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Discussion Starter #1
Well....I have tried lowering and changing the angle of my windshield and the buffeting is terrible. It's so bad that I have a hard time seeing ahead of me at over 50 mph. Only thing left is to remove the windshield. I never had trouble with my bikes before. This is the first bike that has a windshield. In the 60's and early 70's, helmets were optional so I often only wore my reading glasses and smoked cigarettes when riding. Yes....the cigarettes burnt faster on one side than on the other. The only thing was turning my head to one side....the wind could rip off my glasses.
 

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its a very common issue with cruiser bikes. If the top of the windshield (WS) is the same height as your nose, the idea is the surface will throw the air up over the top of your helmet. Then the laminar flow will collapse and go turbulent behind your head.

if that does not happen and the turbulent air hits your helmet, its worse than riding without a WS, because as you have experienced the turbulence vibrates your skull so severely that your eyes jiggle like jello and you cannot focus your eyes. When this is happening your brain is also being shaken in your skull and you are getting a mild concussion. You can get a bad headache in a manner of minutes.

All this is a clear warning: do not ride if your vision is blurred.

The thing that works for many people is to put fork deflectors (or lowers) on your bike. This extends the WS down to just above the axle and throws the air up over your head better. If you get them you will have to adjust the angle of those and the WS for the best performance. You can get it set up to where you are sitting in dead air at 60mph, but even with the best setup at 75 - 80mph it will be better than riding with no WS, but it wont be like riding in a convertible with the top down.

If you really want a Gold Wing kind of aerodynamics, you will either have to get a bat wing or similar full fairing, or second best is to get a WS that is as high as the top of your helmet, one that you sit behind completely.

To see what that would be like, take your bike out the way it is now, duck your head down behind the windshield completely, and wind it out to 75mph.

If you google head buffeting you will find many people who were able to adjust all the parts just right and get good results - some tilt the WS all the way forward, some all the way back, higher, lower.... Just because one answer worked on their bike for them, with their size WS, that does not mean that setup will work for you.

Its very much trial and error for everyone.
 

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I have never had windshields on any of my bikes. I've had no issues with wind on either of my two current rides. (2014 V-Star Custom and 2014 Honda CB500FA) Yes, when someone first hops onto a new bike without a windshield and heads down the road, the wind is almost certainly going to be an issue. But in no time at all you do get accustomed to it, and pretty soon you will no longer even think about the wind. I can recall when I first rode my new Honda, I feared I might blow right off my bike! But within just a few days of riding, I was of the mind that there is just no way that I would ever want to put a windshield on it. It was the exact same way with the new 650 Custom. One does quickly become accustomed to having no windshield, and besides, almost any bike looks better without one... well, at least in my own humble opinion, that is! And I have heard many people comment that bikes with WS's will often have much more buffetting than a bike without one, and I am inclined to believe this.

In the past week I have ridden the 650 Custom at 135+ km/h, (84+ mph) and 160+ km/h (100+ mph) on the 500F, and I wasn't at all concerned about the wind while on either bike. It's just not that big a deal after you've ridden without a WS for awhile!

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland




 

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You should install "Lowers" panels that mount to your forks to divert air to raise the wind blast above your helmet. Some will buy deflectors some will make their own. The windshield creates a significant vacuum behind the shield that causes a significant stream of air up behind. A deflector added on the top can be a big help. I put one on my Roadstar for a trip and the big Vtwin vibration cracked the deflector and the mount had put something of a mark on the windshield where it was clamped. There is a product called a Laminar Lip. A specially designed deflector that mounts to your windshield. A friend had on on his Kaw Concours. It worked well. Laminar Products for Laminar Whyneed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well....I took off the windshield and rode the bike for a couple of hundred kilometers today. Wow...what a difference. Just like the old days when bikes with windshields were rare. The only problem....the blast of air is noisy so I used earplugs. Fantastic....almost no noise but I can't hear the motor very well. Only thing to do now is to cut the windshield. I'm short and maybe if the windshield is low enough, my head will be in undisturbed air but I have to admit that riding without a windshield today was nice. I even had to slow down every once in a while.
 

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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.
 

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Don't cut your WS down below your nose. At 75mph the air blast off the windshield will blow your head off.

Just take the WS off the bike, or duck down behind it.
 

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If you do want to go with a windshield, do yourself a favour and get a ClearView, wide variety, with vent. The combination of vent and recurve make quite the difference. The vent takes care of getting rid of the vacuum behind the screen, and the recurve makes the airflow redirect more easily over your head.

I got a 5 cm (2 inch) lower shield than the standard Yamaha OEM shield I had (from 22 inch, 55 cm, to 20 inch, 50 cm), and buffeting at 130 kph (80+ mph) is less than what it used to be at around 80-90 kph (50-56 mph). I could probably get rid of it all by going back to 55 cm / 22 inch, with my eyes just looking over the edge for something about 30 m / 100 ft away.

And doing 100 kph / 64 mph is just absolute pleasure, no buffeting at all whatsoever, like doing 60 kph / 37.5 mph with the old screen. In short, I'd recommend the ClearView windshield wholeheartedly.

