Hands become numb when riding. - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hands become numb when riding.

Since I've graduated to a 600 and currently have the ZX6-R, Im having problems with my gloves or else, my hands now.

If i ride with my gloves on, my whole hand (both of them) start to turn numb; like after 10 minutes of riding ( you know that feeling when you cut off blood to your hand for a long time )

IF I ride without my gloves, the numbness starts about maybe 30-40 minutes into a ride.

So, Im wondering what any of you experience this as well?

I've never had my hand turn numb like that when I rode my Ninja 250 and only started to feel this when I started riding the Ninja ZX6-R. The guy who I bought the bike from says he never had that problem, but then again, he was riding with a mis-positioned clutch..

So advice? My hands are tiny, and I dont have much "meat" on them. So is it the gloves? The handlebars? The grips?

Anything that would cause numbness?

To get an idea of how "tiny" I am, this is me on my ZX6-R



and I was also wondering if it had to with how i ride? I know its defnitely different than riding the 250 ( I didn't have to lean as much forward on the 250 since the tank is smaller ).

any advice?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 12:36 AM
 
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First of all, are you old enough to have a DL? LOL!!!
You are tiny (and cute). Do you have a death grip on the bike? Do you possibly do anything at work or home that could keep your hands/wrists fatiqued and thus more prone to cramping/numbing?
Just some ideas!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 01:24 AM
 
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One thing to keep in mind when riding is temperature... Although it may seem that a caramp/blockage is causeing the numbing it may be just a slowing of the blood to your hands because of temperature. If you're chest is warm enough it's been shown you can stand in 0 degree weather and not have your hands freeze, but if your chest gets cold the body brings in blood from the extremeties to help keep the heart warm, and you start to lose feeling. One last thing...you know how you're supposed to elevate an injured body part to reduce swelling (blood-flow), well as short as your torso is your heart is much closer to being even with your hands, especially while tucked, than someone who is, say, 5'5" +. IF this is part of the reason, the best way to fix it is to keep your chest warm (remember when vests were popular? ) and try to ride more upright. Also, while at stop lights/signs, just shake out your hands and arms, flex your bis/tris and little bit.

Hope some of this is helpful, keep us posted.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 03:24 AM
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I would think the difference in riding position definitely plays a part here. On the 250 you were more upright, and therefore more of your weight on your butt. Now on the 600 you're forced to a more aggressive position and putting more weight on your arms. Try to balance your weight evenly between your butt and arms. It takes a little getting used to.

Also, maybe you are putting on your gloves a bit too tight?

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 04:25 AM
 
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Might be the vibrations as well, i know riding my friends harley was pretty comfortable untill my hands and ass went numb (5mi ride) due to all the vibrations..
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 05:25 AM
 
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I would agree that the most likely suspect is you're too tense/tight with your grip. Since this bike is new to you and larger than what you're used to is it possible your a little tense when riding? You probably already know to keep your elbows bent when riding - this keeps pressure off your wrists (as well as allowing for quicker reaction in emergency situations). As for the grip, liken it to holding an egg without breaking it or a sponge without wringing the water out. You get the idea - firm but not tight.

Have you thought about getting handlebar risers? This might make your stance a little more comfortable, and they're not terribly expensive.

Good luck.

Last edited by Bonk!; 09-16-2003 at 05:28 AM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 05:25 AM
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Several things can cause this and some have already been mentioned. This bike has a different seating position than the EX-250. The 250 is more like a standard with upright seating position and the 600 has a more aggressive position. Because of this, you are likely gripping the bars way too tight, wrists folded back, arms straight or even locked at the elbow, back arched inverted (butt out), with your upper body weight being supported by your arms. Reverse every one of those things and it will stop.

Really, that's what you need to do. You need to get your weight off the bars (your arms) and get it back to the seat and legs. Bend your elbows slightly and loosen your grip on the bars. A good check to see if you're too tight will be the ability to flap your arms at the elbows. This will force the rest of the body positioning to become more correct and is critical to getting the bike to handle. Aside from the numbing of the hands, the original seating position described will prevent the bike from ever handling like it should. It will always feel tight in the bends and twitchy from unintentional steering inputs caused by bumps being transmitted to the bars from the stiff posture.

