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Anyone busted a windscreen support yet?


tbrown

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I have an '05 RT with 27K on it. A few thousand miles ago, I was coming home from the Vermont rally and noticed that my helmet was buffeting in the wind. I adjusted the windscreen up a little and noticed that the upper right support was not there. I pulled over and found that it had broken right under the "axle" at the top.

 

The leg of the thing has a spring on it to urge it down. Because the leg was no longer attached to the windscreen support frame, the leg was forced all the way flat by the spring. I found I could just pull the leg up against the spring pressure, insert it a little above where it outta go and it would stay in a sort of pocket there giving some support to the windscreen...enough to get me back to Chicago from Detroit.

 

Well, I went to my dealer and showed him. He asked about the CeeBaileys windscreen, but conceded that the thing shouldn't have broken.

 

I changed the part myself. It's an aluminium casting and it's not extremely husky.

 

FYI: I've never dropped this bike or squashed the windscreen in any way. It's never been off the road and I don't run at 100+ all the time like some people out there. 85 is about where my risk/reward quotient seems to lie, and that's about max velocity for me. I don't track the bike or anything weird. I have a sport bike for that. The screen is oversized with a flip-up, but it's not as huge as the winter screen for my old 1100 and 1150 RTs, which never ever broke supports. I even dropped the 1100 in the garage in a way that the windscreen was bent pretty severely in by a car bumper on one side on the way down. Neither the windscreen (one of the old skinny Aeroflows) nor the support was damaged.

 

Guess what? Yesterday, the left side support arm broke! Same part, other side. I went back to the dealer. Again he mentioned the windscreen. I told him it made such a nice difference, and didn't require me to raise it as high as the stock screen had to be, which is true.

 

The dealer ordered another part, but I'm thinking of getting a machine shop to make sturdier ones.

 

Anybody seen the new K12GT windscreen supports? VERY BEEFY!

 

If I'm the only one with this problem, I'll just make one set of new arms. If there are others, I'll make a test set and then more for people after I get it right. I don't like going to BMW constantly for these parts. If they keep breaking, I'm going to have to start paying for them at $55 a pop or give up my great windscreen. I don't want to do either, so I'm going to start designing.

 

Anyone interested in this project?

 

-TB

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It would seem that anyone who has posted here with that same problem had an aftermarket windscreen. Seems to be more than coincidental.

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This same issue was brought up here a few weeks ago. Every instance of broken parts was associated with after market windshields. Sounds like the part is under engineered.

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This same issue was brought up here a few weeks ago. Every instance of broken parts was associated with after market windshields. Sounds like the part is under engineered.

 

Sounds like that part is engineered to take the designed load.

The question is, should BMW have designed the part to take the load of what was at the time a non-existant aftermarket windshield - if so how would they do it? How much extra strength should they design in for someone else's products?

 

Andy

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I have read that part of the issue is that the part is designed to be a break away part in the case of an accident. Whether it could be designed not to break in use with an aftermarket screen and still serve the safety function is an interesting question.

 

Fortnuately I am happy with the stock screen.

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Yeah, I don't think you can blame BMW for this one. How about the aftermarket screen companies who made products that overstress the arms?

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Motor Cycle News (MCN) had pictures last week of a Goldwing fitted with an air bag ramming into the side of an Renault Espace. The airbag worked fine, but it did make me think of what would happen on my bike (1200rt) in a similar circumstance. I'd want the screen to break away. If it did not it's cut you in half.

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A past thread stated the brackets are not the break away component. Another piece in the assembly serves that function. I am also happy with the stock windshield but I still think BMW designed too close to the threshold if failure is being reported repeatedly. Unless the engineers are living under a rock they should know that many of their customers are buying larger after market windshields.

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I posted the same question recently. I had 17,000 miles on my Aeroflow and in a week had both break in the same described place. Both were replaced under warranty and I now carry with me a spare for each side. I also have a local machine shop making me replacements that should be stronger then the cast pieces. Once they are made I will post info in case anyone else is looking for some.

 

Reference someone's post that they are designed to "Break Away" in case of an accident. To do so would be utterly ridiculous. They would have to be so week to be able to pull apart that they could not support anything. Yes, with a taller windshield it requires less lift of the system, therefore having a slightly different angle on the support arm. At the fullest extended position (as with a stock shield) the arm is taking more of a direct pressure on it. But with the taller shields the arm is not needed to be extended all the way and the shield is in a more aerodynamic angle, BUT, the arm is then taking the forces at an angle, possible putting more stress on an already week part of the arm. If one takes time to look at these upper support arms, they will see that the thinnest part of the arm is where it has a plastic bushing inserted in it and where it then connects with the shield. This is where it is breaking. If it was even slightly heavier built, or machined out of metal instead of cast, I feel it would take care of the problem. I also wonder what will be happening with stock shield after 20, 30, 40, or 50,000 miles+. If they start having the same problem, will the nay sayers change their minds.

