Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Naked or Bikini?

Bikini fairing that is, get your mind out of the gutter.  : )

Recent events have led to my removing the S-Fairing that I'd mounted on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer.  Here's some links to the history of the fairing and me:  The start, the mounting, the farkling and the finish.

So last week, while doing preflight checks (motorcycling is as close to flying as one can get and still have wheels touching the ground), I noted my turn signals were not working.  Hmmmm, I checked fuses and yep, one was burned out.  No problem, dug one out of my spares and put it in and rode to work, figured it was just that fuse's time to go.

I get home from work and close to the house noted the dang turn signals were not working again.  That's not good, I thought.  Replaced the fuse and went for a short ride, this time I was watching the signals like a hawk and noted it went out while executing a left hand turn.  Aha!

Got her home carefully since when that particular fuse blows, it also takes out my brake light!  Put Brigitta up on her centerstand and starting checking wires for bare sports, looseness and such.  Got things to the point where it'd blow the fuse each time I'd move the wheel over to the left.  Aha!  Now I can replicate it, so I can narrow it down.

Much checking, wire bypassing/jiggling/examining later, narrowed it down to the wires leading into the left fork and through them to the front left turn signal housing.  To do all this, had removed the S fairing so I could see things better and also access the wiring inside the headlight bucket.

Carelessly, I had in the process of removing the S-Fairing, allowed one of the "hot" wires leading to the voltmeter in the S-fairing's dashboard to lie exposed against the steel braided sheath of the right side brake line.  You know where this is going right?  I turned on power to continue troubleshooting and the wire formed a hot contact with the brake line and smoke ensued!  Dammit!  It got hot enough before I pulled it off that it melted a hole in the rubber hose encased by the steel braiding and caused a leak.  Now I had no front brakes.

Berating myself as I continued troubleshooting the wiring issue, I could not find an obvious worn-through spot in the wires.  I did find though that in all my pulling and pushing of the wires, I must have moved them past the point where it was grounding and causing the short circuit. I wrapped them all in new electrical tape, put everything back together sans the S-fairing just in case I had to tear things apart again.

Whatever was shorting things out is no longer doing it.  I would have loved to have found a bare spot on a wire but I'll take the return of working turn signals and brake lights.

So, to the question posed by this posting's title:  Naked or Bikini.  I ask you, my faithful readers, which do you believe is best:  Run Brigitta without her fairing or "naked", or put the fairing back on?

Here's Brigitta "naked"

Here she is with the S-Fairing


682202 said...

I like the look of the Bikini best, but it looks good with out also.

SonjaM said...

It probably depends on what kind of riding you do on Brigitta. The fairing certainly gives you better weather protection. I would prefer her, however naked ;-)

Richard Machida said...

Since this is your "fair weather" bike, I'd go without the fairing. Looks nice that way.

Gary France said...

Naked looks best to me. Sorry about the wiring problem, but at least it is blowing fuses anymore. No doubt no finding the problem is a little frustrating, as it might return.

irondad said...

Honestly, Officer. I wasn't speeding. No, I was simply flying too low.

I voted for the fairing. Naked is great for inside but weather protection becomes desirable.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

While this particular model has the classic lines of an iconic motorcycle (and would catch the eye of any true rider), the fairing is like a diaphanous gown on the Venus de Milo.

The bullet-like lines of this bike's fairing are a direct thow-back to the 1930's, when streamlining meant softening lines with a style that still connoted power.

There is no denying that the fairing is an added pain in the ass when dealing with the mysteries beneath. But life is like that.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads