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Love the new Fairing

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Posted 17th March 2008 at 15:55 by glh

Thank Goodness. I've had 2 windshields on this bike and neither worked well.



My original post for help is here:
http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...ad.php?t=86885

After 5 months of struggling with wind issues, and knowing I will be touring on my Sporty come early summer, I bit the bullet and bought a fairing. Riding without a shield is a blast, but there are plenty of times when it is not. In my original post I mentioned the 209-30 mph winds I ride home against, and touring means the possibility of heavy rains or a field full of junebugs.

At first I tried another windshield, a National Cycle Deflector Screen DX. This was better in terms of the buffeting I experienced with the HD detachable compact, but the setup was kind of hokey. The idea of "pre-loading" the bottom of the shield against the headlight or eyebrow seemed like bad design to me, and although the buffeting wasn't as bad, the shield and mounting system took away some stability. I felt like the front end was being pushed around by the wind. When I finally went to remove the mounting hardware, I found that one of the screws in a handlebar clamp just turned. The brass embedded in plastic had simply broke free. Fun, now I can't even sell the darn thing. After a half hour of dremel work I finally removed the clamp from the bars.

In the mean time I bought a Shoei full face helmet (RF-1000). It takes some getting used to riding with a full face after years of riding with a half helmet at most. I found that it was workable to ride into 90+ MPH winds with this helmet, but my arms still took quite a beating holding on with all that wind on my chest. I thought about just doing a fly screen, then thought about a quarter fairing. On Friday I decided to take a chance on a fairing that is smaller than a batwing but larger than a quarter fairing. I called Rifle Fairings, and the one I was thinking of was in stock. I only work 30 minutes away from their shop, so I was able to arrive before closing time and pick it up in person.

I have not had the chance to ride more than 60 miles with new fairing installed, but the little time I have had to test has made me a very happy boy. I was dreading dropping even more cash only to find buffeting or front end shakiness. Instead I found that my bike handles highway speeds into strong and gusty head/side winds (25-35 mph winds at 70+ mph) better than it ever has before.

My goal all along has been to set this bike up for mild adventure touring. By this I mean able to carry enough stuff to ride 3-4 weeks, blast along the interstate without being beat up by the wind, and also able to ride a primative road or three without breaking down. The Rifle Roadster Fairing brings me that much closer.

It may not be a Sportster-Glide or Baby Bagger like Snowman and others have built, but as a relatively inexpensive solution the fairing, along with Mutazu hard bags on easy brackets are working for me. The Mutazu Trunk is next, I'm just waiting on some mounting hardware.



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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    emzdogz's Avatar
    wow, that's great!
    Hope it works out for you as well as it seems to have so far.
    What brand is the new one?
    Posted 17th March 2008 at 16:36 by emzdogz emzdogz is offline
  2. Old Comment
    glh's Avatar
    It from a small firm called Rifle. http://www.rifle.com
    It was started by former managers at Vetter. They don't do a great job of sales and marketing IMHO, but the design and workmanship are solid.
    Posted 17th March 2008 at 17:16 by glh glh is offline
  3. Old Comment
    karlkcfi's Avatar
    Can we get some shots from the side? I am curious about how far back the top lip of your windshield extends. My theory is that the further back you can get it, the less helmet shake and more stable the bike will become. I also bought the HD quick detach. Right now, I have added a laminar lip to my windshield which has moved the air above my helmet. Works good...lookss well it works good.
    Posted 17th March 2008 at 17:20 by karlkcfi karlkcfi is offline
  4. Old Comment
    emzdogz's Avatar
    oh yeah Rifle is a great brand!
    Posted 17th March 2008 at 17:22 by emzdogz emzdogz is offline
  5. Old Comment
    glh's Avatar
    Hey karlkcfi,

    I'll try to get a decent side view soon (the light has been terrible). In the mean time here is a really bad side view.



    The shield does extend further back than the other 2 shields I've tried on the Sportster. There is also something else I think is a factor. This fairing has something they call an "Air Balance" windshield vent. It is basically an open space at the bottom center of the shield part that lets air in to run along the inside of the shield. I was told that the main purpose was to relieve back pressure. You can see this in the even worse pic below. The Rifle logo is inside the curved part of the vent.



    I think I might put together an analysis of what I think works and doesn't work with the product for the Sport-Glide / Sproster Motorcycle Touring forum, but I want to have more empirical data before I do that. I'm planning on riding to work a couple of days this week, so hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for the interest. If/When I do post to the forum about this I will be sure to put it in the blog.
    Posted 18th March 2008 at 02:50 by glh glh is offline
  6. Old Comment
    karlkcfi's Avatar
    Thanks for the side profile pictures. I like the look & design of that fairing! Looking forward to more comments.
    Ride Safe!
    Posted 19th March 2008 at 14:26 by karlkcfi karlkcfi is offline
  7. Old Comment
    blacksmith_wills's Avatar
    Hi,

    I'm curious how much wind you get from along the sides and bottom of the fairing. I get a lot of wind that comes up my chest and under my chin. It gets around the botom of the windshield and then up.

    Have looked at Memphis lowers to stop this problem. Does the fairing help?

    Regards,

    Matt
    Posted 14th April 2008 at 03:22 by blacksmith_wills blacksmith_wills is offline
  8. Old Comment
    glh's Avatar
    Hey blacksmith_wills,

    I get a decent amount of wind from the sides. The wind hits me around the middle of my biceps. What I don't get is the wind from below.

    I took a chance buying the fairing for exactly the reason you mention when I had an HD windshield. The wind from below would rattle my riding glasses. No more.
    Posted 14th April 2008 at 05:03 by glh glh is offline
 


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