Buffeting.....newbie silly question..... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Buffeting.....newbie silly question.....

I was riding today and had a bit of a different experience. Around 35 mph, as I was passing by buildings, I would get side winds. No biggie as far as controlling the bike. BUT.... something I never felt before. I was getting a somewhat high frequency buffeting on my head that actually blurred my vision a bit. I felt nothing on my body other then my head. Now I know I have a big head, but I never thought I had a boat sail.

I read here about buffeting, but I thought it was a slow frequency affair, not this vision blurring thingy.

I'm 5'10" with stock windshield. I feel no wind on my chest at higher speeds and I didn't get that buffeting when I was going 50mph. I'm wearing an HJC FS3 open face, 3/4 helmet.

This is the first time I felt it. Is this normal? Is it the bike? The helmet? The interaction between the two at certain speeds and wind directions? Or my big fat head?

Do I have to strap a chain from my head to my butt to stop it?



PS. Please don't shoot me if I'm asking a stupid question. The last time I rode, most of you weren't born and I don't remember this "experience" 40 years ago.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, forget it. I found the answer. When you guys talked about buffeting, I thought that you guys were talking about slow oscillations but now I know it's vision blurring.

Judging from the thread I found on a different forum on this site, I should consider myself lucky since I only get it at particular side-winds and particular speeds. Mind you, the fastest I have gone so far is 50 mph (city) so there is more to "discover"

BTW, a friend commented that I look like Dark Helmet. I guess they use a larger a much larger casing when they go to XXXL and that is probably some of my problem.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
Okay, forget it. I found the answer. When you guys talked about buffeting, I thought that you guys were talking about slow oscillations but now I know it's vision blurring.

Judging from the thread I found on a different forum on this site, I should consider myself lucky since I only get it at particular side-winds and particular speeds. Mind you, the fastest I have gone so far is 50 mph (city) so there is more to "discover"

BTW, a friend commented that I look like Dark Helmet. I guess they use a larger a much larger casing when they go to XXXL and that is probably some of my problem.
Lowering the screen as far as possible reduced or eliminates it.

There are some other tricks as well. My DL looks particularly ugly - plastic binder spine across the top of the screen. Works well though.

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post #4 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 06:17 AM
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Spartan, the [dedicated] buffeting thread is under the Wee-Strom specific banner. The reason for that has not been made public - I can only guess that perhaps the more powerful exhaust pulses of the 1000cc Vee-Strom are indirectly and beneficially altering the frontal zone airflow, to the extent that few if any Vee-Strom riders suffer from the problem. ;-)

If I may summarize the "buffeting thread" like this :-

For people of middling height, like you and me, riding the Wee-Strom, the stock windscreen usually produces an unpleasant headshake at high frequency - really an aerodynamically-induced vibration (rather than the low-frequency buffeting that you get in an open-top car or even in a sedan with the windows down.

For me, it is a horizontal oscillation which is enough to produce a horizontal blurring of the scenery (at cruising speeds). This spoils the enjoyment of the scenic experience : as well as being mildly unpleasant in itself.
High, middle or low positioning of the stock screen makes little difference.

Riders try all sorts of expensive or tricky "fixes" for the buffeting - with indifferent success.
The most common fix : using the Madstad screen mount to replace the stock mounting points. The Madstad permits the stock screen to be adjusted for angle.

In my own case, I achieved 90+% success, only when the screen was at its lowest position and tilted back as far as it would go.

And there is a problem with Madstad - a problem on dirt roads : it rattles worrisomely when traversing really harsh roads (corrugations & frequent pot-holes). Despite tightening everything to the max, each harsh bump produces a rattle severe enough to suggest impending breakage of the mount/screen - if conditions were to persist.
So I choose to ride "screenless" if the trip involves leaving the bitumen or leaving well-groomed dirt roads.
.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 07:51 AM
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I'll add a couple more things that seem to be common.

Lots of people have success with a larger windshield (like a givi) and a madstad bracket. This can keep more air off of you if that's what you want. You just have to play with the position of the shield to see what works for you. The madstad helps with either stock or aftermarket screen. Also, some people buy longer bolts and install spacers between the bike and bracket to tip the windshield back. This works like the madstad but is more difficult to fine tune and doesn't have as many positions.

Lots of other people like the euro sport screen. It looks nice and most people don't have problems with buffetting with it installed. However, Suzuki doesn't sell it here. You have to find one used or order from europe. You get more airflow but it is "clean air".

Some people need to change the mirrors out for wider ones (aprilia) or install mirror extenders because their buffetting comes from the mirrors.

Buffetting varies a lot from person to person. There doesn't seem to be a magic formula that works for everybody.

