We live in a world of diverse transportation options. In every vehicle group there is an equal or larger diversity of models, to suit your “every needs”.
In pursuit of riding perfection
Since returning to motorcycle riding spring 2015 I’ve gone through various stages, with various compromises. Some of the most common issues or challenges are related to sitting comfort, wind deflection, turbulence, sitting position, sitting angle, and arm position/angle.
For me these were key elements when selecting my fourth bike in 2 years. The previous bike was extremely comfy, and sitting position pretty good, yet not optimal. However, if touring is what one wants then it is hard to find something more suitable than BMW R1200RT.
I needed something else, something more flexible, with more options, an adventure style bike. Something I could ride on anything from bad tarmac or pavement, gravel, rocks, dirt, to forest roads. Did a fair bit of gravel riding with both my RT’s and that was, at times, more “interesting” than I liked.
After a winter’s worth of research and pondering, early spring 2017 I took a BMW R1200GS Adventure out for a test ride. One reason for aiming at the GS Adventure was my familiarity with, and affinity for the boxer engine concept.
The bike was great. But a test ride is just that. Even if spending a couple of hours one cannot find out everything. The test ride made me realize that this motorbike, albeit all its perfectness, would require mechanical adjustments.
And not the least, it would require for me to adjust, to it.
Since picking up riding I’ve not tried one single motorcycle with an ideal windscreen or wind protection. Too little protection, too much, plus turbulence of various kinds makes it rather difficult. If you’re taller, like me, the problem is even more significant.
After a bit of research, browsing through miscellaneous forums, reading reviews and posts, I ended up with Puig Touring Screen with visor. Fitted on the Norwegian constitution day (May 17th) actually.
The first test drive proved I’d made a decent choice. Wind protection was excellent, and the spoiler added more adjustments possibilities.
A pretty good choice
The Puig Touring Windscreen with visor is very good. But despite wind deflecting profiles, angles and elaborate design, it does come with a challenge. Fortunately one there’s a fix for, or two.
Any large screen will, especially when exposed to wind and turbulence, flop quite a bit. The adjustment mechanism, plus bracket mounts is simply not solid nor rigid enough to keep the windscreen steady. I would guess this is the same almost regardless of what type of motorcycle or brand you consider.
So what you need additionally, is either one, or a pair of Screen Strengthening Brackets.
In my opinion one needs a pair. Several makers exists, ZTechnik and Cymarc are worth mentioning but here are others. All products seem fairly identical. I would recommend you add a pair to your list of accessories, especially if you own a BMW R1200GS (Adventure).
Risers, very important options
Geometry is rather crucial for finding a good sitting and steering position. Handlebars position, angle, tilt, height and not the least width can have a big impact on riding experience. We’re all different, and our preferences likewise.
For me it became rather clear that the GS Adventure handlebars did not offer an optimal riding position. Much less when trying to stand up. So I began to research on risers. Plenty of manufacturers and offers around, but most didn’t offer the flexibility I was after.
One aspect was to improve the handlebars height, another angle and tilt.
Spent quite a bit of time researching (again). Of all the offers one stood out. Specifically because it offered almost all the levels of adjustment I was after. There are a couple of pivoting adjustment systems around, but one of them requires that you change the entire handlebar. This system is supplied from Helibars, and is rather pricey. On the flip side it offers a complete package, and changes the distance between the handles.
I went with Rox Risers. Different types exists for different brands and models. The one for R1200 GS Adventure LC model is extremely popular, and I can easily understand why.
Installation was rather easy. I did not have to modify or change the cable positions, though I know on earlier models this might be required.
As good as they claim
Rox Risers are considered to be among the absolute best handle bars adjustment options you can get, especially for the BMW GS. Mounting went quickly. What took a little longer was to find the, for me, optimal tilt and angle. I wanted bars higher and closer, yet at the same time making it easier to ride while standing.
In the end think I came up with a pretty good position. Since mounting I’ve done over 20.000 kilometers or 12.427 miles, on all sorts of roads (and not roads). The risers have vastly improved riding comfort and also improved handling significantly.
And what else?
Depends on your bike, one subject is of course tires, “debated” in a previous post. Else the most common thing to want to change, in addition to the previously mentioned components, is the seat.
Fortunately for me, the sitting comfort of the Original BMW GS seat is good. My previous bike had seat with better comfort, and heating. However, the comfort came with its own set of challenges, like being too soft for more adventurous riding.
I’ve found that, when riding longer legs, the best thing to do is to ride standing for some minutes 🙂
One thought on “Extra options that can make a world of difference”
Update: After having contemplated a bit on choices, I went for the Cymarc brackets. Feel pretty confident, not the least based on good reviews, the pair will do the job. Come spring, which right now seems far away, I’ll know and then you will also know 🙂