Terrible buffeting and wind noise on highway? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Question Terrible buffeting and wind noise on highway?

My '14 Versys is my first motorcycle, so I'm not sure what is normal in terms of wind buffeting and noise on the highway, but above about 60 MPH I feel like I'm hanging on for dear life and the wind noise is very loud even with earplugs.

Out of curiosity, I tried crouching down behind the windshield and the buffeting and noise were almost completely gone.

I tried moving the windshield to the other two positions, but didn't really notice much of a difference (although I think the steep angle may have been slightly worse).

Is this normal? I'm 6', 160lbs.

Also, I installed BarkBusters VPS Handguards and SW-MOTECH crash bars before riding the bike, so I don't know if they are contributing to this in any way.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 09:51 PM
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It's a motorcycle. Wear earplugs.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 10:04 PM
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Especially because it's a little more upright in riding style the Versys can be subject to more wind noise than some other bikes. But pretty much any bike especially at highway speeds regardless of your helmet...it's a very good idea to wear earplugs.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 10:11 PM
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How far is the '14 windscreen from your handguards at full steering lock? With a taller (16.5") windscreen on my '07, I modified my windscreen mounts to have it as leaned back as possible, which cured the buffeting completely. I never need earplugs.

How large are those VPS handguards? Smaller ones like my Zeta XT guards help, as do my smaller and more aerodynamic billet aluminum mirrors.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 11:51 PM
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Take the screen off, you will love it. I ended up going with the Kawasaki branded MRA Vario screen however I'm only 5'7" works for me






Last edited by MaverickAus; 07-18-2015 at 03:57 AM.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 12:07 AM
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I have one of these with the "flip" on top. Love it at all speeds, turbulence a total non factor. Might be what Maverick has, I think this was an MRA Vario.

I tweaked it, it works best just the OPPOSITE of what I thought one should do with the flip thing. Once that was determined ( after a few city blocks, we get along great now).

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 12:30 AM
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6'4" and I had to go aftermarket and went with the Madstad 20" screen and bracket.
Allows much more adjustability for better protection.

I run without a screen commuting

On trips I use the Madstad screen and it is joy.
Calm and silent.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 02:56 AM
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An MRA Touring screen solved my buffeting issue. I put up with the stock screen for >30k miles though. Didn't bother me that much most of the time anyway. Some use the MRA Touring screen with MRA's Xcreen attachment. For me it works fine without.

I expect some people wouldn't be happy with any less than a barn door windscreen they look through. If you're not one of those, probably some configuration of MRA Touring screen either with or without the Xcreen would work. If you are, there are some big screens available for the Versys. I think Calsci makes one.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N00bster View Post
...the wind noise is very loud even with earplugs.
Maybe you need better earplugs? Maybe it's a helmet thing too? I had to switch to quieter earplugs recently when I switched helmets, and much of the problem was on the Versys.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidg View Post
An MRA Touring screen solved my buffeting issue. I put up with the stock screen for >30k miles though. Didn't bother me that much most of the time anyway. Some use the MRA Touring screen with MRA's Xcreen attachment. For me it works fine without.

I expect some people wouldn't be happy with any less than a barn door windscreen they look through. If you're not one of those, probably some configuration of MRA Touring screen either with or without the Xcreen would work. If you are, there are some big screens available for the Versys. I think Calsci makes one.
depends on where you are what you can get from a screen.
The Kawasaki Tall screen (i have one) is not tall enough.
The Kawasaki Tall screen with Vario (Xcreen) - was not an option for me as the the cost is high and you are still limited to the 3 positions for mounting - then you have to rely on the Xcreen to do it thing.

I bought the Madatd 20" sports screen and bracket because the cost was not that much more than importing any of the other tall screens like CaliSci and Givi etc.
The Madstad is fully adjustably not like the CaliSci and Givi which still use the stock 3 positions mounting foe adjustability.
I was not going to pay a fortune only to be disappointed.
I got the Madstad local in Australia and the price was cheaper than a CaliSci shipped! Win Win.
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidg View Post
Maybe you need better earplugs? Maybe it's a helmet thing too? I had to switch to quieter earplugs recently when I switched helmets, and much of the problem was on the Versys.
Ear plugs do not help with buffeting... they only reduce the noise.
They will suppress the high frequency whistling but you will still hear wind.

I experience bad buffeting with my Kawasaki Tall screen.
It was like someone tapping hard constantly on the top of your head.

