Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
I always swore I'd never have a windshield on my bike, but it came with one so I gave it a shot. I agree with Glen that it looks 100% better without it, and if I'm riding around town or keeping it under 60mph I leave it off. But if I'm going anywhere over 60 or when the weather starts getting colder it's sure nice to have. Yes, there's still a little buffeting, but it's not debilitating - just a little wind across my face. My windshield is high enough that I normally look through it. If I sit up a little straighter I can just see over the top, but I don't mind looking through it - it's nice and clear so no visibility issues.
I wear a half helmet and at speeds over 60 without the windshield the wind tends to tug on my helmet a little. Not bad, but after a while my neck starts to ache a little from the constant tension. And yes, you do get accustomed to the wind without it, but I find it makes longer highway cruises much more comfortable, not to mention that it also keeps me from eating a lot of bugs. If I put my hand down by my gas tank I can feel a strong wind there so I'm sure a set of lowers would help greatly with the buffeting I do get, but it's not bad enough to justify the cost.
As far as added wind resistance, having that big sail out there doesn't seem to noticeably affect power, but on a smaller bike I could see how that could be an issue. But I'd think that without the windshield I'd be creating just as much wind resistance. As far as mileage goes, eh. My cage is a Ram with a hemi that gets about 12mpg so even if I only got 30mpg on the bike (I get around 40) I'm still laughing.
So basically, I'm very happy my bike came with one, but it's also nice that it's quick release so I can take it off or put it on in under a minute. I guess if I wanted less wind at speeds I'd go with a batwing, but I really don't like the way they look and that they cut down on visibility. That's my take on windshields, but everyone has their own opinion. Just my two cents.
2007 Vulcan Nomad
2000 V Star 1100 Classic (Sold)
All stock except for:
Switchblade Quick Release Windshield
Ugly but somewhat functional saddlebags