Thursday, June 13, 2013

Buffeting with the Cee Bailey windshield

I have never been happy with my Cee Bailey Windshield.  It throws the wind directly into my faceshield and after a time the vibrations give me a headache.  I wanted to look into other windshield options but then it is mostly a trial and error method of solving and I didn't wish to keep throwing hard earned money at it.  The CB seems very solid but it is non-adjustable.   I thought if I could angle it back a few degrees then it may help.   The CB windshield bracket is hooked into a U-bracket on the front and then secured by two fasteners onto your handlebars.   If you could raise the front bracket it would allow the windscreen to angle back and thus change the windflow.

I bought this nice black chrome Stanley torx bit set a while ago and tonight I finally opened it.  Most BMW fasteners are varying sizes of torx

Then I brought out my Craftsman socket set to go about the task of removing my windshield

It detaches in mere seconds

I have always considered windshields to be safety items and I won't ride without one.  Imagine rocks and debris coming into your eyes.  Pebbles are like bullets when flicked up by car tires ahead.   Also when it rains and you are on the highway, the water drops are like little pellets.  So here is my R sort of naked without wind protection

I had a hard time trying to find Stainless Torx head bolts.  It was hard enough to get metric and I didn't know what size my bolts were so I guessed and bought M5 and M4.   I could have removed the windshield bolt and brought it with me to Home Depot but then I was worried about losing it, so I didn't .  These are not stainless but I thought that I use them anyway and if my idea worked, then I could replace it later with the correct bolt

The bolt on the left is the original bolt and the two next to it are the M4.  I also bought teflon washers

The washers on the handlebar/fork mount are broken and I am replacing them with the white ones

Here is the front U-bracket where the Cee Bailey bracket hooks under.   I am going to use a spacer to raise the bracket.  This will allow the windshield to angle backwards a few degrees

Yesterday I cut a piece of wood but it didn't feel solid enough but today I found a more solid spacer.   I used a roller from a scooter CVT variator

Here's the piece of wood from yesterday to try it out

And tonight I replaced the wood spacer with these metal rollers.  They are hollow in the middle where the bolt goes through.   According to some people on the Beemer forum, a 1" spacer will change the wind flow enough to clear your helmet.   I could only find an M4 bolt long enough to try a half inch spacer so that's the best I can do for now.  When I can get a longer M4 bolt I can swap it out and try it again to see/feel the difference.   I am sure that it should be a bit better than what it was

So here we are.  You may not notice the difference but it is raked backwards a few more degrees.  This also allows more airflow to enter Under the windscreen which may alieviate some negative pressure.   I thought about a laminar lip but not for the price they are asking and being a special order item, it would not be returnable.


  1. Bob

    You need something like this:

    Mr N Smart from North of Stoke on Trent

    1. Nikos:

      I wished I could get one of those. I saw something similar but then again I have to order it in, and I am running out of time. It would be nice if I could find one in stock, somewhere. There is not much in Vancouver, but perhaps I may find one at a large dealership in the USA

  2. Well? After all that effort I would've tried it out immediately to see if I needed to look for longer bolts. Moving it in small increments would make it difficult to detect any change…

    1. Richard:

      It seems that a 1" spacer should do the trick but it is a struggle to find metric bolts that long. The BMW dealership is of no help because they stock bolts by part number, and specialty fastener companies have a minimum order quantity.

      I bought a new modular helmet to use this year instead of my 3/4, so that will help a bit too. I would rather have the windshield ON, instead of OFF to stop rocks and road debris. I am sure that even this small change should have a noticeable affect.

  3. Windshields are truly a matter of personal preference. What works for some, is bad for others. When I rode a Goldwing, the current fad was this HUGE shield that went up over the top of drivers head... no thanks. Sadly it, really is trial and error.. $$$ I had one shield that made my head shake so bad I was seeing double when I rode with it!

    I always wear a full face helmet, but I still like something in front of me even if it's just to block or deflect some bugs.

    1. Erik:

      Yes, windshields are a bit of trial and error, and money down the drain if it doesn't work. This year I have a new modular helmet but I haven't used it yet so this should help

      I hope you are going somewhere warm

  4. No luck at the local hardware stores? No sure re Canada but places here in the states like ACE Hardware tend to stock metric stuff....your route include Colorado by the way?


    1. Dom:

      We have Home Depot up here. No Ace Hardware, and I think a Lowes somewhere too far away for something this low cost. All of our hardware stores are on the outskirts of our Metropolis, not much in the center of the city. That's why I used what I could find easily to "test". When I get the longer bolts then I will get a thicker spacer

      Not sure of my return route yet. Either I-90 or I-80 have to see how the time goes

  5. When I broke a saddle bag bolt I got just the right length of metric at NAPA and only the half dozen bolts I needed. They had to order in the box but I only had to buy what I needed. Took 'em three days to get the box... Don't know if they've got NAPA across the border... You might have to cross over to the states to find 'em. ;)

    The only thing I like in front of me is two lanes and the wind! :) but then... I've been told I'm deficient in some areas, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt I guess. :)

    1. Brian:

      I am not that hardcore. With the distance I have to travel I wouldn't want the wind in my face all the way. I need the bike to take most of the brunt. This time of year you don't want to get into our Border lines. Could be hours each way.

      I like two lanes too, but I need to push the miles and make some time on the slab before I get to the good stuff

  6. I love the look of a naked bike without a windshield BUT I do have to admit they are helpful on longer rides and keep a large amount of projectiles out of your face.

    Thanks for sharing you DIY. Now I feel I can undertake such a task if the spirit moves me.

  7. Bob,
    Go to Fastenal, pay the premium they will ask for, but you will very likely get the item you need. Remember my blog on this just recently? Should work for you.

    You know I ride an RT with electrically adjustable "rain indicator". When I did the test drive, the screen was down and I thought this bike is as noisy as my Triumph. A push of the button, a rising of the screen, and...silence!

    Sold me right there!

  8. Bob,
    I mostly ride behind screens but look over the top of all of them.

    I've shortened, tipped, slightly canted, put holes or vents in, etc. It's always a crap shoot. An inch more or less of stature can be everything. Good luck finding your magic.

  9. Biggest thing for me is silence. At the moment my 21, Cee Bailey screen is annoying because of helmet buffeting and noise. Can't decide whether to risk buying the 23 or 25" screen vs changing over to the silent R1200RT.