is Grip Puppies, which are foam pads that slip over standard grips. There are lots of other brands of foam grips, such as these from BikeMaster. Look on eBay, at a shop, or online.
Foam grips.jpg
Foam grips - advantages and disadvantages
  • They increase diameter somewhat, which some people find advantageous for long distance riding, as less grip effort is required to maintain throttle.
  • They're well-padded, which is the reason for buying them.
  • They increase diameter somewhat, which some people find causes hand pain.
  • They have less resistance to weathering.
  • They hold water like a sponge.
You probably only want foam grips if you commute or tour exclusively. The extra squishiness might not relay enough feedback for sport riding. Or it might, for you. It won't cost much to find out.