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BMW gave the designers of the RT a goal - reduce the weight of the bike.

Designing any part to take more than its designed load would go against that design aim and would not have been permitted.

Even if it were how much extra load should it be designed for? How much taller, wider, heavier are the after market designers going to make their shields? The aerodynamic load goes up at the cube of the surface area - 25% more screen area is double the load. How can the BMW designer design for the unknown? Why should they allow for a rival companies products?

If the after market screen vendors are increasing the load on this part why don’t they supply a stronger arm with their screens?

 

I am not nay-saying. I just feel that blaming BMW for not designing their products to support the unknown products of an unknown number of other manufacturers products is unreasonable.

 

Andy

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You are absolutely right, Andy.

If anyone fits aftermarket parts then they must take responsibility for any consequences that arise - not the manufacturer.

If anyone has had their broken windscreen arms replaced under warranty while using an aftermarket screen then they are very fortunate. If it was my business I don't think I would be so accomodating under similar circumstances.

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And my point is simply that there is not yet enough data available on high mile R1200RT's to see if they are having failures with stock shields. If there are NO failures on them in the future using the stock shield, then it would be reasonable to conclude that failures are directly associated to the after-market "Taller" shields. If failures do start showing up, we all know that they will then be redesigned.

 

The other Andy

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If anyone fits aftermarket parts then they must take responsibility for any consequences that arise - not the manufacturer.
While this is undoubtedly correct, many BMW riders have historically replaced windshields and you would think that BMW would anticipate this happening when they design and build a new motorcycle.

 

Alan

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If anyone fits aftermarket parts then they must take responsibility for any consequences that arise - not the manufacturer.
While this is undoubtedly correct, many BMW riders have historically replaced windshields and you would think that BMW would anticipate this happening when they design and build a new motorcycle.

 

Alan

 

So, I am going to design a new windshield but not tell you the size, shape or weight of it. Would you care to design the support arms?

Andy

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So, I am going to design a new windshield but not tell you the size, shape or weight of it. Would you care to design the support arms?
I don't expect BMW to design a support arm to support everything that anyone might build but if they know that the average aftermarket windshield is 20% larger and 40% heavier than stock it isn't unreasonable to expect them to anticipate that a substantial number of people will upgrade to such shields. Part of this is the after-market's responsibility. They should do some testing to make sure their product can be safely used on the intended motorcycle.

 

Alan

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So, I am going to design a new windshield but not tell you the size, shape or weight of it. Would you care to design the support arms?
I don't expect BMW to design a support arm to support everything that anyone might build but if they know that the average aftermarket windshield is 20% larger and 40% heavier than stock it isn't unreasonable to expect them to anticipate that a substantial number of people will upgrade to such shields. Part of this is the after-market's responsibility. They should do some testing to make sure their product can be safely used on the intended motorcycle.Alan

Biggest force increase on the support arms from a larger screen will result from increased Drag and dynamic forces due to turbulent flow buffeting. Drag force = 1/2pA*V*V*Cd thus is directly proportional to A (size) and relatively easy to calculate. Buffeting force is much more difficult to model and depends a lot on the screen shape and how it spills air.

I agree, the design margin may be small and BMW could have done more to allow for a larger screen - it's not as if 10 grams of saved weight are going to make a difference. But just as I buy an after-market brake lever extender, the after-market guys can make $$ offering beefier screen support arms.

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Part of this is the after-market's responsibility. They should do some testing to make sure their product can be safely used on the intended motorcycle.

 

Are you then saying the company that supplied the screen is responsible for warranting the broken support arms.

If an aftermarket screen manufacturer offered upgraded arms for extra cost to be fitted with it's screens I wonder how many people would be prepared to pay the extra.

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TB

My upper right support arm on my 05 RT broke about 4 weeks ago with 12K miles on the bike. It was replaced under warranty and I am running a C.B. windscreen +1, +2 Euro style. When you or another poster have some machined I would be interested in buying some if the cost is reasonable.

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Any engineer knows that there are safety margins that have to be built in. With todays materials the strength required in this position is samll compared to other areas. If an after market windshield creates a force over 1.5 times the original then it must be huge or angled strnagely. BMW should warrant the design to take the force of say a bird or piece of junk from road flying into it.

MHO as a mechanical engineer

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  • 1 month later...

Both of mine broke yesterday. I noticed this morning when I got on the highway the screen was crooked when I raised it; after investigating saw that the left arm had broken at that metal collar, just as described in this thread. While I was playing with the right arm, it sheared off in my hand.

 

I do have a Cee Baileys, +4 tall, +1 wide, and have no doubt that it broke yesterday when I was going at, well, a good pace on the highway trying to catch a group ahead (turns out they were behind me, so it was a useless exercise). Usually I remember to put the screen all the way down before going to warp, but forgot this time.

