In the beginning
My first BMW experience was on my 2005 K1200 LT. “Big Blue” was a sweet machine. A heavy pig in the parking lot but, as I often describe her, “she’s the fat girl who could dance”. Get her rolling and you could easily maneuver her through even the tightest switchbacks from “Going to the Sun Road” to the “Tail of the Dragon”. When the clutch finally gave up the ghost after 90K+ miles, I purchased a 2014 GSW. I chose the GS to allow long distance riding plus the option of riding off-road.
The first thing I noticed on the GS was the added wind noise and turbulence. I assumed the culprit of this turbulence was the OEM windscreen. I explored aftermarket windscreens and chose one from a reputable company. I mounted the new windscreen but, to my disappointment, it failed to improve the noise level and turbulence.
After several miles of one-hand, I discovered the OEM and after-market windscreens were not to blame for the uncomfortable, noisy ride. The real culprit was the “dirty air” flowing off the front end, passing under the handlebars and striking me in the abdomen then rushing up and under my helmet. When I placed my hand, palm down, under the throttle assembly, I immediately experienced a smoother quieter ride. The seed was planted, the idea borne!
Bringing Bot-Wings to life
Design and Development
The first 3 sets of “Bot-Wing” prototypes were made from cardboard and attached with blue painters tape and electrical wire. After I had established the effectiveness of my idea, I approached a local windscreen fabricator to make the initial plastic wings. These first prototypes were two-piece assemblies which mounted in place of the small black plastic “V” shaped foils which are stock on the GSW.
One requirement I insisted on was “no-drilling” to install. The winglets must be able to fit at existing attach points on the motorcycle. This was easily accomplished at the front end of the winglets but more difficult on the trailing edge of the winglets.
I tried using 3M™ Dual Lock™ fasteners, but they proved to be unsightly and unreliable. At highway speeds or in gusty conditions the Dual Lock would separate allowing the tail of the winglet to float. I knew consumers would not pay for an accessory which had to be stuck in place and have the risk of it coming loose. I went back to the drawing board.
After much consideration and experimentation, a one-piece Bot-Wing was produced. After a tweak here and there, the final production Bot-Wing was formed and mounted.
Testing the new product
Immediately, even at slow speed, I could feel and hear the difference! The Bot-Wings performed as I intended. They channeled the “dirty air” down and away from the rider’s body reducing turbulence and noise.
In addition to reduced turbulence and noise, Bot-Wings provide an extra level of rain protection. Thousands of miles have been ridden with Bot-Wings. No instability has been experienced or reported in over 1 year of test riding and development. To insure adequate airflow for rider comfort hot weather testing was conducted in Texas heat and Florida humidity. In both cases, the Bot-Wings smoothed and quieted the ride while allowing adequate airflow.
Bot-Wings Now available!
Bot-Wings are constructed from high-grade UV stabilized acrylic and are available in several colors. Clear, Red and smoke are the most popular.
Each Bot-Wing is individually pre-fitted to a GS or GSA to insure it fits. Bot-Wings attach to existing mount points on the GS or GSA. There are no holes to drill, no stick on tabs or adhesives to damage your paint.