I assume you are wearing appropriate gear for that time that will eventually come, when you go down. With that covered, get the two Keith Code books, Twist of the Wrist I and II, and study them and practice what's taught. Track school is the best place to get the training and safe practice area but without that opportunity, patience and caution on the street is the next best order of the day. With a lot of studying and seat time, it will come together. Practice proper braking technique, too. In the meanwhile, don't get caught up in squidly speed sessions with the local gang who is likely riding with the same posture and all of the same ill handling problems that dictates. You're an accident looking for a place to happen in that mode. Safety first, then work on technique which will convert to speed. Never ride at a level that is scaring you or you WILL crash. The story will be completely familiar... in too hot, hit the brakes, went off, etc. etc... which is 99% of the time B.S. Panicking and getting tight, or being tight in the first place, causes the discomfort you described but more importantly, prevents the bike from handling and performing as it can. Go slowly, study and work on technique, the speed will take care of itself. Hope that helps... hope it wasn't too preachy. Good luck.

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Last edited by Dad; 09-16-2003 at 05:28 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neverest
One thing to keep in mind when riding is temperature... <snip>
I just thought I'd point out that while this definitely impacts us northern folk, her living in Hawaii probably excludes this possibility. Does it ever really get "cold" in Honolulu?

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 10:14 AM
 
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Annie: Some very good answers up above & I like what Dad says.
From the print of you on the bike I can see you are stretched to the bars & same to when you go to plank both feet on the ground.

One thing I can add is make use of your body, like gripping the petrol tank with the inner parts of your knees & shifting your body around while riding. Still agree with Dad & the others that this 600's riding position is quite different to the 250 you rode so you are going to have to adapt to it & putting a lot of weight on the hands will numb them.

The bike packs a lot more power then your 250 along with weight so presently you are probably tense when riding the bike & in time that will wear off which will help. Do not let anyone talk you into anymore thickness in the grips or gloves for, as you stated your hands are small, & you want it easy to reach the levers. Tense means you have a fairly tight hold on the grips which is not necessary.

At not matter what pace only the fourth & fifth fingers of both hands do any griping (yet very light) of the bars while 2nd & 3rd just seem to rest yet can be put into action. Fortunately my hands are long & require Ex-Large in gloves so in that case 2nd & 3rd fingers often cover the brake & cluth levers when in town/city or on the Hwy & amongst traffic ----just showing how only 4th & 5th fingers do the gripping.

If you have a set of gloves that are tight fit on the hands & ESPECIALLY the wrists that can also be a small factor. Do not know what you have in gloves, but all of mine fit comfortably be they a top rate set of MX gloves, comp racing gloves or touring gloves with gauntlets. Hope in time you will drop in & tell us that your problems of numb hands is of the past.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all for your advice.

I guess I am gripping a little too hard. I do grip the tank, hard, since in MSF they tell you to keep your knees up against the tank.

I guess, I just have a short torso, and combinedwith short arms, I lean more than most people do.

I found a site that has handle bar risers, but will have to double check to see if ZX6 types are in stock or even made.

I have standard "cruiser" gloves ( covers the wrists ) and it has nice padding for comfort, but now its causing the numbness to set-on quicker.

kanwisch : Honolulu cold ? - Well if the temperature here drops below 70 degrees, people start pulling out the thick comforters and sweaters. Other than that, its only dipped past 60 twice and only hit 65 numerous times at night. Oh and it does snow on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii (which I was there only 2 weekends ago, and we rode through hurricane/tropical storm weather - Hurrican/Tropical Storm Jimena ) . That's wehn I noticed that I was repeated getting numb hands from riding.

Thanks for all the advice offered, I'll try sme of the suggestions on my next ride.

akcbr - old enough to have a DL? ^_^. Yes. I'll be 29 in November; I've been riding motorcycles since I was 18.

Last edited by Annie-Mei; 09-16-2003 at 07:45 PM.
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