Last October, Mark Lawrence at California Scientific [www.calsci.com]
put a prototype windshield on my newly acquired 2002 R1150R and I would like to provide those interested with my thoughts and assessment.
I purchased the bike from LA after a long absence from the motorcycle scene [read: mid-life crisis] and although I was not interested in a full-on touring bike, I do enjoy the protection of a windshield. After some reseach on the net, I liked the looks and reviews on Mark's design, but he did not have a model to fit the R1150R. He kindly offered to design a prototype for me to try and I picked it up on my ferry ride home to northwest Ontario late October 2008. I stopped by his shop in West Sacramento and after a tour of his facility, he mounted it on my bike. In exchange, I promised to provide a full assessment of the prototype.
Most of the rest of the ride home was an exercise in survival due to the weather and that, together with the fact that I had not been on a bike in almost 30 years, I felt I was not in a good position to give fair and constructive comment at that time. I put the bike back on the road about a month ago and have logged over 7000 miles behind the windshield so here are my thoughts.
The shield mounts on the standard BMW tall bracket, which I had installed on the bike prior to collecting the windshield at Mark's shop. He installed it without problem and I was quickly on my way. When I got home three days later, the weather had turned and the bike was put to bed for the winter. I had six months to polish and play with it in my garage and frankly I was not happy with the way it fit the BMW mounts. It was obvious that the BMW windscreen for which the mount was designed was compound curved [bowl shaped] where as Mark's design had been formed over a cylinder. The mounting holes were in the correct places, but the attachment points did not seat square to the windshield surface. Additionally, the connecting rods between the lower and upper attachment points contacted the inner surface of the windshield.
My wife says I'm too much of a perfectionist but I was not pleased with the fit. I debated the options of scrapping the prototype and purchasing a factory BMW windshield or risking screwing up the $200 mounts trying to modify them to fit. I liked the look of Mark's design on the bike so risked the mods. I straightened the risers slightly using a couple of wooden blocks and a c-clamp. The mounting points were tweeked square using a piece of flat metal stock [1"x12"x1/8" thick] which I drilled, shimmed and attached to each point using the supplied hardware. One at a time, I was able to gently twist each mounting point to the correct angle. Fortunately the bracket material was quite maluable so it was easy to adjust and I am confident there was no issues with cracking. I took my time and the whole process took about an hour. I was quite pleased with the resultant fit.
I am really pleased with the size, shape and looks. I can easily see over the windscreen and the airflow off of it is right at the top on my helmet. I'm not sure what effect the vent holes have in terms of performance as I have not tried it with them covered, but something seems to be working because I experience virtually no buffet of the head , even at high speed. Mark explained that the holes help equalize the pressure behind the shield which in turn smooths the flow of air off the windshield.
All in all, I am quite pleased with the design, dispite the extra time required to fit it the way I wanted. Some may not be as bothered as I was but I think the little extra effort was worth it. Mark's design seems to perform very well and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a screen for their 1150R. Mark has some photos of the windshield on my bike at his website.
Kevin Elliott, Fort Frances Ontario, Canada