Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 2:32 pm Thread Starter
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Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

First off - I love my LT and plan to ride it thousands of miles each year. But as most of us might agree there are situations that LT is not built for (e.g. slow speed riding). The situation that I dislike the most is riding in heavy side swiping wind. I come from a cruising cycle background and the wind used to just pass through me/bike. Now that I am married and love my LT I was wondering if there was a possible to ride the LT without its fairings. Has anyone tried it?

Alternately if Valkyrie is Goldwing without fairing what is an equivalent of LT without fairing?

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post #2 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 2:43 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I've ridden the LT with all plastic off except the nose cone. Didn't notice any handling problems nor did it feel any lighter.

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post #3 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 2:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Thanks John. Was it just a single ride or you tried it for few days? Did you face any reduction in the wind resistance?

1996 Kinetic Pride 75cc - First motorized cycle at age 16.
2002 Yamaha Enticer 125cc - First brand new cycle bought from the first salary at age 20.
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post #4 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 2:58 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

It may be nothing, but it's been suggested to me that, in a heavy side-wind, if I held my knee into the wind (90 degrees away from direction of travel) then it wouldn't affect the bike as much.

YMMV.

If anything, I've found this bike to be quite a bit more immune to the wind as my VTX was.

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post #5 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 3:36 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTFan
Thanks John. Was it just a single ride or you tried it for few days? Did you face any reduction in the wind resistance?
No difference in wind resistance, but then again I always use the weight of the moose to lean into the wind. You've never seen an elephant have trouble with the wind have ya?

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post #6 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 4:20 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I don't know if I agree...I had a trip with my wife to Mt. Rushmore and my little cruiser absolutely hated the 40 mph crosswinds...nor, did my wife for that fact. I thought a few times we were going to be blown into the ditch...

On the other hand, the LT seems to handle it a bit better, but bottom line is a nasty crosswind is not pleasant no matter what you ride... Just my two cents...

Wade
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post #7 of 31 Old Apr 24th, 2012, 5:54 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Even w/o the fairing, there is no place for the air to go through like on a cruiser.

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post #8 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 9:53 am
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I don't know about the wind resistance, but it sure would make for an ugly mofo!

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post #9 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 10:11 am
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

A couple of things.

As was said, even with the tupperware removed, there is not much space. The LT is not an air cooled bike with lots of gaps for cooling. Most of the cross-sectional area is filled with frame, fuel, engine, trans.

If you remove the tupperware, you also remove the tip over wings and the side bags are not easy to remove.

After aesthetics, the tupperware does two major things. Air is ducted into the radiator up front packing more air in for cooling. The rest of it pushes the majority of the air away from the bike, to carry engine heat away from the rider / passenger, similar to the way the upper side of an airplane wing produces lift.

I have had some success adjusting the windshield pitch to let more front to back air flow offset tangential wind. There are times I am glad I do not ride in Wyoming and other states very often when the wind comes rolling 'cross the plains, but it sure is wonderful country to ride in.

bill

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post #10 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 10:35 am
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Are you in part of CA that is pretty constant with high winds? We've had very hight winds around Atlanta for 4 days straight now and it's no fun riding. That being said, This is the first time in 3 yrs that the wind has been constantly high enough to not ride. I have a friend with a Victory Vision and he complains more about the wind than I do so I guess some bikes handle it differently.

I think if I had to ride around without the plastic I'd be looking for another bike. It would be UGLY! You could move???

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post #11 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 11:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I love the ride on LT and planning on riding it everyday. Looks like riding without the fairing is not a good idea.

Is there an Valkyrie equivalent of the LT? I mean a stock BMW that rides like the LT but is without the fairing?

1996 Kinetic Pride 75cc - First motorized cycle at age 16.
2002 Yamaha Enticer 125cc - First brand new cycle bought from the first salary at age 20.
1984 Honda Shadow 1100cc
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post #12 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 12:31 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

what windshield do you have, when I got my 2000 last fall it had a tall over my helmet when down no label aftermarket windshield on it - huge f'n sail - got a standard V Stream much better then found near me a brand new K1200LT stock windshield ($100) and now she is as stable in the cross winds as the K1100LT, I've been in crosswinds on the K11 that lifted me up and sideways while the bike pretty much continued in a straight line
lots of wind this spring and I am much happier with the stock screen

Gary
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post #13 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 1:16 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gary45
what windshield do you have, when I got my 2000 last fall it had a tall over my helmet when down no label aftermarket windshield on it - huge f'n sail - got a standard V Stream much better then found near me a brand new K1200LT stock windshield ($100) and now she is as stable in the cross winds as the K1100LT, I've been in crosswinds on the K11 that lifted me up and sideways while the bike pretty much continued in a straight line
lots of wind this spring and I am much happier with the stock screen
You prefer the stock over the V-tech? Not trying to hijack the thread but was considering a V-tech

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post #14 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 1:39 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I live in Sacramento and travel to Pleasanton every day. Approx 160 miles a day. 100 miles in north-south on I5. Thats when I observe most of the wind. I also ride it everywhere else so approx additional 500 miles a month. The reason I was considering something without the fairing is due to the high miles I put on my LT. If I have to do maintenance ever 5-6K miles and major maintenance every 12K miles, I find myself working on the bike every month or 45 days.

