Windshields on motorcycles are not only for looks, but protection as well. A windshield can deflect bugs, debris and dust. A windshield can also redirect the wind away from the head and upper body of the driver, decreasing fatigue caused by riding against the wind. Of course, a windshield can also provide warmth from the wind as well.
When trying to decide which windshield is best for you and your bike, there are a variety of options for a driver to consider, as well as a wide choice of where to purchase a windshield from. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the windshield that is right for you.
First of all, there are a variety of manufacturers of windshields to choose from. Quite often, buying the windshield from the manufacturer of your motorcycle can provide the cleanest look. All the major motorcycle manufacturers offer windshields specifically designed for their bikes, as well as the matching mounting hardware. There are also companies like Memphis Shades, National Cycle, Slipstreamer and Clearview Shields, which sell windshields designed for specific makes and models. You can also find universal windshields that attach to the handlebars and do offer some adjustability and are not specific to a particular bike.
When deciding what size and shape of windshield to buy, consider your normal driving conditions and habits and your reason for buying a windshield. Whatever you do, don’t base your decision on looks alone. The windshield height is an important feature to consider. When riding in rain, a windshield that is too tall could create a glare on the windshield from the droplets of rain, causing a problem if you can’t see over the windshield. On the other hand, if the windshield is too low, it can cause some turbulence, which can pull at the top of your helmet. As far as height, you should be able to see over the windshield without straining and yet lower your head comfortably to look through the windshield if conditions warrant.
Once you’ve chosen the height that will work for you, you should consider the mounting options. Some windshields come with quick release brackets, which allow you to change your windshield very easily. You may want more than one windshield for color or height purposes, something that may be a little costly, but worth it in the long run. Before permanently mounting the brackets, it’s always good to do a test fit to make sure the handlebars and steering still move as they should, your lines and cables do not need to be rerouted, and the mirrors can move freely.
Although you can buy motorcycle windshields on the Internet, sometimes it’s best to visit your local dealer and talk to a parts specialist to see what works best for your needs. You will also have the chance to see some windshields on motorcycles on the showroom floor and browse through catalogs. You may even want to stop in the service department and see what they charge to install the windshield, and then you will be sure to have the proper fit and avoid the hassle of installing the windshield yourself.