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Thread: I hate the r1100r horn/turn signal setup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. #1
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    I hate the r1100r horn/turn signal setup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay, after of a summer of hell dealing with mileage problems caused by a lousy BMW mechanic(see "why am i getting only 25mpg thread) I'm now fully enjoying my bike. BUT I can barely tolerate the turn signal set up with left and right switches buried under the grip housing and the awkward cancel switch that requires my right thumb to move in a direction that God never intended! And forget about the horn switch...what alternate universe did the engineers that came up with that design come from? Does anyone really believe that in the split second a motorcyclist has to sound the horn to avoid an accident that their thumb muscle instinct would be to leverage upward(against all natural movements of the thumb) versus pressing?

    Yesterday I drove up to Kingston NY on the Hudson to have Pirate Upholstery replace my seat covers(great folks BTW, top notch work) and on the way back a jackass in a Beemer(note "in" not "on") cut over three lanes to make a left turn, without a signal of course, and I almost went into his rear. In that moment I managed to hit the left turn signal and hi/lo beam switch with my thumb...everything but the horn! And I recently upgraded to a Stebel Nautilus so if it had blasted I would have scared that crap out of the guy. That was an epiphany!

    So now that I've vented...can any one tell me if it's reasonably possible to swap the control clusters with those from a bike that have a normal press horn and rocker switch turn signal?

    HELP!!!
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  2. #2
    aapasquale
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    I installed the Strebel horn about a month ago and it has been a godsend. The horn switch is a little odd, but you do get used to it. My thumb is, quite literally, there all the time. The horn is great because, if you barely touch it, the sound is noticeable, but pleasant. If you let it rip, it's down right loud and annoying...just what the doctor ordered.

  3. #3
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aapasquale View Post
    I installed the Strebel horn about a month ago and it has been a godsend. The horn switch is a little odd, but you do get used to it. My thumb is, quite literally, there all the time. The horn is great because, if you barely touch it, the sound is noticeable, but pleasant. If you let it rip, it's down right loud and annoying...just what the doctor ordered.
    It's the loudest compact horn on the market...sounds like a Mack Truck! Had one on my Vespa scooter and it saved my tail daily.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  4. #4
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with the K75 horn, turn signals, high beam. It took some time but I was able to get used to it and now I find it "normal." When I ride other bikes I have a problem with the turn signals. I find the BMW arrangement convenient and there is no problem with thumb movements. Practice a bit more and see if things improve. It's cheaper than replacing everything.
    Walter

    All government, of course, is against liberty.
    H. L. Mencken

  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Make sure the controls are rotated for a good lever position - maybe 30 degrees below horizontal. If the levers are rotated higher than that then the control switches are too far around under the bars.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  6. #6
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Make sure the controls are rotated for a good lever position - maybe 30 degrees below horizontal. If the levers are rotated higher than that then the control switches are too far around under the bars.
    Do they in fact rotate on the hi rise bars? I thought I saw a detent pin holding them at a specific angle.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  7. #7
    Retired User
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    Practice reaching for the horn every time you are on the bike. I promise you that it will become second nature.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    R1200RT

  8. #8
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Horns are generally useless in this AC climate controlled, triple insulated soundproof glass, and 10 speaker surround sound system cars of today.

    Best solution is to keep a big cushion, and concentrate on avoidance, not warning some clueless driver.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  9. #9
    Registered User R100RTurbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themayer View Post
    Practice reaching for the horn every time you are on the bike. I promise you that it will become second nature.
    Very good point. During a time of need (accident or merging motorist) what you've practised becomes automatic. I had a parts truck drive onto my bike years ago from the side (didn't see it until almost too late) and my attempts to hit the horn I later realized were focused on the airhead hi/low switch by mistake (he backed right up onto my faring, pretty surprised how well it repelled him).
    I now have an air horn (naturally, what else with a turbo and such) but I find I use it all the time, and yes, people in closed vehicles do hear it right away.

  10. #10
    Unregistered user norton's Avatar
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    Why not invest in a Signal minder? Then you can save your thumb.

    https://www.kisantech.com/popup/mult...p?product=SM-5
    Last edited by norton; 09-08-2013 at 10:11 PM.

  11. #11
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    I have put loud horns on my bikes, but frankly, I never use them until I am safely out of the way.

    If someone is so asleep at the wheel that they would run over you, what do you think is really going to happen when you wake them up and scare the crap out of them?

    A horn doesn't often save the day, it's just a way of telling the other guy that he's an idiot, and nobody likes getting that message. The way to save yourself is to be aware of your surroundings and get out of the way. Might does make right on the road, and you'll be very sorry to learn that the hard way.

    BTW, one thing that is handy about the paddle switch setup is that you can have instant flashers. If you're going down the highway and suddenly there is a sea of red ligths ahead of you, just push both turn signal paddles with your thumbs. I'm not sure Bosch/BMW intended this function, but it does work, and it's way easier to do and more useful than a horn.

    Good luck to you, I'm very glad to see that you got your bike sorted!
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  12. #12
    Nickname: Droid
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    I can't recall the last time I used the horn on my RS to ward off a potential traffic issue. Space cushion, lane placement, visibility to me are more effective than the horn.

    Once I got used to the signals layout, I actually prefer it over other bikes and the newer BMWs. Just me though.

  13. #13
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    I agree the cancel button gives or aggravates the arthritis in my right hand thumb.
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  14. #14
    aapasquale
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    I can't recall the last time I used the horn on my RS to ward off a potential traffic issue. Space cushion, lane placement, visibility to me are more effective than the horn.

    Once I got used to the signals layout, I actually prefer it over other bikes and the newer BMWs. Just me though.
    I beg to differ. I have seen people stop in the middle of a bad move when I've honked at them.

  15. #15
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aapasquale View Post
    I beg to differ. I have seen people stop in the middle of a bad move when I've honked at them.
    I don't doubt it, but I've also had people swerve back and forth between lanes when I've done it. "Ohmigosh! where's that semi truck that's honking at me??"

    That's why I don't use the horn any more unless I'm already safely away from them. Their reaction is essentially random and unpredictable.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

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