Very Good Product - Detailed Installation Review
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although the Revzilla website indicates that their ZG Corsa windscreen, SKU 24-810, will only fit 2009-2012 BMW S1000RR models, this is, in fact NOT ACCURATE: as Zero Gravity's own website clearly indicates, this windscreen WILL correctly fit the new 2013 model bike also, as my successful installation today validates.
I was surprised to discover that the ZG Corsa windscreen ships WITHOUT a protective film layer over the front or back surfaces. It simply sits "naked" in an over-sized, medium-weight plastic bag! I believe this to be inadequate, as my windscreen arrived with two very small "marks" on the outer surface: one small scratch (about 2mm in length), barely detectable with a fingernail but easily detectable to the eye, near the upper edge of the windscreen; and a 5mm "mar" on the lower right "V" nose. Neither mark is glaring, but both could probably have been prevented if protective film had been installed during the manufacturing process. On a more positive note, I will confess that the optical clarity looking through the ZG windscreen is at least as good, if not better than, the BMW windscreen. As for aesthetics, peruse the images and decide for yourself...
My installation took exactly ONE HOUR. No more, no less. That includes the several interruptions that were necessary to make images of my progress (see below) and frequent review of the Zero Gravity Corsa windscreen installation instructions. THIS ONE HOUR ALSO INCLUDED 10-12 MINUTES SPENT REMOVING AND RE-ALIGNING THE NEW WINDSCREEN, AFTER MY INITIAL INSTALLATION LEFT THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER OF THE WINDSCREEN VERY SLIGHTLY PROTRUDING (about 3mm) FORWARD FROM THE FAIRING (see explanation and fix, below).
Only two tools were required for the entire installation:
- Torx wrench, T25 (to remove/re-install the windscreen fasteners);
- box end wrench, 10mm (to remove/re-install the rear-view mirrors);
Strangely, the Zero Gravity Installation Instructions don't specifically identify these necessary tools, but now that I have, you know what you need!
I chose NOT to use any "ratcheting" wrenches or drivers, as the torque on all of the applicable fasteners is quite low, hence, easy to inadvertently over-torque and/or slip free and scratch the painted surface of the upper fairing.
Removal of the mirrors is routine. Two 10mm nuts secure two anchoring posts on each mirror. The BMW S1000RR owner's manual details this process, although it doesn't mention how awkward the removal/re-installation is (particularly on the right side, due to incursion by the brake fluid reservoir). This is why use of a box end wrench (not an adjustable, or "Cresent" wrench) is important: because it's more compact, it's more effective in the tight space you'll be working in, and you won't risk "rounding" or otherwise damaging the nut(s).
Removal of the OEM windscreen is also reasonably easy, despite suggestions to the contrary by "Fig 3" of the ZG installation instructions and some online reviews. HERE'S THE KEY: "FIG 3" AND "FIG 3A" IN THE ZG INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS INCORRECTLY IDENTIFIES THE WINDSCREEN PIVOTING POINT AS THE SECOND-TO-LOWEST (SECOND-FROM-FRONT) FASTENERS, WHEN IN FACT, THE ACTUAL PIVOTING POINT IS THE LOWEST (FRONT-MOST) FASTENERS (AT LEAST ON THE 2013 MODELS). THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, AS THIS PIVOTING POINT IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE THE WINDSCREEN IS DIRECTLY ANCHORED INTO THE UPPER FAIRING BY FRICTION FROM THE FORWARD-MOST RUBBER GROMMET(S) (INDEPENDENT OF THE METAL SCREWS, WHICH YOU'VE ALREADY REMOVED!). UNDERSTANDING THIS IS IMPORTANT, AS THIS IS THE LAST STEP IN THE REMOVAL PROCESS, AND THE FIRST STEP IN THE (RE)INSTALLATION PROCESS OF THE WINDSCREEN.
Once you've removed all (8) of the metal T25 Torx fasteners securing the windscreen, THE WINDSCREEN WILL STILL BE "STUCK" TO THE BIKE (THE UPPER FAIRING) BY THE FORWARD-MOST RUBBER GROMMETS, WHICH ARE ANCHORED INTO THE UPPER FAIRING BY FRICTION, (DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOU'VE ALREADY REMOVED THE TORX FASTENERS). The "trick" to extricating the forward most "pivoting point" rubber grommets from the upper fairing (thereby completely freeing the windscreen for removal) is to GENTLY LIFT THE WINDSCREEN FROM THESE FORWARD-MOST RUBBER GROMMETS ("PIVOTING POINTS"). This may be facilitated by carefully rocking the windscreen fore and aft and/or side to side, while lifting FROM THE PIVOTING POINTS. Understand that the resistance you're feeling is merely the friction between the forward-most rubber grommets and the receiving holes on the upper fairing. This is the ONLY place on the windscreen where the metal Torx fasteners aren't carrying the full burden of securing the windscreen to the bike (the two forward-most rubber grommets themselves are acting like screws, squeezing and gripping the upper fairing by the holes through which they pass).
