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  1. #1
    Registered User jimbc's Avatar
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    Calling all RT owners

    Hello all.

    I'm thinking of adding an RT fairing to my 85 R80. I'm interested to know your likes/dislike of said fairing.

    I desire an upright riding position with a quiet ride. But first some back ground if your interested.

    In its stock (naked) form I find the air blast fatiguing.

    I've had a Hannigan ST fairing for many years and have enjoyed riding behind it. But it requires euro bars and now that I'm older my wrists are complaining.

    I tried a Parabellum Scout fairing for a couple of seasons (with "US" bars). Love the coverage plus it only weighs 5 lbs. But unless I tuck behind the wind screen the "dirty" air noise created by it is unbearable. I started with a 20" screen, cut it shorter many times but there was no change in the "noise". I always ride with ear plugs (I have both moulded and NoNoise plugs).

    Riding without a fairing I'm in "clean" air and only hear wind whistle. But I discovered that if I place my left hand above the cluster with my palm facing me I can recreate the "dirty" air noise I get with the Scout installed.

    My lid is an Arai Profile.

    Many thanks for your replies.
    Cheers
    1985 R80 Original owner, 1982 Yamaha XS400J 2nd owner

  2. #2
    Not sure this is much help but after years of using both Arai and Shoei, my (relatively) new Signet X is the first helmet that is noticeably quieter.
    '61 Clubman's Gold Star, '13 690 Duke, '13 Daytona 675R, '14 Street Triple R, '17 1290 GT (gone but not forgotten: '76 R75/6, '84 R100, '76 R90S)

  3. #3
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    I've owned to RT's, an 86 R80RT that I bought new in late 1985, and an almost new 95 R100RT that I bought in 1997. Other airheads include two R100RS bikes, and a R90S.

    The RT is one of my favorite bikes, right now I am considering buying another one. But, they are not without problems.

    First, they totally block the wind, almost to an extreme. This is wonderful in colder climates, but in hot, HUMID areas this can be a problem. They seem to funnel the heat from the engine to the rider. Removing the lowers does offer some relief, but not that much. However, hot climates that are DRY, like where we used to live (Lubbock, Texas), this was not much of an issue. Where you are at I think the RT would enhance your late fall, early spring riding experience.

    Second, the stock windshield, although it is adjustable, requires a person my size (6' tall) to look over the top. I prefer this, but you do get some buffeting from the wind over the windshield. On my 1995 I replaced it with a taller windshield that required me to look through it. It reduced the buffeting, but I did not like looking through the windshield, especially when it was raining.

    Third, the fairing adds weight, and I would suggest upgrading your fork springs. I did on both of my bikes to prevent too much nose dive. This made a big difference.

    Fourth, the lowers make it harder to change the oil filter, but since you do not have an oil cooler, it will not be as much of a problem as on bikes with oil coolers.

    Fifth, the extra storage space in the fairing is great, allows you to carry extra riding gear, phones, etc., without having to use the bags. I often left the bags home because of this.

    Again, the RT is one of my favorite BMWs. If they made new ones again, I know I would be buying another. The last one rolled off the assembly line in 1995.

    Hope this helps,

    Wayne

  4. #4

    Don't add an RT fairing---just buy an RT

    I have an '84 R100RT now, and it's been my primary motorcycle for the last 19 years. A lot of what Wayne has said is true, though at only 5'8" on a good day, I easily look over, not through, my RT's windshield. I think the OE windshield was 18", and my current vented Clearview shield is 20", but I still look over it, and have to slouch considerably to look through it. There's wind buffeting and I, too, use earmold ear plugs to manage it. Noise is more generally an issue with full fairings, and even if you get rid of wind-buffeting and that noise, I think it'll be substantially replaced by the reflected engine and drivetrain noise that the wind noise currently overwhelms.

    With wind noise managed, though, the RT fairing remains very effective at making cool, cold, and foul-weather riding do-able. You can ride comfortably down into the 30s with just an electric vest under your riding jacket, without the need for any other "hot gear". I've even ridden for several hours in cold rain at those temps in good shape. Daily mileages in the 400-500 mile range are easily do-able and replicable the following day, and the days thereafter---shunting the wind blast aside, it really makes for a less tiring long-distance riding experience, even 33 years after it was built. Conversely, it's not a bike that's useful for riding in the American midwest or south during most of June, July, or August, if you want more skin protection than SPF 70 sunscreen---the wind flow simply isn't there, even with a fully-vented/mesh summer riding jacket, at temps over 75F. In Ontario, though, it may be perfect.

