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Discussion Starter #1
I will apologize in advance if I am lighting a fuse - hopefully not. I have read through some pretty contentious threads here related to this. It seems to be generally accepted that the K bikes (especially the GA and B) get pushed around in dirty air. This is not meant to debate the extent of that -- I'm interested in feedback re: what setup has been most effective in reducing it.
I have an '18 B. Fairly new PR4's, 7Jurock 18" screen, and just added a Shad 58 top case that I run collapsed unless its parked w helmets in it. I have found the bike to be absolutely rock solid in any situation other than 65+mph in multi lane traffic. In dirty air, it literally becomes a different bike. As has been mentioned, it is not felt as a "wobble" in the bars but the bike just demonstrates a side-to-side "twitching". I had the same issue prior to adding the top case.
Running the screen down and tires near max inflation seems to help but its still there and becomes an issue if ambient wind picks up any amount. I don't normally heavily grip the bars but maybe as this thing starts to wiggle around I do it unconsciously so will keep that in mind. Also per threads here, will try riding with more pre-load on suspension.
I love this bike and don't typically have to ride in multi lane interstate traffic, but its hard to avoid it some times so I'm looking for suggestions to manage it better.

What has proven effective for others in reducing the effects of this? Screen width, tire pressure sweet spot, anything short of strapping a duffel bag on the pillion?
 

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I‘m pretty sure there’s no real consensus on what “cures” this, but you’re probably thinking the right way in regards to windshield and tire pressure, although opinions will probably be all over the place there as well. I’m not sure there is any real solution, and personally have just grown to accept that this bike is a little more sensitive to gusty wind than other tourers I have owned. Whether that’s because of sportier steering geometry, tires, windshield or just the sheer size of this bike I don’t know, but since this bike is so good in every other situation, it’s something I personally am willing to live with. The vast majority of the time, being on the freeway on this bike is a real joy :)

edit: I will add though, that I have noticed the effect more when I’m riding solo with the top case on. When I take that off it seems less pronounced. So, there’s that.
 

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The "cure" is to accept it.

These bikes have a high center of gravity, and nothing is going to change it. Dirty air was part of my riding experience on my R1200RT, K1200LT, and now on my GTL. If I'm riding through SoCal Santa Ana wind gusts, major highway cross winds, or higher speed multi-lane traffic, I adjust my riding posture, tighten my body up, and just go with it until things settle down. It's almost always manageable.

As @Czarcasm said, the vast majority of the time, being on the freeway on this bike is real joy. I try to focus on that. :)
 

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I have ridden my 20B in dirty air, on I40, around semi truck rigs, other large trucks and heavy car traffic. Running a 17.25” Aeoflow Shield. Other than wind whips from passing semis and/or if i follow to close, i have not had any adverse handling issues so far
 

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I read an interesting take here on the forum, linking the instability to air pressure, the windshield creates an area of low pressure as the air goes around the windshield, which reacts kind of like the lift under a wing. I hope I'm getting the OP's theory right. It was suggested if you have a windshield with a vent in the middle, it would reduce the low air pressure pocket that causes the instability.

I feel the instability at high speed on my stock GA and in my case don't feel it causes any loss of control. I've tried hard lane changes at high speed and the bike reacts the way I expect.

I agree, my GA is such a great bike in all the situations I've been in, it's just about perfect for me.
 

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My standard for buffeting, loosen the hand grip, lower my centre of gravity (i.e. sink in the seat)
 

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I read an interesting take here on the forum, linking the instability to air pressure, the windshield creates an area of low pressure as the air goes around the windshield, which reacts kind of like the lift under a wing. I hope I'm getting the OP's theory right. It was suggested if you have a windshield with a vent in the middle, it would reduce the low air pressure pocket that causes the instability.
An interesting theory, but I run a CalSci shield that has an open hole in the middle. I personally can’t say I’ve noticed any real difference in regards to my bikes wind sensitivity between the two shields. Its a big improvement in every other way though. YMMV
 

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In dirty air the K1600 will get blown around a bit. Some trucks cause more air disturbance than others. You have two options. Increase the distance between you and the vehicle causing the problem, or pass the that vehicle as soon as you can. So, just get use to it. If you can't then the K bike may not be for you.

