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Thread: Lower Windshield Bracket Snapped! '05 R1200RT

  1. #1
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool Lower Windshield Bracket Snapped! '05 R1200RT

    Just got back from a 7-day ride out to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Beautiful scenery (Badlands, Rushmore, Custer State Park - even wiggled over the WY border for Devil's Tower).

    However, they've got winds out in SD that give me nightmares. Perhaps because my RT was literally blown off the road and into a ditch on the way to the Gillette Rally some years back!

    Long story short - plowing westward into some respectable headwinds (35+ MPH, or what SD natives call "a slight breeze"), a vehicle passed me close on my left, set up a sudden and disturbing vortex and my shield instantly collapsed near the headlight assembly.

    I immediately lowered it and when I tried raising it again, it simulated the collapsing action once more. Luckily I was at a Sturgis exit, so off to Sturgis BMW for an evaluation.

    Turns out the lower left bracket that helps to raise and lower the windshield on my R1200RT snapped in two. I had already replaced the two upper pieces of 'pot metal' after having snapped one of them - a chronic problem with the RT's - but hadn't given the lowers a second thought.

    Unfortunately, the lower brackets are not modular like the upper ones are - a careful check of schematics revealed that these brackets and the motor/carriage assembly that operates our windshields are all one unit - to the tune of $350+ with labor.

    On my way next day by noon - great service by Dick and his crew at Sturgis BMW.

    Disclaimer: Yes, I tour with an over-sized shield, and in hindsight, may have had it raised a bit too far. Have had it up that far before in greater winds than this, but I'll accept some blame for not locking it down and sucking up the helmet buffeting in such winds. Shame on me.

    Just annoyed that once again, BMW doesn't engineer more components to be modular and thus, more service-friendly, keeping costs down as well.

    If my big shield cracked or got badly scratched, I'd still go out and get a similar-sized product tomorrow. But in heavy winds, now a bit more conservative in my selected height.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you ought to be the factory tester for screen and bracket combos.

    Can't say I've read or heard of a failure of a lower bracket previously but then not many get to do much riding in such high winds with a large screen,

    Like you I'm using the West Tool uppers but with a std Z Technik screen that may not be as hard on brackets as something like the big CeeBailey or Aeroflow

    I agree it would be nice if the lowers were also repairable at reasonable cost but fortuneately this type of failure is apparently rare...

  3. #3
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    I was in the local BMW shop the other day to test a CeeB windshield. The tech warned me about the breakage of both upper and lower brackets. Seems as if either is possible, the upper being more likely.

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    As useful as your post is - it would be more useful if it had model/year in the thread title. I'm adding it. Please do so yourself in future posts to the tech forums. Thanks for your cooperation.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    As we all know and are mostly happy about, BMW is not in the iron motorycle business. Lots of expensive effort to achieve lightness.

    Zero reason to expect, then, that windshield bracketry be engineered to accomodate the extra stresses imposed by larger than OE windshields. Also zero reason to expect it a cheap fix if you do overstress things. There's nothing to complain about in this regard.

    Wear earplugs.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  6. #6
    "Jack" jacko's Avatar
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    my $.02

    I too wish that BMW would break their newer bike items down to smaller pieces as was, in most cases, with the airheads. I about choked when I first priced out that lower bracket assy. on my RT.
    Your lucky that it didn't cause the other brackets to snap and the windscreen take off your head.
    Jack Watson
    BMWMOA #125089
    2014 K1600GTL
    2013 C650GT

  7. #7
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    It's mostly a cost issue

    It is more cost effective from an inventory perspective to carry one part that is a sub-assembly than to carry 5 with varying degrees of consumption based on replacement history
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  8. #8
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Sounds like you ought to be the factory tester for screen and bracket combos.

    Can't say I've read or heard of a failure of a lower bracket previously but then not many get to do much riding in such high winds with a large screen,

    Like you I'm using the West Tool uppers but with a std Z Technik screen that may not be as hard on brackets as something like the big CeeBailey or Aeroflow

    I agree it would be nice if the lowers were also repairable at reasonable cost but fortuneately this type of failure is apparently rare...
    Couldn't agree with you more.

    Like I said originally, I lay most of the blame at my door step - big screen up too high.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Kevin,

    As useful as your post is - it would be more useful if it had model/year in the thread title. I'm adding it. Please do so yourself in future posts to the tech forums. Thanks for your cooperation.
    I did mention that it was an R1200RT, and my model year appears in my Sig Line.

