BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday was the first time riding my RT that I was not happy doing so. My morning and afternoon commutes were filled with missed gear changes, improper curve entry and exit alignment, bad lane change decisions and staggering around at stop lights like a drunken sailor.

To clarify, this is not my normal riding behaviour (most days, anyways). I consider myself a competent rider, doing about 15,000 miles per year between my daily 40 mile commute and other longer rides. I have been riding for about 15 years on and off and constantly for the last five years.

So - about yesterday. I hadn't been drinking or on medication, mentally I was well-prepared (as well as one can be when commuting to work without coffee), the weather was near-perfect and everything should have been in place for a normal riding experience.

What was different? A new windshield. I won't mention the name of the manufacturer as there was nothing wrong with the windshield itself; it was a high quality product, designed and manufactured specifically for the R1200RT and widely distributed and praised throughout the RT community. It just didn't work for me.

Analyzing the 2-3 hours that I spent riding with the new windshield, I wanted to know what was making me ride like a slightly intoxicated orangutan. The only thing I can come up with is that, despite the windshield performing as designed and expected, it was too much of a change for me to be able to concentrate on riding. The changes in airflow, sight pattern, noise and pressures completely threw me off at a subconscious level.

I know some of you are saying "if you can't adapt quickly to a changed environment, you shouldn't be riding a motorbike." While there is a certain level of veracity to that statement, the changes I was dealing with weren't acute or immediately definable. As a rider, you have to be able to recognize, process, adapt and react to a countless myriad of changes every mile. When a change is systemic and not overtly recognizable, the brain can get sidetracked while trying to sort things out and you aren't consciously aware of the situation inside your skull.

I swapped back to my stock windshield this morning and today's ride was back to it's normal pleasurable experience and technically the ride went smoothly (only had to blip the horn at an encroaching cager once).

So, note to self: a seemingly minor change can cause ripples that we don't immediately recognize.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,047 Posts
Interesting observation - BTDT. A couple of months ago I sprung for a pair of real, honest-to-gosh BMW All-Around boots, having sidelined the "cowboy" boots I've ridden in for years. Missed shifts, botched cornering, stalled a couple of times, and just a general feeling of malaise for about three days until I got used to them. I never experienced such a feeling when I had ridden in different shoes before, it was just a function of the new boots.

All is well now.

JayJay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Gloves seem to do the same for me.
I have a very stiff pair of leather gloves and I keep trying to wear them on my commute (also around 40 miles.

I change gear like a monkey and throttle control is hopeless.
Slip my BMW gloves on, and it's all silky smooth again.

\v/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Shit happens when you experiment so when it works great, when it doesn't it's still great because now you have more experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
Riding is a lot about being "one" with the motorcyle and clearly the equation can be changed by things we think should have no effect. On a more basic level than equipment, I'm sure all of us find ourselves less-proficent riders when we're distracted by cold or being hot. Thick winter gloves vs summer gloves.

The thing I can't understand is how there could possibily be a need for other than the stock windshield on an R1200RT. Perhaps because I'm only 6'3"?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tvguy

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
lkchris said:
The thing I can't understand is how there could possibily be a need for other than the stock windshield on an R1200RT. Perhaps because I'm only 6'3"?
Hopefully without hijacking this thread and turing it in to yet another windshield debate...

I'm looking to get a little more protection from the weather (we have a lot of it here) and to move the airflow out from my shoulders if possible.

The stock windshield is pretty good, but I had a CeeBailey screen on my 800ST that was phenomenal. I'll be giving their RT screen a whirl in a little while, see if that gives the results I am looking for. Their screens have a somewhat pronounced up-flip that does a good job of moving the airflow out of the way without adding more height to the screen - I hate looking through the plastic whenever I can avoid it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I personally think we all have "bad days". Its human nature to look for a "WHY"?
We usually come up with something that satisfies our ego..... Just keep riding and
give the new "Thing" a chance.........Only then, draw a conclusion and the conclusion
may have a 50/50 chance of being right........ Some things are obvious.... some aren't.
Just my .02....................passnthru
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,708 Posts
lkchris said:
Riding is a lot about being "one" with the motorcyle and clearly the equation can be changed by things we think should have no effect. On a more basic level than equipment, I'm sure all of us find ourselves less-proficent riders when we're distracted by cold or being hot. Thick winter gloves vs summer gloves.

