Question about windshield height


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Question about windshield height

Post by Mountain rider » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:06 pm



The one thing I've noticed about riding the Aspy compared to other bikes I've ridden, is it seems to buffet in the wake of other vehicles a little more. My windshield is rather tall, so would this contribute to this effect? I've read a number of post about folks wanting to see over the windshield for a better view, and as such will shorten them. I understand this provides a better view, would it also trim the effect of wind on the bike? I'm considering shortening my windshield for the improved view anyway, but improved aerodynamics would really be nice. I should mention I've got a wrap around windshield on the bike now.

All that said, what's the best way to cut one down? Thanks in advance. :D


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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by minimac » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:11 am

I prefer to look though my windshield, most of the time, and get very little (if any) buffeting at all. With my windshield at its lowest setting, the top of it is just below my line of sight. If I remember, I think it is either a +2" or a +4". I tried a shorter windshield and took a beating. It was like riding a naked bike, and that's not why I bought a Goldwing.

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by offcenter » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:18 am

On all of my bikes, I have the windshield cut so that I'm just barely looking over the top of the shield.
To cut it, apply a layer of masking tape to both sides of the plastic.
Draw the shape you want on the tape.
Then use a saber saw on a lower speed with very fine tooth blade to
cut the plastic. If the blade speed is too fast, you will melt the plastic
before you cut it and it will reharden behind the blade.
Finally, sand the edge smooth with 220 grit sandpaper.
I've cut many windshields this way over the years.
Works like a champ.
George in Jersey.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by coolrogue1 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:55 pm

Mountain rider wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:06 pm
I've got a wrap around windshield on the bike now.
All that said, what's the best way to cut one down? Thanks in advance. :D
I have an 85 Interstate with a Slip Streamer wrap around windshield, I am 6'1" and the top of the windshield is just below my line of sight.. Just where I want it... I have ridden a friends 86 aspy with a "standard" windshield and didn't notice any difference as far as buffeting etc. If by buffeting your talking about the bike moving around when you get behind a car/truck, the problem may not lie in the windshield at all...

Sam
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Mountain rider » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:24 pm

coolrogue1 wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:55 pm
Mountain rider wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:06 pm
I've got a wrap around windshield on the bike now.
All that said, what's the best way to cut one down? Thanks in advance. :D
I have an 85 Interstate with a Slip Streamer wrap around windshield, I am 6'1" and the top of the windshield is just below my line of sight.. Just where I want it... I have ridden a friends 86 aspy with a "standard" windshield and didn't notice any difference as far as buffeting etc. If by buffeting your talking about the bike moving around when you get behind a car/truck, the problem may not lie in the windshield at all...

Sam
I've thought about the variables, tires, suspension, the fairings, etc., and it definitely has to do with the air moving around the bike. I expect it around a big rig, but not to the degree I've felt it around a Chevy pickup or a Honda Civic. It's just weird. I'm still thinking about shortening the windshield to improve my view, especially at night with oncoming headlights.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Sidcar » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:15 am

I took 2 inches off the top of my standard screen so I can now see where I'm going when it rains. I can't say I've noticed any increase in buffeting.
I cut it using a Dremmel and cutting disc, worked like a charm.

Sid

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by tfdeputydawg » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:19 am

DIFFERENT "VIEW"
How does looking over the top "improve" ones view???? Windshields are clear or lightly tinted!
One does not look over your shield in a cage!!!!
As far buffeting following large vehicles, bike would shake even if you had no shield!

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Sidcar » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:06 am

Speaking for myself I found that peering through a rain soaked windscreen made it impossible to get a clear view ahead. At night with headlights shining on the screen it was positively lethal. Polishing with Pledge to encourage "beading" made very little difference. Taking two inches off the top means most of the rain disappears over my head and I can see where I'm going.
For me it was the right move.
I did email a company in the USA who sell a shorter screen to what it would cost but they never even bothered to reply.

