Buffeting & Screens FAQ
compiled & edited by Kristian #562, updated by mspeed #1023
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Solutions What Options do I have?
Opinions What Works?
My Head is getting buffeted around dreadfully by the turbulence off the Windshield, what’s the story?
There are quite a few "solutions" for fixing buffeting. The intention of this FAQ is to try and include all the solutions and present them in one place. Buffeting (and its solutions) is a very subjective problem and some people may feel it more than others because they are taller, or always drive with a passenger etc. etc. So here are some solutions which includes a number of various fixes and impressions. The F650 will never be as relaxing to ride at higher speeds (above 60 mph) as a touring bike like the R1150RT”. This FAQ is only about Buffeting, not about Vibrations, which is here: Vibrations FAQ.
Solution 1.: Modify the Current Setup
The cheapest quickest and most reversible solution is to put 4 rubber washers under the two bottom bolts (by the headlight) and 2 washers under the bolts on the top. This will create enough space between the screen and the instrument panel to create a little draft up under the screen which in turn counteracts the turbulent air coming over the top of the screen.”
Jim Powell has written a great FAQ on How to add these Washers, with some Photos. May thanks to Jim for use of all his FAQs.
The general consensus is this helps quite a lot and being cheap and reversible is even better. See Buffeting Opinions, below for what works for some.
Solution 2.: Add an Aftermarket Screen
solution is to purchase an aftermarket screen. Available for the F are the
Aeroflow, Parabellum +2 and +4,
the Ermax and the
National Cycle Cheetah. Here
are some Photos of it.
National Cycle photos courtesy of Scott
The general consensus seems to be that the National Cycle Shield N3840
See also Custom Screens below
Solution 3.: Modify your mirrors
The third solution is to purchase an aftermarket set of mirrors:Refer to the Mirrors FAQ for what works for some.
The general consensus seems to be that theR11GS or the Ducati Mirrors work Well but the F650GS ones take too much work to make them fit.
Solution 4.:Helmet Modifications
Another thing you could try is Rumble-Strips stuck on top of your helmet. The general consensus is they work to a greater or lesser extent, but not so well as to eliminate buffeting altogether.See Buffeting Opinions, below for what works for some.
Solution 5.: Minor Surgery
There are a number of alternative solutions proposed by CG Members and Visitors These range from Winglets to Saeng Edging to Custom-Made Deflectors.See Buffeting Opinions, below for what works for some.
Solution 6.: Major Surgery
Here is a Generic Solution proposed by a German Motorcycle magazine, with some nifty diagrams. It is a little more complicated and much more permanent.
Btw, I’m don’t endorsing any of these products, just letting you know what’s out there and what the GENERAL opinion on each of these products has been. I’m sorry I didn’t add any names, there were just too many and I didn’t have them all anyway. You might recognise one of your quotes and if you like I can add your name to the FAQ.
How to actually Perform the Mods
How to add the Washers
by Jim Powell
The F650 suffers from
buffeting at highway speed. Several members and contributors to the Message
Board on the Chaingang suggested that
raising the screen slightly as in the new F650GS, might allow some airflow
under the screen and reduce some buffeting. I thought Id try it. So I dug
out some aluminum spacers left over from some project on my
and inserted them between the windscreen and the glare shield. I started with
a thicker spacer on the two front screws and thinner spacers on the two rear
screws. The spacers are 1.5 and 2mm thick. I'll drive it for a few days and
see how it works. I may try inserting a second spacer, thin or thick, under
the front screws, to vary the spacing, and see what effect that has. A small
black rubber insulator over the spacers will be added when I determine final
thickness to protect the plexiglass. I may also use black anodized spacers
for cosmetic purposes. I think the following pictures should be self
explanatory. I'm going to try 1150GS mirrors too as the stock F650 mirrors
seem to cause some buffeting also. Feel free to
email me if you have questions. Or
ask on the Chaingang, the members probably have more experience than me.
(Click to Enlarge Photos)
To Jim Powell's Home Page
Buffeting Fix - Custom Made Deflectors
Timothy P. Summers
Inspired by Aeroflow's lowers on my big R11GS, I decided to fashion something to address the buffeting on Suzy's F (which, as many of you have reported, seems to occur no matter which shield you try, and we've tried several, too). So far, I've tested this for only the Aeroflow, but eventually Ill report the effect with the stock ST, stock F, and Parabellum (all in our collection!). Turns out that much of the buffeting comes from alongside the front of the tank, under the windshield. (This is where the curved slot or dip is). I noticed that one good effect of the lowers on the big bike is to cut this behind/under fairing turbulence, in addition to the obvious benefit of lower leg protection.
You'll need to drill holes for this second part. This still calls for size experimentation, as I suspect even larger ears would help more.
To help solve the problem of wind buffeting reported by many F650 riders, Stan Thompson has been experimenting with deflectors. Here is a sample of one of his creations.
Cleaning Windscreens and Repairing Scratches
Novus makes plastic polish in various degrees of abrasiveness, depending on how deep the scratches are. Most cycle shops carry it. I used it to remove some scratches from my screen, and it worked pretty well. I think it’s about 5 or 6 dollars per bottle. TomY
For minor scratches, use Novus 2. For more substantial scratches, you gotta use Novus 3 AND Novus 2. http://www.tapplastics.com/plastics/cleaners/index.html Anon.
