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Old 12-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
Hookalatch OP
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RT to Naked or "S"- Any Regrets?

It seems several on this forum have lost the RT fairings. I would appreciate any feedback those of you who have done this can contribute. Still pleased with the decision? Any regrets?

I had plans to convert my 84 R80RT to an S style fairing but have had to put my plans on hold for a little while.
In the mean time I sit looking at the bike and waffling back and forth (usually several times a day) about what I want to do with it. With the exception of a couple of deer whistles on the fairing, the bike is completely stock down to the tool kit and air pump. It has been well maintained, everything works and its never been crashed in the 88K miles its been used. I have plans for future performance increases but for now I am just trying to decide whether to keep the RT fairing, go naked, or add an S type fairing. This is a second bike bought primarily for my son to ride on a recent visit. I had planned to sell the bike after our ride but have decided to keep it. Its my 3rd Airhead, having sold the last one (R100GS) about 4 years ago.

Most of the time my heart says lose the big-ass fairing. New steering head bearings and shocks really helped the handling but I would like to see how she feels without that weight. Other times I look at that RT fairing and think it is very well designed and I like the looks despite the badly faded paint. Although the fairing and windshield seems huge the frontal area actually looks smaller than my R1200GSA. The RT riding position is more conducive to keeping my aging body comfortable but I don't anticipate any long rides on this bike. If I go the naked route I guess I can use any bars that make me comfortable.

Chuck
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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I tried the RT fairing when I got my '92 R100RT but I am too tall for one. Taking it off was like gaining 10hp. Big diff! I have had a modified RS/RT headlight mount on my bikes for decades now so that's what I did with my RT. /6 style ignition switch. Handle bar mounted windshield mounted on the frame via the headlight mount. IMO it deflects wind better than a S fairing, handles a LOT better than a S fairing, is much easier to work on and fine tune the front end than a S fairing, and looks better than a S fairing but that is just me. Plus it comes on and off in seconds. IMO the only thing I liked about the RT fairing was doing monster long wheelies. Once the air got underneath it, it just held the front end up for about as long as you wished.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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Wheelies?

Thanks for the response Supershaft. Do you have any pictures of what you are using?
I can't imagine coaxing that front wheel that high with this R80's throttle response. It doesn't have discernible acceleration- it just slowly gains momentum.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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I hope to get some photos up soon. I made my mounts out of 3/8ths aluminum rod.

A lot of my wheelies are from the road surface more than anything else. Hell, I almost flipped my LS at over 100 mph once with a stock engine. If I had got out of the throttle just a nano second later, it would have been too late.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:32 PM   #5
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I'd think the R12GS would be the more likely touring machine, so why set up the airhead to tour? I've toured on the RS through all sorts of weather and really don't have a problem with the lesser protection.

It's easy enough to remove the fairing, so that's what I'd suggest first. Then if you feel the need for less wind blast add a windscreen.

If you don't go with SS's suggestion of keeping the frame mounted headlight, you'll need to source some headlight ears - either stock or after market. The beauty of the aftermarket style is not needing to remove the fork tubes to install. But you will need turn signal mounts and those are held down by the stock headlight ears. And if you want an S fairing, they use the turn signal mounts on the bottom side.

You'll also want to change the brake lines to rubber all the way to the master.

I really like unfaired bikes the best. I rode across the country and back on a naked R100R and did very well. I was concerned before taking off about the lack of wind protection, but it wasn't a problem at all. Any more, my favorites are an unfaired R65LS and an R100RS when the weather is too shitty for the LS.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:53 AM   #6
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You can keep the fairing spider, with the headlamp attached, relocate the ignition switch to the LH of the headlamp and fit a pair of mini indicators to the bottom arms of the spider, it will look a bit odd, especially if you retain the stock handlebars.

I did this on my bike as a temporary measure after I had run out of cash in the long term project of turning a badly misused RT into and s replica.




I like the S fairing, I find that it gives a surprising amount of protection, especially if it is combined with a tank bag, this setup puts my head into stable air and I find the stock low S bars to be really comfortable.

Don't underestimate the costs of this project unless you can find most of the parts secondhand
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #7
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I had an '84 R80RT and removed the fairing. It was mainly done to lighten up the bike for my wife. About 50 pounds less weight up front, great handling bike and the 800 was so smooth. Found a used National Cycle quick release windshield for spring and fall and it was the best of both worlds.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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I did it with my monoshock R100RT and didn't regret it. I made it so I could revert it back fairly easy. I bought another headlight bracket (they're plentiful and cheap on Ebay) and hacked off the antlers. I was careful not to hack into the wiring harness. I couldn't put the ignition switch on the left side of the headlight like earlier models so I ran it up thru the steering stem and into the handlebar pad. I got another rear blinker bracket (also plentiful and cheap) and mounted it to the frame with some sort of clamps. It didn't look real good, but it was a zippy little bike.

