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Thread: The best aerodynamic windshield for highway use?

  1. #1
    JohnWC
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    The best aerodynamic windshield for highway use?

    I have tried to do a lot of reading on the windshield topic, and seen many opinions, but I thought I would ask everyone's current thoughts on this. I believe I have a Aeroflow screen on my R1100rt. Maybe someone can confirm/refute that from the picture. All screens would seem to do a good job at medium/slow speeds. The real test, as far as I'm concerned, is at the 75 mph mark that we all have to ride at on the expressway these days. The Aeroflow is big, and offers good protection. But when you get it up, sub-eye level, I think it's like having a large flat panel, mounted almost straight up, at the top of the bike. It actually has several reverse curves in it also, to catch the air flow even more. It just doesn't cut through the wind like I think a good shield should at those speeds. And it almost makes the bike somewhat unstable. At this point I have to choose between having the wind blasting at me, or fighting the high turbulence. I haven't read of hardly anyone who thinks the stock shields are any good, and I assume all the aftermarket ones will do well keeping the wind off you. But does anyone have any experience with which one has the best aerodynamics, especially at high speeds? The 1100 is not a heavy bike. It can't just bull through 75 mph wind resistance like a heavy Goldwing or Harley. I think it needs good airflow over the fairing. What's everyone's opinion on the best one? Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Registered User GKman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    It can't just bull through 75 mph wind resistance like a heavy Goldwing or Harley.
    What does it not do when the right grip is twisted?

  3. #3
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    I've yet to run up against a goldwing or Harley who wants to try and keep up for more than 10 miles at speed.

    Ken
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    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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  4. #4
    Registered User NavyDad's Avatar
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    I like my Cee Baileys shield very well. I have the four inch over stock height with the Eurocut edge. I can raise it about an inch and put the air over my helmet quite nicely and I can see over it very well at this height. I have had my 04 RT up close to 100 MPH and no ill effects on handling. I put it down all the way and get air without buffeting on a hot day. This is my sixth summer with it, I am happy.

  5. #5
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyDad View Post
    I like my Cee Baileys shield very well. I have the four inch over stock height with the Eurocut edge. I can raise it about an inch and put the air over my helmet quite nicely and I can see over it very well at this height. I have had my 04 RT up close to 100 MPH and no ill effects on handling. I put it down all the way and get air without buffeting on a hot day. This is my sixth summer with it, I am happy.
    +1

    I replaced the stock shield with a Cee Bailey and noticed a vast improvement. A ZtechniK windscreen replaced the C.B. and at the time found it to be an improvement over the Cee Bailey. I've had the Ztechnik on four years now. With both shields (installed separately of course ), I never noticed any problem with bike handling at speeds in excess of 75 mph with either the Z or the C.B.

    Disclaimer: Of course results may vary with windscreen height, rider height, rider weight and luggage weight.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
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  6. #6
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    I just have to say -that's a nice photo you took of your windshield. The dark background and sky reflection to show the shield. Very nice. I know that's not the feedback you were after but I stumbled across this thread.
    As far as the windshield goes, I have an F800GS and am trying to figure out the perfect windshield for me too. What I have found by asking and checking forums is that most people do not go out and buy multiple windshields to test so their experience is limited to the one they have which usually doesn't help much. The best method I have found is to cut a large piece of corrugated plastic that bends easily and is easy to cut. I them made various versions using duct tape to hold it onto the current windshield and tested it in the conditions I was concerned about. This worked very well in narrowing down what I would prefer for my perfect windshield. It may save you the mistake made by many of purchasing a shield that is not quite right and being stuck with it due to the expense.

  7. #7
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Great shot indeed! If you look very carefully just above the cutout at the bottom, in the middle there you should find some very faint etching. Both my BMW original screen and my Cee Bailey replacement have this. Most makers put their mark there but it can be very difficult to see.
    Just looking at it in the photo I would have guessed it to be original BMW. The shape and size looks about right.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    I run a Ztechnik V-Stream, and I like it a lot.
    It does not seem to make any difference how high up or down it is.
    It does not create turbulence.
    I do enjoy the electric adjustment, in the twisties I can drop the shield far enough to always look over it.
    At Interstate speeds I just stand it straight up and enjoy the peace and quiet.

    um, I know a gold wing is an amazing thing but the RT shouldn't have any trouble pushing 2 sq ft of plastic any speed you want. You sure it's running right?

    It is the reverse curves that create that turbulence.
    I don't think the drag is that significant but you get a lot of low-frequency noise wacking you on the back of the head, that will wear on you after a while.

  9. #9
    JohnWC
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    "um, I know a gold wing is an amazing thing but the RT shouldn't have any trouble pushing 2 sq ft of plastic any speed you want. You sure it's running right?
    It is the reverse curves that create that turbulence."