The thing I can't understand is how there could possibily be a need for other than the stock windshield on an R1200RT. Perhaps because I'm only 6'3"?
I'm 6'5 and it didn't work for me. Buffeting all the time and not good enough coverage when it's below freezing. Height isn't the only fact per se, but torso length and width. I know people taller than me that when we sit down I am taller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,708 Posts
four12 said:
Yesterday was the first time riding my RT that I was not happy doing so. My morning and afternoon commutes were filled with missed gear changes, improper curve entry and exit alignment, bad lane change decisions and staggering around at stop lights like a drunken sailor.

To clarify, this is not my normal riding behaviour (most days, anyways). I consider myself a competent rider, doing about 15,000 miles per year between my daily 40 mile commute and other longer rides. I have been riding for about 15 years on and off and constantly for the last five years.

So - about yesterday. I hadn't been drinking or on medication, mentally I was well-prepared (as well as one can be when commuting to work without coffee), the weather was near-perfect and everything should have been in place for a normal riding experience.

What was different? A new windshield. I won't mention the name of the manufacturer as there was nothing wrong with the windshield itself; it was a high quality product, designed and manufactured specifically for the R1200RT and widely distributed and praised throughout the RT community. It just didn't work for me.

Analyzing the 2-3 hours that I spent riding with the new windshield, I wanted to know what was making me ride like a slightly intoxicated orangutan. The only thing I can come up with is that, despite the windshield performing as designed and expected, it was too much of a change for me to be able to concentrate on riding. The changes in airflow, sight pattern, noise and pressures completely threw me off at a subconscious level.

I know some of you are saying "if you can't adapt quickly to a changed environment, you shouldn't be riding a motorbike." While there is a certain level of veracity to that statement, the changes I was dealing with weren't acute or immediately definable. As a rider, you have to be able to recognize, process, adapt and react to a countless myriad of changes every mile. When a change is systemic and not overtly recognizable, the brain can get sidetracked while trying to sort things out and you aren't consciously aware of the situation inside your skull.

I swapped back to my stock windshield this morning and today's ride was back to it's normal pleasurable experience and technically the ride went smoothly (only had to blip the horn at an encroaching cager once).

So, note to self: a seemingly minor change can cause ripples that we don't immediately recognize.
I have days like that if I am in a bad mood and distracted. It doesn't happen often, and I make a point to make a conscious decision not to be in a bad mood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
Ponch said:
I have days like that if I am in a bad mood and distracted. It doesn't happen often, and I make a point to make a conscious decision not to be in a bad mood.
Good stuff.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
469 Posts
I found the same type experience when I rode one day without ear plugs and the next day with earplugs. With the earplugs I was moving a lot faster than I thought--ran off the road on a hairpin left turn. There were other mistakes that I made that day--did not countersteer, etc, but the ear plugs did contribute.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
four12 said:
Hopefully without hijacking this thread and turing it in to yet another windshield debate...

I'm looking to get a little more protection from the weather (we have a lot of it here) and to move the airflow out from my shoulders if possible.

The stock windshield is pretty good, but I had a CeeBailey screen on my 800ST that was phenomenal. I'll be giving their RT screen a whirl in a little while, see if that gives the results I am looking for. Their screens have a somewhat pronounced up-flip that does a good job of moving the airflow out of the way without adding more height to the screen - I hate looking through the plastic whenever I can avoid it.

Try the CalSci screen. Best one I have found after buying a lot of aftermarket plastic. I have the "large" screen on mine, and it is perfect. Fully down, it allows wind flow onto my helmet for the cooling vents to work, and for hot weather. Up about an inch gives no buffet and a nice quiet ride. Full up position makes a quiet dry ride in heavy rains, again without any buffeting.