    However, I see your point - will post model in thread title whenever applicable,

    Thanks.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  10. #10
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    As we all know and are mostly happy about, BMW is not in the iron motorycle business. Lots of expensive effort to achieve lightness.

    Zero reason to expect, then, that windshield bracketry be engineered to accomodate the extra stresses imposed by larger than OE windshields. Also zero reason to expect it a cheap fix if you do overstress things. There's nothing to complain about in this regard.

    Wear earplugs.
    Well, though I wasn't trolling for sympathy, you're just a half-glass empty kind of guy, huh?!
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper_Fi View Post
    It's mostly a cost issue

    It is more cost effective from an inventory perspective to carry one part that is a sub-assembly than to carry 5 with varying degrees of consumption based on replacement history
    Nothing to do with "inventory."

    It's cheaper to have the supplier build the entire part than it is to have BMW's own assembly line workers put them together on the line.

    What goes into spare parts is the same thing that's used in assembly.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Well, though I wasn't trolling for sympathy, you're just a half-glass empty kind of guy, huh?!
    No, I just don't much tolerate unwarranted/uninformed criticism of BMW.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  13. #13
    NMGreyGhost
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    Windshield Brackets

    I have not had to replace any brackets but did switch back to OEM after riding NM winds with a Cal Sci that made my RT feel squirrly. Now I tolerate the wind knowing OEM is ultimately the safe way to go. Just my 2 cents..
    Robert LaPrise
    06 RT12
    Albuquerque, NM

  14. #14
    I am 6.2' but slim.
    I am more then happy with the original screen, so not sure why other would go and fit anything bigger then the OEM screen.
    Maybe users expect too much? After all, it's still a motorbike..not a car.
    Australia N,S,W
    Mid North Coast
    2014 R1200RT LC/SE

  15. #15
    Insatiable Cruiser rtwiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Just got back from a 7-day ride out to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Beautiful scenery (Badlands, Rushmore, Custer State Park - even wiggled over the WY border for Devil's Tower).

    However, they've got winds out in SD that give me nightmares. Perhaps because my RT was literally blown off the road and into a ditch on the way to the Gillette Rally some years back!

    Long story short - plowing westward into some respectable headwinds (35+ MPH, or what SD natives call "a slight breeze"), a vehicle passed me close on my left, set up a sudden and disturbing vortex and my shield instantly collapsed near the headlight assembly.

    I immediately lowered it and when I tried raising it again, it simulated the collapsing action once more. Luckily I was at a Sturgis exit, so off to Sturgis BMW for an evaluation.

    Turns out the lower left bracket that helps to raise and lower the windshield on my R1200RT snapped in two. I had already replaced the two upper pieces of 'pot metal' after having snapped one of them - a chronic problem with the RT's - but hadn't given the lowers a second thought.

    Unfortunately, the lower brackets are not modular like the upper ones are - a careful check of schematics revealed that these brackets and the motor/carriage assembly that operates our windshields are all one unit - to the tune of $350+ with labor.

    On my way next day by noon - great service by Dick and his crew at Sturgis BMW.

    Disclaimer: Yes, I tour with an over-sized shield, and in hindsight, may have had it raised a bit too far. Have had it up that far before in greater winds than this, but I'll accept some blame for not locking it down and sucking up the helmet buffeting in such winds. Shame on me.

    Just annoyed that once again, BMW doesn't engineer more components to be modular and thus, more service-friendly, keeping costs down as well.

    If my big shield cracked or got badly scratched, I'd still go out and get a similar-sized product tomorrow. But in heavy winds, now a bit more conservative in my selected height.
    Kevin:

    The same thing happened to me at about the same time. I just took a trip to Colorado on my grey, '05 RT. All was well until the end of the first long day back...about 100 or so miles west of Lincoln, NE on I-80, the lower left windscreen arm broke right under the top ring of the arm.

    By the way, I also use a bigger windscreen. Mines a Cee Bailey's non-Euro type with the flip-up. It's narrower than some and lets some air in on my arms. It's perfect. I agree that changing back to stock would be a big mistake even if I have to keep replacing these pivot assemblies every 60,000 to so miles. I bought some beefy upper arms and installed them. They haven't broken for about 20,000 miles. Hoping for the best because these will likely be hard to replace.

    Small world, eh?

    Not very nice to know that the assembly costs $350 plus labor to replace. Yipes! Maybe I'll try aluminum brazing or something before giving in.

    I didn't really do anything to cause my problem. No crazy strong winds at the time of breakage. Winds were mostly from behind on the way back. I think I was just hitting 600 miles for the day when it broke. Maybe just too many repetitions. Temp was around 85-90 degrees.

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