Customer’s Comparison of Standard LIP with Touring LIP on a 2002 Honda VFR800 by Scott L.
and Ducati ST2/4 (below)
After having the opportunity to road test both the standard lip and the touring lip on a 2002 Honda VFR Interceptor, the first thing that needs to be said is that the Laminar Lip is not just another gimmicky bolt-on. These things truly work. I do have the benefit of being the "Guy that Honda designs for"... 5'9" and 155 lbs… but any test of any windscreen is going to be loaded with variables ( head, tail and crosswinds, different levels of turbulence from cars, SUVs or semis, following distances or any combination of these and others ) However, having clocked a bunch of miles with both, I think I can make a fair assessment.
Both lips are made of super clear material... so much so that it even makes photographing them difficult. They both obviously have been specifically designed for the VFR with care and testing, not just a generic hunk of plastic to appeal to the boy-racer crowd. As I said, I measure 5'9" and 155 lbs. My arm length from armpit to tip of middle finger with arms and hands relaxed is 24 1/2 " and my torso from tailbone to the base of my neck is 26". I also ride with a Shoei RF900 helmet fitted with a Nolan helmet gasket.
The places I can ride here offer a really good mix of heavy traffic Interstate, and long deserted stretches between giant farmlands, the twisty roads aren't really what the Lip is about, so there really is no need to mention them except for the fact that having the Lip on in the twisties made no difference to me. The stock windscreen would generally treat me pretty good up to around 75 - 80 mph when I would start to get a bit of buzzing in my helmet from turbulent air. Using the back of my hand to measure the wind blast, the air coming off the top of the stock unit was hitting me right about the lower edge of the helmet at the chinstrap... not exactly good. The standard Lip was very effective in raising that edge of air up to the lower margin of the faceshield which let the aerodynamics of the helmet take it from there. The standard lip also was able to raise the threshold of helmet buzz up into the low 90mph range. So, bearing that in mind, the lip was also making things much smoother at legal cruising speeds. My initial problem was in expecting miracles from the standard lip. It's not until you do a series of back-to-back rides with and without the lip installed on the same day under the same conditions that you really appreciate how much better things are with it on. The improvements are just the right type -- subtle and very effective. You don't feel like you're sitting behind a Gold Wing's movie screen type slab of plastic but you know things are better. The wind that gets to you is much more well mannered and consistent. Riding at 70 mph feels like riding at 50.. and anybody can do that all day long. It's interesting to see how things are happening when you’re riding it in the rain. The droplets that flick off the trailing edge of the stock screen are suddenly scooped up in a gravity-defying maneuver, circle up and hit you right on the lower inch of the face shield. There's a clear dividing line formed where some droplets travel up and some travel down along that line of the helmet's shield.. either way the helmet's aerodynamics are getting a chance to handle the windload better with the lip installed. It's clear to me that the lip was designed with some good thought and care put into it and all it's curves and angles were working for me as promised. As far as the dual lock tape was concerned, I have complete faith in it's holding ability up to 133 mph for two miles.... anything beyond that is up to you to figure out.
The Touring Lip is without a doubt, a touring lip. The immediate difference felt was around the shoulders. My lighter weight summer armor tends to flap around a bit up there at highway speeds and the touring lip smoothed that out almost completely. That also translates into a generally calmer wind pocket at the upper torso level over the standard height lip. Another difference I noticed was at around town cruising in the 30 to 40mph range with my helmet's visor open. The touring lip tended to dump the air directly into my open visor area and make my eyes tear up a bit even behind sunglasses. But 30 to 40mph isn't touring speeds... and it's a TOURING lip, remember? If you keep the visor down, you won't notice a thing. While the helmet buzz on the standard lip was raised to around 90mph, the touring size raised it again to near 100. Not legal speed, I know.. but hey... we're road testing here, right? So once again, the comfort level at daily, legal commuting speeds is raised. There is one effect of "higher order velocities" that I did notice, especially on one deserted bit of back road that includes a long, left hand curve. The height of the touring size seems to have an effect as you break over 100mph in a curve. It seems that right around that point the winds starts separating to one side or the other and the lip is tall enough that it begins to have some leverage over the bike itself. I could clearly feel the motorcycle being pushed a bit inward and outward of my cornering line up at the steering head and handlebar level. It's subtle, but clearly noticeable and was not enough to make me feel it necessary to break speed, but it was something to think about after the curve and it stopped when the motorcycle was upright again. Once again, not legal speeds and not everyday touring, so it's not something that should even factor into any buying decision.
