K-RT Foot Warmers
By Brian Curry
Sometime back David Norton popped up with the statement that if you pulled the baffles out of the fairing lowers, you would be warmer riding in cooler temps. This made sense. Why had I not thought of it?
Someone else said that BMW made fairing bottom extensions that would keep the wind blast off your feet. This made sense and I thought I could make my own. Later Sam Lepore ordered a set and told me what they looked like. Very similar to what I made but they extended lower. (They also cost $65!!! Now compare that to the cost of making your own.) My next version will be larger that what is described here.
I tried this last year, (96/97) and by golly it works. In fact, when I forgot to put the baffles back in and take the extensions off, I thought I was going to die when it got warm, from toasted shins and roasted tootsies. I did not reinstall them this year until it got cool. The difference in warmth after installing them was very noticeable. WARMTH IS GOOD.
So how is this magic performed?
***Fairing Bottom Extensions***
For the fairing bottom extensions, I used a chunk of truck tire flap. I got it for free by asking at a local truck repair center.
At the bottom of the fairing, on each side, there is a 10 mm headed bolt with a big flat washer that supports the fairing bottom. I used this as a mounting point for the extensions on each side.
These are the original, tested dimensions and are approximate. Remember mine will be larger next time. The design was created by cutting a piece from a plastic file folder, holding it in place and seeing if it looked right, so feel free to create your own design.
All of these descriptions are viewed from the rear of the bike.
The left extension, using ASCII art, had this approximate shape:
4 3/4" _________________________ | | | O (2 1/4") | | (1" down) | | | | | 4 5/8" | __| | / | | Exhaust pipe recess | \___ \ | \ | \_____________________| 2 1/4"
The top was 4 3/4″ wide and the hole for the 10 mm headed bolt was 2 1/4″ from the right side and 1″ below the top edge. (“Eyeballed” location.) I cut a recess so the exhaust header pipes would not hit the fairing extension and make a real stink. (Pewwww!!) At the same time, I tried to keep it fairly close to the pipe to keep cooler air from getting to my foot. The top to bottom dimension last year was 4 5/8″, but will be longer next year. I rounded the bottom left corner so the flat surface ended about 2 1/4″ wide. (You can only do so much in ASCII art.)
The right extension, using ASCII art, had this approximate shape:
3 1/2" ___ _________________________ 1" | | ___ | O (7/8" from left) | / (5/8" down) | / | / | 4 3/4" / | / | / | / | / / / / /________________________/ | |<-- 3/4" 3"
The top was 3 1/2″ wide and the hole for the 10 mm headed bolt was 7/8″ from the left side and 5/8″ down from the top edge. (“Eyeballed” location.) The left edge sloped in towards the left to get close to the engine. It started sloping about 1″ from the top edge. The bottom left corner was about 3/4″ to the left of the top left corner. The top to bottom dimension last year was 4 3/4″, but will be longer next year. I rounded the bottom right corner so the flat surface ended up being 3″ wide. (You can only do so much in ASCII art.)
To do it on your own, first get a tire flap. (Used, and beat up is fine.) Or get some heavy rubber fabric about 1/4″ thick. Get some heavy cardboard, or plastic sheet, and make some “trial” flaps. Then hold the cardboard, or plastic model on the tire flap and cut the final version out. I used tin shears to cut the tire flap. The flap is too thick for ordinary scissors. I drilled the hole through the flap into a block of wood. (Better than the table, bench, or your knee. 😉
Remove the mounting bolt and its associated large flat washer, put the bolt through the mounting hole with the washer on the outside, and install and tighten the bolt. (Don’t ask the torque…) The washer spreads the load and keeps the head from pulling through the flap. The flap will curl a bit due to the shape of the fairing.
Go for a ride with warmer tootsies. 🙂
I was not able to observe any deflection of the flap at speeds up to about 60-70 mph. Even with runs to the ton, apparently it did not hit the exhaust pipes. (This may change with next years longer model. In which case, it will be “trimmed to fit.”
***Internal fairing baffle removal***
On each side of the fairing remove the knee pad. They are mounted by two phillips head screws just below the pocket on each side and one phillips head screw at the very bottom of the internal panel. You can now see the fairing innards.
Some models had slots in the knee pads. This is where the warmish engine air will come out. If you do not have these the air will have to make its way between the knee pad and the engine, but in the winter any warm air is better.
On the left side you can see the baffle, a multi-planed plastic panel with a circular foam section on the right and bottom edges. It is held in place to the left fairing lower section by two phillips head screws. Remove them and the baffle can be taken out. I also removed the sheet metal nuts the screws thread into and stored them with the baffle until warmer weather. (They cannot vibrate off sometime during the winter. :()
You can see the right side baffle but no screws are visible from the inside. Its mounting is a bit trickier. It is mounted by two phillips head screws that go through the lower fairing panel rear exhaust air vane. (Look between the two vanes and you will see the screw heads near the inside edge of the rear vane.)
There are two different mounting style screws. One is easy to remove, the other is a bear.
The bear first. The phillips head screw is a fine thread machine screw with a 8 mm “sqooshed” lock nut. So to remove it, you need to reach in with one hand and hold a 8 mm wrench on the nut and with the other loosen the screw. It is a PITA but it can be done.
The easier mounting is uses a phillips head sheet metal screw and two of the sheet metal nuts. These take just one hand and a very short phillips head screwdriver. I replaced the bear setup, with the easy set up, on the bike that was a bear.
For those that want to do this, the parts for easy on and off are:
Screw:………….46 63 1 453 297
Sheet metal nut:…07 12 9 925 708
For those that are perverse, or to see if you were sent or bought what is a PITA here are those part numbers:
Machine Screw:…..07 11 9 928 488
Sqoosh Lock nut:…63 14 2 322 408
Once the mounting screws are removed it will come out in your hand. If you have the PITA setup, you will note the plastic is indented for the sheet metal nuts. I remounted the screws in the baffle, so I was only looking for two items in the spring and not six.
After removing the baffles I felt around with a ungloved hand and could feel more heat making its way to the rear and my shins.
This was done after “The Great Fall Trip”. I wish I had done it before. But at least now I am warmer!!!
Take a ride and you will find it is warmer. Not necessarily a lot when it is cold, but every little BTU in the right place helps when it is freezing. 🙂
For those with LT’s, you are somewhat on your own. The knee pads and fairing lowers are mounted differently. There is no large 10 mm headed bolt to mount the feet protectors on. Also, the internal fairing baffles are different. They are big foam bits. I have not checked out how to take them out. But if you can get them out, you too, can probably have more heat on you in the winter.