I’ve read a few posts on other forums lately about the major cause of buffeting being the mirrors, not the windshield. The solution for a few was to go to fairing-mounted mirrors. The mirror of choice for this seems to be the FZ-1 mirror. However, further research indicated that the mirrors tend to be very bouncy and they will eventually break the plastic of the fairing unless you weld mirror mounts to the fairing subframe. So, while I really like the look of the FZ-1 mirrors on the Strom, I’m just not willing to go through that much work to achieve it right now.
The funny thing is that while I was perusing several FZ-1 forums, I found out that many FZ-1 owners complain about buffeting caused by their own mirrors! It’s ironic that the same mirrors that some say fix the V-Strom’s problem cause the same problem on the FZ-1. Anyway, a frequent solution that came up for the FZ-1 riders was to get ride of their fairing mounted mirrors and go the bar end mounted mirrors. The most popular option is a 3” round aluminum set with convex glass. These come with their own mounting hardware, or the can be clamped onto existing bar ends. A quick search of FleaBay showed that these mirrors are available in black, silver or carbon fiber look for $18 with free shipping. Well, for that price I figured it was worth a shot and I ordered a set in black.
The mirrors took abut 7 days to get here from CA and the seller didn’t bother to let me know when they shipped, so I can’t say much good for the seller except that the product was cheap and appears as advertised. Each mirror comes with a bolt, 2 collets (one to fit standard 7/8” steel bars and one for aluminum bars) and an expander bushing. The bracket itself clamps onto the mirror at one end and a round spacer at the other. The mirrors can either be mounted using a bolt through the spacer, or the spacer can be removed and the bracket clamped directly to a bar end.
I have replaced my OEM bar ends with some custom delrin units, so I just replaced the spacer between the grip and the hand guard with the new mirror and spacer. Installation was simple and straight forward. If you have the EOM hand guards and bar ends, you'll have to make a small spacer to go inside the hand-guard. You can see the spacer I made in white. Since I no longer have the stock spacers, I don't know if they are the proper diameter to just clamp the mirror mounts to the spacers. If they are, they you could just go that route and you'd be golden.
After getting everything adjusted and tightened up, I took her out for a test ride. Now, I’ve heard over the years that the true cause of the Strom’s buffeting is the mirrors, not the windshield. I’ve tried a couple of different shields, with and without the Madstad bracket (don’t get me started on that p.o.s. or the s.o.b. who sells them), but, for some reason, I never really bought that the mirrors could make very much of a difference. I’ve used the OEM mirrors, Emgo Mark II mirrors, and Aprilia Tuono mirrors and none had much effect on buffeting. Well… with the mirrors removed from the OEM location, ALL of the buffeting disappeared! I rode for about 3 hours, on highways and back roads, alone and jousting with semis and SUVs, and at speeds up to 90 mph. Even when passing 18-wheelers and following large SUVs, the buffeting is just gone! Quite frankly, I’m shocked that the solution to the Strom’s buffeting issue really is this simple. I would recommend that anyone who is thinking about getting a new windshield should take a quick ride with the mirrors removed first. The difference is mind blowing!
The new mirrors definitely present a different rear view. Since the glass is convex, give a much larger field of view, but does distort distances. Objects in the mirrors are closer than they appear! This only took me about 10-15 minutes to get used to. Besides, I always do head-checks when changing lanes, so it’s really not a big deal. It is pretty cool to be able to see directly behind you with the mirrors. Since they are further to the outside than OEM, your own body blocks almost none of the view. I can just see the tips of my elbows in the mirrors. The view angle is wide enough that you can actually look in the left mirror and see a car following you in the lane to your right! You do have to look further to the side and down to see the mirrors, but that became second nature pretty quickly. The new mirrors are definitely more expose to off road damage than the stockers, but at $18 a pair, you could just keep a couple of spares on hand.
No buffeting… at all!
Much greater field of view.
Cheap, so replacement cost if one breaks is low.
Gets mirrors out of line of sight to the front.
Looks cool (in my opinion)
Loss of distance perception (Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.)
Distortion of images due to convex glass
You have to look further to the side and down to use the mirrors. This takes a little getting used to, but it’s not bad.
Comparisons of images in both types of mirrors.
Looks pretty good, in my opinion.
Wider than the OEM type mirrors, but still narrower than the luggage.