I use the stock windshield. Majority of the days the wind is good. Approx a day every other week the wind spoils the ride. Majority of my cruising cycle experience is from North East and didn't have any issues with the wind there. This is my first bike in California. Is it possible that there is more wind in the central valley compared to North East.

I cant find any other bike that might be able to replace an LT.

1996 Kinetic Pride 75cc - First motorized cycle at age 16.
2002 Yamaha Enticer 125cc - First brand new cycle bought from the first salary at age 20.
1984 Honda Shadow 1100cc
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post #15 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 4:32 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyWuzHe
You prefer the stock over the V-tech? Not trying to hijack the thread but was considering a V-tech
The V tech is a nice windshield considering the cost of stock, BMW would have done wind tunnel testing and I feel the bike is much better with stock - I've lost a couple of inches during my sixties and am down to 5' 9" , I like to look over it

Gary
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2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
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post #16 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 8:37 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTFan
I live in Sacramento and travel to Pleasanton every day. Approx 160 miles a day. 100 miles in north-south on I5. . . .

I cant find any other bike that might be able to replace an LT.
I am noting your referral of a 2011 k1200lt.
My aim is not to tell you what you got but rather to clarify is it a typo or simply mis- informed. I bought my LT in 2010 and called it as such. Then after joining the forum and subsequent research I found out 2009 was the last year of the LT and hence the GTL was born. A serial # check will put your mind at ease ( might that be the case).
Back on topic I have gone from 1000 Kawasaki, to a 1200 Goldwing to my LT and there is no comparison. Plus the Kaw was a stock bike with no fairing and no side cases but lots of power so to imagine the LT stripped down naked then it would no longer be an LT. End of story.
ride safe
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post #17 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 9:12 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I have ridden many different bikes in cross winds. "cruiser bikes like the panhead chopper, lowrider, Yamaha and suzuki's. Bikes with fairings from vetter and factory full dress bikes like the 82 1100 goldwing, 86 cavalcade, 1500 and 1800 goldwing and a 88 inch harley ultra. None of those bikes handled the side wind as well as the LT IMHO. I do find that if you just keep your knees tight to the bike it feels like you have better control. I don't slow down either because it likes the highway speeds better in a cross wind.

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post #18 of 31 Old Apr 25th, 2012, 9:26 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

A BIG Plus One on what BillSmith says.

If you will go to this link --> http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do?vin=zd70192
and punch in your serial number, you not only will find out what year and month it was actually manufactured but also lots more information as to what actually came your bike from the factory. It will also make it easy when you go to replace parts or to add additional ORM things to the bike.

Now - It's just over my head your thoughts of getting the elite touring bike in the world and wanting to make it something else. Like others have said, most of us have been around the bend a few times. Myself at 74+ years, have been riding motorcycles for 55+ years. I have had one other BMW many years ago, but have had large Kawasaki bikes and 3 Goldwings, the first being the '75 model that was just a bike. Four cylinders a frame and tires basically. Went like stink but didn't handle worth a crap and you were sitting out in the wind. Had an '82 Interstate that was better and now have an '02 that is a good handling bike and I can ride it all day and not be too tired. I still ride it a good bit and it's at about 694xx miles now. Also still have an '09 Kaw KLR650 that I've ridden on the TAT about half way through OK from Jellico TN. The KLR has 17,xxx on it. So I have ridden a bit since 2006.

My thoughts are that if you are hell bent on stripping down the LT... Two things. You didn't know what you wanted when you got the bike, and you don't really know what you have now.

Kindest Regards,

Tommy
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post #19 of 31 Old Apr 26th, 2012, 3:16 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I rode my LT 300 miles in 50mph+ gusting crosswinds last October through PA and central NY, in on and off driving rain and fully loaded with my wife on the back, coming home on the last leg of a 2000 mile trip down to GA and back. At one point a gust hit me that was so strong that my bike changed lanes with me hauling hard to try to keep it in it's lane - and I mean it went across an entire lane, not just crept across the line.Thankfully there was no other vehicle near me, and the gust stopped before it blew us completely off the road.

I also own (for now, but my wife is making noises....) a Honda VTX1800 metric cruiser, which I've ridden up to 450 miles in a day in 20mph gusts. It seems to react pretty much the same as the LT does at similar wind speeds. My experience across numerous bikes is that cross winds are bad on all motorcycles, and it gets down to how fast you're going, how high the windshield is, and how big your kahunas are.

I almost bailed out on the ride I mentioned above but I ended up pushing on and slowing down (my windshield was already lowered and my wife and I were tucked in sport-bike style to reduce our cross section to the cross-wind). It's a ride that I will remember for a long time.....

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post #20 of 31 Old Apr 26th, 2012, 5:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Got it. What I understand is that there is a lot more wind on the west coast compared to the north east. I have never had extreme experiences like most of you mentioned. I have hardly swerved within the lane on cross winds close to 15mph. But I surely am much more tired riding for few hours in the wind as against it.

