Clean wind at last! (no more buffeting - $5 fix!) *LONG POST - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Clean wind at last! (no more buffeting - $5 fix!) *LONG POST

Ok guys, after posting some teasers in another post, I finally have the time (and now the miles under my belt with the mod in place) to post a detailed "how-to" eliminate buffeting and turbulence on a 02-03 Dl1k. This will probably work on the newer 'Stroms, I think I've even seen someone do something similar to the 04+ windshields. Since the bikes are otherwise identical, I think it would be easy enough to modify this for those newer models.

Anyways, I had no idea this was going to work out so well, so I didn't take pictures during the process. It was kind of one of those spur-of-the-moment inspirations. Oh well.. as you will see, I kept all the pieces and it's pretty darn easy to see what I did, so no big loss, really.

Now what started all this, was the fact that I came from naked bikes (standards and cruisers) and while I like the whole "faired" thing more or less, I am 5'9" and even though that is supposedly in the no-so-bad buffeting range according to most riders, I got a LOT of noise and some pretty disturbing turbulence at hiways speeds. My 02 1k came with both the stock screen, and an aftermarket 21" Givi Tall Touring shield. Neither one did the job well, and after reading the reports of nearly everyone with an 04+ model Stom running their shields (stock and aftermarket) in the lowest position, it became pretty obvious to me that taller was not the way to go. Also, my focus was not to eliminate air flow (if this is what you are hoping to do, you can stop reading now :P). I do live in the South, and it tends to get a *bit* warm down here, don'tcha know! If I rid myself of all airflow, I lose all the benefits of my helmet vents and mesh jacket, and end up roasting. So the goal was to get *CLEAN AIR* flowing to my head. With the stock shield, the airflow was always hitting me right in the eyes/forehead. Not enough to stabilize my helmet or get any air in my chin-vent.

So, one day last week, I got the idea to just REMOVE the windscreen. Ironically, the same day, someone else had the same idea and started a thread about it! I rode across town to work with it like that, and immediately fell in love. I could tell before I was even out of my cul-de-sac, that this was a major improvement. Clean air at last!!! What a difference. Now, it *felt* great, but didn't look so hot, IMO. I also had no "bubble" to duck under at +100 MPH speeds, and I really do like to have that added protection. So I had an idea. Why not cut down the stock shield, to retain the same level of air flow (more or less) and keep a pretty clean look to the front of the bike? As a matter of fact, I felt I could not only cut down the shield to lower the airstream, but keep a bubble of protection that I could get down under at those triple digit speeds when I lay on the tank. So, long preamble out of the way, this is what I did, and how I did it:

Tools/Materials required:

Dremel or similar rotary tool
A couple cutting wheels (they don't have to be heavy duty)
A medium sanding bit
A tape measure
Utilty knife
Some masking tape (I prefer the blue "painters" tape")
A black sharpie
1 can of flat black spray paint ($1.99 @ AutoZone)
I package of black Door Edge Moulding ($2.99 @ AutoZone)



That's all. This whole mod cost me $5. I found the paint and door moulding at AZ, you can find the same at Pep Bos, AAP, etc.. these are very common items, and shouldn't cost you more than $5-6. That's all I had to spend since I already have a dremel. If you don't have a dremel (and I would certainly ask "Why the heck don't you have one!?"), you can get one for about $30 at Home Depot or Lowe's. Shame on you for not owning the single most useful tool on the planet!! :P

Now for the step by step!!

Step 1: Mark your cut.

Make a mark 3" down from the top dead center of your shield. I did this with it on the bike. Mark the spot in two more places on the same flat portion of the screen, then take your masking tape and run it straight across the screen all the way to the edges, don't try and curve it. We'll address that later! Make sure it's straight, measure your end points on both sides of the screen edges to make sure. Here is what the piece looks like after you cut it off. I put the tape on the lower section, in order to protect the part of the screen I'm keeping. Remove the screen from the bike. Here's what the piece you cut off will look like



Step 2: Make your first cut.

Now when making the cut, go slow, don't press to hard. I kept the dremel on high, and you are basically cutting and melting at the same time. I actually lightly scored the cut first all the way across, then went back and cut all the way thru. The tape will give you a nice clean edge to work off of, as well as protecting the lower part of the screen from abrasion or slips. Take your time, you do want this cut to be clean and straight. If you drank too much coffee (or beer) and you don't get a clean cut, you get to sand quite a bit more. Lucky you!

Step 3: Second cut.

I wish I had a shot of the screen at this point, but I don't. I didn't think this would work out the way it did, or I would have taken more pics! But basically, you are holding a screen that's 3" shorter than stock, without the dogears cut off the corners. Looks kinda crappy, with melted edges and it's not that smooth. It's fine. We're going to fix that now! Now take your marker, and make two small marks on each corner of the shield. One will be 1/4" up from where the black fairing ends, on the very edge of the screen. The other one will be right at the point that the screen bends. You are basically recreating the stock "dog-earred" look, so use your own judgement. Just make sure they are exactly the same on both sides. These are important, so take your time and line them up nice and even on both sides. Use the tape to mask your line off, then carefully make your cuts. Here are a couple pics with the measurements of those cuts.