The bottom line is that the standard lip works, and the touring lip works more. You just have to decide on how much time you spend at Interstate speeds on a daily basis. Neither one will suspend the laws of physics and allow you to light votive candles on the gastank while you’re riding, if that’s what you’re after, well… maybe you’re ready for that Gold Wing…. or just take the car. For me, both lips let me enjoy the wind… not be tormented by it. In a perfect world, I’d have both. The biggest variable for any windscreen is the amount of headwinds you’re riding in that day. The more headwind, the less effective your wind protection is going to be. The touring lip starts to feel like the standard lip and the standard lip starts to feel like the stock windscreen as the headwinds climb… which just makes sense as your forward speed is added to the speed of the wind coming at you – a 70mph ride with a headwind of 20mph is going to feel like a ride on a calm day at 90. As far as looks go, beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder. Some people think Pamela Anderson is God's gift to humanity, some people think its Brittany Spears or Margaret Thatcher or whoever. In the end it's up to you. I personally chose to stick with the standard lip. To my eye it flows seamlessly with Honda's design and actually makes a very sexy bike even more so, plus it suited my everyday riding more than the tourer with a 60 mile round trip commute. I don't think the tourer is unsightly by any means, but if you want more protection, you'll get a bigger piece. It still works with the overall lines of the bike but it's not as invisible at first glance and softens the aggressive nose of the VFR to me. That's not a bad thing, mind you, but I see it as a general shift in the personality of the bike that has a split personality anyway. The VFR is a sport tourer after all and the touring lip brings out the touring aspect alot more visually... it looks like you mean business when you ride it.
And now, the details....
Measures 2 3/8 inches from the trailing edge of the stock windscreen at center to the trailing edge of the Lip at center. 4 1/4 " from the leading edge to the trailing edge 1 1/2 " from the windscreen to the leading edge of the Lip at center. The trailing edge of the Lip is in line with the trailing rolled edge of the stock windscreen 1/4 " gap between the windscreen and the Lip at the attachment points
The Lip is formed in a smooth and consistent arch. While seated on the bike in a relaxed riding position on the centerstand, the view of the road from above the stock windscreen is 66" from the forward wheel's contact patch and 100" from the top of the standard lip. ( bear in mind, however that the lip is ultra clear, and in real world riding, I'm never looking that close in front of the bike anyway. There was no noticeable difference in the view of the road to me )
Measures 4 1/4 " from the trailing edge of the stock windscreen at center to the trailing edge of the Lip at center. The trailing edge of the Lip is in line with rear edge of the plastic ignition housing on the triple tree. ( This is a 2" horizontal difference between the trailing edge of the stock windscreen to the trailing edge of the Lip )
The Lip measures 6 7/8 " from leading edge to trailing edge.
3/4 " from the stock windscreen to the leading edge of the Lip at center.
1/4 " gap at the mounting points.
The view of the road in the same position as with the standard Lip is out an additional 4 inches. ( 104" from the front contact patch. Once again, and for the same reasons, this made no difference to me. )
Ducati ST2 ST4 Standard and Touring LIPs compared.
by Steven M.
Received both lips last week and finally had a chance this weekend to try them out. What a great product - I am really impressed by the difference the lip makes. I actually would like to take them out for a another test ride and decide on which one I want to keep, but here are my initial observations. Keep in mind I rode the bike on a very windy day in NYC, About 45 deg. F, and on the highways around NYC. Not cross country, but a good test of the fairing's abilities (and the strength of the dual-lock). I am 6'1" tall and had a passenger with me.
Original Lip - major upside is that, at least on the Ducati ST series, it barely seems that you have made a modification to the windshield. It really does look like part of the bike, particularly with the smoked windscreen. At highway speeds, the lip produces a noticeably smoother air flow over the stock fairing - the lift of the air is similar to using a higher windshield but without the attendant buffeting. For me, at least, the increase in air flow put the airstream about at face level.
Touring Lip - Aesthetically, there is an obvious difference: you can tell that this is an add on piece. But the difference in wind protection is even greater than one would expect just by looking at it. Wind is cut in half and goes up over my helmet. My passenger noticed a significant difference as well. It is decidedly more than twice the wind reduction of the original. On the Ducati, this significantly enlarges the 'air pocket' available to the driver and allows easier use of my stereo/intercom system (I literally had to turn it down after running with the stock setup). I could probably get away without earplugs with this setup.