Sid

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Justin K. » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:55 pm

My preference is to look over by about 2".
The stock GL15/18 shield cuts just across my line of sight at lowest setting. Very annoying.
There are aftermarket companies that have one that is -2" from stock.
Longrider (TAKA) has a cheap one, F4 Customs has an expensive one.

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by coolrogue1 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:41 pm

tfdeputydawg wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:19 am
How does looking over the top "improve" ones view???? Windshields are clear or lightly tinted!
One does not look over your shield in a cage!!!!
Try driving through a rain storm in your cage without using the windshield wipers and you'll get the idea of what we're talking about....

Sam
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Mountain rider » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:59 pm

tfdeputydawg wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:19 am
DIFFERENT "VIEW"
How does looking over the top "improve" ones view???? Windshields are clear or lightly tinted!
One does not look over your shield in a cage!!!!
As far buffeting following large vehicles, bike would shake even if you had no shield!
It improves ones view because one doesn't look through a windshield covered with drops of water illuminated by oncoming headlights. A "cage" has windshield wipers to remove the drops, so kinda Apples and Oranges my friend. ;) And, since I'm not just a fair weather rider, becomes kind of important.

As to the shake, my old Honda 500 four, whether with the Vetter or not, was like a rock. An 18 wheeler would push me aside, but other vehicles were just other vehicles. I'm sure part of what I'm feeling is due to the larger solid surfaces of the Aspy, so more surface to come in contact with the air moving into or around the bike. It's an issue I'll have to work with and become accustom to, or move on.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by minimac » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:21 am

I especially prefer to look through my windshield when it's raining. I keep it treated and the water beads up and rolls up, just like RainX on a cage. It's very easy to see clearly. Riding at speed, rain can feel like getting pelted with stones-which I would rather not feel.

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by FM-USA » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:30 am

I look through and use Rain-X.

JUST remember, no matter how tall you like you're windshield,...
underpasses are generally 13 ft. 6 in. ;)

:lol:
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Grindl » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:03 am

You say you've thought about suspension , tires , etc.,etc , but what has actually been checked ? The reason I'm asking this ; is because I had exactly the same handling problem twenty years ago with my 78 GL-1000 , equipped with a Vetter , lowers , and Califia bags and trunk . It was NOT a windshield issue . It was a Steering Stem Bearing issue . The ball bearings races were "notched" and for whatever reason , every time I got near a Big Truck on a Interstate , I felt as though I was going to be thrown to pavement as the bike would whip back and forth , left to right , while continuing to go straight ahead until I was past the front of the Big Truck . I converted the bearings to Timken tapered rollers / races the following paycheck . End of buffeting problem around Big Trucks .

I realize your 86 should have tapered roller bearing in your steering head , but if they haven't been serviced in awhile , or ever , they could be dried out , and causing the issue . When the bearings dry up ; and they do . It changes the torque on the Stem bolt , and actually makes your front end loose at the Trees / Stem bolt . And you won't know till you take the top tree off and pull the bearing and look at the race . Just maintenance issue that gets ignored till it creates a problem.....Or a accident .

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by brettchallenger » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:51 am

I keep it treated
Do you use Rain-X for plastic or some other product? There seem to be few about which are suitable for polycarbonate and Rain-X here is horribly expensive.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by minimac » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:23 am

There are a lot of Rain-X type products currently available that are suitable for our windshields. I like to use Pledge, or a generic (I'm ̶c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶ frugal) Armour All type product. Beside making the water bead up, it makes cleaning off bugs and such, effortless.

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by brettchallenger » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:31 am

ArmorAll is fine, but Pledge contains petroleum distillates and should not be used on polycarbonate.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by ekvh » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:56 am

A router will give a very clean cut and finish to cut down a windshield. Mark it, cut it close free hand, then use double-faced tape to apply the factory edge of what you cut off and use a pattern bit to trim it up. It will be perfect.

Looking through air is always better than through plastic, rain or shine.

