I have bar-end mirrors on my Buell 1125CR. They're fairly heavy anodized aluminum pieces that pivot on a ball & socket joint for adjusting the angle of view.

One of them fits snugly on the joint, so I can adjust it and it stays in place as I'm riding. The other is looser, so it won't stay in place - if I goose the throttle, it vibrates out of position and just dangles until I readjust it. Obviously that's not the safest thing to do while I'm riding.

Is there some way I can tighten up the ball & socket joint? I'm thinking of some sort of viscous grease that I can inject in there to reduce the amount of play. I considered threadlock or even silicone sealant, but I want to retain the adjustability of the mirror if possible.



Great solutions, everyone! I really appreciate the help.

In the end, I tried a quick fix with Loctite Blue since I had some lying around. I squeezed out a couple of drops onto the back of the ball so it would drip into the socket, and left it to cure overnight.

This worked reasonably well - the mirror no longer droops under brisk acceleration, although "flooring" it still creates enough vibration to shake it out of place, albeit not nearly as much as before. I feared that the Loctite would really sieze up the joint, but it hasn't - it still remains pliable enough to allow me to adjust the mirror.

I suspect that Loctite Green might have done a better job of wicking into the tight void between the ball & socket, so I might try that next, although the set screw idea also sounds viable and should be a permanent solution.

There's probably no "correct" solution to this problem, so I've accepted the answer with the most votes.

Thanks again!

6 Answers 6


I'm not sure how long any sort of grease would last before it worked its way out? I'd be tempted to go for a more mechanical solution (if you have access to appropriate tools, or a frielndly machine shop) - drill a small hole in the socket and tap it to a suitable thread, then insert a grub screw to bear onto the side of the ball and stop it moving.

That way, you still have full adjustability (though you might need to loosen off the screw to adjust it), and you can tighten it up if the joint gets worse.


You state the mirrors are anodized aluminum, but if the ball or socket are steel, you might try (gasp) intentionally rusting one of the surfaces. Here's one technique for accomplishing that.


Low-tech fix: If you can find a way to grip it, you may be able to use a hammer and drift punch or very small chisel in order to pound/indent the lip of the socket (hole) inward toward the hole which has the effect of squeezing the socket tighter around the ball.

Probably hard to do, but worth a mention.

  • 1
    +1 "staking" the cup was my thought too, though it might not have the desired effect...it may in fact make things looser in other areas.
    – mac
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 17:01

Apply a thin layer of solder/alloy weld to either the ball or socket to increase/decrease the relative diameter of the joint contact area and in effect create (closer to) the correct tolerances for mirror rigidity while retaining ability of adjustment movement.


Very low tech solution - I had a bicycle mirror with a loose ball and socket joint. Pulled the ball out, put it in a plastic-wrap baggie, and pushed it back in. Trimmed off excess baggie... Mirror is as tight as brand new.

  • Aluminum or steel foil might work as well. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 3:07

What about putting some valve grinding paste in between the moving ball and cup?

  • Why would it wear it down if it prevents it moving?
    – dave
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 19:25
  • What is valve grinding paste used for? For lapping valves. When you lap a valve, you are taking material away from the valve and the seat. And these are both hardened materials. Now, apply that to area where two soft materials (relatively speaking) which are loose to begin with. There is no way the paste, in-and-of itself, is going to stop movement. Might make it a little tighter, but that's about it. Now fast forward a couple of weeks, and BAM! It's pretty much destroyed at this point because the paste has worn it down further. Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 20:32

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