Step 4: Sand!

Ok, so now you are holding a shield that looks a LOT like the stock one, only about 3" shorter all the way around. Now it's time to switch out the bit on the dremel, put on your sanding bit, turn the rotary speed down to medium, and very lightly start sanding your cut smooth. Most of the melted stringy plastic bits will just pull right off. I say take it easy on the sanding, because if you push too hard, you will melt the plastic and that's not good. The screen material is really very soft and it's easy to put more curves in it when sanding!! So take it easy, and slowly but surely round off your edges and make things nice and smooth. It's not critical, but depending on how you want to finish the mod, you can go to hand sandpaper if you really want it glass-like smooth. I ended up finishing with the black rubber door moulding, so I just wanted it straight. Smooth was not important, since I'm covering the whole cut edge with rubber trim anyway. If you decide not to use the edging, sand it nice and smooth, rounding off the edges a bit, it will look really cool if you want to stay clean without the trim!

Step 5: Test shield height.

So, now you have a nice, smooth edge, on your cut down shield. At this point, I would take a quick ride and see the difference! I personally like this height b/c the windflow hits me right at my chin, and still gives me enough bubble of protection to duck under at high speeds to get out of the wind completely.

Step 6: Paint.

If you are satisfied with what you have, get some windex, clean the screen really good on the inside, and turn it upside down on some cardboard. If you are shorter than 5'9", or want more wind on your chest, try reducing your screen by another 1/2" or so and repeat the first few steps. Some of you may want to cut it more or less flush with the fairing. That's up to you! Grab yer rattlecan and spray the backside of the screen with flat black spray paint! Of course, this is totally optional - you can skip this step if you want to stay clear. I left the stock Suzuki sticker and gradient fade on the underside of the shield. Looks awesome! So - spray it with 2-3 coats, being careful not to overspray onto the front side. Let it sit for 30 minutes to set up.

Step 7: Edge Trim.

Go put the screen back on the bike. SWEET! Looks good, doesn't it? I let mine cure for about 24 hrs to make sure the paint was totally set up. The next day, I grabbed my Automotive Door Edge Trim, and started on the left hand side. The kind I bought has adhesive glue already run on the inside of the channel. I just slowly worked it tight onto my cut edge, and once I got it positioned where I wanted it, I used a utility knife to make a clean cut on the other edge. Push it down and seat it real good, and you are done!!

Here are the finished shots:









Now, you can all make up your own minds about the difference in ride quality, but it's astonishing to me. A simple $5, 45 minute fix has eliminated the #1 rider complaint for me and 3 other friends that have ridden it since. It's a wonder to me that Suzuki doesn't offer a "Sport Shield" option. :roll:

Quite simply - THERE IS NO MORE BUFFETING! Just a nice clean air stream to the helmet. It's so much quieter, I can't believe it's the same bike. I had 3 of my 6' + buddies take it for a spin so I could let you guys know what their thoughts were. I am 5'9" and it's awesome for me, but I know that the taller riders are the ones who have really bad issues. Well, I think this is going to make you tall guys happy as a clam. My brother in law who is 6' even (rides a naked SV650) said "it's like a totally diffferent bike. I could ride it all day - there is no buffeting at all!" My other riding buddy who is 6'2" and has a Bandit 1200S was kinda pissed he said "Dude, you ruined me. I never noticed any buffeting or wind noise on my Bandit before I rode yours like this. Now your Strom is way smoother than my Bandit - I'd ride it all day!" SMOOTHER AND QUIETER THAN A BANDIT!! And that's coming *from* the guy who owns (and loves) a Bandit 1200S! He's also got a nice Zero Gravity aftermarket screen on that Bandit, that's he's been very happy with (until now, hehehe) Now, both of these guys had ridden my bike before the screen cut-job, and both swore they hated the buffeting and turbulence, it was so bad for them they honestly did not like trading bikes with me at all while out riding, and if I did convince one of them to trade up with me (I like riding different bikes!) it would last about 20 minutes before they would pull off and say "I can't take the buffeting anymore - give me my bike back!"

The other thing that I found out while doing this... I had somewhat noticed before, but it really makes a difference what helmet you are using. I have a few different ones, but my main helmets are a rather inexpensive HCI convertible helmet, and a Shoei RF series. I usually use the HCI around town, because I can sling it on and off easier when running errands. But the difference on the highway or longer trips is unreal. The HCI has more "creases" and whatnot b/c it's a flip-up convertible helmet. It was the worst offender when it came to wind roar. I always use the Shoei for longer trips. Nothing but a nice "ssssssssssssssssss" wind sound. I was even considering riding with plugs before this mod. It wasn't even the buffeting that drove me nuts, it was the damn rumbling, roaring wind noise that really bothered me. Gone. Totally, completely gone.

