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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the MSF riding course last month, and passed the written test to acquire my motorcycle license. I then purchased a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard M50 with 3600 miles on it from the original owner. The bike is all stock, and in perfect condition.

I first started riding it in pretty cold weather, it was like 48 degrees. Anything over 40mph was fairly cold. I am using Joe Rocket Sonic gloves. Just riding around town, my hands would get a little numb after about 20 minutes, so I garaged it till warmer weather.

It was 70 degrees the other day, so I took it out for a spin. After about 20 minutes, my hands were going numb, but it was plenty warm, and I was only riding about 45mph. I was really surprised, and wondered why I was losing feeling in my fingers. They were not cold at all, and if I pulled over for like 30 seconds, they were fine, then they would get numb about 5 minutes later.

I am sure my front shock is adjusted to stock, however, I did slightly adjust the rear shock. The guy I bought it from was like 5’5”, 160lbs, and I am 6’2”, 290lbs, so I tightened the rear shock from lvl 3 to lvl 5. The ride is firmer, but the rear end felt like a marshmallow set at 3. I feel more bumps, but the suspension still compresses in turns, with acceleration, and with bumps.

Is this hand numbing something that a new rider needs to get used to? Is there something wrong with my bike? Could it be my gloves? Wondering if anyone has some insight into this matter, because I could see it getting dangerous if my hands are getting numb when I ride.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am 34 years old, and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist.

I can do just about any other activity without hand pain or numbness.

I have typed for years, but no problems there.

I can even shoot my Thompson Encore pistol in 460 S&W Mag without any problems as well. Check that out here, im the first one shooting it:

YouTube - Thompson Center Encore 460 S&W Magnum
 

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I am 34 years old, and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist.

I can do just about any other activity without hand pain or numbness.

I have typed for years, but no problems there.

I can even shoot my Thompson Encore pistol in 460 S&W Mag without any problems as well. Check that out here, im the first one shooting it:

YouTube - Thompson Center Encore 460 S&W Magnum
It's not "normal" in any way to get numbness like that from riding. Even my old Shovelhead with solid mounts and hard grips didn't hurt until after many hours of riding. Maybe your bike has an unusally bad vibration, but I'd be more inclined to think it's you.
 

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The Toad
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It could just be vibration transmitting to the handlebars. You can try some bar end weights which are available at any bike shop or accessory dealer. Maybe put on some vibration cushioning grips. Different length handlebars sometimes help too.
 

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Are the cuffs on the gloves too tight on your wrists? Try loosening the cuffs (velcro closure?) completely. Constriction around the wrist or forearm can cause a case of Carpal to flare.

You may have a case of Carpal. Your physician will do some simple tests (push on your median nerve until you blurt out the location of the rebel base, make you flex your wrists for 60 seconds, etc.)

Any history of back (neck) injury or pain?

Don't be surprised if your physician asks if you smoke. Smoking can be linked to Carpal. I don't remember why, though- decreased blood flow to the extremities, perhaps?

I would get to the bottom of things and not accept the numbness as "normal".

Then again, you like the .460 S&W. Normal may be a stretch for ya...

Just kidding!
 

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It could just be the position of the bars is wrong for you. When I first got my Ducati ST4, my hands would go numb in 15 minutes with lots of tingling. The bars were hitting me right in my Ulnar (?) nerve.

I added some risers which changed the position and it never bothered me after that.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Try loosening your grip on the bars. Posibly adjust the handlebars to a lower position. I like my hand position below my elbows when I ride, or my hands get numb also. Could be vibration, but I doubt it. That kind of numb feels different than your own body doing it.
 

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Try loosening your grip on the bars. Posibly adjust the handlebars to a lower position. I like my hand position below my elbows when I ride, or my hands get numb also. Could be vibration, but I doubt it. That kind of numb feels different than your own body doing it.
You forgot to ask him if he pulled the grips off.
 

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I'm going to guess it's vibration, and hopefully not any medical problem. All bikes transmit different frequencies through the bars in greater and lesser amount. Usually a high frequency buzz is harder to tolerate than a low frequency, but I'm guessing it varies more than that and by individual as well. You'd think a twin would have a low frequency buzz? Try some gloves with gel palms, that has helped my hands with long distance riding. Like someone said previously, heavier bar end weights would help, as would a bar snake and perhaps a foam grip wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, what great responses to my post. Thanks for the ideas and support. I think I am going to try to determine if its riding posture or vibration. If I sit on the bike for 10 or 15 minutes in the typical riding posture and see what happens. If they go numb, then its riding posture and not vibration.

I do remember that during the MSF riding course, I rode a 2006 Honda 250. Spent 4 hours on it the first day which was pretty cold actually, and 5 hours on it the following Saturday. We only rode for 10 – 15 minutes at a time, and never went over 30mph, but I never felt my hands go numb at all during the course.

I also rode my brothers bike for about 15 minutes last Saturday, it’s a 2003 Suzuki C50 with 20,000 miles on it. It has a different set of bars, that sweep out more, and come further back. Now that I think of it, no numbness there either.
 

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RS,

Your relief may be as simple as rotating the handlebars a bit in one direction.

Biggest cause of your symptoms is what was mentioned above - a death grip. Try to relax, starting with your shoulders, then the elbows. If you are tense there, you will be everywhere.

Also, try holding the grips with your "pointer" finger extended over the clutch/brake lever.

Good luck!
 

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RS, concerning the T/C,

Have you tried shooting it while holding it like a rifle? I have the original Contender in .30-30/14", and that hold (when there is no tree or other suitable rest around) is much easier. Both for steadiness and soaking up the recoil.

Especially when you add the weight of a scope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RS, concerning the T/C,

Have you tried shooting it while holding it like a rifle? I have the original Contender in .30-30/14", and that hold (when there is no tree or other suitable rest around) is much easier. Both for steadiness and soaking up the recoil.

Especially when you add the weight of a scope.
Holding the gun like a rifle can separate the forearm attachment from the barrel. I have seen it happen with a friends gun. Its just two screws, and the forearm is plastic/rubber. My father in law, the 2nd guy shooting the gun in my youtube video, has a older T/C in 7-30 waters, which is a 30-30 necked down to a 7mm bullet. He will shoot that gun 1 handed, which is pretty insane considering the recoil on that thing. However, after shooting the 460 S&W Mag, the 7-30 waters T/C feels like you are shooting a 9mm.
 
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