I tried the CB screen on my last bike, and found that the flip up "lip" was actually causing the very buffeting I was trying to get rid of, because it is acting like a stalled aircraft wing. The Calsci uses what is called a NACA slot vent that eliminates the low pressure air behind the screen which also contributed to buffeting. Net result of the CalSci design is a nice laminar flow (Translation: smooth air, no buffeting) over the screen and rider.


Back on topic: I teach both scuba and motorcycle classes and fly planes, and the "change" issue we are discussing causes "task loading" that changes the concentration of riders/divers/pilots. A real issue is when a number of things have been changed that cause a cascade event leading to an accident. One thing I always emphasize is to make small changes, usually one at a time, and see what happens, rather than doing a lot of changes that can have unintended consequences that might lead to the cascade accident situation.

When making any kind of change to equipment setup, it is wise to take a test ride/flight/dive in a safe area to see what happened after the change. If something goes FUBAR, then you are not in the middle of heavy traffic, up at altitude, or down deep when it hits to proverbial fan. Be careful out there !
 
  • Like
Reactions: DanDiver

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
I find the RT to be very top heavy requiring a lot of concentration and finesse. So if there is any distraction whatsoever, I am not surprised at all by the "drunken sailor" reaction. It happens to me the moment I let me concentration lapse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
Ozonewanderer said:
I find the RT to be very top heavy requiring a lot of concentration and finesse. So if there is any distraction whatsoever, I am not surprised at all by the "drunken sailor" reaction. It happens to me the moment I let me concentration lapse.
What speed are you finding it to be top heavy and having the reaction? Could you describe a typical situation you find this? Just curious as I find the bike to be very easy to ride dead slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
I agree that we all have those "What Just Happened?" days. Found that the amount of those days diminished greatly when my untreated bi-polar wife left our home and family for another man. Just sayin'.. dd50

Time to ro ride the new RT, Hope it's not one of THOSE days, today... tp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Ozonewanderer said:
I find the RT to be very top heavy requiring a lot of concentration and finesse. So if there is any distraction whatsoever, I am not surprised at all by the "drunken sailor" reaction. It happens to me the moment I let me concentration lapse.
If you think the RT is top heavy, you should take my FJR for a ride around the block. Putting it up on the center stand takes about twice the oomph as the RT too.

One good twist of the right wrist makes up for most of that though.... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I have found that little things like my new Rev-it gloves, or change in shoes causes subtle changes in riding. Whether it being in position or comfort or the slipperiness(sp?) of your gloves etc. When doing my farkling I did the changes one at a time so I could discern the adjustment required to my riding and my "brain to ass to bike" connection.

When my wife started riding with me last year that threw a whole new wrench to the situation. Now we've logged on a few thousand km together, but stops and starts are still interesting! Then you add the unpredictable wind while riding at 100km/h+ and it takes all ones attention. The wife gets all the site seeing while I get to concentrate on keeping the wheels between the lines!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,708 Posts
Ozonewanderer said:
I find the RT to be very top heavy requiring a lot of concentration and finesse. So if there is any distraction whatsoever, I am not surprised at all by the "drunken sailor" reaction. It happens to me the moment I let me concentration lapse.
Try riding an 850lb cruiser... The RT is a minibike in comparison. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Ponch said:
Try riding an 850lb cruiser... The RT is a minibike in comparison. :D
I owned a 950 lb GL1800 and took it cross country. I have a 2001 670 lb HD Dyna and took that from NY to Key West. I just came back from a 2500 mile jaunt to the Smokey Mtns on my 2010 RT. I enjoyed all the bikes and all the rides, but none of them felt like minibikes. They each require concentration whether riding slowly or at 50 MPH in the twisties or blasting down the slab at 80 mph in windy conditions. I take them all very seriously.

That's why I bought the 416 lb Triumph Street Triple R. That's for pure, "let yourself go - you can probably recover," fun!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,886 Posts
One thing I always emphasize is to make small changes, usually one at a time, and see what happens, rather than doing a lot of changes that can have unintended consequences that might lead to the cascade accident situation.
Great point that is easily forgotten. Muscle memory can be good or bad and takes a while to reprogram.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top