For me, the greater challenge was in REMOVING THE RUBBER GROMMETS FROM THE BMW OEM WINDSCREEN AND REPLACING THEM INTO THE ZG CORSA WINDSCREEN (these act like a tire, between the windscreen, the metal Torx fasteners, and the bike's upper fairing). Here's how I did it without damaging the easy-to-tear, brass-threaded rubber grommets: GENTLY PULL AND TWIST THE RUBBER GROMMETS "IN THE WRONG DIRECTION" (TOWARDS THE INSIDE OF THE WINDSCREEN). ALMOST MAGICALLY, THIS WILL EXTEND THEM, WHICH IN TURN MAKES THEM SLIGHTLY NARROWER! NOW, YOU CAN GENTLY GRIP THE PROTRUDING SHAFT OF THE RUBBER GROMMET, AND TWIST IT BACK THROUGH THE WINDSCREEN, HENCE REMOVING IT (IT'LL BE MORE CLEAR WHEN YOU TRY IT - see images)! I was able to remove all 8 of the OEM grommets on my windscreen without damaging them, in about 5 minutes, merely by using this technique of gentle pulling, twisting, and pushing. Re-assembly of these grommets into the new (ZG) windscreen was somewhat faster and easier than removal from the OEM windscreen, and benefited from the same technique.
The final hurdle in the installation process comes with re-inserting the forward-most rubber grommets (the same "pivoting point") back into the receiving holes in the upper fairing. This can be challenging, because the rubber grommets themselves are slightly thicker (wider) than the diameter of the receiving holes in the upper fairing (which is what gives them their friction grip into the upper fairing). In my case, following the ZG installation instructions to the letter lead to a small, unexpected problem: the lower right-forward (pivoting point) grommet did not pass completely through the receiving hole in the upper fairing. Instead, as it entered the receiving hole the little rubber grommet began to grip the edges of the hole, causing it (the rubber grommet) to bulge and flatten out (the rubber grommets should only do this when the metal Torx fasteners are tightened down on top of them). This very tiny, hardly noticeable pinching of the forward-right rubber grommet is exactly what lead to the fully installed ZG windscreen initially not fitting perfectly flush with the fairing (the lower-right side was protruding very slightly - about 3mm - from the fairing. I might not have even noticed it, if I hadn't observed that the opposite (left) side was completely flush-fitting. I decided to loosen all of the fasteners and try "wiggling" the windscreen into proper fitment, but this was unsuccessful. I then removed all 8 of the Torx fasteners, and gently pulled out the windscreen. It was only then that I realized that the forward-right side rubber grommet was not "anchoring" fully into the upper fairing receiving hole. I HAD BETTER LUCK WHEN I MODIFIED THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS IN THIS WAY: I REMOVED THE FORWARD ("PIVOTING POINT") GROMMETS FROM THE ZG WINDSCREEN, AND HAND-POSITIONED THE WINDSCREEN BACK INTO PLACE ON THE UPPER FAIRING. PRESSING THE PIVOTING POINT HOLES IN THE WINDSCREEN AGAINST THE RECEIVING HOLES IN THE UPPER FAIRING, I GENTLY SCREWED THE TWO FORWARD-MOST "PIVOT POINT" RUBBER GROMMETS THROUGH THE APPROPRIATE HOLES IN THE WINDSCREEN AND INTO THE RECEIVING HOLES IN THE UPPER FAIRING, BENEATH THE WINDSCREEN. THIS PROVED TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE FOR ME, RATHER THAN TRYING TO ATTACH THE WINDSCREEN TO THE UPPER FAIRING WITH THE "PIVOT POINT" RUBBER GROMMETS PRE-INSTALLED IN THE WINDSCREEN. The remaining 6 rubber grommets are super-easy, because they do not have any "friction lock" receiving holes in the upper fairing into which they nest, unlike the forward two "pivot point" grommets (see images).
The final observation that I'd share is that all 8 of the windscreen Torx fasteners have relatively low torque settings, which means they're easy to over-tighten. The rubber grommets and plastic outer washers help prevent this, but I suggest that you remember the amount of torque which was required to remove the Torx fasteners in the first place, and try to re-tighten them to the same degree - no more! I tightened mine "two-fingers-tight" only (holding the Torx wrench with only thumb and forefinger).
Footnote: The "Zero Gravity" logo sticker on the lower lip of the windscreen is very easily and cleanly removable, if you so desire.
If you've taken the time required to actually read through this entire review, you'll already be well on your way to a smooth, successful installation of your new ZG Corsa windscreen. I hope that readers will find this feedback both productive and instructive. Safe riding...