The Buyer's Guide to Motorcycle Windshields
Motorcycle windshields never win first place in the Coolest Looking Motorcycle
Accessory category. But there's a reason why they have become one of the most
requested motorcycle accessories nationwide. Riders consistently find themselves
wishing that they had installed one on their bike in the middle of a long ride or when
some rain sneaks up on them. While windshields aren't the most aesthetically pleasing
thing, they'll definitely keep your face from dealing with the elements all on its
So when you just can't take the wind in your face on a long ride any longer (or you had a
bad experience with a swarm of bugs on the freeway) and you want to bite the bullet and
install a windshield, how do you know which one will do the trick? After all, having a
windshield is all about functionality and it won't matter if your windshield looks cool but
really doesn't do the job. You'll need to buy a windshield that is based off of the type of
bike you ride, the height, your headlight and what style you want.
Fitting your bike
A lot of motorcycle manufacturers make it easy for riders to find the perfect windshield
for their bikes; Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and so on all produce windshields that are
make and model specific. But when you can't find one of those for your bike, it's still
amazingly easy to find a windshield that might as well have been made just for your ride.
windshield shop has tons of windshield manufacturers that make universal windshields
and can tell you which is compatible with your machine. And we're not just talking about cruisers.
Sport bikes need windshields too and there is a vast selection of them, such as these
Zero Gravity Double
Once you've found a windshield that will fit your model, you'll need to pay attention to
how high it will come up once it is installed on your bike. First instinct makes a lot of
people want to get windshields that come up over their eyes like a car windshield does.
Sure, this may seem like it blocks a lot more wind from hitting your face, but you'll
actually end up wanting to buy something a little shorter. The general rule for how high a
motorcycle windshield should come up is just to the tip of your nose when you're sitting
upright on the seat (this rule is generally for cruiser and tourer bikes rather than sport
bikes). This will allow the wind to have a slip stream affect and go up over your head
while still protecting your chest from wind, bugs and any other nasty debris.
If you get a windshield that comes up too high, such as up over your nose and above your
line of sight, the windshield will end up blocking your view of the road. You'll want to
be able to look over your windshield in case you are ever stuck in a situation where you
can't see through the windshield such as in rain. If your windshield is free and clear, you
can always drop your head slightly so that your eyes fall below the windshield while still
being able to look above it if you need to.
Plus, you'll find that the wind being blocked from just your chest will greatly help with
any wind fatigue. If you're eyes are still having a hard time battling with the elements, we
recommend that you invest in a good pair of goggles like these
Bobster Crossfire Goggles.
Motorcycles come with so many different shapes and sizes of headlights. You may have
even switched out your OEM headlight for a snazzier looking one somewhere along the
line. But you'll notice that your windshield is going to have to fit in close proximity to
your headlight. In other words, before you buy a windshield, measure the diameter of
your headlight and make sure that the windshield you're planning to install is compatible.
Most motorcycle windshields attach to the handlebars. Before you buy one, you'll want
to decide how you want them to attach. There are typically two ways: with a mount or by
bolting it directly to the bar. The later of the two options is more permanent but will
require that you drill holes in your handlebars. If you want to avoid making any kind of
incisions on your bike or if you have handlebars that aren't tubular and can't be drilled
into, make sure that you buy a kit that comes with the mounting option as well. Often
times, you may have to order the mounting, or hardware kit, separately.
Of course no aspect of a motorcycle comes without any sort of style variation. The top of
a windshield should typically remain clear as to make it easy to see through both day and
night. But as it gets a little closer to the bottom, try adding a little tint to spice it up.
Memphis Shades even puts out a lot
of different colors. Don't be afraid to pick a windshield that fits your personality as well
as keeps the wind down. After all, making your bike custom is what it's all about.
Before you slap on that shield, take a look at the area around where it will be mounted.
You'll want to make sure that it's clear of any wires or parts that could get damaged in
the install. Mounting a windshield should be easy and you won't want it to end up costing
you more in repairs on a busted part.
Take a seat on your bike and hold the windshield up around where it will be mounted.
You'll want to make sure that it's the right height before you mess with all of the other
bits and pieces. Often times, you may find that your measurements were off just enough
that the windshield comes up to your line of sight rather than your nose and will get in the
way while you're riding.
If the windshield holds up to the nose rule, follow the instructions in the packaging on
how to install the windshield. We'd like to be a little more specific here, but there are
tons of different mounting systems and pieces when it comes to different windshields and
we're sure that the instructions in the package will do a great job. If you happen to have
any questions on a windshield that you purchased through BikeBandit.com, feel free to
contact our help center.
Once you've got the windshield mounted on your motorcycle, you'll notice that the angle
of it can be adjusted. In order to get the best line of airflow and to reduce the wind
vibrations, angle your windshield to be in line with your motorcycle's front forks before
tightening it down.
So you've had your windshield installed for some time now and you're beginning to see
pictures form in the amount of bugs that have accumulated there (at least they're not on
you). In order to get bug guts, dirt and water spots off of your windshield, it's not as easy
as grabbing an old rag and some warm water. Unlike a car windshield that is made of
glass, motorcycle windshields are made of a type of plastic that it easy to scratch and
streak and won't easily give up the guts. We highly recommend that you use a windshield
or plastic cleaner, like this
Plexus Plastic Cleaner Protectant and Polish.
If you can't get your hands on any of that, you can use a very mild soap and
warm water to soak off the grime, though you'll probably get less of a clean shine.
When cleaning your windshield, try to do it in a shaded area. You'll find that the sunlight
will dry out the moisture in the cleaner and leave you with a nasty film that will cloud up
your windshield. You'll want to use a microfiber cloth such as these
BikeMaster Micro Fiber Towel in order to avoid any scratches.
DO NOT use paper towels to clean your windshield or it will end up with scratches.
Another tip in order to keep your motorcycle's windshield in good condition is to never
use a squeegee to clean it. On a long touring ride you may be tempted to try and clean
your windshield when you fill up for gas. But those little contraptions are full of dirt and
harsh fibers that will scrape up your windshield more than it will clean it. Leave those for
the cars and bring with you a small thing of cleaner and some of your own clean towels
for pit stop clean ups.
Motorcycle windshields may be fairly inexpensive, but a scratched up or dirty windshield
can have a huge affect on the look of your bike. Keep it clean and looking shiny and the
rest of your bike will follow!