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by FM-USA » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:12 am

ekvh wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:56 am
A router will give a very clean cut and finish to cut down a windshield. Mark it, cut it close free hand, then use double-faced tape to apply the factory edge of what you cut off and use a pattern bit to trim it up. It will be perfect.

Looking through air is always better than through plastic, rain or shine.
I did one of my shields with my single blade 'Power Plane'.
Looking like it was snowing in the garage. :)
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by shayme98 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:38 pm

THIS...

Looking through air is always better than through plastic, rain or shine.
[/quote]

The whole point of motorcycling is to feel like you're NOT in a cage.

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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Mountain rider » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:28 am

WingAdmin, Happy New Year, and thanks for bringing this up. I must admit I've spent less time here than I should as this is a great site and has helped me on numerous times. It's been over a year since I started this thread, so let me update it just a bit. First off, the Aspy has gone to a new owner. Leslie and I are retiring this year and sought out a bit newer bike so parts and service were more available. That being said, as some here know, I purchased a 2003 1800. Black Beauty has been a Godsend. I love the way it handles and Leslie has gone from "yeah, I guess we can go for a quick ride" to "are we going for a ride tonight?". She really enjoys it. Purchased the end of June, we put over 7,000 miles on her.

Sorry, off topic there. The windshield on the 1800 was just the right height that I found myself looking through the top edge, which is a bit annoying. One of the folks that responded earlier in this thread was AZgl1800 with his recommendation about the Madstad windshield, or should I say, windscreen. We were planning a long trip to Washington to visit family, and I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with the view through the top of my windshield, so we went ahead and purchased the Madstad. Probably the best thing I've done in a while. The Madstad is adjustable for height and angle, making it about a customizable as it gets. We did a number of practice rides before the big trip, playing with the adjustments on the Madstad until we found the position that worked for both of us. Yep, both of us. When adjusted to the sweet spot, my ride is clear, quieter, with minimal buffeting for me, while Leslie has a clear view as well and isn't being pushed around by the air pushing past me. The other thing that helped Leslie's comfort was the addition of a set of Airwings mounted under the mirrors. Our trip carried us right at 1800 miles in 10 days and I couldn't be happier. There are many windshield options out there, and each one isn't for everyone, so find what works for you. It can make such a positive difference in your riding comfort and that of your passenger, so don't suffer.


Hope everyone has a Happy New Year and a great upcoming riding season. Ride safe, keep the shiny side up, and hopefully we'll see you out on the road. :D
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by Bob380S2 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:53 pm

I went for the Madstad too for my GL1500 and I'm very happy with it. Yes you have to fiddle about a bit to get it right but it pays off and I much prefer being able to see over the top rather than looking through as I did before. Prior to going for the Madstad I did try cutting the old screen down so I could see over the top but then I seemed to catch everything in the face - fine if you like that. But the Madstad seems to give a happy medium and no buffeting. Works for me. Pictures below.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by brettchallenger » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:35 pm

I went for the Madstad too for my GL1500 and I'm very happy with it.
Has the new screen made any discernable difference to fuel consumption? It is half the size.
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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by offcenter » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:51 pm

My GL 1500 stock windshield was way to tall for me.
Being 5' 8" I had to cut it down. On all of my bikes
over the years, I've always had my shields set so that the top
edge was about even with the tip of my nose when I was looking
straight ahead down the road.
I cut this one the same way, and I got it right on the first try.
This is perfect for me. I am looking, just barely, over the top
edge of it. In colder or rainy weather, I can still use the windshield
adjustment to raise it up two inches or so.
And I did see an improvement in gas mileage since I'm pushing far
less air ahead of the bike.
Click on pic to see it full size.


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Re: Question about windshield height

Post by 823JIM » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:24 pm

brettchallenger wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:31 am
ArmorAll is fine, but Pledge contains petroleum distillates and should not be used on polycarbonate.
I see no petroleum distillates listed in the ingredients of pledge:
https://www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com/us ... ing-polish
I have used it in the past and have heard of many others using it without damage to plastic.


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