 

So how do I replace the top arms? What parts of the dash / support need to come off? Has anyone yet found a stronger replacement yet?

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The upper left support are on my bike broke about 2 months ago. It was replaced under warranty. I have a C.B. +1H, +2W screen. I would not mind buying a stronger alternative if one is available.

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I haven't had a support arm break yet, but I did have my hole front-end of the bike apart yesterday. I wanted to clean out all the road grime and insects. Too bad you didn't post yesterday, I could have taken pictures.

 

From what I recall you'll need to remove the following:

 

- Windscreen (6 screws total) and support arm cover

- Side fairings which have "R1200RT" logo (4 screws each side)

- Side view mirrors. Just pull and wiggle them and they'll pop out.

- Disconnect turn-signal bulb holders from their holes.

- Instrument cluster frame (8 screws total) You could problably just remove top two black screws, it just might make more work trying to get the headlight assembly back in place.

- Windscreen mounting backets. These are held on with for 4 pins.

 

- The head light assembly is held on with 4 T27 torx screws. Two screws are located in the sideview mirror frames. The other two are located in the font of the bike on either side of the headlight. They will be easy to see, they have a quarter-sized washers and rubber grommets underneath them. When you pull the headlight assembly out, remember that you you will need to disconnect the electrical connection to the head lights.

 

It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to disassemble. It took me longer because I didn't exactly know what I was doing, and I was cleaning along the way.

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Thanks for the reply. I have no doubt it'll only take 10 minutes to disassemble. It's the 3 weeks it will take me to re-assemble that I'm more worried about. dopeslap.gif What's the recommended way to remove those little clips that hold the pins in? I've removed larger clips like that with needle-nose pliers, but these are so small and tight that it looks like some special tool is required. Will BMW sell just the metal arms individually, or do they push folks to get the whole assembly? My bike is still well under warranty, but as I'm sure it was the Cee Bailey that caused the (admittedly underdesigned) parts to fail, I'd rather take care of it myself if I can do so quickly and easily.

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I used a small bladed screw driver to work them loose--it was very easy. I cleaned and lubed all of the pivot points after noticing some scoring on the pins. I was concern about binding and the stress it was putting on the arms and decided to lube all of the pivot points.

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Yup, the small-bladed screwdriver worked fine for me just a few minutes ago. Much better than pliers. smirk.gif I didn't have to remove the full dash panel, just the dash cover. Everything seemed to still be in good working order other than the broken arms.

 

111400869-L.jpg

 

It looked to me like the top of the rubber mount, at the end of the blue arrow, was sheared off. I think I'll put a small rubber tab on here with superglue, if it feels like the windscreen isn't sitting cleanly; I want to make doubly sure that there isn't any pressure on the aluminum arms when the screen is all the way down.

 

111400898-L.jpg

 

I don't want to give up the Cee Bailey screen, so until someone develops stronger support arms, I'll just remember to put the shield down before engaging the warp drive in the future. I'm still hopeful that the arms will hold indefinitely up to about 85 mph.

 

Here's a link to all pics of the broken mounts.

 

A&S sells the arms for $62, and I picked up a few extra clips in case some go missing on install. With any luck I'll be back on the road by Friday...

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It looked to me like the top of the rubber mount, at the end of the blue arrow, was sheared off. I think I'll put a small rubber tab on here with superglue, if it feels like the windscreen isn't sitting cleanly; I want to make doubly sure that there isn't any pressure on the aluminum arms when the screen is all the way down.

 

One of my rubber bumbers fell off a while ago. Rather than try to mount another one is the same location, I bought some larger rubber feet from hardware store and used automotive weatherstrip adhesive to attach it to the underside of the windscreen bracket. There is a much larger surface area for the glue to grab onto. (See attached pic)

770302-bumber.jpg.9aeb23c82a40da9753e96484734f6c26.jpg

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Still waiting for them to get around to it. Had told them it was no big hurry due to the bike getting put away for the winter. I will check tomorrow to see what the status is.

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If anyone fits aftermarket parts then they must take responsibility for any consequences that arise - not the manufacturer.
While this is undoubtedly correct, many BMW riders have historically replaced windshields and you would think that BMW would anticipate this happening when they design and build a new motorcycle.

 

Alan

 

So, I am going to design a new windshield but not tell you the size, shape or weight of it. Would you care to design the support arms?

Andy

 

Guys, If I'm at the dealer and my support arm has broken and I've had two previous RT's with even bigger windscreens and no problem with either of them, I'm going to ask for new support arms. That's what happened to me. Now, I'm "taking responsibility" by either making my own set of new arms or buying some from someone else. Suburban Machinery, are you listening????

 

-TB

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