    I may have phrased my original post incorrectly. The 1100 has plenty of power to go, say, 100 mph +. That isn't the issue for me. My camparison to the Goldwing/Harley was that of a 600 lb bike to that of a 900 lb bike, as I believe, in the case of the Goldwing. One of them is going to be much more susceptible to wind force, hence benefiting from better aerodynamics to balance the road-worthiness equation in their favor. BMW seems to have focused on this idea back beginning with the old RTs. Certainly there are plenty of riders (mostly Harleys) I see flying around with a 75mph wind force hitting them flat in the chest and face. But I question if they are going more than 20 miles that way. And I personally wouldn't want to do it for one mile.

    The second part of the above reply post is what I'm beginning to think is maybe the crux of the matter. The reverse curves put on some of the fairings. It would seem to make perfect sense that a flat surface would flow air better than one that forces the air to flip up. My wide, flat fairing has reverse curves on both sides and on the top, sort of like a candy dish turned into the wind. It also doesn't wrap around the sides much to let the air slip past easily. And when it's up high, nearly vertical because of the lifting mechanism, you can imagine what that does to the handling of the bike. Not catastrophic, but not the best, most comfortable either. Following, or passing a semi, with lots of turbulent air anyway, it's really not great. The Vtechnik is an interesting idea. Smooth but with the indented waist. I see many people like it. And it seems well made. The Parabellum with it's flat surfaces seems to make a lot of sense also.
    I appreciate everyone's replies.

  10. #10
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    It is sort of like asking which if the "best" oil to use.

    Having been down this road before with windshields and seats, I can tell you that what is best for me may not be best for you.

    I just rode back to Nashville, IL from Denver, CO with the stock BMW screen. Even at over a ton, the windshield didn't appear to affect the handling. Kansas had some crosswinds but nothing over 25 MPH. I've ridden across KS with crosswinds gusting to 45 and even the GW's were being pushed around.

    I have an Aeroflow, tall and short OE and a CB. In cooler weather, the Aeroflow is great for keeping cold air away. In hot weather, the short OE is good at letting the breeze hit your arms and sides cooling you off.

    Is there one "best"?

    Not for me.

    Your mileage will vary.
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I'm sure you can assume the BMW shield was wind tunnel tested. Aftermarket shields ... what do you think?
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibud View Post
    It is sort of like asking which if the "best" oil to use.

    Having been down this road before with windshields and seats, I can tell you that what is best for me may not be best for you.

    I just rode back to Nashville, IL from Denver, CO with the stock BMW screen. Even at over a ton, the windshield didn't appear to affect the handling. Kansas had some crosswinds but nothing over 25 MPH. I've ridden across KS with crosswinds gusting to 45 and even the GW's were being pushed around.

    I have an Aeroflow, tall and short OE and a CB. In cooler weather, the Aeroflow is great for keeping cold air away. In hot weather, the short OE is good at letting the breeze hit your arms and sides cooling you off.

    Is there one "best"?

    Not for me.

    Your mileage will vary.


    I've crossed Kansas [and others] at about the same conditions..[seat of the pants judging]. My 99 RS seemed to get pushed around more,..in my opinion due to the increased surface area provided by the body work. {mostly the lowers} . My Roadster doesn't seem to be nearly as effected again {IMO} due to being basically a naked bike. The air blows through..

    A friend had / has an H/D Dyna ? It is one of those with the solid wheels. He said that thing was a handful in crosswinds such as we're talking. He even switched it too spoke wheels because of it. And claims it made quite a difference? He has crossed the plains as well.

  13. #13
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    It took me three tries on an F650 before I was happy. Bigger is not necessarily better. You want a shield that flows the air around yo in a way that is comfortable. That means (to me) just kissing the helmet top without turbulance and lightly on my arms and shoulders, but not on my chest. This notion combines not needing muscles to fight the wind; no shaking; and sufficient airflow to cool in hot weather.

    The OEM shields on my K75T and R1150R were almost but not quite perfect. I extended the top with a Rube Goldberg mechanism comprised of an Aeroflow K1200LT headlight guard turned upside down mounted on RAM mounts. I could have used a taller shield but then would suffer from my eye glasses and face shield fogging in rain. The movable extension on a RAM mount just works.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I extended the top with a Rube Goldberg mechanism....
    I saw it. Mr. Goldberg would approve.
    Kevin Huddy
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  15. #15
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    Aeroflow shield

    That's an Aeroflow Shield you have there. I have nothing but good things to say about Aeroflow products and I would be supprised if you had high speed stability problems. I had one on a K1200GT and it was stable at 150+mph. That having been said, I have a Parabellum on order and will let you know what I think of it.

    Regards,

    Will

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