LT stays dressed up

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post #21 of 31 Old Apr 26th, 2012, 6:02 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Have you ever seen the LT naked. It would definitely win any ugly bike contest plus like others have said it wouldn't help any in cross winds. I think the LT handles very well in cross winds. I have rode in steady 35 mph cross winds for over 600 miles & gusts to over 50 mph. I never lean the bike to change direction I just wait until I'm almost out of my lane & push the handle bar hard to get back to the center.

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post #22 of 31 Old Apr 26th, 2012, 6:51 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

An LT without the tupperware? RT perhaps. I prefer to thing of the S1000RR

Nearly as much plastic, but race worth out of the crate.

ill

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post #23 of 31 Old Apr 26th, 2012, 7:26 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTFan
First off - I love my LT and plan to ride it thousands of miles each year. But as most of us might agree there are situations that LT is not built for (e.g. slow speed riding). The situation that I dislike the most is riding in heavy side swiping wind. I come from a cruising cycle background and the wind used to just pass through me/bike. Now that I am married and love my LT I was wondering if there was a possible to ride the LT without its fairings. Has anyone tried it?

Alternately if Valkyrie is Goldwing without fairing what is an equivalent of LT without fairing?
I never noticed much problem. As with most motorcycles, the bike will attempt to self-correct for sideways motion due to a cross-wind gust due to the trail designed into the front suspension. The key thing is to just relax and let the bike accommodate the wind or help it a little by countersteering. If when a gust hits you and pushes you left a little, you react by steering to the right as you would in a car, then you will amplify the wind effect and move around a lot!

So, just keep a relaxed grasp on the bars and let the bike naturally countersteer when upset by a wind gust and typically the self-correction will be just about what is needed to restore the bike to its original course and track.

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post #24 of 31 Old Apr 28th, 2012, 9:34 am
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
So, just keep a relaxed grasp on the bars and let the bike naturally countersteer when upset by a wind gust and typically the self-correction will be just about what is needed to restore the bike to its original course and track.
Living in Kansas gives me plenty of chances to experiment with crosswind techniques. I read something similar to the above on this site years ago, and have to agree that the more relaxed I am, the straighter line I take. The wind isn't moving the bike around so much as it is moving ME around; and when I have a tight grip and tension in my upper body, I move the handlebars.

Try it: Relax your arms and your grip on the bars. On the upwind side, maybe even taking your hand off the grip (yes, I know, both hands on the bars all the time, but this is an experiment).Once you disconnect your upper body motion from input to the handlebars, it gets a lot more controllable. Worked for me, anyway.
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post #25 of 31 Old Apr 28th, 2012, 11:13 am
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Ditto on the relaxed technique. When I first got the bike, would come home with shoulders tensed up from trying to over control it with handlebars. Riding more relaxed, the lean angle varies, but track on road stays fairly straight.

Also move to the right of the lane for big-rigs in the left lane when they are upwind (two lane roads). The combined effect of bow-wave off the truck with a sudden loss of cross-wind (or the sudden appearance after they pass) can sneak up on you. Just putting a few feet more difference between you and truck helps stay away from the "strong" portion of their wake.

Jim H.

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post #26 of 31 Old Apr 28th, 2012, 1:05 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

For some reason, when my girlfriend rides with me, I never notice the wind.....
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post #27 of 31 Old Apr 28th, 2012, 8:58 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

I had tremendous wind riding down to Cabo San Lucas earlier this month. Worse than highway 62 in the Palm Springs, area, worse than the notorious 143 high wind area on 8 to the east of San Diego. Described by sailors who had won races in Tahiti, Hawaii and Newport to Cabo as the worst they had seen.
And I learned that, since BMW's are designed in a wind tunnel, and were the first bikes to be so, they have an excellent aerodynamic factor. Keeping speed is best, and the bike flies like a glider on the wind.
Take off the fairing and you lose the aerodynamics.
Did you ever notice the wind as you get close to pass a truck? Turbulence. The fairing reduces it.
Pass (opposite side of the road) a new, modern truck. No wind from it. Pass (other side of the road) an old flat front semi; tremendous whoosh of air that is being displaced.
Keep the fairing on, keep the speed up, relax, go with the flow like a glider, don't tense up, and the wind is nothing but a temporary inconvenience.
dc
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post #28 of 31 Old Apr 28th, 2012, 9:00 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Jim
Cut across the wake of a truck on an angle. Lean the bike. Don't ride in a straight line.
dc
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post #29 of 31 Old Apr 28th, 2012, 9:05 pm
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David13
Jim
Cut across the wake of a truck on an angle. Lean the bike. Don't ride in a straight line.
dc
+1

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post #30 of 31 Old Apr 30th, 2012, 9:36 am
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTFan

If Valkyrie is Goldwing without fairing what is an equivalent of LT without fairing?


Complete with tele-lever front suspension, shaft drive and hydraulic center stand........






.

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post #31 of 31 Old Apr 30th, 2012, 10:07 am
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Location: Montrose, Pa,
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Re: Driving without fairing to avoid wind resistance?

and it does U-turns just as easily as an LT!


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04 K1200LT, 05 F650GS
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