An old favourite for the old style sports car rear screens was clear varnish brushed, NOT sprayed, on. It worked for many of my old friends. Keith #914
Someone recommended to me to go by your local auto dealer and ask what they use to fix chips in glass. Docc
Meguiar’s plastic polish comes in a couple of grades. Finish up with toothpaste. Flash #412
I used toothpaste too, but the result was a bit foggy. Fortunately at a small airport I found a promotional bottle of "Flight Jacket Plexicoat" distributed by AeroShell, and the result was really impressive. They use it on aircraft windows to protect and keep them more transparent. The accompanying flyer says: contact www.aeroshell.com or 1-800-64-LUBE. I have not done that yet, since the 4oz. bottle seems plenty for a while. You might visit a supply shop in a general aviation airport, or try the mail-order supplier: www.sportys.com or 1-800-LIFTOFF Jeno
My tall Ermax is pretty old and is a little scratched, I use household polish (like I do on my tank) as it cleans it and coats it well too. I had two very deep scratches across the top of the screen which were annoying – must have been done deliberately by a key or knife or something – but they have almost disappeared now . . . Wanna know how? . . . Duraglit or Brasso in the little tubs with the impregnated wadding – I guess it is available everywhere (???) – using a nice new bit rub over the scratches and it takes them off . . . amazing!! With deep scratches it takes more elbow grease and patience but it does work. This is an old trick my brother used to use on his watch face many years ago when he worked off shore on the oil rigs and was always getting his watch glass scratched. Nicola #1061
Windscreen renewer: sold by BMW in their convertible maintenance kit to renew plastic windows. BMW part # 81 22 9 407 665. I have all kinds of plastic polishes and stuff for my windscreens but never saw any product bring a screen back to new condition like this item. Crystal! After washing . . . you use this stuff like waxing a fender. Polish on . . . polish off. Perfect! Art #884
I saw a review for Sprayway glass cleaner, and thought I'd pass this info on, in the spirit of mutual help. Here's the review, from Web Bike World. I'd probably agree with most of what he says there. I've been using this stuff for a while now. My brother, a ceramic engineer, gave me a can that he had brought home from work. He said it's the only stuff they ever used to clean the lenses on the high-tech coating equipment and lasers in their plant, because it worked so well and didn't leave any residue behind. I've found that it works great for face shields, windscreens, headlights, fairings, etc. Great for cleaning the car, too! Josh #581
Cutting a Windscreen
I use a hand held 'jigsaw' with not too fine a blade, otherwise the plastic melts. I always support the screen immediately adjacent to the cut so that no vibes set in which could cause cracking. I also sometimes lay down a piece of masking tape as a guide to the cut and just cut through the line I've drawn on the tape. Trevor #999
I used a belt sander and brought a windshield down three inches on a GoldWing '84, so I could see over the top when in rain. Took a little off, tested it, and took more off until it was just right. Used fine 220 wet and dry paper to smooth the edge when it was where I wanted it. JohnF
Chris in Santa Cruz, CA #782
With my taller modified Aeroflow screen, some Saeng edging, and my detached head in my topcase, there is no buffeting and very little wind noise.
The keys to this benefit program are being able to ride with no head and also being able to reattach my head.
I just put up a couple of images showing my prototype, I repeat, my PROTOTYPE windscreen support. I did this because I have no clue when I will have the final version fabricated and installed and I wanted folks to see what can be done very cheaply to support a tall screen. I've gone 95 MPH with my tall Aeroflow increased by 2 inches without a problem.
The main hard-point you see in the image is where the plastic plug used to be in the center of the headset. There is a swivel bolted to this hard-point which allows you to turn the bars and have the support remain stationary. The final version will be made of aluminum rod and will be even stiffer than this version.
Buffeting is significantly reduced. I am going to try an even taller screen. Sorry about the size of the image. I still don't have a tool for resizing them.
got a chance to put several hundred miles on the handlebar windshield. Bottom
line...I think I'm going back to the Parabellum +6 for now. If I decide that
MPG are not an issue, and go back to a 16-tooth sprocket, I may change my mind
Definite increase in wind protection, no buffeting Tall enough to ride with faceshield up Tankbag much more stable (no more "updraft")
Gas mileage down to 35 MPG @ 75 MPH Bike struggling (almost lugging) in 5th gear (4500 @ 75 mph, 17-tooth sprocket + added wind resistance)
Turbulence from truck slip-stream is as bad or slightly worse than with Parabellum +6 Handlebar oscillation starts at 75-80 MPH
The windshield basically solves the turbulence problem. Unfortunately, the bike's limited HP is struggling to push it though the air (as I said, maybe 16 or 15 tooth sprocket would be better). The steering is also "too fast" for my tastes, and the windshield doesn't help that at all. I'm concerned that a serious crosswind could make it a handful (or worse). Maybe cutting it down a bit in size? Or making it even shorter to "extend" the Parabellum?
Finished installing a handlebar windshield (swap meet $15) on my F650.
Definitely looks goofy, but faceshield open at 85 MPH. We'll see how it works
long term (I'm rotating the mirror stalks slightly to act as more support)
Rough looking, but if it keeps working I'll make version II with more emphasis
on "pretty". Had to saw a bit off the bottom of this one for clearance, didn't
want to cut off the fancy "flip top".
Handlebars can be turned lock to lock without hitting.
The level of the bottom of the windshield is just about even with the top of the black fairing shield.
View from Seat
You can see the bottom of the shield just above the instrument faces...it doesn't block the view to them.
The point of the exercise was to try a new approach. I don't want to get into the business (too risky)...if you want to make your own, it's your skin.
The BMW fairing/well nuts are not (IMHO) up to supporting the shield I want (not to mention handguard/mirror interference). Saw a similar setup on an R-GS a year or two ago at the Dells rally, decided since I'm now keeping the bike, time to make it work better. Yes, the shield bounces around a bit. But not any more than the Parabellum+6. And I've got more confidence in the metal mounting system than the plastic fairing and wimpy well nuts (I know I'd change my mind if going over the bars, though!). Off road / gravel? Probably not a good idea. However, two Allen bolts, and the mounting rods slip out of the handlebar clamps. Ride to the dirt, then leave it at your camp?