2006 Wee: Farkling in progress
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Midnullarbor View Post
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And there is a problem with Madstad - a problem on dirt roads : it rattles worrisomely when traversing really harsh roads (corrugations & frequent pot-holes). Despite tightening everything to the max, each harsh bump produces a rattle severe enough to suggest impending breakage of the mount/screen - if conditions were to persist.
So I choose to ride "screenless" if the trip involves leaving the bitumen or leaving well-groomed dirt roads.
.
Not much to add, except one observation on the Madstad -- you said you tightened everything to the max... did this include the nylock nuts at the pivot? The instructions said to leave it alone, but I noticed it had a lot of slop so I tightened it another 1/2 turn to take the slop out but still allow the bracket to move (albeit with added resistance.) It still wiggles on really bad roads, but not anything I'd consider worrisome.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Midnullarbor View Post
.
Spartan, the [dedicated] buffeting thread is under the Wee-Strom specific banner. The reason for that has not been made public - I can only guess that perhaps the more powerful exhaust pulses of the 1000cc Vee-Strom are indirectly and beneficially altering the frontal zone airflow, to the extent that few if any Vee-Strom riders suffer from the problem. ;-)

If I may summarize the "buffeting thread" like this :-

For people of middling height, like you and me, riding the Wee-Strom, the stock windscreen usually produces an unpleasant headshake at high frequency - really an aerodynamically-induced vibration (rather than the low-frequency buffeting that you get in an open-top car or even in a sedan with the windows down.

For me, it is a horizontal oscillation which is enough to produce a horizontal blurring of the scenery (at cruising speeds). This spoils the enjoyment of the scenic experience : as well as being mildly unpleasant in itself.
High, middle or low positioning of the stock screen makes little difference.

Riders try all sorts of expensive or tricky "fixes" for the buffeting - with indifferent success.
The most common fix : using the Madstad screen mount to replace the stock mounting points. The Madstad permits the stock screen to be adjusted for angle.

In my own case, I achieved 90+% success, only when the screen was at its lowest position and tilted back as far as it would go.

And there is a problem with Madstad - a problem on dirt roads : it rattles worrisomely when traversing really harsh roads (corrugations & frequent pot-holes). Despite tightening everything to the max, each harsh bump produces a rattle severe enough to suggest impending breakage of the mount/screen - if conditions were to persist.
So I choose to ride "screenless" if the trip involves leaving the bitumen or leaving well-groomed dirt roads.
.
The Wee specific thread is the one I found. Not exactly thrilled when I read through it.

"aerodynamically-induced vibration" is the appropriate description of it and should be commonly used. The word "buffeting" does not really describe it because most people (including me) associated it with slow frequency side winds. Perhaps here, it had a different meaning because of the common experience BUT to an outside or newbie, it means a different thing.

I was over at Vicious Cycle and tried a few windscreens. I don't like the taller ones because I'm forced to look through them then over them that I do now. I'm not an expert on aerodynamics, I would hazard a guess that the air is breaking up (eddies?) and catching our helmets in it. What I don't understand from reading some post is how it's there at a range of speeds. I would assume that changing speeds would change the shape of the air stream. I do understand that it's complicated to fix because the air stream can change with speed and can be affected by many things.

I'm not going to do anything about it right now because I only felt it for a few second and when there was a rapid change in wind direction. I don't know if it will be present at higher speed or when I'm passing cars or more likely, trucks.

I got it for a few second and was annoyed, I couldn't imagine riding with it for hours on end.

Not thrilled about all this and not what I bargained for......
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 12:53 PM
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Don't get too bummed. It's fixable - and the bikes are great bikes (worth the up-front minor tweeking inconvenience).
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Don't get too bummed. It's fixable - and the bikes are great bikes (worth the up-front minor tweeking inconvenience).
I bought the bike to have some fun. If I want speed thrills, I have a German car with the engine at the wrong place. The bike was to re-live and remember the fun I had at 20. So far, it's been more of a re-learn and forcing my fears of lipstick/texting/phoning cagers and little issues to the side.

Mehh...I'm going to give it time.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-22-2011, 10:51 PM
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Thanks, JPK (post #6).
The Madstad mount's nylock nuts do loosen off quite quickly, I find [on rough roads]. And I have been reluctant to commit to a permanent form of fixation for them.

Even on full tightening down, the mechanical situation is a rather unhappy one - fundamentally, it is a heavy (stock) screen being cantilevered out on thin metal supports, and with the fixation points quite close together [as is applying in my standard position of usage, where the screen is at its lowest height, and tilted right back. Less tilt, and a higher position, would be a bit better here - but for me that gives buffeting.].

The Madstad is fine for general riding on good roads, or for withstanding the occasional thump or pot-hole.
But a steady diet of rough/harsh roads is probably rather beyond its "intended use" - and I suspect would soon lead to grief.

I have considered trying the shorty Euro screen - which I believe is about 325g in weight (versus the 525g of the stock screen, i.e. about 11.5oz versus 18.5oz).
That would unload the Madstad, somewhat.
However, the Euro screen is not available in "clear" [last time I checked].

Going screenless is fine (and quieter), though rain protection is poorer, of course.
.
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