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Thread: Skidmarx Lower Cowl Review

  1. #1
    Moderator RedLdr1's Avatar
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    Skidmarx Lower Cowl Review

    All,

    I purchased the Skidmarx Lower Cowl, had it color matched, and now have finally gotten installed and a test ride with it completed!

    The cowl was very well packed and arrived in great shape. The fiberglass used is a very high quality and the outer gel coat was excellent. I play around with classic Corvettes and have seen a lot of fiberglass parts and Skidmarx gets very high marks from me for their quality. My body shop did not need to do much preparation work and was also impressed with the fiberglass quality.

    The cowl arrives with a large bag of bolts, nuts, washers, brackets and minimalist instructions. That is the first area Skidmarx could improve on in my opinion. However after I sat down at the kitchen table and divided everything up in to the appropriate "piles" it made sense. Follow the instructions and you will be fine...

    A few installation tips:

    1. The heat shield insulation provided with the kit is a total PITA! It is supposedly self adhesive but it does not want to stick, even to its self! I will be buying some better heat shielding and installing it as the supplied stuff is not going to stay in place long. Reynolds Wrap and Gorilla Snot (Glue) would work better!

    2. There has been a lot of questions about radiator hose clearance, or lack there of, on different cowls. The Skidmarx lower subframe easily clears all the hoses as long as you run its mounting bolt from left to right. This means you have to fish the long bolt through the hoses but it can be done with a little patience.

    3. The supplied directions say to mount both the left side and ride side units prior to tightening the lower subframe bolt. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and just align it and tighten it with the right side off, left side on. I have a fairly well stocked tool set and there was no way I could get a wrench or socket behind the exhaust to tighten the nut with the right side attached.

    4. You will need a good set of metric Allen wrenches. I think I used five different sizes of Allen wrenches and a 10MM socket and combination wrench to put it all together.

    How does it work? Very well! I just got from a nice ride and the amount of wind around my lower legs was greatly reduced. It mounts in such a way you don't notice it when riding as it easily clears my jungle boots (10 1/2 EEE sized).

    How does it look, well looks are subjective so here are a few photos for you to decide...













    If you want to see a larger image, or more photos, just double click on any photo and it will take you to my Flickr account where these are hosted....

    Let the "Cowl Wars" begin anew....
    Last edited by RedLdr1; 03-29-2011 at 10:18 PM.
    Wayne
    1987 Yamaha FJ1200
    AMA Life Member

  2. #2
    karl's Avatar
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    That's terrible. You can't see if the pipes are spotting. Looks very nice, does it keep your shoes clean?
    Karl
    2010 ABS "Jezabell"

  3. #3
    Cutthing's Avatar
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    Looks great. Definitely changes the look.

  4. #4
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    RedLdr1's Avatar
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    Karl,

    You are correct, now no one can see my gold colored "spotty" down pipes...

    Rick,

    Removing the side panels shouldn't be an issue the cowl doesn't go that high... It is just barely over the sub-frame for the foot pegs.

  5. #5
    Motorcyclist elizilla's Avatar
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    Sorry Wayne, I think it's fugly. I guess I'm on the other side in the Cowl Wars.
    Katherine
    2012 Yamaha Super T?n?r? with DMC Expedition sidecar

  6. #6
    Moderator Phil Tarman's Avatar
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    It's a more "complex" look. It may be because I have Honda's, but I think I like mine better. We'll have to get 'em side-by-side and compare.
    Phil Tarman
    Greeley, CO
    NT700VA 2010 SN #0079 -- "Dudley" -- 125,000+ Miles
    IBA # 5811: SS1000(X3), BB1500, BBG
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    Read about the "Epic Ride" at: www.ptarman1.com


  7. #7
    vacanefan's Avatar
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    I think that looks great, Wayne. A very expensive mod, but it really changes the look of the bike. I hope it keeps the wind and rain off your lower legs and feet... let us know how it performs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artra View Post
    Do you sense any aerodynamic (or thermal) changes to the NT's riding dynamics?
    Yes and no, there was much less wind blowing around my lower legs and up my jeans pants legs. While the Skidmarx does not make the NT feel like a full-fairing touring bike it does vastly improve the lower air management. There were not any noticeable changes to the handling "feel" of the bike which kind of surprised me after screwing with airflow this much. I had thought adding this much surface area would be at least a little noticeable. While riding on the Interstate at 70MPH my RPMs stayed the same as without the cowl. To put this in perspective if I put my Cee Bailey +2 Flip windshield "up" to position 5, up from position 3 where I usually ride, I can really feel that change, and see it on my tachometer, but I didn't notice the addition of the cowl...

    As far as thermal I did not notice the NT running any warmer but it wasn't a real nice warm day yesterday. I did not feel any heat venting while riding. This summer I will be watching the temperature gauge very closely when it gets up around three digits here in Hotlanta....

    Quote Originally Posted by elizilla View Post
    Sorry Wayne, I think it's fugly. I guess I'm on the other side in the Cowl Wars.
    Well! Don't hold back Katherine! It is as Phil stated, being the diplomatic guy that he is, "a more complex look"... I think Skidmarx slipped in a couple of angles that were not really necessary and also exaggerated the amount of area required to keep the wind off your lower legs / feet. The front panel will be re-worked this winter to get rid of those two vents, in to a single vent opening, and cover the single opening with a black mesh / screen wire.

    But if it is coverage / protection that you want the riders on the Deauville forum say this beats the Honda version hands down...and they ride in the rain a lot more than I ever will.

    I think Ken's cowl version may be the best "middle" ground if you aren't as concerned about getting the most weather coverage...

  9. #9

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    Wayne, that looks good, it covers a lot more then the others I've seen and whole lot better looking then the Honda one, IMO.
    Last edited by MAC; 03-30-2011 at 04:23 PM.
    Be Safe
    MAC

  10. #10
    Silver NT ABS SN:0191 CoolNT's Avatar
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    Wayne, I really like the looks. My greatest concern is on the thermal side. I find that my temp needle has gotten to the half mark even in mid 80's temps and wonder how this cowl will contribute to heat dissipation when the temps are in the upper 90's and even 100 and especially in stop and go traffic. Please let us know of this.
    Ron
    Motorcycle enthusiast

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