Camera: Relisys Dimera 3500 ($29 cheapie digital) Not recommended, as memory chips are proprietary and expensive and small (16 pics), resolution is poor, flash too bright, etc. But it's paid for itself in film/developing. The pictures were also seriously "tweaked" using Photoshop (of necessity).
Windshield: best guess is that it is a Slipstreamer "universal", before they went to plastic mounts at the windshield. I was only buying it for the "mounting hardware", as it is all metal bits; a lucky thing that the shield was about right (I've got several used R-RT windshields to try for version II). Current dimensions (straight line, max) are: height 20", width 22". I actually cut two inches off the bottom, so it COULD have been taller.
Top speed? Don't know, but expect it's lower (MPG as well?). 85 MPH is enough to get a ticket anywhere in the US that I've been. Haven't been in any cross winds yet, expect it'll be similar to any other bike with handlebar windshield (i.e. more work in the wind, hopefully not turning into a wrestling match). Other issues...if you do a lot of standing on the pegs, it's pretty close to your chest/neck face (depending on height). Other issues will have to wait for some serious road testing (maybe a month?).
Last year I got a National (N3840) replacement screen for my Classic and found that I would no longer need to use the stock screen. I remove the screen from my cruiser (2 screw knobs) for the hot weather and wanted the same option with the F. Since I did not like the look of the F with NO windshield I decided to convert the stock screen to a short summer screen (none are available to buy). For those of you who are running an after-market screen and your stock screen is collecting dust, you might care to try the following:
With the F on its centre stand.......,
Put back the stock screen.
Standing in front of the front wheel looking at the screen measure 10 to 11 inches from the centre of the bottom of the screen straight up and make a dot on the screen with a marker. The dot should be in the centre and appear 2 or 3 inches above the top of the dash cover.
Crouch down and, following the curve of the dash cover and starting at the dot, draw a curved line from centre to the right edge.
Repeat to complete the line from the centre dot to the left edge of the stock screen.
Stand back and look at the line. It should be equidistant on both sides from the dash cover and at least almost symmetrical. If it's not, start over. If it is, remove the screen.
Lay the screen front down on a folded cotton towel with the top half hanging over the edge of a table, work bench, counter or some flat surface.
Using a coping (NO JIGSAW) saw with the blade turned sideways (90 degrees from straight up and down) you can easily cut the screen following the line. Take your time – no room for error. Hold the screen while you cut by putting pressure on the centre only, pushing down into the towel. Any pressure on the sides (curves) may crack the screen.
Once the screen is cut, use a piece of flexible door-edge moulding to cover the cut edge: comes in chrome or black and goes on easily. Cut with a box cutter to finish it off.
This morning I rode out with the "Cheetah" on the bike and by midday the temps were mid 80s. I thought...., time to try the short screen. Went home and installed it in minutes. The afternoon ride was invigorating, refreshing and I felt like I was riding a different bike. The stock screen is now a short summer screen and they switch in minutes depending on conditions. I love the flexibility and took the time to let some of you know thinking you might feel the same. It also feels good putting the stock screen to good use. It's a really easy job......, have fun!
Washers under Screen
Buffeting Washer Trick Works! Ok just tried the washer trick on the windscreen - 1x3mm high rubber washer on the bottom two screws, 2x3mm washers on the top two screws. There is a noticeable improvement - and I'm most impressed that such a small change can have such a dramatic effect - it truly makes the bike MUCH more comfortable at 100kmh. I tried 2 washers on the bottom two screws but the extra bend induced in the screen REDUCED the gap between the screen and the fairing in the centre (lifting up the outside edges served to flatten the middle of the screen at the bottom edge - so it lay closer to the curved fairing underneath. So there it is....it really works! Mine is the F650 1997 with the standard BMW tall screen. I had a look at the F650GS with the tall screen available for it - and surprise, surprise! the screen is mounted up on risers to allow air flow underneath the screen - obviously BMW cottoned on to the idea that this works much better than bolting the screen down flush with the fairing..” Andrew from Oz
Buffeting Washer Trick Works! I used 3 washers on each of the four windshield bolts. Does it make that much difference to put 4 on the front (bottom) two bolts and two on the back (top) two bolts? It seems like the bolts are long enough for more than 4 washers. I think I'm using 1/16 inch washers. I have noticed a good bit of improvement already.” Thanks, Chris #856
I found just a small amount of washers (5 or 6 millimetres) did the trick. I also took a razor to the bottom edge of the windshield and sharpened it to direct a little more air behind. If you bump it out too far, you'll get a lot of light coming through the plastic from the headlight. Very annoying in the dark! Painting or taping the bottom edge and several inches of the windshield black will fix this. Sometime ago, someone suggested bending the mirrors down to a ninety degree angle, slightly lower than the windshield. I did this and it improved the buffeting even more. These two changes (along with losing the canister and correcting the vacuum hoses) have made my 99 an entirely different and much improved motorcycle to ride. So much so that the guy I bought it from wants it back. Ain't gonna happen! Thanks Chain Gang! Bruce
I have the tall Parabellum shield. I really like it! Only complaint is that the top of the shield is in my line of vision. (Short person thing, I believe.) Sandee #964
I have both the standard size Parabellum shield and the National Cycle Cheetah shield on my 1997 bike. I much prefer the National Cycle Shield. It looks better, fits better, has much less buffeting and noise, is thicker and more stable and costs less. Of course, you will have to find one. I find buffeting to be acceptable when using my National Cycle (now Technik - or something) Cheetah windshield and have used the windshield in comfort for 12 hour day rides, when sitting on a 1 inch higher Corbin seat. I am 5' 10" in height. If your concern is buffeting, I would recommend the stock Funduro windshield and perhaps different mirrors. I don't think you will find a windshield that will provide smooth air off of the shield, once the airstream gets above your shoulders. Richard #230
I'm six foot tall and have a tall Aeroflow that works fine for me, along with rumble strips on my helmet
I got and installed my National Cycle screen yesterday and tried it riding to work this morning. Chest/arms protection is much improved compared to the OEM screen that was on my ST when I bought it but buffeting is really loud above 40 mp/h. The other minus is that I cannot lock the steering anymore because the mirrors touch the screen edge. I think this is a specific problem with the ST handlebars but does anyone has a tip ?” Jean #636
The Ermax only measures 14 bottom to top, but it mounts into the turn signal mountings.....so it sits up straighter....thusly looks and acts taller. Would still offer that as the best, first, option unless you reject it because of the look.
