Why Motorcycle Is Vibrating While Accelerating & Riding: Causes & How To Stop It

Why Motorcycle Is Vibrating While Accelerating & Riding: Causes & How To Stop It

Vibration while accelerating the motorcycle is not every rider’s dream. Discomfort and possible safety issues might occur if this problem is overlooked.

Failing to fix this problem will cause bike damage in a gradual way.

The vibration of a motorcycle while accelerating is caused due to worn-out main /crankshaft bearing journal, damaged piston, dent in the front or rear rim, worn brake caliper piston. As a general rule, perform routine maintenance and checkup to fix or avoid this issue and ensure riding safety.

There are some obvious visible signs which can be easily fixed and can come to attention while inspecting the motorcycle/bike Examples: dented rims, stuck caliper pistons, miss-aligned wheels.

Why Motorcycle Is Vibrating While Accelerating And Riding

When you accelerate the motorcycle, there is too much friction on the piston and crankshafts, any minute damage to them will cause vibration while accelerating at higher rpm.

The first major reason for vibration while accelerating is due to the lack of lubrication to the crankshaft or the main/crankshaft bearing journals are worn out, then it would disturb the balance of the engine.

The engine is designed in such a way, that the weight is distributed evenly, that’s why some motorcycle uses countershafts or counterweights to balance the engine and neutralize the vibration. 

The second main cause of the vibration is worn-out or under lubricated pistons. While accelerating pistons move inside the engine. If the inner walls or the piston rings are worn or damaged then there would be an uneven motion of the piston against the walls of the cylinder this minute problem will cause a significant amount of vibration.     

When you accelerate the engine’s r.p.m. goes high. Due to high velocity, a certain amount of vibration is natural, as vibration is a by-product of the velocity.

Imagine that you are riding a bike/motorcycle at mid-rpm. The bike would feel the smoothest in that particular range and would even give better milage as the engine would be much more efficient at that point. 

It is due to the motorcycle being at its sweet spot ( i.e. ) the air and fuel mixture is neither rich nor lean but a balance of both.

For another example keep a glass of water on the bike’s fuel tank and accelerate, you will notice maximum vibration at the motorcycle’s idle and high rpm state. 

This indicates that the engine is more unstable at idling and higher speeds.

Look out for these major reasons, which most of the time go unnoticed and can cause serious safety vulnerabilities.

Common Causes/Reasons Which Can Cause The Motorcycle To Vibrate

There are some common reasons which can cause the motorcycle to vibrate, which can be easily detected and fixed.

The common reasons are Uneven/unbalanced or miss-alignment wheels/tires, bad chain & sprocket condition, dents or damage on tire rims, wear-out engine components(piston or the crankshaft), the wrong distance between the brake caliper and disc rotor.

Uneven/Unbalanced Or Miss-Alignment Wheel/Tire  

The tire is the only object connecting the motorcycle to the road. If there are patches or tire wear on the tire’s surface, the rotation will not be smooth as intended because the minute fade in the tires can lead to vibration and a bumpy ride at high speeds.

The middle part of the tire fades or has patches because of the hard braking and cornering when the brake is applied the certain part which is in contact with the road fades, so the entire tire won’t fade evenly.

The tire does not fade evenly because of various riding conditions and how an individual rides. Hard braking, cornering, trail braking will contribute to the wear of the tire surface.

Look out for the threads( lines ) on the tire. If they are uneven or disappearing, and the tire’s surface is turning flat then it’s time to change and use brand new tires.

Bad Chain And Sprocket Condition 

If the chain and sprockets are not maintained properly, vibrations while accelerating will be inevitable.

Due to the vibration of the sprockets at higher rpm and high acceleration, the motorcycle won’t be in a controllable state at a higher speed. Vibrations in sprocket are dangerous while quick up & downshift and quick acceleration.

This can cause some serious damage to the motorcycle and can put you and the passenger’s safety at risk.

Dents Or Damage On Tire Rims  

Dent on the rims will cause an imbalance in the weight of the bike.

This uneven weight distribution causes vibration at a higher speed and can even cause tank slapper/death wobble.

Get it fixed as soon as possible because it is very easy to do.

Wear Out Engine Components( Piston Or The Crankshaft )

Worn-out pistons will cause an obstacle between the cylinder and the piston itself.

If the piston rings wear out, then it would cause scratches on the cylinder wall.

This would happen when the engine braking is not done properly.

That’s why when you purchase a brand new bike/motorcycle when the engine is new, it is advised to not rev and hit high rpm on a consistent basis.

Because the piston rings are made up of cast iron and steel ( grey iron ) which tend to expand under high heat because of their malleable nature.

If the cylinder wall & piston rings wear out then there would be more scratches on it, the gases would escape through the piston rings and settle in the crankcase rather than escaping through the exhaust valve.

