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Discussion Starter #1
What are the Pro's and Cons to having the windshield?

Obviously bugs but is it worth leaving on or a better ride without it ? Vstar 1100

I've been riding a lot and you can find me on the highway or simply cruising the back roads - lakes, hills etc
 

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I rode my 650 for 4 years before I decided to get a Memphis Shades "Fats" windshield and fork deflectors last summer.

I thought I would be able to ride on the interstate highways at 75mph without being beaten to death by the wind blast.

I can, its better at high speeds, but its not like a goldwing with a full fairing.. Its just ok.

I got the quick release (I like how they word that) trigger mounts, so I can put it on the bike and take it off in about 10 seconds.

I hardly ever ride on the interstate highways, but I do find the windshield useful on really cold days. I commute with my MC ever day I can when I wont get soaked by rain on the way to work, and when its not snowing or the roads are covered with salt. I have been averaging about 110 commute days a year, just about half my work days.

If the temp is below 50F the windshield goes on. I dont ride if its below 40F so maybe 10 to 15 days a year its on the bike.

The rest of the time its in the garage.

I guess I should add: my WS and fork deflectors cost $500. Its a better ride on 10 to 15 days a year, so in the long run (the next 70,000 miles on my bike) its worth the cost for me.

When I got my Royal Star it had a windshield on it. Ive used it maybe twice in the last month (since I got the bike) but most of the time its off the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
was on the freeway yesterday, windy but sunny and I took a beating; after a buddy mentioned the WS so I started thinking

Mine is bolted on but not hard to remove so maybe I will test it

Is there a huge difference in the feel of the bike ???
 

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When I got my 1100 it came with a quick release windshield, which I vowed would come off and remain up in the rafters in my garage for as long as I owned the bike. However, after getting my arms stretched at 75 the first time I took it on the highway, I thought I'd give it a try and now I keep it on the bike about 80% of the time (I never know where the wind will take me on my cruises and I want to be prepared if I hit some long highway stretches). I find it invaluable for speeds over 65 and with my 3/4 helmet, it definitely stops a lot of bugs from committing suicide on my face. My wife won't ride on back without it. As KCW mentioned, it's not a full fairing and you can't expect it to work like one, but it does stop a lot of wind, rain, and cold air. I'm gonna try a set of fork deflectors next season to cut back on the slight turbulence I do get. On nice days, if I'm not going any great distance over 65, I'll take it off. No question the bike looks 100% better without it and it does change the way it "feels" when I do take it off.
 

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The windshield makes a big difference to me on the freeway, 70+ MPH, for extended ride. I commute daily and windshield is great during winter and rainy days. Being from Texas like you I will take mine off during the summer. The heat can get bad sitting at traffic lights with windshield on. As far as the feel of the bike, yes it's different. The wind is hitting you and you must lean forward a little to compensate. To me the bike feels more stable with windshield off. The air from passing cars and trucks don't have as much mass to hit. Don't really notice much unless at higher speed. So for me, when it's warm enough for mesh jacket the windshield is off unless going on longer freeway ride. Experiment and see what feels right to you. Another thing, without windshield it's noisy at speed due to wind, might not be able to hear your speakers very well. Helmet Bluetooth will cure that.
 

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The windshield affects the feel of the bike very much. I like riding for the experience of being outside, being in the sun and the wind, being in the place where you are riding, not just watching it go by like riding in a car.

I mentioned in another thread today, the force of the wind blast increases with the square of the speed. So going from 50 to 75mph is not a 50% increase in force hitting you, its twice the force at 75 as it is at 50. At 100 mph its 4 times the force trying to blow you off the bike, compared to 50mph.

Personally I enjoy riding at 50 to 60mph on a naked bike. The wind in your face and across your body with a mesh jacket gives you a total feedback of how fast you are going.

On my 650 the windshield really sucks the life out of the bike. When I wind up thru the gears I can feel the bike slowing down between shifts - its like riding with an open umbrella. On my 1300 Royal Star its not as noticeable because the bike weighs 200 lbs more, and has almost twice the HP at the rear tire.

Like others have said, if I know Im going to be on the interstate I put the WS on the bike. That doesnt happen very often, I would rather ride on 2 lane secondary roads at 50 to 60mph.

I took a trip from Rochester to Buffalo this summer, took the highway there with the windshield on the VS650, and it was ok. For the ride back I stayed off the highway. It was a hot day with a bit of a tail wind, and I felt like I was cooking in my own juices all the way back. You can stick your knees out to scoop some air up on your body while riding, but you cant ride that way for 2 hours with your knees stuck out.

About half way back I stopped at an intersection in a small town, and there was a cemetery on the corner. For a second I though about taking the windshield off the bike and leaning it against an old tombstone, and riding off. I was that miserable and hating it that much.