The Ermax screen offers more protection than the BMW tall or the GIVI, but didn't try the Dakar. Depending upon height, the Ermax may bother you.
I have a National Cycle shield on my F650ST, which I slapped on over top of the stock black plastic ST shield. Because of the curve of the ST shield there is a nice sized gap between the National Cycle and the ST shield across the front, and no grommet/spacers were required. I took my baby up to 85 today and noticed some minor buffeting, but nothing really troublesome. Totally smooth at 70 or less.
I agree with you 100% !!! The tall AeroFlow shield for the f was horrendous !
I've seen it mentioned before that people mount the shield with grommets to make a space behind the shield, and thereby smooth out the airflow. When I mounted the National Cycle over the ST shield thingy, no grommets were needed to make a gap, the airflow was quite smooth and the shield stayed solidly mounted. I've been told that the ST black plastic shield is thicker than the stock Funduro black plastic thingy (I've never seen a Funduro, only my ST). For those who wish to experiment, my suggestion was to put on an ST stock black shield thingy and mount the National cycle shield over it. The screws were long enough. What I did was attach the screws, rubber nut thingies and two shields together, put a little spit/lube on the rubber thingies and then popped it into the fairing. It didn't budge at 85 yesterday, and still feels solid. Longer screws, however, certainly couldn't hurt. Mason #631
On my 00 F, I just removed the stock and installed the National, just four screws..., works great. The 01 GS was much more involved. I chose the Dakar shield and had to use 2 extra brackets and 2 longer screws in order to install it correctly. Any time we install things ourselves we need know how, ingenuity and just a sense for what makes it right. Art #884.
In my continuing effort to find the perfect buffeting free combination I did a little experiment over the weekend. I had installed my new National Cycle Cheetah screen and found it to be noisier than my stock windshield with some modifications. I loosened the nuts that hold the mirrors and while at speed I flipped them back toward me, out of the wind stream. Made no difference at all. I conclude the mirrors are not my problem. While riding you can feel the edge of the zone of still air behind the screen very clearly. You can raise your left hand slowly from just in front of your belly (still air) to over your head (high speed air) and see where the transition is. It seems to me that the transition zone is very sharp, an inch or so. There is a zone of hard buffeting just above the transition which is only 2 or 3 inches thick, and it is this turbulence that causes the discomfort. With no shield, that is only the black shield on my ST, the transition is about mid-chest, and my head is in smooth but high speed wind, very comfortable. With the modified F shield the transition is about throat level and there is little effect from the turbulence since it is hitting low on my helmet, still pretty comfortable. With other higher shields the turbulence band hits high on the helmet and can really slap me around. At this point of maximum buffeting at high speed the noise level is very high, vision is blurred, and it will cause a headache in 5 minutes. The lesson here is to adjust things so that your head is in the smooth air flow above the turbulence. Claude #312
I've tried this several times, gone back and forth, with the spacers, no spacers, under the National. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE, at least to me. And I don't like the stress placed on the wellnuts due to the change in geometry when adding spacers. Shoot, Randy cut a big ol' vent into his National and said he couldn't tell any difference either. That little shield just isn't big enough to cause a vacuum problem behind it.
I called National today and they claim the new shield product code is z2201. They've farmed it out to a different manufacturer. They would not sell it to me over the phone, only available through a dealer. National Cycle seems to have set up a separate division to market BMW accessories called ZTechnik. You can access it from www.nationalcycle.com, or you can go directly to www.ztechnik.com or call toll free at (866) 983-2465. They show Z2201 as the shield for the Funduro at $69.95, they seem to have a mechanism for ordering it, and it is listed as available. I cant really tell if its different from the Cheetah model I got last spring, and it may be produced by a different manufacturer. But according to the website, you should be able to get one. I would be curious if you got a different response contacting ZTechnik instead of National Cycle. James #523
No windscreen - I've not experimented much with the windscreen on because of the opinion here at this board that the windscreen creates more problems. This said, there is a fix listed in the new FAQs that lifts the windscreen off and reduces buffeting, I'll probably be giving that a try when I get the parts. Chace #1044
I live in a (hot) tropical country, and took my windscreen off on my second ride, about 2.5 years ago, and have never reinstalled it. Works fine, much cooler, probably less (or different) buffeting. (The buffeting seems to be very subjective between riders/heights/speeds/helmets.) The only time I miss it is in the rain, and during mosquito season. It's easy to remove and replace if you want to try, just be gentle with the rubber well nuts. Todd #389
ST versus High screen: I alternate between an ST short screen and the BMW screen on my F. With the short screen there is wind buffeting that hits at chest level and of course a lot more bug guts. Personally, for short trips the ST fairing is more comfortable because of the lack of helmet noise through buffeting. However, the short fairing increases fatigue on longer trips because of wind buffeting on the body and increases fatigue in the upper arms.” David #577
I have ridden my bike with the windscreen off. Doing so results in less buffeting and noise, but is tiring at high speeds because of the pressure on your chest and the effort to hold yourself against the wind with the bike's relatively high and wide bars and short reach between the bars and the seat. I can ride at freeway speeds about 4 times as far with the windshield on than I can with it off, before my body gives out. Richard #230.
