Saeng/TA Stealth Edging
Los Angeles, August 11, 1999
Riders have love-hate relationships with windshields.
You wish you had one two hours into that road trip down the Interstate, or on that dusty road full of stone-shooting dump trucks, or by that lake swarming with bugs, or during that rainstorm when all you're wearing is an open-face helmet.
But once you install one, the buffeting sometimes steals your will to live, or at least gives you a massive headache. It seems windshield designers like to take a perfect piece of Plexiglas, cut it to the ideal height, and then sadistically remove an inch.
One way to solve buffeting is by adding rubber edging to the windshield. Saeng/TA Stealth Edging is an oversized rubber strip that slips over the top and side edges of a windshield and promises to provide that extra inch of protection.
How does edging improve airflow and minimize helmet buffeting? The forward-facing edge features a lip that curves towards the wind, creating tiny eddies that soften the turbulence coming off the windshield. Airflow is then routed higher and hopefully over the rider's helmet, thus reducing the buffeting. Saeng/TA promises the Stealth Edging provides up to three extra inches of protection.
I heard about Saeng/TA Stealth Edging while expressing dissatisfaction with the OEM windshield of my BMW R1100R. Since the edging is priced at $10 per foot, I figured I couldn't lose.But when I called the company (Saeng sells direct to consumers), it turns out they only sell the edging at a minimum of three feet. Therefore, the actual price is $30USD plus shipping. Irritated, I bought a yard of edging anyway, and the total bill came out to a pricey $36.50.
The edging arrived in less than two days. However, after opening the package and finding nothing more than a twisted piece of black rubber, my first reaction was: "I paid 40 bucks for this?"
A Saeng Rep suggested I use a tiny bit of soapy water to help slip on the edging, especially since BMW shields are thicker than most. This resulted in the edging slipping off.
But once I ignored his advice, the edging installed with a fair amount of ease and hasn't budged, even at my bike's top-end speed. Other good news is that three feet was the perfect length for my OEM R1100R windshield.
But does it work?
In short, it's an improvement, but comes nowhere close to eliminating buffeting.
I am 5' 8" tall and I have the seat at its lowest position possible (29.9 inches). Before the edging, if I wore an open-face helmet wind shot off the windshield right at my eyeballs. With the edging on it now hits just above my eyebrows. Noise is reduced slightly too.
Basically, expect the edging to direct airflow about an inch or so higher.
Wearing a full-face helmet I can open the face shield and not feel any strong wind on my face. With the shield down the wind hits my helmet slightly higher than before, just above the face shield. Noise reduction is less dramatic with a full-face helmet, too.
In either case added side protection is negligible, despite the fact the edging wraps around the sides of my windshield. I did, however, notice added turbulence around my jacket.
Since the edging alters airflow, I was curious to see if it affects handling and/or gas mileage. I have noticed no change in either. The edging also didn't obscure my vision, even though it's nothing but a big fat piece of black rubber inches in front of your face.
A thorough test of this product would require installation on several motorcycles. If such a test were conducted, I could easily see Stealth Edging being completely useless on one bike, moderately effective on another (such as mine) and a lifesaver on a third.
Other variables include rider height and whether or not there's a passenger. In any case, the individual rider ultimately should decide if this stuff is worth it.
Your expectations are also a major factor. Saeng intends this product to be a "fine-tune approach to air management". Company literature contends serious problems would require Saeng's "Winglets" or even the Stealth Edging used in conjunction with the Winglets.
Fortunately, Saeng offers a money-back guarantee on all this stuff. You only run the risk of eating the shipping. Good thing too, because the Winglets cost more than some windshields.
Saeng/TA sells direct to consumers via mail orders. They can be reached by calling 1-800-868-7464 or visiting www.saeng.com.