If there was some way you could take it off the front of the bike and put it horizontal on the luggage rack, that would be ideal for me. If I was going to ride the interstate highways all the time at 80mph, I think I would get a FJR1300 sport touring bike, or maybe a goldwing. Something that would block the wind very well like a fairing, and also let some air thru when you wanted it (air vents).
 

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Always an interesting topic. And a frequent one. I'm a newbie on the forum, but I know it's come up a couple of times since I've been here.

I put a quick release memphis fats on my 650 after the first few highway trips. At 75 to 85 mph it's a workout just to hang on. I didn't like that at all. Plus a bug at that speed is a bummer. Like KCW, I preferred it off while putting around the neighborhood where I rarely hit 50.

The 950 came with a stock windshield that is not easily removable, but I don't mind because I'm mostly riding on long trips these days and it makes a big difference out on the road. After a trip I can look at my windshield and be very happy it was there. Every one of those things that bounced off of or splatted onto that windshield was heading for me at high speed. And I'm not nearly as tired after a day on the road because I'm not constantly straining to stay in the seat. I'm riding comfortably. I occasionally ride without my helmet because I like the wind and sound. No way I would do that without a windshield.

I don't ride in the rain unless it catches me on the road. The glass doesn't keep me dry, but it does keep a lot of road spray and some of the rain off my neck, chest, and upper arms. Since I'm looking for a place to hide anyway, it doesn't have to block water for long.
 

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I ride a 1300 Yam with a factory shield and my son rides 1300 Honda without. I had to finish riding his bike home for him as he had never ridden that long before. It is amazing how much the air beats on your chest and pulls on your arms, almost loosing grip. I found out that if I laid down on the tank I could finish the ride. He has now put a small shield on so he could take it off if wanting to, but he likes it to much to take it off.
 

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I hadn't thought about a windshield. After riding for thirty 34 years at the time I made a joke about smoking on the bike I wouldn't have to stop as often. My friend bought me a windshield for Christmas I couldn't believe the difference. I could ride a couple of hours longer Plus the bug protection
 

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No matter how I adjusted my windshield, I got so much buffeting that I had trouble seeing. My 650 Classic is my first bike with a windshield. Finally, I took it off and wore earplugs to reduce the wind noise. I'm still experimenting but there is no way I like riding above 90 km/h. The maximum speed is 100 km/h on a few autoroutes here in Quebec. Next summer, I will put on lower deflectors and see how the windshield will feel like. I don't mind the bugs but rain drops sting. Experimenting with different windshields and fairings is expensive and I don't have the budget to do that.
 

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Those hard shelled bugs hurt.(June Bugs) My biggest worry with a windshield was side wind but it wasn't an issue. Like has been said before the beating that you take on a long run it does make a difference. Just depends on how you ride.
 

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I moved the top hole 1/2" forward to move the top of the windshield back about 3". Do not go more than 1/2" or the windshield bracket will hit your tank in a sharp turn. I made my own deflectors that cut off the wind past the tank and push the air down and away from the bike. Is your windshield to short? I had a 900C Honda with a Vetter Fairing and saw how he made the wind go around the driver with out loosing fuel mileage. That is what I used for a guide for the deflectors I made.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I moved the top hole 1/2" forward to move the top of the windshield back about 3". Do not go more than 1/2" or the windshield bracket will hit your tank in a sharp turn. I made my own deflectors that cut off the wind past the tank and push the air down and away from the bike. Is your windshield to short? I had a 900C Honda with a Vetter Fairing and saw how he made the wind go around the driver with out loosing fuel mileage. That is what I used for a guide for the deflectors I made.
My windshield is a little short which is kinda crazy for my height but all in all it's fine I suppose.

I do think I will try to raise but was really curious about what you guys thought. I have to look over it at times due to bugs and light so that's another thought.
 

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there are two ways to set up a windshield

the easy way it to make it level with the top of your head, the air always flows well above the top of your helmet, and you never have any vibrating jello eyes head buffeting at any speed. The trade off is you look thru the plastic all the time, and you have a huge windshield acting like a speed brake.

the other way is to put the top even with your nose. Below 60mph it will break the wind very well, it will be great for cold weather, and you always look over it, not thru it, so you can see much better, esp at night: no headlight glare thru the windshield. The tradeoff here is the air is just barely being thrown up over your helmet, and if the laminar airflow goes turbulent right against your helmet, its like you have your head in a paint shaker: it will blur your vision, it will give you an instant headache, because you are getting a mild grade concussion with your brains hitting your skull. DO NOT ride like this, slow down, duck your head down, or get off the interstate.

Getting the nose high windshield set up just right to avoid buffeting is trial and error. What works for one person on their bike will make yours worse. Putting fork deflectors or "lowers" extends the windshield half way down your forks to get air flowing more laminar and uniform when it comes off the top edge.
 
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