I have actually tried three combinations on my ST. No windscreen at all (stock): Great in the summer, less buffeting but too much strain above 60 miles an hour and no protection against rain/cold. F windscreen: Good, but bad reflection at night and my helmet was right smack in the air-stream at highway speeds. National Cycle: Bad buffeting with OEM mirrors but good protection against rain/cold and I can keep my visor opened when riding in the woods and near freshly harvested fields. If you decide to take your windscreen on and off regularly, you'd better buy several extra sets of well-nuts because they don't survive long. I got and installed my National Cycle screen yesterday and tried it riding to work this morning. Chest/arms protection is much improved compared to the OEM screen that was on my ST when I bought it but buffeting is really loud above 40 mp/h. The other minus is that I cannot lock the steering anymore because the mirrors touch the screen edge. I think this is a specific problem with the ST handlebars. I've just installed the National Cycle on my F650ST. Looks very good, very sturdy and offers much better chest/arm protection than the OEM that I had before. But because of the ST handlebars shape, the mirrors come against it before full lock. I've changed them for smaller round ones and not only the problem is gone but the buffeting is considerably reduced. Jean #636
I'm a bit taller at 6' 2 and use the National Cycle screen with Ducati Monster mirrors. I've also played around with rubber washers under the screen to get some airflow behind it. For me, all these things have reduced buffeting. Wind noise is still there, but I've concluded that's just the price for a higher windscreen, and increased wind protection. I always use earplugs. I'm also trying the Rumble-Strip on my Shoei RF800, but the jury's still out on its effectiveness (although my initial impression is that it does help some). The F650 will never be as relaxing to ride at higher speeds (above 60 mph) as a touring bike like the R1150RT -- and I'm sure BMW doesn't want it to be. Why I'm keeping my F is that it's just so damn much fun to ride.
The Parabellum people told me that the +6 was real ugly and that they didn't recommend them (too many came back) Joeg #1102
That would be the Plus 4 at 21 inches. I bought a Plus 6 about 3 weeks ago. It is the second time I tried the Plus 6 Parabellum on my 2000 Funduro (carbs). The first time I sent it back because of the buffeting. I also got considerable buffeting with the stock shield. Then I read in the FAQ that replacing the mirrors with the R1150GS mirrors would lessen the buffeting/turbulence. So I replaced the mirrors per the FAQ and the buffeting was gone with the stock shield. But you still get wind pressure at high speeds. So I tried the new mirrors with an Aeroflow tall. Got buffeting. Then I ordered the Parabellum Plus 6. I'm six foot tall and have a Corbin so I sit high. With the Parabellum I still got some buffeting. Then I put washers under the Parabellum per the FAQ and tried again. The buffeting is gone. As a matter of fact the faster I go the better it seems. Also, it is quieter. I can ride without ear plugs. Although I still use them when going a long distances. After normally seeing the bike with the stock shield, the Plus 6 will look tall. But odd enough I received several positive comments on the way the bike looks since I put the Plus 6 on. I got the tinted shield. This one is not going back. Give it a try, Parabellum will let you send it back in the first 30 days if you don't like it. Unknown
If you buy the black "dash" for the Funduro, then could you use a Funduro shield? I can't imagine that the front fairing and holes for the well nuts are different between the ST and Funduro. If you can buy the dash, then buy the National Cycle screen. It's by far the best, in my opinion, and I've tried them all. CalBMW can order the National Cycle from ZTechnik. Only, make sure they don't ding you for $85, like they did me. Even National Cycle says retail should be $70 (I even have an email from them saying so...) Best upgrade for the money. Of all the shields I've tried, I can't decide which is worse, the AeroFlow or the Parabellum. The AeroFlow was uglier and wobblier, the Parabellum achieved total headache about 2 minutes faster (i.e. in about 3 minutes). With the Parabellum, the buffeting wasn't the slow sort of head bobbing I was used to from the stock shield, it was like a high-pitched vibration that makes one's vision blurry. I paid ~$190 with pop vents, couldn't stand it, and began modifying it. Nothing worked, and I eventually just threw it out. Mark #403
I'm guessing you mean the Funduro's shield. I just checked mine in the garage, and other than the right handguard being loose, there is no danger of anything touching. This is with a Funduro, and I was under the impression that the ST bars were more swept back. As far as alternates go, I had a Parabellum +6. Fairly calm behind it. At 5' 6" or 7", I also felt that I had to really actively look over it. Not such a big deal most of the time, but it did manage to bother me at times. It did have to be cut to allow for the handlebars. I currently own an AeroFlow tall screen, which is good for me as long as I lean a little forward. Straight up, and it causes a bit of buffeting, at least with my HJC helmet. It is very quiet directly behind the shield, and makes forgetting the earplugs on the highway much less bothersome. However, I find I prefer the stock for anything less than a 2 or 300 mile trip, one way. Sadly, I no longer have the Parabellum. Jeremy #1087
While MOST of the bike is the same, a Funduro does not have the same fairing (nor windshield) as the ST. Flash #412
If you can get hold of it locally, have a look at the MRA screens. They are made in Germany, and fit supremely well – and are of course designed to fit around handlebars (with or without hand guards). See them at http://www.mra.de They have a selection of different types too (touring, sport etc). I can vouch that these products are very well made, and the fit for mine was 100% accurate (as one would expect). I find the buffeting one of the downsides of the f650 – or most large trailies for that matter. I'm 6', and rapidly replaced my stock shield with an MRA unit, which turned out to be only marginally taller than the original. It did make a difference though, as it comes with a silicone strip that sticks to the edge of the shield – enough to disturb the airflow. I'm not too worried about buffeting at the moment, as it only really occurs at wind speeds above 130-140kph (about 80+) My handguards (stock, for the Classic) made a huge difference to riding comfort at speed, as they deflect quite a bit of wind off my arms and shoulders. I've also positioned my mirrors to further deflect the air from the handguards. So riding is fairly comfortable now, unless I ride in a very strong headwind. Touratech makes a detachable wind deflector that fits onto the windshield (will fit almost any bike's windshield) that looks interesting... sorry, can't remember what they call it! Bernard
I saw in the Wunderlich catalogue that they make one for the ST (which is the same as for the f650 year 97-00). It is about €100. I have no idea how good or bad it is. Spakur #1117
I did two things to get rid of the
1. I replaced the stock mirrors with the R1150GS mirrors. That eliminated all turbulence when riding with the stock windshield.
