The hands and arms are exposed to much strong forces whenever we ride – on the road and especially off-road.
Forces from the road are transferred from the front wheel and suspension through our hands. Additionally, braking forces, steering, squeezing the clutch and brake levers also take a toll on our hands and wrists. The motorcycle’s engine also produces vibrations that are fed mostly through our hands.
So, it is not surprising why they go numb sometimes. Here are several things you can do to counter this problem.
1. Relax your grip
Gripping too tightly is the biggest contributor to numb hands. Loosening your grip lets your fingers and wrist act as shock absorbers. Also, a loose grip can help you can steer and brake better.
2. Squeeze your thighs against the tank
Squeezing your inner thighs lightly against the sides of the fuel tank takes weight off your hands, wrists, and arms. Instead, support your upper body weight with your core muscles. In fact, this is the correct riding position for any motorcycle.
Wearing the correct type of gloves or size helps with comfort while maintaining safety. Certain gloves may feel as if they are of the correct size when you put them on in the shop but will turn out to be too tight when you start holding the handlebar grips. Our advice: Leave some room at the top of and between the fingers.
Also, certain gloves have thicker padding on the palm. There are also gloves with rougher palms to let you grip the handlebar better with less force.
4. Shake it off
While stopped, put the bike in neutral and shake your hands, wiggle your fingers, clench and let go a few times, and massage them if the numbness is excessive. This is to restore proper blood circulation.
5. Handlebar weights
Experiment with different bar end weights until you find ones that effectively dampen the vibrations. This is a low cost, simple solution.
A variety of neoprene and rubber grips exist in an different thicknesses, all designed to comfort your hands to your personal preference. You may also consider grips with tacky (stickier) surfaces as they release your hands from gripping too hard. Installing new grips is easy and effective.
7. Throttle lock
Your hands go numb after hours cruising on the highway? If your bike is not already equipped with a cruise control system, then a throttle lock allows you to take a break from holding the throttle open for hours on end. But please do not use it when riding in the city or in villages.
8. Rubber bar mounts
Some bikes are equipped with these as standard equipment or you can find them as factory options or in the aftermarket. They are very effective and installation is easy. They also allow you to adjust your ergonomics.
The Crampbuster is a paddle-like device which you attach to the throttle and it alleviates stresses from the wrist to hold the throttle open. It is not a throttle lock. The manufacturer calls it a “cruise assist” device.
10. Adjust the bike’s ergonomics
Ergonomics concerns to your riding position including the placement of your arms, hands, torso, seat, thighs, legs, feet. Bad ergonomics can also lead to numb hands.
Each hand control part can usually be adjusted for a comfortable reach (the distance between fully released and when your fingers start to pull them in). You can change the angle or rotation of the clip-ons and handlebar.
You will need to install aftermarket levers if the ones on your bike is non-adjustable.
11. Bar risers
As the name implies, bar risers raise the handlebar or clip-ons higher to provide an easier reach for your arms. If you have to reach straight out or the arms are hanging too loose, your wrist will not get their full motion. And that results in stressed hands. So, get a riser which positions the handlebar for a comfortable reach.
12. Aftermarket handlebars
You can alter the angle at which your hands meet the grips, their height, and/or the distance of your reach simply and easily thanks to an aftermarket handlebar. Handlebars come in a variety of widths, heights, angles, and sweeps, so you need to find one which works for you.