Duane
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When you are in multi-lane traffic there is little ability to distance yourself. For my bike, the issue with simply following or passing a single vehicle is manageable and actually fairly minor when riding 2 up. Frankly the bike has handled pretty well in fairly heavy wind on 2 lane roads as well.

This becomes an issue for me exclusively when I am surrounded by other vehicles running 1 up at highway speeds - heavy, multi-lane traffic. Sorry if this annoys some but I'd like to make an effort to mitigate it some vs just accepting it or abandoning the bike.

Curious if anyone has experienced better performance with the bags loaded (ballast). I have actually considered removing the front floor boards since they basically act as an air wing. I really don't use them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ha!
Love the bike. Just have this basic personality disorder that makes me try to make things I like even better.

Appreciate all the constructive comments. Taking off to NC next week to do some ride&hike loops (2up), so I can try some things out if I need to be on I29 or I40.
 

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Being blunt; there is no cure because it's the nature of the beast.

That said; it's still a fantastic motorcycle! It's designed to excell at handling and performance. This adds a bit of handlebar feedback under certain conditions.

In my opinion; BMW would need to redesign the bike to correct. There is no question that BMW is aware, a small part of why I believe a new K is coming...sooner than later.


Sent from my SM-J327T using Tapatalk
 

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The absolute best thing you can do is use your right hand to get past the trucks. There are a LOT of trucks here in SA and on the 10 in particular and if I need to get on the interstate the best thing I've found is to get around them and back into "clean" air.

james
 

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The bike has a fairing and windshield combination that pushes a lot of air, the design of which was tweaked in a wind tunnel that by design investigates the “clean air condition”. I have a 7JUrock 19” on my ‘18 B. There are varying amounts of turbulence to be encountered depending on 1 or 2 up, windshield position, and the “wings” out or in... so many combinations, some more noticeable and/or annoying than others. Now throw in trucks, other traffic, crosswinds, roadside obstacles (that affect the wind) and there is no end to the different FEELS you will get. We get concerned when “bad air” buffets the bike because it is non-normal condition to our brains. I have had many passengers (in the airplane) scared to death when we encounter turbulence (bad air), but when I explain why the turbulence exists, that there is no such thing as an “air pocket”, and that the wings on this plane will not fall off, they usually calm down. Ignorance translates to Fear. My experience is that the bike is still firmly planted making good contact with the road. Yes the air is buffeting the bike, same as any bike, and this one feels different. But in almost all cases the K is not in danger of losing grip laterally and being blown off the road (exceptions do exist; if you encounter a severe wind gust you may have controllability problems). But riding amongst cars and trucks all pushing air up, down, sideways - all that bad air swirling around - it’s going to feel uncomfortable.
 

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Highway stability at any speed- darkside rear. Let the debate continue...
 

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I'd like to believe that BMW Motorrad spent time and money in a wind tunnel testing the airflow around our bikes, trying to get the best cleanest flow they could. That said I think most after market "fixes" are going to fail. My solution usually involves passing a truck as fast as possible.
 

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I have actually considered removing the front floor boards since they basically act as an air wing. I really don't use them anyway.
I'm yet to get mine till September, but this was my thought exactly. The GTL can be a bit twitchy at higher speeds, and after a test to the limits on the GA I didn't notice any difference TBH, so I've ordered one and may do as suggested and remove the foot boards after trying it out for some miles.
 

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There's nothing wrong with the aerodynamics of the K bikes. The major issue at highway speeds in and around large vehicles is the bike's weight. At 730 LBS this is not a heavy 880 LBS HD and it's going to tend to get pushed around in dirty air and cross winds. I always keep at least 3 car lengths in front of me and I never let any vehicle stay beside me for more than a few seconds. When the I get into dirty air I just lighten up my grip and let the bike do what it wants just making small corrections to keep it in the lane. Most of the time I have the CC on and my hands are just resting on the grips usually only my right hand in on top of the grip my left hand is holding a cig. I don't have any problems handing this bike in any condition. My suggestion is go to a riding course and learn how to ride. I'm not saying this to be rude but if you sit back and think about it how many of you actually know what the capabilities of the K bike are. Anyone can negotiate a straight line ................
 
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