Screens, fairings, etc.

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Klaus

Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Klaus » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:55 pm

Hi,

I'm planning a couple of very long tours next year and the year after. It occurs to me that a screen or handlebar fairing would be useful, despite my usual repugnance for what I call 'infernal bodywork' on bikes. But the utility of not being bufetted by the wind day in day out is obviuous . . .

So, as a more or less complete novice in this field (OK I used to have a 1975 Laverda 750 SF2 with the JPS Norton lookalike racing fairing, well, it was the '70's - the decade that bought you Eight-Track and ABBA!) I'm asking the naive questions: are fairings worthwhile, do they save driver fatigue (I'm especially worried as my bike suffers terribly in crosswinds and I don't want to make this worse!), is there any significant fuel saving . . .?

What I originally looked for was a handlebar fairing that could support twin headlights and have room for a handy map holder (I hate SatNavs!) as well as offering a few handy stash places for bits and bobs. But all I've found is an admittedly handsome looking windscreen from Parabellum in the US. They claim that the screen makes for around 10% fuel saving. Does anyone have a view to the feasibilty of this as fuel capacity is a big problem on the 'X' series bikes!

A problem with just a screen is that it doesn't solve many of my original crieteria, but I've yet to find a handlebar fairing as an alternative - any recommendations?

Thanks in advance for any comments, advice, etc.

Cheers (and Happy Christmas of course!)

Simon

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Lolo
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Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Lolo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:38 pm

Hi Klaus

Merry christmas back

I passed my test on the xcountry 650. I cannot imagine going on a tour on it without a fairing.

I suppose it depends a little on where you are going.

Are you doing mostly off roading at slow speeds or alot of nearly roads / tarmac at speed?
Living the dream :sunny:

Klaus

Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Klaus » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:17 am

Hi Lolo,

You're right, a lot does depend on the type of riding. This year I've found that riding much over 300 kms on consecutive days I'm getting neck strain, so I'm wondering too about a screen for my first trip:

Tour #1: definitely on for next spring, is a tour right around the Iberian Peninsular, taking about three/four weeks. I'll be riding entirely on secondary roads with an absolute max of 300 kms per day with several short breaks and rest days. I don't envisage doing any serious off-road riding, but I do want to be able to follow some cañadas reales (broad cattle drovers' routes that criss-cross the country) for at least short distances, probably during the 'rest days'.

Tour #2: which might have to wait for the following year, is much more ambitious: basically it's to go to the North Cape in Norway to see the midnight sun, travelling south of the Alps, through eastern Europe and then up to the Baltic Republics, St Petersburg and on through Finland. The back down the Fjords and over to Denmark, the Low Countries and back to Spain through central France (if I can find a ferry to the north-east I would call in on the UK as well, but otherwise probabaly not) I would also have about a month for this trip but obviously this tour will require some long days riding at higher speeds - this is where I will probably want the screen/fairing.

As I guess you already know, the X-Country has a serious problem with fuel capacity and here in Spain it's a real pain having to plan in detail for fuel stops - in remote areas petrol garages can be few and far between and many also close on Sundays and even for the siesta! So I'm especially inyterested in the economy issue. On the longer tour I'm guessing that fuel stops aren't such a problem, but with luck the fuel saving would pay for the screen itself!

Cheers

Simon

PS forgive me for my innocence, but I haven't lived in the UK for nearly fifteen years, is there a new test for bikes over 650, or are youy talking about an optioal advanced riding course?

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Lolo
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Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Lolo » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:00 pm

Yes ( I think is the answer to your question) :grin:

I had not ridden a bike properly for over 20 years so I took the new test they have here now.

