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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just got back from an 1,100 mile trip on my 2018 Chieftain Limited. It was my first long distance ride with this bike. I love the looks of this bike and the way it handles, as well as the features. But I’m getting engine vibration that is very uncomfortable over time. I know these are V twins but I had a completely stock 2017 Springfield before and it was buttery smooth at freeway speeds.

I get vibration in the floorboards, grips, and can even see it in the mirrors. The vibration builds as the engine RPMs increase. It smooths out some over 80 MPH. The vibration peaks at 3000 RPMs.

After a full days ride it is fatiguing.

I bought this bike for the purpose of taking long range trips.

The stock 2017 Springfield I use to own didn’t have any noticeable vibration.

Anyone have any suggestions? Will changing the intake and exhaust from stock to something else help? The vibration is definitely linked to engine RPMs so I know it’s not an issue with wheel balancing.

Thanks in advance for any help you might have.


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Wow that's weird! I have a 17 Chieftain Limited and I don't have a vibration of any kind that I've noticed. May have to pay close attention but I'd have to guess if I haven't noticed anything yet, it's not there and I've done all day rides a handful of times already
 

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My first impression is that something is wrong with your bike. I'm very sensitive in my hands to vibration and I experience nothing approaching what you have describe.

What is your idle RPM at operating temperature?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My first impression is that something is wrong with your bike. I'm very sensitive in my hands to vibration and I experience nothing approaching what you have describe.

What is your idle RPM at operating temperature?
The only RPM I’ve paid attention to is I know at 80 MPH my engine RPM is 3000 because the vibration is at it’s worst at that point. Vibration starts decreasing after 3000 RPM.


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Start with easy things first...check wheel balance (front and rear), make sure floorboard bolts are tight, frame bolts (where engine is bolted to frame) are tight. Also check rear wheel and belt for proper alignment.
 

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I will describe what happened to me … I bought the Kuryakyn`s Spear floorboard kit and I installed them without a problem , tightened all the bolts , etc , and then , went for a spin . The vibration started on the floorboards , specially the right one and was cramping up thru my legs up to the seat … it was something very uncomfortable and up to 70 mph /3000 rpms or so … after 70 and up , it decreased a little but it was there and as soon as I lowered speed , it came back .
It was making me nuts , specially that my 16 Chieftain rides like a dream with no vibration at all , never … so , after racking my brains for a couple of days (the bike was new , had only 1000 miles on it) , I called the dealer and made an appointment .
There , I explained to the mechanic what I had done and what was happening .
The mechanic , after listening to me , smiled and then proceeded to loosen the long bolts that hold the floorboards a few treads , so they would have some play … that was it .
It turns out that I had tightened the floorboards tight and that amplified the vibrations enormously . I went for a spin at different speeds... perfect .
The solution was so simple that the dealer didn`t even charged me for the loosing of the left and right long bolts .
Check the log bolts on the floorboards and loosen them a little … then take it for spin .
 

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I just got back from an 1,100 mile trip on my 2018 Chieftain Limited. It was my first long distance ride with this bike. I love the looks of this bike and the way it handles, as well as the features. But I’m getting engine vibration that is very uncomfortable over time. I know these are V twins but I had a completely stock 2017 Springfield before and it was buttery smooth at freeway speeds.

I get vibration in the floorboards, grips, and can even see it in the mirrors. The vibration builds as the engine RPMs increase. It smooths out some over 80 MPH. The vibration peaks at 3000 RPMs.

After a full days ride it is fatiguing.

I bought this bike for the purpose of taking long range trips.

The stock 2017 Springfield I use to own didn’t have any noticeable vibration.

Anyone have any suggestions? Will changing the intake and exhaust from stock to something else help? The vibration is definitely linked to engine RPMs so I know it’s not an issue with wheel balancing.

Thanks in advance for any help you might have.


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Have the balance of your wheels checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will describe what happened to me … I bought the Kuryakyn`s Spear floorboard kit and I installed them without a problem , tightened all the bolts , etc , and then , went for a spin . The vibration started on the floorboards , specially the right one and was cramping up thru my legs up to the seat … it was something very uncomfortable and up to 70 mph /3000 rpms or so … after 70 and up , it decreased a little but it was there and as soon as I lowered speed , it came back .
It was making me nuts , specially that my 16 Chieftain rides like a dream with no vibration at all , never … so , after racking my brains for a couple of days (the bike was new , had only 1000 miles on it) , I called the dealer and made an appointment .
There , I explained to the mechanic what I had done and what was happening .
The mechanic , after listening to me , smiled and then proceeded to loosen the long bolts that hold the floorboards a few treads , so they would have some play … that was it .
It turns out that I had tightened the floorboards tight and that amplified the vibrations enormously . I went for a spin at different speeds... perfect .
The solution was so simple that the dealer didn`t even charged me for the loosing of the left and right long bolts .
Check the log bolts on the floorboards and loosen them a little … then take it for spin .
Thanks I will definitely look into that. When you say long bolts exactly which bolts are they?

I have another ride planned for the Grand Canyon so it would be great if I could fix the problem before that ride.


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Thanks I will definitely look into that. When you say long bolts exactly which bolts are they?

I have another ride planned for the Grand Canyon so it would be great if I could fix the problem before that ride.