This type of problem is more common in the rainy and winter season.

As the moisture increases the distance between the brake caliper and the disc rotor decreases and at a certain point it starts to apply a minute amount of brake which is not noticeable at low speeds but is noticeable at higher speeds. this will cause a minute amount of vibration.

Look out for these common problems, which will cause the motorcycle to vibrate while accelerating and they are pretty easy to fix too.

How To Stop The Motorcycle From Vibrating While Accelerating & Make It Run Smoother

To stop the vibration care must be taken that your motorcycle is not due on Maintainance.

Apart from the visible causes ( which can be easily fixed ) such as dented rims, miss-aligned wheels, loose or damaged sprockets, the most important thing for an engine to function properly is adequate lubrication.

So following are the inspection one must do if the motorcycle is vibrating.

Check The Engine Oil Level And Replace It After Every Specific Time Interval Or Km/Mi

You should always check the engine oil as it lubricates the entire engine, it lubricates the piston, crankshaft, camshaft, valves, bore, and other moving parts to avoid the formation of carbon deposits in the engine.

The basic idea is to reduce the friction between the moving parts and increase the efficiency and lifespan of the engine.

Engine oil also decreases slightly after every 5000-10000 kilometers / 3100-6200 miles, it also depends on your riding style, riding environment, and your motorcycle/bike.

So you have to inspect your engine oil level periodically. And if your riding is less, then you have to change it every year as your engine oil oxidizes with time.

If engine oil is not in its prime condition, then the engine won’t be lubricated optimally.

Vibrations while accelerating will be the obvious consequence of a lack of lubrication.

Replacing The Oil Filter Whenever Necessary 

Engine oil gets dirty and gets filled with contaminants it is very important to send clean oil to the engine during combustion.

Oil filters do the job of obstructing contaminants to get to the engine from the crankcase. So replacing it after every oil change is a must to eliminate vibrations.

Cleaning And Replacing Air Filter If Necessary 

Air is required for smooth combustion.
Without proper airflow, petrol won’t burn efficiently, the air filter’s job is to purify the air and send it to the engine.

If the air filter is clogged it won’t be able to send air to the engine efficiently, resulting in inefficient combustion. A classic example is lighting a candle and placing a glass on it, the flame on the candle will go off because of lack of air.

In the same way, even the combustion would face obstacles and become a reason for vibrations.

Check Tire Pressure And Wheel Alignment 

Low and high tire pressure affects the stability of the motorcycle. The bike will start wobbling at high speeds resulting in vibrations which will eventually lead to tank slapper/death wobble.

The motorcycle tries to re-correct itself in these situations. As we know roads are not perfect, and the wheels need to get their alignment checked and wheel balancing should be done after every 5000 kilometers / 3100 miles or whenever your motorcycle seems unstable or vibrating.

Check The Play Of Your Motorcycle’s Chain

Most motorcycles recommend a chain play of 20 to 30mm, If you want an exact number refer to your user manual for precise details.

If the chain is too tight then there will be a lot of pressure on the sprockets resulting in vibration.

If the chain is loose it is dangerous as the chain may fall off, so adjusting it will eliminate the vibration.

Cleaning And Maintenance Of The Engine Components

Checking the intake and exhaust valve clearance after every 10,000 kilometers / 6200 miles as maintaining appropriate valve clearance will smoothen the operation of the engine.

Inspect the spark plugs quality and replace it if necessary, as a clogged spark plug will cause inefficient combustion which can lead to causing vibrations.

At the time of servicing, check your valve tappets as loose or tight valve tappets will cause the engine to vibrate.

Fixing all of these components properly will eliminate vibrations while accelerating.

Adjust Appropriate Brake Lever Play

If the brake levers are tight, then the rear or front brake gets engaged.

As a tight lever applies the rear or front brake without you ever knowing it and the vibration will be caused once the brake pads are significantly worn.

Fix it as soon as possible if you see any problem regarding it.

Prevention Methods And Tips To Reduce Vibrating

A stitch in time saves nine is a great saying, which tells if you sort out a problem immediately it may save a lot of extra work later. 

If you get your motorcycle periodically serviced, you will end up saving a ton of money and your bike will thank you. 

Whenever you feel that the bike is not responding as intended, you should get it checked and serviced by experts or by yourself if you have that skill. 

Following a proper routine is a must for the prevention of the problems. But if you face the problem regarding motorcycle vibration while accelerating, now you know how to solve it.

It’s pretty simple, but most people don’t bother to follow an inspection and maintenance routine.

It will ensure your safety as well as passenger safety if you are riding with one.


Now you know how’s of fix the vibrating problem when a motorcycle accelerates. But most important of all is proper inspection and maintenance routine.

Follow it and you will be golden!

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