    In any event, I wouldn't add an RT fairing to a currently naked bike. The RT fairing, while excellent for its purpose, serves a purpose that fewer and fewer airhead BMW riders really have, and the values of RT bikes tend to reflect that---you can buy an intact R80RT or R100RT for usually less money than an otherwise comparable naked or S-faired bike; in the general marketplace for airheads, an RT fairing is actually a decrement on the bike's value. Additionally, adding the fairing is more complicated than simply bolting on a few bits. Your bike's wiring harness will need to either be replaced entirely, or have some pretty major surgery done to lengthen it, in order to relocate the headlight bucket out onto the RT fairing main bracket. You'll also need new wiring to the fairing-mounted turn signals. If you intend to run the voltmeter and clock gauges to the fairing dashboard, you'll need to add that, as well. If you want it matched to your bike's nice Colorado Red paint job, there are seven separate panels to paint. While the RT fairings can be found for cheap (particularly if you can go get it, rather than ship it), the total cost of adding one may not make sense, given the price of original RT bikes.

    I used to have a naked R80 (a Colorado Red '86), and really liked it. How many miles on yours?
    Last edited by khittner1; 11-11-2017 at 02:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    Rt

    I agree 100% on the plan of just buying an RT. Yes, the main harness is much more than the naked bike harness. And considering your chances of getting a fairing with a matching paint color, you're looking at an extra $1k to paint one to match! You can use the saved money to play around with different windshields to find one that works for you.
    Boxerbruce

  6. #6
    Registered User jimbc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    Hope you're not suggesting parting with my bike in order to buy an RT?? The horror

    Adding an RT fairing doesn't seem like a big task to me. The Hannigan wired through the headlight bucket, so an RT fairing should be similar.

    Don't want lowers so oil filter access not an issue.

    I work at a car dealership with a body shop so paint would be maybe a case of beer?

    And there happens to be someone approx. 3 hrs from me with an RT fairing for sale from an 85 R80 that could be had for $100.

    Sounds like I've talked myself into it.

    Cheers
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1985 R80 Original owner, 1982 Yamaha XS400J 2nd owner

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by khittner1 View Post

    ....In any event, I wouldn't add an RT fairing to a currently naked bike. The RT fairing, while excellent for its purpose, serves a purpose that fewer and fewer airhead BMW riders really have, and the values of RT bikes tend to reflect that---you can buy an intact R80RT or R100RT for usually less money than an otherwise comparable naked or S-faired bike; in the general marketplace for airheads, an RT fairing is actually a decrement on the bike's value......

    This seems to be true. My friend is trying to sell a 1983 RT with low miles that's in nice shape (just gone over by Craig Immel) for I think $3,800.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R, 15 FJ-09, 15 Road King, 07 Moto Guzzi Griso No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  8. #8

    RT fairing

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbc View Post
    Hello all.

    I'm thinking of adding an RT fairing to my 85 R80. I'm interested to know your likes/dislike of said fairing.

    I desire an upright riding position with a quiet ride. But first some back ground if your interested.

    In its stock (naked) form I find the air blast fatiguing.

    I've had a Hannigan ST fairing for many years and have enjoyed riding behind it. But it requires euro bars and now that I'm older my wrists are complaining.

    I tried a Parabellum Scout fairing for a couple of seasons (with "US" bars). Love the coverage plus it only weighs 5 lbs. But unless I tuck behind the wind screen the "dirty" air noise created by it is unbearable. I started with a 20" screen, cut it shorter many times but there was no change in the "noise". I always ride with ear plugs (I have both moulded and NoNoise plugs).

    Riding without a fairing I'm in "clean" air and only hear wind whistle. But I discovered that if I place my left hand above the cluster with my palm facing me I can recreate the "dirty" air noise I get with the Scout installed.

    My lid is an Arai Profile.

    Many thanks for your replies.
    Cheers
    I owned a '93 RT and thought my legs were on fire with anything over 65F. You might be better off in CA, but there's a minimal amount of air movement behind that fairing, from the chest down, so be prepared to deal with very warm legs.

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