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have to admit that when I had the windshield on, I could just push myself forward a bit and there was no buffeting. Maybe I can re-locate a few holes so the windshield is a bit closer to me and the buffeting would happen behind my head. Anyway, I got some very interesting answers.

Guess what, a car bumped me from behind at a traffic light. My rear fender got damaged (scrapes at the end and 2 similar pleats on each side, halfway up to the passenger seat.
 

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Guess what, a car bumped me from behind at a traffic light. My rear fender got damaged (scrapes at the end and 2 similar pleats on each side, halfway up to the passenger seat.
That's a bummer, hope you are ok.
 

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Yeah, I hope you're all right too. My wife works at a physio clinic and a couple of her clients were seriously hurt when someone rear ended their Harley at a light. Totalled the bike and almost two years later they still haven't completely recovered.

I had a 5 ton truck come up behind me at a yield sign the other day. There was traffic coming but apparently he didn't see it. I heard the roar of his engine and saw him coming at me, his head turned to the left. I'm not sure how he didn't see the cars I stopped for, but I guess he must've thought I'd pulled out in front of them and was moving up to take the space I was still in. I pulled ahead as far as I could and off to the right. He got stopped in time but if I hadn't moved... well, I'm not sure I could've walked away from that one.
 

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Yeah, I hope you're all right too. My wife works at a physio clinic and a couple of her clients were seriously hurt when someone rear ended their Harley at a light. Totalled the bike and almost two years later they still haven't completely recovered.

I had a 5 ton truck come up behind me at a yield sign the other day. There was traffic coming but apparently he didn't see it. I heard the roar of his engine and saw him coming at me, his head turned to the left. I'm not sure how he didn't see the cars I stopped for, but I guess he must've thought I'd pulled out in front of them and was moving up to take the space I was still in. I pulled ahead as far as I could and off to the right. He got stopped in time but if I hadn't moved... well, I'm not sure I could've walked away from that one.
Glad you didn't get hit. Did you have to change your pants when you got home? ?
 

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If your fender got mangled and the lights still work, i would only be worried about riding with a passenger. The back seat is just held up by the fender, so dont use it unless you get all the parts replaced.
 

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You have to realize that some of that air is also coming up underneath the fairing or windshield, don't know if you have only a windshield or fairing with windshield. I put a Memphis shade fairing on my bike shortly after I got it, and had air bumping my head around, started experimenting, left hand over the tank, discovered a bunch of air blasting underneath the faring and rolling up the side and top of the fuel tank, wow, the air has to go somewhere, the bottom of these fairings don't do a real good job of providing a smooth air path. Added a set of bucks lowers bolted on the fork legs just below the fairing, made all the difference. I had more air coming from underneath than over the top, I also am using a 14" clearview windshield with the recurved top. I'm 6'6" so sit high anyway. Now I can talk, and even smoke behind the fairing and have no issues unless it's real windy and a cross wind issue. Do some experimenting with your hand, find out if you have a blast coming from below, this was smacking me around quite a bit. Let us know what you find out.
 

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There is a lot of confusion about buffeting on motorcycles.

It is caused by the normal airflow over the bike hitting the windshield and being channeled into a dense laminar flow that comes off its edges, flowing up and out. You cant see the laminar flow, so you are adjusting things blind.

It like water in the rapids. It hits a boulder and flows smooth and laminar over the front and sides, and stays laminar for a short distance away from the rock. Then it goes turbulent and twists and spins and foams white. If the rock is your windshield your helmet needs to be in the calm water behind it, not in the laminar flow, and not in the turbulence.

Where the turbulence starts to happen depends on several things: the air being sucked up below the winshield, how close your helmet is to the edge, how wide and tall the WS is, your speed, the angle of wind hitting your bike, truck airblast, the shape of your helmet, how much the WS is leaning forwards and back....

Everyone of those things is a variable. You change one and the level of buffeting changes. If your could ride with a smoke gun in front of your bike you could see the airflow, but for most of us its all trial and more trial till you find a setup that works for you

Or you give up on windshields, or buy a goldwing.
 

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Exactly what KCW says, once you change the airflow with a windshield/fairing combo the airflow can be wild, My last bike, the Yamaha Venture had lowers and a frame mounted full faring, got total front wind protection. I was used to being covered all the way down to my feet. On the Stratoliner we don't want to block any cooling air for the engine, just control the in the face wind. So go for a ride and try to figure out where the buffeting is actually coming from, I was surprised at how much air was riding up the tank and blasting up each side of my helmet at high speeds. Got it under control by deflecting that lower air blast further out. Now it's all calm behind the fairing. The bucks lowers did the trick. The small lowers that Memphis Shades sell didn't do much for me, but never tried riding without those little plastic parts. Now for winter months, my fingers get cold as they are right at the outside edge of coverage from the fairing. Thinking about adding another inch of plastic just below the mirrors. Also started using heated gloves. They do the trick, I just don't like the wiring setup.
 

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I found on my Strat, that if my wife is with me, the angle the windshield deflects the air results in far less turbulence than if I ride solo. I can also control the turbulence slightly by simply moving my legs to a more open position farther from the tank to get more air flow behind the windshield on hot days.
 

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^ does she have a sister?
 
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