2. To get rid of the wind blast at speed, I replaced the stock shield with the Parabellum + 6. I got some buffeting, so I cut out a section above the headlight to eliminate the low-pressure area behind the shield. I cut out about 2 inches. This is similar to the cut-out on the tall AeroFlow. With the cut-out, no buffeting and great wind protection.
I still get about 50 miles a gallon and have not noticed any reduced power at high speeds (80+). Riding in the wake of trucks on the NYS Thruway is about the same. You just have to power through as fast as possible. I also tried the tall AeroFlow with the R1150GS mirrors. Not as good as the Parabellum. Leo #699
I have just put a new, higher screen on my F650 Funduro/classic; too much wind resistance, tall rider (6'1"), so that's what my local dealer suggested. Waited for 3 weeks for the GIVI screen to arrive. When I collected the Screen I was told that when I brought the F650 in for MOT (this is in the UK, by the way), I would have to swap it with the low original one, otherwise they'd have to fail me!!! Reason? When you turn the handlebar to its maximum, it makes contact with the screen about 1 cm before the end!!! Setting aside this massive problem (!!!), I find it still bizarre that a) 'illegal' stuff is being sold and b) that my dealer informs me about it after they fitted it. However, the screen makes all the difference for riding where I live (near coast) and on motorway. Martin
Until I bought a GS in September 2002 I had a 1998 f650ST complete with BMW touring screen and BMW handguards. That screen fouled the handguards and at its first test I was advised by the non BMW dealer doing the MOT that officially it was a failure because of this BMW 'feature'. However, I smiled nicely and they agreed to turn a blind eye. My GS with BMW touring screen does not foul the handguards. Sue # 704
I have a classic 97 and at 5'6" tried everything to reduce the buffeting with the stock screen and several others. Did the washers, the AeroFlow, the GIVI, the Nat’l Cycle. Of those, the Nat’l Cycle worked best and offered good protection. Still experienced buffeting though. I then tried to get above the buffeting by getting a built-up seat from Mr. Ed's (awesome) and raked the shield all the way back instead of standing it up. I removed the black plastic cowling above the headlight, retained the front mounting holes, then squished the back of the windscreen down until it was laid back against the dash. Marked how much of the bottom of the shield I would need to trim off, relocated the rear holes in the shield, and then trimmed off the bottom excess with a Dremel tool. Next I painted the back side of the shield from the dash down to the headlight with flat black to hide all the wires that you could now see through the shield. When bolted down it looks like a stock item, provides a smooth air flow, and I believe looks better than stock as it gives the bike a sleek appearance. There is less wind protection but then I have done thousand-mile days on it and felt great so it is not that bad. Since you will probably look for something besides the stock screen to use anyway, why not experiment? It doesn't cost anything. Kent #114
I have a Parabellum +6 shield with pop-vents. I
took the pop vents out (leaving just the open holes for them) and use nylon
spacers under the shield. This height is already a compromise (flexes a lot in
a quartering crosswind) and width is at a max due to hand-protector clearance
(a thicker shield may be an improvement). The stock mounting points are
inadequate for a heavier or more protective shield. That said...I think this
solution is much improved, compared to stock. Earplugs are still a necessity,
but the helmet is not rattled around except under certain strong crosswind
conditions (and the shield can't help there). But this protection is still
NOWHERE NEAR comparable to an R80RT, for example.
1. Remove the stock shield and replace it with a handlebar mounted windshield. This entails finding the right sized shield, and mounting/modifying it to clear the stock fairing when turning. By moving the shield back toward the rider, the turbulence is lower (IMHO) and the air significantly quieter.
+++ Can go wider, no more interference with handguards, can bring up close to stock mirrors to smooth turbulence there, can be quickly removed (two set screws) and left at a campsite for exploring off-road.
- - - Looks? The bike seems underpowered to push this massive sail through the air, crosswinds can really affect steering (tiny movements of the bars really move the F650 around due to the "quick steering").
Conclusion...I really liked the wind protection, but the other factors convinced me to take it off. I have since rebuilt the carbs, and may give it another try.