I'm willing to bet that most of you guys have your stock shields sitting in the garage or shed collecting dust. Give this a shot!! I still have my Givi Tall shield for long distance trips, and winter riding, but I don't know if I'll ever use it again. Maybe if I want to ride in the dead of winter and get some protection. I dunno. What I do know is that I've taken my cut-down screen on the highway, side streets, up to 120 mph (leaned on the tank), and around town. Obviously, this is a motorcycle, there is going to be wind and if you are on a crowded interstate, there is going to be some buffeting. No windsield is going to eliminate a truck's blow-by. But this seems to get rid of the near death-wobble when that happens, and when you are on an open road without traffic, it's a pure pleasure to ride. No earplugs required!! Plus, I think it looks flat sick on the bike. Much racier than stock, it looks a lot sportier and more streamlined. I have to keep my top rack on to use the bike a viable commuter, but whenever I get to go for a "fun-ride" I pull it off and the bike looks really sleek and stealthy.

If you guys have any question or anything is not clear enough, please let me know. I'm just glad to have a little something to give back to this amazing community of riders who have helped me get my BigStrom into tip-top running shape!!!

peace,

mG

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post #2 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 12:44 PM
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Thank you for that write up! You may have just saved me some coin! I will be trying that out this week for sure, I almost just purchased a new windscreen to, luckily I got out bid on it.

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post #3 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 12:57 PM
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Looks good!

Thanks for the idea! I had read about it somewhere and think I may do the same with my '04. Just ordered a GIVI but think I'll cut the stock down and try it out. I also came from cruisers and not used to this wind buffeting.

I like the black paint idea, looks awesome!!!
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post #4 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 01:24 PM
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MonkeyGrass

Well done and well written. The blacked out shield is good looking and changes the lines of the fairing nicely. I do think I will have to remove my shield for a ride or two and experience clean air. Also have an issue with noise. Thanks for the write up. Ride On.

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post #5 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 02:05 PM
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Cool Monkeygrass, thanks for the writeup and pictures! I'm going to definteley do this to my stock screen this week I think. But I'll ride a couple more times with my tall screen and mesh jacket just so I have a better comparison later when I switch over to the cut screen.

Not sure if I'll paint mine black however. It looks good that way but I'm thinking in a tuck I'd want to look through it a little.

Good job!

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post #6 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words guys! This really wasn't hard to do at all. I think it took me the same amount of time to write it up here as it actually took to *do* the mod itself. Very easy 1 hr job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisW123
Not sure if I'll paint mine black however. It looks good that way but I'm thinking in a tuck I'd want to look through it a little.

Good job!
I thought about the same thing.. that's why I suggested taking it for a test ride before final trim/paint. I found that the 2" of what was left of the screen wasn't useful at all while in a tank crouch. It's actually below eye level when I lay on my tank. If I tried to look thru what was left of the screen, I was essentially taking my eyes dangerously off the road. When I'm in that crouch, it means I'm blasting my way past 100 mph, and at that speed, I'm really not too concerned with whatever is 4 feet in front of the bike. I'm looking 100 feet down the road. But, that's me... I don't lay on the tank until I'm in triple digits. If you lay down there regularly, then you might want to keep it clear. I think it would look great either way, but you'll want to spend a little more time hand-sanding and polishing your cut edge to make it as clear and clean as possible. You also need to be real careful with the dremel, one slip with either the cut wheel or the sanding bit and you have a nasty looking scratch down your screen... Go ahead, ask me how I know this! :x One stupid slip when I was 99% finished... Didn't bother me though, cuz I knew I wanted to go black.

Please, post back and let me know how your versions end up! I hope you find the same level of comfort and quiet that I now enjoy. It made my rides this weekend much more relaxing and less fatiguing.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][I][SIZE=1][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][B]
V-Strom - embarrassing squids since 2002.[/B][/SIZE][/SIZE]

[/SIZE][/I][FONT=Georgia]DL1000K2 #938
[SIZE=1][COLOR=Navy][B][SIZE=2]Blue, of course!!

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post #7 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 05:10 PM
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That is a really nice mod and a great report on it!
Congrats and thanks although I cannot really benefit as I own a K6 DL 650. I wonder if there is such a mod for the wee also?
Your 1k looks really hot!

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post #8 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 05:24 PM
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Could you post a pic of the whole bike from a few feet back? Maybe a front quarter shot? Thanks!
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post #9 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mokusbajusz
That is a really nice mod and a great report on it!
Congrats and thanks although I cannot really benefit as I own a K6 DL 650. I wonder if there is such a mod for the wee also?
Your 1k looks really hot!
Moku, you can do this mod... I think the 650 Wee has the same windshield.

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post #10 of 58 Old 05-01-2006, 06:05 PM
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Hey Monkey,

I'm thinking that sanding the inside of the windscreen would make the paint stick better.

Also, are you happy with the way the flat black looks or if you could switch to semi-gloss instead, would you?

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