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Tupperware trauma


Little Joe

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My RT will be getting some new Wilbers in a couple of weeks, and that should solve the ground clearance problems I've experienced since day one. In a related story, I've got a 1/8" wide wear-through on the right fairing, right at the edge near the brake lever. It's on a "seam" where two surfaces meet at an angle.

 

I assume others have been as aggressive (or, as in my case, chunky) and fairing scrapes and even penetrations are not unheard of. I wonder if the repair is something that the right materials and patience will solve, or if this is something best left to a body shop. Since it's a fairly acute angle, can even a good body shop make it like new?

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I might reconsider the Wilbers. It's not that they're bad shocks. They're excellent. But I've "heard" (so take the following with a grain of salt) that despite giving them your weight so they can set up the shock to your specs, they have been known to use virtually the same springs on all their shocks and simply alter the preload to set the initial shock movement to the weight of the rider. After that, if you're heavy (and I know of what I speak when it comes to that), you're riding on too soft a spring. Clearly this is similar to what has contributed to your current grinding problem.

 

Now, having said that, Wilbers has a new U.S. importer and I don't know how they're going to operate. Will each shock be sprung differently to suit rider weight, or will it be primarily a preload adjustment? If it's the latter, you might want to reconsider. If it's the former, then you may get the solution you're looking for.

 

As for the body damage you have, the two pieces which are damaged along their junction are the side body panel and the belly pan. Both can be repaired by a good body shop. However, the cost of repair to the belly pan may exceed its replacement cost, so consider buying a new one instead. The side Tupperware costs about $1000 painted, so repairing and painting it will likely be the prefered way to go.

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Thanks for the tips. The Plastex looks like a do-able solution. especially with a cloth backing. The wound on the side panel is a simple wear-through, nowhere near as bad as the one on Leslie's bike.

 

I'l probably still get a body shop to estimate it. It's out of the ordinary work for them, though, and I wanted to see what other options might be better.

 

As for the Wilbers, I'm getting them through Ted's Beemer Shop in the Bay Area. I did a lot of research, talked with users on this forum thread, and e-mailed back and forth with the factory. The term "stiffer spring" was in constant use, so I guess I'm trusting that they weren't lying to me. The feedback I got on this forum from heavy riders was that the Wilbers, especially with length added as I have, more than solved the problem. I will certainly update when they installed and tested. Thanks for the input.

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You might want to take a look on e-bay. I recall seeing a right side fairing on there when I was looking yesterday. Since you're going to paint it anyway it might be a reasonable alternative. thumbsup.gif

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I notice from your profile that you're back on a bike after 25 year hiatus. You're either one hell of a rider (to be grinding holes in the fairing) or perhaps your technique needs some work? Please don't be offended. What I'm trying to say is that there are some very talented and aggressive riders on this DB (I'm certainly not one of them) who ride RT's and who don't grind holes in the fairing. As for the "chunky" part, I know for certain that I'm a lot more chunky than you are, and have yet to touch the fairing on the tarmac after 30K+ miles on my 04 RT and some of it reasonably aggressive.

 

You may be cross controlling the bike so much that you're using up lean angle unnecessarily.

 

If you're a former road racer, ignore my impertinence.

If you're the average rider coming back after 25 years, you might want to hook up with some of our folk in your area to evaluate your technique.

 

Just a thought. If I'm all wet, just tune me out. My heart is in the right place.

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Scott,

 

Thanks for the concern, seriously. I'm not offended at all.

 

I am all about improving my technique to maximize my enjoyment of this wonderful machine. I took the BRC as soon as I got the bike, had a track day (will do more as I can afford them), and I often ride with an ex-racer who has been very helpful. I'm taking the ERC in about a month, and this will be a topic of interest for me.

 

Most of the feedback I've gotten suggests that the RT is sprung for riders in the 160-180 lb. range. The consensus seems to be that the measured static sag is excessive for someone my size. The first scrapes occurred on the track day, in a medium RH sweeper. Hanging off improved but did not eliminate the clearance problem.

 

That said, I know there are always things to be done to improve my cornering skills. What do you mean by "cross controlling"?

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Joe,

 

If you're doing track days and riding with an experienced rider, it is likely that my comments don't apply. Thanks for the "open mind" in hearing me. That's one of the reasons I like this place so much.

 

Have fun, and I hope the Wilburs sort things out for you! thumbsup.gif

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Papa J,

 

Looks like someone keyed that one.

 

Since I've got to repaint both side fairings and the engine spoiler, I'll probably just repair the right fairing. Thanks for the input, though.

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Still wondering what is meant by the term "cross controlling"?

 

 

The term as it is often used here, describes a person who "pushes the bike down under them" rather than minimizing the lean angle by getting body weight "inside" of the turn by either using the Riding Smart "kiss the mirrors" technique, or by hanging off.

 

Here's a link to a thread on it, where there is a video of a fellow who is going fast but seriously cross controlling the bike in many many corners: LINK

 

Here's another thread where it is discussed.

 

From the sound of your description of "hanging off" it probably doesn't apply to you. grin.gif

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