2. I talked with Jerry Heil of Hannigan Fairings at the BMW MOA National this year. He wanted to look into fitting one of his fairings to an F650 (anyone near Paris, AR want to talk with him about this?). I think this would be a great solution...get the weight more forward on the bike, a better headlight, a sturdier fairing, etc. But I also see a lot of difficulties...all the instruments in the current fairing would need to be relocated somewhere, and how to "integrate" the fairing into the gas tank as it is now. You would also reduce the off-road capabilities of the bike. That said, there is a picture on the site of the one he built for a KLR650. Just have a hard time justifying a $1000 fairing on a $4000 bike. Marty #436
Clearview has a new +5" windshield for the Classic F650. I gave it a test ride at the shop 2 weekends ago. It's at www.clearviewshields.com if you want to check it out. I'm pretty sure that they ship all over the world. They sold 2 already and I'm buying the 3rd one. This is the BEST shield I have ever used on an F. I've tried the stock ST, stock Funduro, Parabellum +4, Cheetah, and AeroFlow. None of them came close to stopping wind turbulence like this one does. It costs about $124.00 which includes Colorado sales tax and shipping. If it is shipped outside of Colorado then you won't have to pay sales tax. Part #BMW-F605 (that's the correct #, not a typo). The F6 stands for F650. The 0 stands for Clear (as opposed to tinted). And the 5 stands for +5". I am 5'10" and I was on a Corbin saddle. Actually, Craig custom fits the shield to your overall height, minus your inseam, and whether you are on a stock seat or a custom seat. At least that is how he came up with the shield I tested. I rode it mostly between 40 and 60 miles per hour, with a few short bursts at 70 and maybe 75. I just kept riding hoping to find a faster area to ride in, but by then I was about 15 or 20 miles down the road. When I got back to the shop, a couple of guys that were there when I left and were getting shields fitted for sport bikes, laughed and said that they thought I wasn't coming back. I said, "Yeah, if somebody comes back right away from a test run, then you know the shield is not working. The longer a person is gone, you know he likes it and is searching for a defect". For me, there were no defects. I still got SOME of the normal wind turbulence from the lower sides of the gas tank that hit me on the lower sides of my chest, but that was very minor. There was no wind noise; it was kind of eerie. That's the first time I have ever experienced no noise or turbulence on an F (mine is a Funduro, but I used to have an ST). I felt like I was in a fantasy world (or on any other bike besides the F). And before the question comes up, no, I am not getting paid for this report, I don't own any interest in the business, and I didn't even get a discount for testing the shield. I like the F a lot, but have always hated the turbulence A LOT. So, hopefully it has ended. There are quite a few F650 people visiting this site that live in the Denver, Colorado area. If you haven't been to Clearview to try this shield yet, don't take my word for it, ride up there and test one out. I have a Funduro; not sure how it acts on an ST. If you live in Colorado or are passing through, call Craig in Bailey, Colorado at 1-800-798-6089. Make sure you get detailed directions from Craig. His place is right on the highway, but that doesn't mean you will find it on your own. Bob #1297
Here's the photo of Colorado Bob's "Clearview"
screen on his F650. I asked him to post a photo showing the screen and the
'whole bike' to look at the overall proportions, to make sure the screen
doesn't overwhelm the bike. It looks ok to my eyes, especially with the
touring gear fitted. Trevor #999
Looks very much like the National N3840 Cheetah which, up to now, was considered the best for the classic. Looks good and like it WILL do the job. Art #884
I bought a tall Aeroflow for my '95 F650 recently and have been testing it for the last couple of weeks. I am 5’ 10” and I have been getting a lot of turbulence on the helmet level which causes serious blurring (I wear glasses which makes it worse). I bought 3 feet of Saeng edging from my BMW dealer ($37) and tried it on. No difference!! Ramzi #1243
I pulled the cover off my 97 F650 last week, to discover that the Tall Parabellum shield had cracked through one of the screw holes on the bottom. It didn't do this while under regular use, but while parked! I wrote to Parabellum asking for assistance, and information on how to glue the pieces together. I was advised that gluing would be a "dangerous proposition". So, I asked for a discount on a replacement shield. This is their response, "Bike covers tug on windshields especially on a windy day. We warn people not to use them and they cancel their warranty if still applicable. I will however extend to you a 20% discount on a new shield if you call and order this week." I like the Parabellum better than the alternatives, and I've tried them all. But 20% off a $149 shield is still $120. That's a lot of green for that ugly shield. As a wise person once said, there are many subjective variables on shield choice. I put on the tall Parabellum AFTER using a National Cycle Cheetah. (Currently own two, in fact.) The Cheetah was much better than the stock or tall Aeroflow, but for my needs, the Parabellum was the best of them all. I even put a Saeng wing and winglets on the Cheetah, but the Parabellum was still better. I'm 6'2". ScottS
Refer the Mirrors FAQ,
for BOTH the Classic & the GS.
I put a rumble strip on my helmet . I know there's been some controversy here on these... It really seemed to make a difference for me. I'm also 6'3"'. I found the buffeting of my helmet disorienting. That part is resolved now. Hence, my interest in the windshield and mirrors. Chris #856
If you want to try to make your own…. Each Rumble Strip is 3/4 wide and 10 long. The surface is not flat...rumble strip is part of the mould and stands up above the material. Ends are tapered to an oval. Measurements taken from a 3/4 Shoei, measured from the snaps which hold the shield or visor. If this is not your set-up, add another 2 which is the distance on my helmet from the snaps to the forehead edge of the helmet. The centre of the strip material to the upper edge of my centre snap is 6 7/8. The ends are 4 3/4 from upper edge of the side snaps to the centre of the material. So, it kind of follows the curve of the helmet coming back towards your ears ever so slightly. (Shelley #798)
I have made no changes to my bike (98 F650) except Rumble Strips and I find the buffeting almost eliminated. The cost about $15US.