I have used foam plugs, silicone putty plugs, no-noise ear plugs.
all of then do some good but they all have their bad points - mostly if you turn your head or open you mouth the seal breaks and noise increases till you take them out and put them back in.

Last week I went and got custom Insta-mold ear plugs - awsome plugs!
I should have done it sooner!
I still can use the Sena 20s to listen to music etc through the helmet speakers just fine.
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 05:05 AM
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I'm 6'2 and have a cheap loud helmet so I know your pain. I found the givi windshield helped alot but my hand guards hit it under full lock so I'm back to the inverted stock one. I'd recommend (and hope to someday get And myself) the mra with xscreen

yes im a guy.
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 05:43 AM
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I'm running an MRA Vario with xscreen. I barely feel buffeting at highway speeds. Maybe top inch or two of helmet and only slight.

There's a reason some of those Harley and Gold Wing guys run sliding glass doors for fairings.

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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 08:42 AM
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6'4, 220ish here. Stock screen is fine. I didn't see a good description regarding your buffeting but, you need to distinguish between normal everyday wind blast and buffeting. Some new riders consider buffeting to be the increasing resistance they feel on their body as their speed increases. True buffeting is a rapid, rhythmic, (think "fluttering") of the head/helmet. Those who have experienced it, know it. It happened to me on a buddy's FJR, except in the very upper limit of the power windscreen, and on my VTX when I installed a batwing fairing, regardless of height or angle. I ended up selling the fairing because of it.
As for noise, higher rated ear plugs (they should have a decibel rating on the package; the higher the number, the more noise suppressing they will be), quieter helmet (notice I didn't say "better" helmet, because the two are not necessarily interchangeable).
Finally, it's a motorcycle. Ride it, enjoy it, both the wind and the sounds. Otherwise, I hear Cadillacs are nice and quiet.

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 09:20 AM
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First I tilted the stock screen back and drilled new holes to accommodate that. It helped a lot. Then I tried a Givi. It was quieter but not in a side wind. I now just removed mine and probably like it best with no screen. Adventure bikes just seem noisy to me. Stand on the pegs at speed and see how quiet it is. My wife's Honda CBR500R seems silent by comparison. Much of the noise is caused by turbulent air at the bottom of your helmet. Hold you left hand over your neck, then slowly pull it forward, if that makes it more quiet, a neck gaitor will also help, soak it in water if it is hot for a cooling effect.
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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 09:26 AM
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If you feel like you are hanging on for dear life, bend your elbows and relax into the wind. I just returned from a 1700mile trip with no windshield averaging 70 mph with little fatigue by finding the best balance of leaning into the wind, not trying to sit with my arms extended sitting bolt upright.
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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 10:10 AM
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I wear lime green contour ear plugs from Wal-Mart. I think the brand is fleet. Never an issue with noise. Buffeting occurs from wind turbulence around the screen and or around SUVs, minivans, and trucks.

You two choices are shorter screen to get your helmet in the clean air, or taller screen to get you in a pocket of still air. Both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on weather, temps, and cross winds.

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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Gigitt View Post
I have used foam plugs, silicone putty plugs, no-noise ear plugs.
all of then do some good but they all have their bad points - mostly if you turn your head or open you mouth the seal breaks and noise increases till you take them out and put them back in.
I've had that issue with all wax or putty type plugs I've tried and with custom molded plugs too.

Foam ear plugs aren't all alike. Foam roll-up plugs (as found in the local drug store) didn't work well for me, and was using press-in plugs (with a lower noise reduction rating) instead. When I recently had to increase the noise reduction, I bought a foam roll-up ear plug sampler pack, and from that I selected the Moldex Pura-fit as the best earplug ever. Like any plug it probably won't work for everyone, but I think that one will work well for most people--it's tapered, which means easier insertion, and it should fit a broad range of ear canal shapes and sizes. Much better than anything I'd found in a local drug store.

There were a number of Moldex plugs in the sampler pack, all pretty good (and some other good plugs too), but I thought the Pura-Fit was the best. YMMV.
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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:44 PM
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Love those plugs. Got a big box of them at Amazon and they are the most comfortable and most sound suppressive plugs I've ever used
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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 04:51 PM
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Like stated above... It's a motorcycle.
I use foam plugs from Home Depot.
I have a stock windscreen in the stock position.
I'm rocking an Arai XD4.
Buffering and wind noise is part and parcel of motorcycling...

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
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