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The ergonomic experiment

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mailman, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Product performance review, handlebars, bar end mirrors, fly screen windshield

    Ok yesterday, I gave all of this new equipment the torture test, a four hour , 200 mile high speed ride. Overall, I’m happy with all of these things. Here’s the breakdown,

    Emgo super bike bars
    This is my first experience with lower flatter bars and to me the results were surprising. I have a herniated disc in my lower back that gives me grief, it’s always a limiting factor for me when I try to ride longer distances. I have always resisted the leaned forward riding position, but I have to say that I found it pretty comfortable. If I scootch my butt back on the seat a little and drop my shoulders down and try and relax them, I can achieve a sort of comfortable slouch ( phrase stolen from Peter Egan ) where my lower back kinda curves forward. This does two things, it takes pressure off of the disc in my back and it takes all pressure off of my tail bone. The more aggressive posture also really makes me feel more in control of the bike. The wrist angles felt comfortable to me and the leaned forward position balances against the wind pushing on your upper torso and effectively takes pressure off of your wrists. I’m happy with this change. If you’re shopping for these, really look around, the prices are all over the place.

    Ken Sean Bar End Mirrors

    These mirrors look identical to the ones sold by Emgo, with one exception. The mounting system. These attach by expandable rubber plugs vs expandable metal anchors on the Emgos’. The price is nearly the same, my thinking is that the rubber might help to dampen vibrations and stabilize the image. The part of the mirror stem that goes inside the handlebar has a notch on it to keep the plug from rotating when it’s being tightened, so don’t tighten them up and then try to twist the mirror around or you will tear that key way up.
    02FAF7F7-0B78-46C9-B7FC-EEE4FF4DBF53.jpeg 35A97B8E-6858-4F01-8426-9AD1C485232E.jpeg
    The view rearward is greatly enhanced, the mirrors are convex and you get a great wide angle view from them. They are very clear up to around 50 miles per hour when engine vibration starts to ramp up and makes them start to blur. You can still make out what’s behind you, just not as clearly. When I first left the house and got up to highway speed the mirrors started being blown back, I had expected this since I didn’t want to over tighten them. I had tools so I pulled over and snugged them up. Twenty miles later I had to do it again, this time they stayed put.
    Between the lower handlebars, small windscreen and bar end mirrors, the view forward feels really open and clear.
    I really like them, the only real trade off is this set up is pretty wide and it’s easier to knock into them in the garage.

    The fly screen
    I wasn’t going to write about this but some of you have mentioned it so....
    It’s a Chinese cheapie from EBay, I bought it on a whim. I really like the Dart brand fly screen, but they are pricey and don’t come in a universal fit. I found these on EBay, about $20.
    DF72C44F-D1FC-4724-BDBC-BCF8B681FF3F.jpeg D014815E-2F44-41A6-8EB1-B83B869BA6E5.jpeg 7300C2D1-3E87-4218-923E-77F11D1E25BE.jpeg 0AF9711D-76ED-462F-81C0-B8E75FAF3636.jpeg
    They come in clear, smoke or black. I chose the smoke. Most of these are sold and shipped from China, I found a distributor in Los Angeles And recieved it in a matter of days. The optical clarity is poor, knowing this, I’d get the black one. It feels flexible as a frisbee , the bracketry is flimsy and had to be extended to fit. Having said that, I still like it, I think it looks pretty good, mounts up surprisingly solid, and doesn’t budge at speed. It might take a little wind pressure off of my body, it’s hard to tell. I get no unwanted buffeting around my head, and it feels like from the chest up I’m in a clean flow of air.

    So, all in all, I’m happy with all of the changes. This might just be my summer set up. I really like my Givi windshield for winter riding and it fits better on the stock handlebars.

    One other footnote on my tall gearing, my 31 tooth rear sprocket. I found its Achilles heel, yesterday I got into some seriously steep mountain grades, I could keep my speed up, but there were times I had to downshift to keep from dogging my engine. On the flatlands though, that sprocket rocks at highway speed.

    That’s all for now.
    Bob :cool:
    gggGary, Boog, YamadudeXS650C and 5 others like this.
  2. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Easy fix for that.... a Shell cam and a 750 kit will have it climbing with the best of 'em. :rolleyes:
    Good write up Bob. :thumbsup:
    GLJ, Raymond, YamadudeXS650C and 2 others like this.
  3. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    oooh.....Madness, Arizona edition. Now where’d I put those Borlas’? :D
    Thanks Jim.
    GLJ, gggGary, YamadudeXS650C and 2 others like this.
  4. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    Nice to hear your comments on lower handlebars. I will keep that in mind should I hurt my back or age gets to it.

    A very nice and tidy little shield now I can see it close up. Looks perfect for your bike! Good to hear your comments on air flow. I too do not mind clean air flowing over my helmet, it is the turbulent air that is annoying. With one shield I had the turbulence was like getting punched softly in the head non-stop. I must make a trial run without a shield to see how that goes then perhaps I may be getting your style shield.

    I wonder if you can just spray your shield Black? Might give you a preview before buying the black, unless you intend selling it on to someone else.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  5. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    So, it seems you've discovered one of the major benefits of lower bars, namely better lower back comfort. With more upright bars, you put more weight and pressure on your tail bone and spine. Any bumps you hit get transmitted directly into them. With the lower bars, that doesn't happen, your hips absorb the shock instead. Add the other big benefit, the improved "feel" and control, and that makes lower bars a win-win. All my bikes get them. There is a limit here though. Go too low, like drag bars or clip-ons, and you begin to lose the comfort benefits. They are also much more difficult to route the cables for.