A couple of years ago I glued nylon spacers under the bottom edge of my windshield. I then added a Rumble-Strip to the top of my helmet. See www.rumble-strips.com These fixes really did away with almost all of the buffeting I had been getting on my '99 F650. The wind flow is much quieter now and my head doesn't "bob" around because of the airflow. The Rumble-Strip was around $15 and for me, the cost has been well worth it. Bill #391
Winglets, Edging, Laminar LIP
Not to disagree, but...I disagree. I've tried the edging and the winglets and they didn't work for me. I only used the 11 winglet on top of my screen (not the whole set), but it made no improvement, and actually created more turbulence. I invoked their satisfaction guaranteed clause and got my money back. I think these days they ding you with a restocking fee, which they tried to do to me...but they ended up giving me all my money back when I pointed out the restocking fee wasn't mentioned anywhere on their website. Mark #403
Well, I am plenty happy. Added the edging first, wanted more, then added the winglets. But, I'm always careful to only suggest them to someone with a GSA. I've read too many posts about wind and buffeting. The new bikes apparently have different aerodynamics. The wind symptoms reported by the carb owners are not the same as the 01s, 02s. I got a rumble strip, I got the GIVI, I got the edging, I got the winglets. In that order. Trust me, I'm not that sensitive. Yet each time I added something I said wow, that makes a difference. Scott #805
I was riding with my Parabellum +4 today and dreaming about a possible handlebar shield or anything that would cut some of the turbulence. Have you ever tried the stealth edging that AeroFlow uses around the cowling? I had it on an ST that I owned once and I think it actually may have helped. The interesting thing about the stealth edging is that AeroFlow doesn't use any of it on their shield. It only goes on the side of the cowling, starting at the shield and going down the painted cowling for about 6". William–USA
I saw the Laminar LIP in a motorcycle magazine recently -- they had it on a Triumph Sprint ST and it looked nice. I made my own version of this about a year ago to see if I could eliminate buffeting and lower wind noise on both the AeroFlow tall shield and the National Cycle Cheetah. My bike is a '99 Classic. On the AeroFlow, it did help buffeting, but only when it was angled so the edge facing front was lower than the rear edge (I used an angle of around 20 degrees). But I grew weary of the wind noise, which remained about the same no matter what I did. On the NC shield, it made little difference. I presently use the stock shield because, for me, it's the best compromise between wind noise and protection (and no buffeting). Bob
Did anyone read the product review in the latest [Ed. note: app. Sept. ‘02] issue of Friction Zone (a free monthly motorcycle magazine, maybe just West Coast) on the Laminar Lip? A company called Laminar LLC makes a product that attaches to stock windshields to reduce or even, in some cases, eliminate buffeting. They make the Lips for various models of the popular makes of motorcycles. I sent an e-mail and asked if they had plans on making one for the "classic" F650 and the response I got from a gentleman named Andy Corcoran was: "We are trying to do more BMWs, next will be the 650CS, then your bike. When we get a LIP designed for it we will try to e-mail you”. The web page is http://www.laminarlip.com Wamer #1021
I love these drawings - The *artist* can draw the lines
wherever he/she likes to impress us :~)
I can't believe that the second *airflow* line down would really be deflected upwards to the degree shown in the sketch. The mass of air coming straight at you has far more power than the itsy-bitsy bit being deflected upwards by the lip. There ain't no substitute for height when it comes to screens, which is why my adjustable screen actually *works* in the real life situation. Trevor #999
I read a review on Saeng edging from one of the US motorcycle magazines. They said that it made a small difference and that if the shield was on the borderline of being good, the edging might make enough difference to make it worth while. Otherwise, forget about it. esef
The Saeng edging raises the wind protection bubble an inch or 2 (depending on the rake of the windshield). It is also very distracting, as it blocks out part of your forward field of vision (depending on windshield height); it also offers no protection against "solid" projectiles like rain, hail, and bugs, like a taller real windshield would. On the F650 (especially with an already taller shield) in my opinion I would expect that it might cause the windshield to "flutter", as the BMW windshield mounts are already marginal on the F650. And for the price, it might be cheaper to just BUY a new windshield. Marty #436
I used the Saeng edging on a different bike, not a F650, and it did help a little bit. I think it is quite variable whether or not it helps – it depends a lot on how tall you are and how tall the windshield is. Bonnie #1158
I've tried the Saeng edging on a regular Funduro windshield and an AeroFlow, standard height. It does make a small difference in that it raises the effective height of the windshield. In my case, I think it actually made buffeting a bit worse. I think it also added stress to the windshield mounting, as all of the shields that I used the edging with developed cracks around the screw holes... Traverse City John
Like the difference between a $500 speaker and a $600 speaker...., NO ONE can tell which is better. Save your money or get a taller shield. Art #884
I've pretty much given up on the F. I don't know if anything works any better than just raising the screen with washers (a la FAQ) to equalize the pressure behind it. A lot of those who have gone down the new screen road don't think anything does. I just grin and bear it. David #476
Don't give up on the F. Change the mirrors. It really works. See the Mirrors FAQ for more information. I've tried the edging and agree that the difference is minor. Leo #699
I have around 25K miles on my '97 (15K with sidecar) with Saeng edging on an Aero tall windshield, and can say that it is better than not having it, but there is still a bit of buffeting – nothing I can't live with. I look over the top and have had no blocking problem, finding it similar to the stock RT edging as far as that goes. These miles include one 4200 mile trip and one 7000 mile trip, as well as numerous rides of 50-250 miles. At $10/ft, it is spendy, but there is no free lunch. Hal #15