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Old 06-10-2003, 11:36 AM   #11
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Default Have you considered a Concours?

I had a H-D Low Rider with the detachable windshield. I think some aftermarket companies are making quick detach windshields for metric cruisers as well. That really is the best option because then you get the best of both worlds.

For around town riding I would leave it in the garage, but for trips or two-up or cold weather I would pop it on.

I would avoid a tinted shield. They're fine during the day but at night it can really be a problem even if you're looking over the top.
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Old 06-10-2003, 12:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

what brand of shield did you put on the sv? i'm considering one for my '03 for longer trips.
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

Originally I came from the "no windshield" camp. I went so far as to convert my 1996 Bandit to a naked model (they weren't offered that way in the US at the time) and didn't think it made much difference.

The bikes I've had since have all had windshields, culminating with my '98 Valkyrie Tourer (my first cruiser) and its see-thru barn door. I took it off recently, just to see what it's like.

Pros:[*] improved handling (better but not transformed)[*] helmet buffeting gone

Cons:[*]the windblast gets old quick on a cruiser![*]riding on a crappy day much less appealing

So while I still think most bikes look better without a windshield, there's no question that one makes a bike more useable in climates with less-than-perfect weather.
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Old 06-10-2003, 03:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

How far do you have BEFORE you reach the bridge? On the bridge the shield isnt going to help all that much as its normally a west - east cross wind and your not going that fast in traffic anyway. But the ride to and from will be much nicer with a shield and like mentioned above much better in foul weather.

Into strong head winds you'll definitely be happier as a rider, though the added resistance of the shield you will feel performance wise. I have no experiance with fork mounted shields but with my faring mounted K12RS I always lower the shield in strong winds. Less of a sail factor in strong gusts. I also hug the tank to cut down my cross section. I recently took a gig in benicia so I gave up the bay bridge and dont miss it one bit. But the benicia bridge is twice as windy every day, luckily its short and with a reverse commute almost empty... Ride safe
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Old 06-11-2003, 02:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

I've tried both the Suzuki flyscreen and a Givi A604 (or maybe A603 hard to remember as I bought it used). The flyscreen looked cool, but was just this side of non-functional. During a "spirited" ride along some long straight roads in the middle of no where Canada, my buddy and I noted that his unshielded SV did much worse at 120mph than my shielded SV. At lesser speeds the difference was less notable.

The Givi, on the other hand, looks like azz. I was really unhappy with it when I first put it on. Then I rode with it and have never taken it off in the 9 months since. It blocks enough wind to give me a good pocket to tuck behind without blocking so much that I can't get air. Probably the second best addition to my bike (number one being heated grips).
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Old 06-11-2003, 05:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

Get the windshield, but with a quick release. My Road King is twice the bike it would otherwise be by having the ability to put the shield on for longer/hwy rides in 30 seconds (I have a 1.5" tall shield). It dramatically cuts down on fatigue on longer rides.

As for bridges, the worst I know is Mackinaw, which connect the MI upper penn. to the rest. Very long, extreme crosswinds, and the lake 200' below is fully visable through the grating.

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Old 06-11-2003, 07:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

Sure, buy one. I've usually had windshields on my bikes. I tend to mount them as low as possible but still be able to look through them. The old ones use to get easily scratched, but the ones made these days can be cleaned daily with very little scratching. Get a bottle of Novus plastic shield polish or equivalent. It works great.

You can tour forever with a windscreen.
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:39 AM   #18
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

I'd like to know if other Bay Area MO'ers find riding the Bay Bridge to be a somewhat hair-raising, white knuckle experience.

I rode ol' school standard type bikes for years in the bay area. Did the bay bridge gig for a while, then did the San Mateo bridge for a while. I never thought wind was any significant problem until I started working in Livermore. The Dublin grade I580 is like riding in a gusty wind tunnel. Going eastbound, you don't feel it at all. But going w/b, holy cow. After a few months of that, I got rid of the old standard & started riding my brother's harley with that big ol' cop-style windshield. It made it a much nicer ride, but the wind still pushed that beast of a bike around at times.

I also have some family that lives in Disc Bay--just over the altamont pass--and let me tell you, all those windmills are there for a reason

I guess all this is to say, no, I don't think the bridges are a treacherous experience, and even the metal grate bridges, like the small park street bridge I ride over bother me that much. But I think that comes from also riding dirt. Dirt bikes move around under you so much that you can't really be bothered by it. The windshield will make for more comfortable riding, but i don't think it will eliminate your concerns about wind pushing you around.
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: ''To windshield or not....''

I've put an NC Plexi-fairing on virtually every bike I've owned since my '81 Honda CB900C. I can't imagine how I would live without one any more. 'Course, I do 85 Interstate miles up and down I-15 commuting at around 80mph Mon-Fri. Then weekends... who knows? Salt Lake to Evanston or Ft. Bridger and similar rides fairly often. The desert and mountain winds can get pretty vicious, but the windshield has always been far more a benefit than a problem. Especially if you get caught in the middle of the desert on I-80 in a hail storm... ouch!

I don't care one whit what anyone else thinks about the looks. I can ride all day without feeling all beaten up any more. Do it.
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:00 PM   #20
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Default Thanks for the help on this topic!


Thanks for all the informative and helpful input/feedback. Before I go buy a windshield I'm going to try and loosen the grip of death I have on my handlebars.

I've checked out shields by Memphisshades, Meier, Rifle and NC. Price ranges from about $70.00 -$300, so a shield won't have to set me back as much as I thought. I like the classic looks of the Rifle windshield; anyone have anything made by this company? Of course, the one I like best is also one of the pricier windshields @ $279.00.

As to how I ended up on a cruiser.... It was a 2000 with 1983 miles on it for $1500. I found it on Craigslist and simply couldn't resist. Podiatry student moving to TX couldn't take it with him.... Of course, now I need a second bike and whoever recommended the Concours was dead on, it's one of my faves.

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