This involved a

CBT :- can you sit on a bike without falling off. Can you ride on the road for a couple of hours and look like you would get home without being killed :lol:

Module 1:- Fantastic experience and training on how to really be able to handle your bike before you are let loose on the roads. ( this is the one MCN paper is claiming, this week, they have got the government to get rid of because its stupid and dangerous, which conversly is what I think MCN are !!! )

Module 2:- Road riding

I loved the xcountry and was going to buy one but did not have the pennies to buy a new one. Then I saw a Guzzi 750 and fell in love, till I found out Guzzi's have more character than my garage skills are capable of. Then I sat on a R1200GS and really fell in love. :grin:
Living the dream :sunny:

Geoff Thompson

Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Geoff Thompson » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:40 pm

Personally I abhor after market screens and fairngs and find very few OE ones are any good either. Generally they cause turbulance and wind noise which can be very tiring. On a naked bike modern helmets are quiet and by leaning on the wind moderate speed is not a strain on the neck and shoulders. However, the other side of the story is that in cold weather, like now, a fairing or screen can make a huge difference to your endurance.

Klaus

Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Klaus » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:30 pm

Hi Guys,

Thanks for these replies - very noble of you over the festive season!

Lolo, I too returned to biking after a) over twenty years and, even worse, b) the previous three years before then was with a sidecar! So it was seriously hard work geting back to biking in my case! But I managed OK without any test although in retrospect I would have got better more quickly.

In fact if I found one locally that looked OK I'd porobably buy a course for Mrs K, who is bravely relearning to ride the X-Country afer a similar gap, but with very little experience of biking before then. Fortunately she's a very competent driver in general (and with her Class 1 LGV I should hope so!) and the roads around here are perfect so at least it's not especially dangerous. Also, when we started we had a dried up resevoir on hand to be going on with!

Thanks for the warning about aftermarket fairings, etc. Geoff. I think I'm going to hang fire for now and see how I get on with my first tour around Spain (I think there's no way I can do the two in the same year now). You're dead right about the crash helmet issue - I bought a Shoei XR 1100 last year and it's fantastic - the 'streamlineing' really does make a difference to fatigue and - especially bearing in mind where I live - the ventilation system actually works!

I had cause to wonder about your last point yesterday when I set off at sunrise to attend my local BMW dealer's biker's breakfast bash for St Esteve, i.e. Boxing day (all Spanish bike events involve a great deal of eating!). It was minus six at my house on the top of the sierra but my route took me down to the bottom of the valley, which is usually about five degrees cooler. Not only that it runs alongside a lake before going through a ravine, so the moisture and cold air gets trapped there. So what? Well, plates of ice formed on the rear view mirrors that's what - I've never had that to contend with that before, not that there was any following traffic. But the worst thing is that my after market grip heaters are, as I write, in the post somewhere between Derbyshire and chez moi!

Cheers and Happy New Year :king:

Simon

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Andy Raggett
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Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Andy Raggett » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:52 pm

I'm not sure if there will be a fuel saving, if you fit a screen. Certainly there will be less fatigue on you as the rider.

I bought my R1200GS in Sept 2009, with the standard screen fitted. For a the first year I thought it was fine, though noisy if heading into a head wind on the motorway for a distance.
Then in September this year I suddenly had the idea of fitting the GS Adventure screen to my bike. One of the reasons I didn't do it before was that I thought it might have been a bit tall for me to look over. However Whilst mine was in for a service I sat on an Adventure at the dealers and found the height issue was fine, therefore a new Adventure screen was ordered and subsequently fitted.
I immediately noticed the lack of wind noise and buffeting about the helmet. However I'm not sure if my fuel comsumption has gone up because of the larger screen causing more wind resistance, or the fact that as there is little buffeting on me that I am in fact going faster, particullarly at motorway speeds (or Just above).

Klaus

Re: Screens, fairings, etc.

Postby Klaus » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:02 pm

Thanks Andy,

Following your tip I've 'discovered' Nippy Norman's 'High and Wide' screens, which seem a very reasonable alternative to both the GS AV screen and the Parabellum one I mentioned above. I've also found a whole load of other goodies at NN's!

So it's back to the drawing board for now - happy New Year!

Regas

Simon


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