So I have been one of the unlucky ones and have had my drive gear for the power windscreen motor break. Over the years people have looked into coming up with a fix but to date there hasn't been anything actually done. Maybe this time it will be different.
So since we have a long cold winter here I have been running through options with my bike tore apart. The options have been around what would it take to get it working again and what would it take to actually improve on the system to keep it from happening again. I had a few goals in mind while doing this. I wanted to keep costs as low as possible. I wanted to come up with a modification that people could actually do themselves. I don't have time to set up shop like Spencer does with his saddles and wouldn't want people sitting with a bike down waiting on me to perform a modification to their mechanism. I didn't want to sacrifice range of motion or feature (changing angle) or the original. I also didn't want it to take up much room because a lot of people (including myself) stuff lots of stuff under the fairing on these bikes.
Anyhow, I really think I have come up with something to do this. I am going to be going over this with a few other members at a Tech Event on Saturday here in MN. There are two options that I have been looking at. One is a chain drive system. This would add more to the cost as chain is more expensive though it might be possible to do a bicycle chain drive to keep costs down. The other option would be a belt drive using a Kevlar core timing belt. This will be cheaper for components but would be a little more complex in terms of having to use some form of tensioner. Then there are some parts that will need to be made that may be an issue. While I have a pretty good shop and can machine some small stuff on my metal lathe, I don't have a mill and I would need one to make some brackets (4 per kit). If I can design them so that they are universal so all 4 are the same it would help on costs but I will likely have to go to one of those on-line machine shops to make them. I have access to a mill to do a couple but it isn't convenient.
Now keep in mind that I am really early in the design phase of this and don't have a working prototype but just gauging interest in this as it would take an investment on my part. The cost won't be cheap. I am thinking a ball park would put it at around $200. That is taken from my initial virtual shopping trip for components and a guess at the manufacture of the brackets.
However it would do a few things. Retain the changing angle of the windscreen like stock, retain full range of motion and not take up any more room than the current poorly designed system. Best of all it would completely replace the poorly designed aspects of the original so if something were to fail the failed component could be replaced easily. Basically you will be fully removing the motor, cables and gears that are part of the existing mechanism and bolting in the new drive components. Being it is custom designed and it is early in the design phase it will be built robust enough that you will no longer have to worry about slowing down to move the wind screen or if you have a "barn door" on the front of your bike. It would be built strong enough to take the abuse.
It may even be possible to make this at two price points. One for a stronger chain and sprocket design and the other for the timing belt. I don't see any reason to be concerned about the durability of the timing belt option but it could be made available if someone wanted to spend a little extra. The only thing that would change are the sprockets and belt vs chain. The big dollar item so far seems to be the new motor that will replace the existing one. While we haven't seen any motor failures that we know of, it will be too hard in an initial look to reuse the existing motor and I am looking to other power options. So like I said this is really too early to give a good cost estimate but a ball park guess would put it at about half the cost of a replacement mechanism from Honda which is currently $370 at the online discount places. Much more at a dealer.
So what kind of interest is there in something like this. Should I pursue this further or do people think it costs too much and they would rather go with a stock replacement? Personally, I am going to be making at least one of these. If there is interest I will make a few extras for others once I work out the details provided it works out as planned.