    Let me mention one little thing about the throttle cable. It has sort of a washer with a flat side formed on top of the elbow that fits into the control housing. This directs the cable towards the forks and instrument pod. As your 1st pic illustrates, it does so a little too much. It will help if you file a bit more off that formed washer so the elbow can be rotated and angled more forward .....


    arcticXS, Boog, gggGary and 4 others like this.
  6. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Good tip! Thanks!
    gggGary likes this.
  7. And yes. Seems dumb. It must suck just trying to move it in the garage, let alone grass on a slight hill. I don't get it. What about frozen armpits?
    thuban, Paul Sutton, gggGary and 2 others like this.
  8. I sure hope the VYR is still on. I haven't checked because I've been very busy. (Not riding my bike, grrrrrrr! The virus screwed my Catskill Mountains tour.
    Paul Sutton and GLJ like this.
  9. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty What should I put here? XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    As far as I know, the only forum that has it posted is XS11.com. Seems it's still on, but I'm not following as I've made other plans this year.
    madmax-im likes this.
  10. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    Not really a Hijack, just unfinished business: Back on Page 15 Entry 290 I mentioned about the air blasting up under the handle bars and smacking my helmet about when I use a wind shield. On U-tube there is video on how to address this issue for Harley riders:

    So today I figured I'd give it a go using some scraps of polycarbonate , four stainless steel pipe clips and some recycled nuts and bolts:
    Yes, the lower pipe bracket is well clear of the lower forks. The approximate dimensions of the polycarbonate are Height = 36cm, Lower Width = 6cm and Upper Width = 12.5cm. I have just been for a test ride at 50 - 70 mph and pleased to say the deflectors got rid of the air blasting up under the hand grips and it only cost me £5.70 for the clips.

    The next issue for me to address is why the helmet is always noisier on the right side than the left??? Any thoughts?

    Edit 29th August 2020: The helmet was noisier on one side due to asymmetry in the bike. This is because air was flowing through the gap between the headlight and the bottom triple tree. The asymmetry was due to the harness wiring filling the left side and blocking airflow. So I made a little deflector to fit in the gap on the right. At this stage my wind shield, fork air deflectors and this new deflector made the bike look like it was owned by Heath Robinson. So, I removed all three and purchased a Shuberth C3 Pro flip up helmet on special for £117 and a pair of Auritech ear plugs for £19. The bike is a pleasure to ride but with increased air pushing on my chest and arms above 60 mph.

    Sometimes it pays to take a step back just to see how things used to be...
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  11. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    I know exactly what you’re talking about Paul. When I had my Bonneville America I tried everything to create a quiet air space behind my windshield, I first had a factory windshield that was rather narrow and short and the buffeting was crazy bad. So I bought an aftermarket shield by Clearview that fit my factory brackets but was taller and wider, then I added custom made ( by me) lowers, that mounted on brackets sold by Memphis shade.
    It was a lot of plastic in front , but it worked really well.
    47FB921C-41DF-42D6-8EFC-5421EFCDE0AF.jpeg 0C182973-4F13-4D49-BF95-0CF82F9516C4.jpeg 4A29E2BA-976C-46EF-95BA-CD7D461BC6B2.jpeg 7A518BF5-57A3-4558-960B-E43C4835FA7D.jpeg
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  12. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

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  13. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    Mystery of this asymmetry is solved. As the airs flows through the gap bounded by the headlight, forks and the bottom triple tree it encounters resistance from all the wiring on the left but flows freely through on the right. I stuffed a piece of foam in the gap on the right and the airflow and noise was now even on both sides of the helmet.

    I am now looking for a quieter helmet, maybe a Schuberth???

    Edit 29th August 2020: Goto Entry #310 above for conclusion.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  14. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    2M, thanks for the link. This is an idea I will play with because the piece of foam pops out at 70 - 80 mph.

    And now for 1000 words:

    Spot the foam.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  15. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Amazing, I was just searching on the same thing this morning.
    gggGary's got a thread on the QuietRide helmets.
    I'm looking at retrofitting something, maybe Bose earmuffs, into mine.
    It's the wind noise that bugs me...
    Paul Sutton and Jim like this.
  16. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty What should I put here? XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    My Arai is extremely quiet. Behind a windshield, it is much less so. I need to replace it. It's aged out.
    Paul Sutton and Jim like this.
  17. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi DE,
    ape hanger 'bars were popularized during WW2 by Italian military motorcyclists.
    The ape hanger 'bar style let them surrender without losing control of their bikes.
    After WW2 the 'bar style was adopted by Harley riders as a fashion statement.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Mailman, GLJ and 3 others like this.
  18. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

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  19. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    On the ergonomic front, what advantages are gained by strapping a sheep skin on a bike seat? Is it the height of comfort and luxury?
    Jim likes this.
  20. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Paul,
    my sheep skin wasn't strapped onto the seat, it was just draped over it.
    "height of comfort and luxury" is somewhat of an exaggeration but I did find that sitting on a sheep skin on long rides eased my arse a fair bit.
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