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The rider`s floorboards are attached each via one very long bolt that runs the whole length of the floorboard underneath of it … just loosen the security nylon nut that tightens it a little bit (a couple of threads , maybe) , so the floorboard will pivot freely up and down .
 

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I have the exact same vibration that the OP is speaking about. Talked with the service department and was told to wait till after the break-in period and see if the vibration come to an end. I just changed the break-in oil yesterday but with pending storms I have not been able to ride. I was also told that these engines are bolted directly to the frame w/o any dampening between the engine and the frame. I loosened the right and left floor boards as suggested in this post but have not rode the bike to verify if this helps with the floorboard vibration.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have the exact same vibration that the OP is speaking about. Talked with the service department and was told to wait till after the break-in period and see if the vibration come to an end. I just changed the break-in oil yesterday but with pending storms I have not been able to ride. I was also told that these engines are bolted directly to the frame w/o any dampening between the engine and the frame. I loosened the right and left floor boards as suggested in this post but have not rode the bike to verify if this helps with the floorboard vibration.
I have almost 5000 miles on my bike so it’s not the break in.


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My Chief is the first bike I've every owned where the mirrors don't vibrate so much that everything is a blur--I can actually see what's in the mirror. I've had a bit of issue with handlebar vibration, but that's more because I'm sensitive to it due to carpal tunnel, it's not really a bike problem. None at all through the floorboards.

I put bar Kuryakyn Iso-grips and end weights on the handlebars and that made a difference. I wear gel palm gloves and that helps also.

Your floorboard should have a little flex, mine will flip up to about 45 degrees. They are made to do that. If you're bolted down tight that could be an issue. Maybe think about some rubbery-soled boots. I wear Doc Martens, they are extremely good at absorbing vibration. A warning, the soft sole will melt on your muffler so be sure and keep your heel clear.

I've put Ride-On tire sealant in my tires which does an automatic balance. I'm not advocating for it, don't want to start a fight as I know it's a bit controversial, but it worked for me. If you're not familiar with it do some research and make up your own mind. You'll find a lot of guys here who swear by it, and others who claim it is snake oil.
 

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Check tightness of the four exhaust clamps and exhaust heat shields. And the header nuts. When I was doing some exhaust work at 7000 miles two of the four header nuts were not much more than finger tight.
 

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Check tightness of the four exhaust clamps and exhaust heat shields. And the header nuts. When I was doing some exhaust work at 7000 miles two of the four header nuts were not much more than finger tight.
Be very careful with header bolts as they do have very, very low torque foot per pound. If it is not the floor board bolts or balance I would be thinking it would be bearings ,even though the bike is close to new they can still be a issue.but it really does sound like a wheel alinement ,balance issue . No expert at all but vibration starts around those areas and travels upwards. I would be insisting on having the balance, alinement checked along with the floor boards. Wow that would be such a bug that would annoy me so much.
 

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Be very careful with header bolts as they do have very, very low torque foot per pound. If it is not the floor board bolts or balance I would be thinking it would be bearings ,even though the bike is close to new they can still be a issue.but it really does sound like a wheel alinement ,balance issue . No expert at all but vibration starts around those areas and travels upwards. I would be insisting on having the balance, alinement checked along with the floor boards. Wow that would be such a bug that would annoy me so much.
Any idea as to what the torque spec is for the header bolts? I have a service manual on order and awaiting for it to be printed and sent to my dealer. On the highway, when the vibration is being emitted, when I pull in the clutch the vibration is gone and rides smooth as glass. When I let the clutch back out the vibration returns.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Be very careful with header bolts as they do have very, very low torque foot per pound. If it is not the floor board bolts or balance I would be thinking it would be bearings ,even though the bike is close to new they can still be a issue.but it really does sound like a wheel alinement ,balance issue . No expert at all but vibration starts around those areas and travels upwards. I would be insisting on having the balance, alinement checked along with the floor boards. Wow that would be such a bug that would annoy me so much.
My biggest concern is that it is the engine. It feels like the engine since it’s a high frequency vibration. If it isn’t something simple like the torque on a bolt I know the dealer is not going to do things like replace bearings to find vibration issues. They will come to the conclusion that it’s “normal”.


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My biggest concern is that it is the engine. It feels like the engine since it’s a high frequency vibration. If it isn’t something simple like the torque on a bolt I know the dealer is not going to do things like replace bearings to find vibration issues. They will come to the conclusion that it’s “normal”.


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I feel the same as you do. The vibration starts at around 2500 rpm and then smooth's out at 3k rpm. I was really hoping it was something simple like a bolt or something too tight or anything obvious. It is mind blowing that I paid as much as I did for this motorcycle and really love the aspects of it and having this issue. I had two previous Harleys that were smooth as glass on the highway and thinking that I was stepping up in quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have the exact same vibration that the OP is speaking about. Talked with the service department and was told to wait till after the break-in period and see if the vibration come to an end. I just changed the break-in oil yesterday but with pending storms I have not been able to ride. I was also told that these engines are bolted directly to the frame w/o any dampening between the engine and the frame. I loosened the right and left floor boards as suggested in this post but have not rode the bike to verify if this helps with the floorboard vibration.
What model Indian do you own? I own a 2018 Chieftain Limited in Bronze Smoke with graphics. I have ridden two bikes of this model and both had vibration issues. My 2017 Springfield in Indian Red was as smooth as glass....the engine was a pleasure to feel running at highway speeds.


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