When you purchase your first motorcycle, a windshield might not be first on your list of must-haves. The truth is that many beginners do not see the point behind motorcycle windshields. Maybe you prefer the look of a bike without it or perhaps you cannot picture how it can protect you. We all know the main purpose. It’s in the name, after all. A windshield protects you from windblasts. This is not all that it can do, however. Before we get into the positive reasons, however, it is important to understand what motorcycle windshields are and how manufacturers make them.
WHAT IS A MOTORCYCLE WINDSHIELD?
In motorcycle manufacturing, the most common materials used are acrylic and polycarbonate. When it comes to purchasing or installing a windshield, understanding the differences between the two are important.
ACRYLIC MOTORCYCLE WINDSHIELDS
If shiny is what you are after, acrylic is the shinier of the two. On the plus side, it is also cheaper than polycarbonate. Additionally, it tends to look newer for longer, given that it’s scratch-resistant. The downside, however, is that it cracks easier with impact. This means that if you kick up many rocks, there is a possibility that your windshield will shatter or crack easier.
Polycarbonate Motorcycle Windshields
Of the two, poly carbonate is the tougher material. It is about 200 times stronger than untampered glass. Knowing that, it should be no surprise that it is the choice material for race car windows and safety shields for machine tools. Of course, given its strength, you’ll have to pay extra for poly carbonate over acrylic. If you are worried about an impact, however, it’s worth the extra money. The one drawback is that it does scratch easily in comparison to acrylic. Don’t let that stop you, however. A thick protective coating can protect your windshield.
Now, when it comes down to it, both windshields can do the job. Budget and preference are the two biggest factors when it comes to making the decision.
Benefits of Motorcycle Windshields
While most people understand the basic function of a windshield, they don’t always recognize how important it can be to have one for your bike. It isn’t just decoration, it can change the way you experience your ride. It can do this for the better!
One of the main myths is that a windshield is useless. People don’t want to spend money on a decoration that they don’t believe is going to make their ride better. What makes the windshield great is that it has advantages. It is useful without depleting the power of your bike. It doesn’t even hide the mechanical components of your motorcycle. Here are some of the main benefits of installing a motorcycle windshield.
1. Protection From Debris
On a motorcycle, there is little standing between you and the road. That goes for anything else on the road too. At night, bugs draw to your headlights, but instead of smacking the windshield, you are more likely to get them in your face or teeth.
If you have ever been on a long road trip, you know the likelihood of bugs hitting you full force. In a car, you have the windshield to protect you. You don’t have to put up with debris flying in your face on a motorcycle either. The windshield will keep you safe from it. Not only does this include bugs, but it can also protect against dirt, rocks and other debris kicked up by other drivers.
2. Protection From Wind
Wind blasting you in the face is not always comfortable. You want to feel a little wind, but you don’t want it to wear you down. Too much wind on your face can lead to riding fatigue. Not to mention, if the weather is colder, you risk frostbite from frigid wind. It can even help protect your face from the rain, if you choose to ride when it is wet out. Many elements can keep a rider inside. The windshield stops you from having to put up the motorcycle in cooler temperatures.
3. Flexible Options
There might be days that you don’t want to use your windshield. One of the biggest advantages of the motorcycle windshield is that it doesn’t have to be permanent. Many mods that your bike can undergo are hard to undo. This isn’t one of them. Even with the permanent options, you can dismantle them easily if you want to go for a ride without it. Equally, the options come in a variety of sizes. If you need something larger, you can fit it; if you want to try a new style, you can do that too.
4. Affordable Options
Of all the motorcycle mods, the windshield is one of the cheapest customizations that you can make. Even the higher-end windshields can have flexible price points. When it comes to investing money into your bike, your options have to make the riding experience better. The windshield does that without breaking the bank. They are affordable enough that there are people who choose to have a couple of different styles (see motorcycles apparel and gear).
Keep in mind that affordability has a lot to do with the material and style that you choose. There are some more high-priced options on the market. However, even the quality windshields tend to be worth the investment.
MOTORCYCLE WINDSHIELDS: How to Install a Motorcycle Windshield
So, you are starting to consider a windshield, but it is it really as versatile and easy to install? The answer is yes! While it does take some knowledge on bike modification, it’s easy to tackle the task on your own. Here, we’ll outline the steps to take to install a motorcycle windshield.
Choose the Right Fit
The rule for choosing the right size windshield is that the windshield should come up to your nose. This allows you full view of the road ahead and still protects you from weather and debris. The wrong size windshield can make your ride uncomfortable and riskier. In addition, you have to make sure that the windshield fits your current model of bike. Some windshields attach above the handlebars, whereas others may attach just above the headlight. Having one that fits so that you don’t have to hunch to see better, and that does its job, is the most important detail.
Remove Connecting Fasteners
Keep in mind that this is a basic breakdown of how to install a windshield. Every style may have a slightly different installation process. However, each installation will involve removing the connecting bolts that fasten the handlebars together. You then place the windshield where it goes, line up the holes in the windshield with the fasteners and reattach the fasteners. Make sure that you follow the instructions to the letter. After all, the windshield has to hold up against the full force of the wind.
Connect the Brackets
If you want your windshield to be sturdy, then you’re going to need a bracketing set to attach the sides of the windshield. A stronger base helps ensure you that your windshield is not going to crack or break while you’re driving. While this is an optional step in the process, it’s always smarter to have all of the safety precautions taken care of. If there is any weakness in your windshield at all, you could end up with the whole thing snapping off.
Proper installation is the most important key to a good windshield. If you think that you’re up to the task, most windshields come with in-depth instructions. Of course, if you feel as though you may need assistance, repair shops can give you suggestions and may even help with the installation.
Is a Motorcycle Windshield for You?
Some people have the misconception that a windshield isn’t for their ride. Also, some people might say that it takes away from the freedom of there being nothing between you and the road ahead. The truth is that it doesn’t do that. It keeps you safe from wind, weather and debris that might create an uncomfortable or dangerous ride. Installing a windshield doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your bike without it. After all, most windshields are easy to take back off when you do not want to use them. You may interested reading motorcycle safety courses .
Comfort matters on long trips. Anyone who has been on a substantial trip knows what motorcycle fatigue feels like. A lot of this fatigue comes from the wind itself. When you don’t have any protection, you are taking the full force of the wind as you ride. The faster the speeds, the harder it’s going to be. With a windshield, you suffer considerably less fatigue. This means you can ride longer. Likewise, the weather isn’t always going to be on your side. That's why always check the weather before doing long ride, their are some essential motorcycle apps you could use to monitor the weather and temperature everytime you go in a trip.
Why put up your bike when there’s a little drizzle or in the colder months? You can ride your bike most times of the years without concern. A motorcycle windshield isn’t a burden on your bike. It can make your ride even better.
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