I have a fully faired bike (R1200CL) for when it's cold, but unfaired bikes are great for hot weather. I no longer own either of the bikes in the picture. I don't get real attached to them. I still have the seat, a Corbin seat I ordered with black welts and an extra inch of padding with hinges and lock pin available for purchase for $200. It will also fit a /6 or /7 but won't look as good.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasbmw View Post
You can keep the fairing spider, with the headlamp attached, relocate the ignition switch to the LH of the headlamp and fit a pair of mini indicators to the bottom arms of the spider, it will look a bit odd, especially if you retain the stock handlebars.

I did this on my bike as a temporary measure after I had run out of cash in the long term project of turning a badly misused RT into and s replica.




I like the S fairing, I find that it gives a surprising amount of protection, especially if it is combined with a tank bag, this setup puts my head into stable air and I find the stock low S bars to be really comfortable.

Don't underestimate the costs of this project unless you can find most of the parts secondhand


I had a R90S back in the day, rode the wheels off that poor thing. I picked up a '81 R100RS a couple years ago, but the full fairing is too hot to ride behind here in AL except in January and Febuary.

If i don't sell it next spring, I'll probably rebiuld it as a R100S. It does have one of the smoothest motors I've ever experienced on a airhead.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
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Chuck,

Here's my project in progress. > http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=684054

Unlike you, I had no hesitation in taking the RT fairing off. Originally I was just going to go with a bear naked bike but when I found out one could still order an "S" fairing directly from BMW I knew exactly where I was going with this project.

BTW, the RT fairing is the heaviest fairing I've ever encountered. While I have yet to ride the bike sans RT fairing it's got to be a better handeler.

Good luck on your decision, which ever way you choose to go the old airheads are a fun bike to own and ride.

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #11
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R80rt

Helped a friend with this bike. HL ears are generic, but from Yamaha XS (Mike's XS I think??). They are nice and would work well with clipons. Not enough meat on them to use the HL mounted ignition switch so it was relocated off the upper triple tree. Bars are Euro or S bars. You will also need to get shorter cables and should replace the brake hoses since the hard lines on from the RT clipped to the fairing and now swing in the breeze without. If your paint is faded there will be distinct marks on the tank where it met the fairing, if you care.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #12
Hookalatch OP
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Thanks for all the replies and information. I probably should have mentioned in my first post I have read just about everything you can turn up on this subject searching this forum. All the comments so far have been supportive of stripping the fairing. I know some people think that is shameful and I understand that. The 50# fairing comment pushed me over the edge. The fairing will go, its a matter of when. My son is making another trip west to ride again this spring and I may wait until then.

Chuck
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #13
110Mike
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A Shame

To me it is a shame to cut and bob or undress a perfectly good R100RT!

These mistresses just cry out to be taken on long and fast journeys, where the two of you have a shocking good time together.

Should you yearn for a naked bike, why not just get a bike that is naked in the first place?

Going to give my RT and RS a hug and a fondle........
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:01 AM   #14
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Yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by 110Mike View Post
To me it is a shame to cut and bob or undress a perfectly good R100RT!

These mistresses just cry out to be taken on long and fast journeys, where the two of you have a shocking good time together.

Should you yearn for a naked bike, why not just get a bike that is naked in the first place?

Going to give my RT and RS a hug and a fondle........
Just back from a 3000km trip on my NEW to me airhead.R100 RT... I've done tons of miles on my GS1200 but no where near the fun as riding the old airhead on the highway....Love the GS but the old girl has etched a special place ....1000ks in a final days run convinced me the RT fairing is the BIZ chip
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #15
Hookalatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 110Mike View Post
To me it is a shame to cut and bob or undress a perfectly good R100RT!

These mistresses just cry out to be taken on long and fast journeys, where the two of you have a shocking good time together.

Should you yearn for a naked bike, why not just get a bike that is naked in the first place?

Going to give my RT and RS a hug and a fondle........
In my area the RT bikes are more available in general and are usually priced lower than the other models. That was the case with the bike I bought.. It may be because we have hellishly hot summers and mild winters- the RT fairing is too much. I rode my R1200GSA and the R80RT on two days of similar temperatures on the same 100 mile putt recently. I stopped and put on my electric vest on the GS and was almost too warm w/o the vest on the RT.

Chuck
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