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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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  #1  
Old 5 Aug 2006
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Question Hand Cramps

I have developed a severe case of hand cramps in both hands. It may be my gravel road adventures have caused me to overuse both the clutch and throttle hands. I am using ice and resting. Long riding days will only be done in emergencies. Anyone get this. I will see a doctor to make sure I will/did not cause any permanent damage.
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Old 5 Aug 2006
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Try riding without wrapping your fingers around the grips - pushing with the palms.
Make a point of stretching/exercising your fingers while riding.
Ride with one hand free - trailing the free arm behind.
Be loose.
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Old 5 Aug 2006
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Just a thought - have you tried those industrial gloves that have gel pads in the palms ?
They are supposed to help dampen vibration , another thing you can do is to wear two pairs of gloves ,one thin pair of string gloves and then heavier leather over the top ,you can punch holes in the backs of the leather ones if they get too hot .
If you wear a gaunlet style of glove they will be easy to pull on and off .

Another thing to try might be gel type handlebar grips ,or the "Gran tourismo" style that are shaped a bit like an american football , I use these and find them very good .

Hope you get better soon .

Dodger
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Old 5 Aug 2006
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I used to get hand cramp when i started doing enduro events,as do quite a few enduro riders.The solution for me was a pair of those hand excersizers-a bit like a large hairpin spring with handles on- which i keep on the sideboard and gave them a few squeezes everytime i walked past.In 3 weeks they have worked wonders.I did a full on 2 day enduro the other week with no cramp whatsoever,whereas before i'd be feeling it after 2 hours!I know enduro riding is way more stressful than travelling at your own pace off road but it's the same muscles that are effected.They arn't a quick fix so won't be a lot of good for your own predicament but maybe by mentioning this,others who know they have a lot of off road riding ahead can avoid it.
To help you in the short term though,try adjusting the angle of your levers on the bars.If you spend a long time on the pegs then this is really important as if your wrists are bent backwards for any length of time the blood circulation will be restricted quite a lot(the veins are in the back of your hands).Also the height of the bars will have a big effect too.Renthal Desert bars are a good one to try as they're high and seem to be just the right swept-back angle for comfort.You can also get bar risers of course for the existing bars.Make sure your gloves are a reasonably loose fit and comfortable.Don't grip the bars tightly,but ride loose(as has been suggested before).Finally,something often overlooked,drink plenty of water! It does help to improve blood circulation.
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Old 5 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonStobbs
.........Make sure your gloves are a reasonably loose fit and comfortable...........
Good point.
Many people think they want formfitting leather gloves for a sleek look. You don't.
The tips of your shouldn't feel any pressure against them.
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Old 6 Aug 2006
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Magnesium helps relieving cramps, but of course this isn't a permanent solution. I also get cramps sometimes esp. on hot days. Same as when doing sports. So far magnesium and lots of drinking water & mineral drinks has done the job.
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Old 6 Aug 2006
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I used to have problems with cramps on long rides - changing two things fixed the problem. I used to wear heavy gloves that required some effort to bend. Now when I need gloves in the cold I use oversized heated gloves with an inner light glove - works a treat. I also use one of those "cramp buster" plastic clips that fits over the throttle grip - also brilliant. Pain in my hands is no longer an issue on long rides.
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Old 5 Sep 2006
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I've done a few things to help with cramps. I put up and back risers on the handlebars so my arms were at a relaxed angle and I added heated grips. I also made sure the brake and clutch levers were at the best angle.

Loose gloves and a loose grasp are also helpful. Before I did any of this, my hands would go to sleep and start cramping up after only 15 minutes of riding. I can go a few hours without trouble now.

Last edited by bombarde; 5 Sep 2006 at 15:49.
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  #9  
Old 5 Sep 2006
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Hand cramps cramp your style

I thought about hand cramps on my ride to sturgis south dakota. After all day working as a mechanic I rode for the next 14 hours. I have had serious broken bones and have encroaching arthritis. One thing I do is while out on the road hang on with my two smallest fingers and keep my index and middle fingers extended out on the brake and clutch levers. I also try to relax all muscles that are not directly involved with keeping the motorcycle upright. It is amazing how tense you can get if you don't work at staying loose. In a unrelated note I had a pidgeon fly up and hit me right in the head at 75mph...really nice to be wearing a helmet and face shield.
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Old 7 Sep 2006
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I've developed a bit of tennis elbow and now use the Throttle Rocker on the road. Means I don't have to grip the throttle. It rocks.
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  #11  
Old 12 Sep 2006
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You might want to investigate getting a set of handlebar risers, or perhaps having a custom seat made for your moto.

When I first got my Honda ST 1100, I found that the stock seat and stock handlebars put me in a position that was uncomfortable - there was too much weight on my hands. I raised the bars one inch, dropped the seat 2 inches, and the difference was amazing. 100,000 km later, still no discomfort or pain in my hands, because all the weight is on my butt, not my wrists.

I am going to guess that the problems you are encountering are a result of carrying some of your body weight on your wrists, not a result of clutch or front brake use.

Michael
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  #12  
Old 23 Sep 2006
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I used to get numb hands (no cramps), blamed it on the vibration of my thumper. Tried thick gloves, foamy hand grips, loose grip, nothing.
One day a friend told me this numbness came from my shoulders, too much shoulder tension was making my hands go numb. Damn right. Everytime i get it i just breathe deep and relax and move my shoulder around a bit and off it goes.
Hope it helps,

juan
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Old 23 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pajaro
One day a friend told me this numbness came from my shoulders, too much shoulder tension was making my hands go numb. Damn right. Everytime i get it i just breathe deep and relax and move my shoulder around a bit and off it goes.
Just this morning, I read essentially the same thing (Men's Health was the source) -- this type of problem with your hands comes from tension between your shoulder blades.
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  #14  
Old 25 Sep 2006
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Use fat grips and a throttle rocker.....
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Old 30 Sep 2006
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I found I was 'hanging on' (like PanEuropean says), and made the effort to lean forward a little more, and took the weight off my wrists, after a few weeks it became normal and I seldom get wrist ache now, oh, and I also raised the bars.
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