Ultra owners, how do you endure the buffeting?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by cerv, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. cerv

    cerv Banned

    Hello everybody. I know this subject has been beat to death here or elsewhere, but apparently it’s mostly FLHX people who are complaing and playing expensive games with their windshields, deflectors, baffles etc. What I would like to speak about is Ultra.

    Yesterday me and my girlfriend, so far a BMW GS crew, test rode new Ultra Limited. (We are considering buying ex-demo Ultra Classic or brand new Standard – that is still available for Euro markets this year – but neither was available for the test ride.)

    While I absolutely adored many aspects of the bike including engine, handling and ride quality (well, apart from potholed roads), there were two nuisances major enough to be a deal breaker for us. The first one, garage-speed manipulation, is avoidable to some extent. But I was surprised how much head-beating buffeting there was on the motorway. It buffeted in the very unpleasant way that makes your eyes vibrate and your teeth clinking. My pillion passenger had the same experience. We use BMW and Schuberth flip-up helmets which are considered as some of the most sleek and refined in the business.

    The buffeting was apparent in speeds as low as 60 mph and became close to unbearable above 75 mph. (Usual traffic flow speed at our motorways is ca 85 mph.) I spent a lot of time experimenting with palm of my hand and found out that if I place my palm right before my forehead, much of the buffeting is gone. Nothing seemed to be coming from bellow. I am 5 feet 11 inches tall.

    Now I would really love to hear from you Ultra owners if this is something you just become accustomed to or if there’s a good solution, like a wind screen low enough to look over it and sturdy enough not to deflect in highway speeds. I can’t justify spending equivalent of $30,000 on a bike that is this unpleasant at long motorway stints.

    P.S. Please do not be surprised if you find this post on other H-D forums, too. I am not starting a flame war here, just wanna hear from as many Ultra owners as possible.
  2. bigTM

    bigTM Member

    I am 6 2 and with full face zox helmet I get a little buffeting, with my Fulmer modular and do not notice any. It could just be the helmet and windsheild combination. That is why I bought an Ultra to enjoy stereo and less wind noise. T
  3. joel

    joel Senior Member

    I am also 5'11" but don't have this buffeting felling, Did you have the deflectors open becouse with them open it is like there is no windshield. When I am looking forward my eye leval is just above the top of the shield, you could try 1 that is taller and has a curve to help push the air up and over the helmet.
  4. Scrounger

    Scrounger Active Member

    I'm 6' 2" and I have noticed a fair amount of buffeting on my ride too. I have an Ultra Limited also. Its not outrageous, but it does tire me out a bit. I plan to go up and down with the shield to find two alternatives so I can go lower if I want in the summer and a bit higher when I want in the winter.

    My FJR had an adjustable shield and I really miss that feature. I ride with a full face helmet and that seems to be much better for me with the buffeting then my half helmet for some reason.

    You're just going to have to either get your helmet into cleaner air or get it out of the air. I think its impossible for the manufacturers to get this one perfect since the riders are all so different.
  5. walleye

    walleye Junior Member Contributor

    Not even a hint of this problem with my Ultra or any of my fellow riding buds that have Ultra's. Since it is so bad bad for both you and your girlfriend, I suggest you buy a different ride that is more likley your style. By the way, nice 1st post.:bigsmiley15: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I had a BMW and it was just terrible... uh huh.
  6. SubVet

    SubVet New Member

    Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the ride. I have an Ultra Limited and get no buffeting at all with the wind deflectors closed. I do have the tall shield and I'm 5' 9". What size was the windshield on the rental you rode? Were the wind deflectors on the fairing open? With mine open, I do get a fair amount of buffeting. Good luck.
  7. phatch

    phatch Member

    I'm 5'8" and experience none but my wife, 5'1" certainly does as passenger. I am looking at alternative deflectors. I owned a few BMW tourers and wouldn't go back for anything though.
  8. Joe2007ultra

    Joe2007ultra Active Member

    Taller windshield and lower seat. I am 5'10 and I have barley a problem.

    Dont think there is any way to fix the rider problem.
  9. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

    I do not have this issue at all! How did you get past the looks of the BMW? I'm sure they are fine machines, but IMHO they are ugly. I just like the Harley look I guess. Welcome to the forum.
  10. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I have an '03 UC. I am 5'-6", and my wife is 5'-8". There are no baffles on my bike. The screen extends a couple of inches above my eyes. I have to stretch unnaturally so to see over the screen.

    When I first got the bike, I had been riding a Dyna only. The UC was a BIG change in handling and perceived stability. This was due to the higher CoG and just the basic bike geometry. I REALLY noticed the wind, not on us as much as just buffeting the bike. I lowered the bike front and rear and got a REACH seat. I also added a True-Track stabilizer.

    These things have made the bike a VERY nice stable feeling ride.

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