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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions on windshield height?

I've been riding with a National Cycle "Street Shield EX" windshield on my VN750 since April. This past weekend I swapped it out for a Memphis Shades 17" "Memphis Slim" shield. I chose the 17" height based on the fact that the Street Shield EX is an 18" shield, which I'd found to be a very good height for me.

I'm giving up on the National Cycle one because I dislike the mounting system: the top 2 brackets attach to the handlebars and partly obscure my view of my tach/speedo gauges, and the bottom brackets attach to windshield via some glued-on plastic ball sockets that have both come off already in just a few months' time. Very annoying. The Memphis Shades quick release attachment system is much sturdier (all metal parts using nuts and bolts, no glue involved) and does not attach to the handlebars. It did require me to relocate my turn signals (from mounted next to the headlight to lower on the forks, next to my horns), but I happen to think that looks better as well.

What I've found is that the Memphis windshield is more vertical, lacking the rake angle the Street Fighter did, which means the height is actually a bit higher (relative to my eyes) despite being 1" shorter in height. Even with the shield mounted as low as possible, the top of the shield comes to just under my eye level: if I look ahead to the horizon I'm looking over the top, but if I'm looking at traffic in front of me (like an approaching intersection) I'm looking either through the shield or, which is worse, right through the line of the shield's edge, like a bifocal.

My first reaction was to swap it out to for the shorter 15" version of the same shield (they mount identically, so I don't have to do anything other than swap it in and return the larger shield). But then I found this diagram and text on the Memphis Shades website:



Most riders like to be able to see over their windshields. But in order to do this and still get ample protection, the windshield must reach up between the tip and the bridge of a riders nose. If it doesn't, a rider will experience mild to severe buffeting.



Obviously the diagram is based on a different seat height and/or mounting location on the bike, as I am a 6'2" rider yet the 17" windshield comes up to my face between where the 17" and 19" mark is in that first picture. (I have a Mustang saddle, which I suppose lowers my height an inch or two.)

Since at least 80% of my riding time is spent riding in local city traffic as I commute to work, I'll take the comfort of looking completely over the windshield with the 15" height over any potential "severe buffeting" for an extended highway ride. However, I have taken long highway rides and don't remember any "severe buffeting" with my earlier, "shorter" shield.

Just the same, I'd appreciate any stories from more experienced riders in terms of windshield height, riding comfort and visibility.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 11:41 AM
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This is a great writeup! Thanks! I'm in the market for a short windshield and have the same concern of see over the top. I only want a windshield because I'm doing more highway/fast riding and want to take the pressure of my chest to reduce fatique. I did some rough measurements while sitting on the bike and found that anything over 15" tall will interfere with my field of view (I'm 5'10" tall on the stock VN750 seat).

I've narrowed it down to the National Cycle Deflector or the Kawa V-Force. Both are 14"-15" tall. However, based on you description of the National Cycle mounting issue, I might think twice about that model.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well, for the record, if you go with the Memphis Shades Slim or Fats in 15" or 17" size, you'll need to also get the turn signal relocation kit in addition to the mounting kit. I'll also note that when screwing on the fork clamps for both the turn signal relo parts and the mounting kit (I went with the "Quick Change" one), I found them to be just a bit too loose for the VN750 forks: even fully screwed in, I could rotate the clamps around by hand.

My fix was simple, I unclamped them and added two strips of electrical tape on the inside of the clamps to give a bit more thickness to them that wouldn't be visible from the outside. That did the trick nicely, they are nice and tight now.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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On my older VN750 I had (and still have, as I haven't quite sold it yet) the smaller National Cycle Deflector shield (the DX version). That installed with no problems, it only clamps to the handlebars and doesn't suffer from the "glued-on ball sockets falling off" problem I had with the Street Shield EX. However the handlebar clamp arms do crowd the view of the instrument cluster.

Here's a pic of that shield on the VN750:




And a handlebar shot that shows how the arms crowd the gauges somewhat:



I'll try to post pics of how the Memphis Shades shield looks with the 17" height, and then another one with the 15" height.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 12:52 PM
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I've been back and forth with the shield thing. Not having unlimited funds to experiment with various models, heights, etc., I've opted to go without a shield altogether. I've had both the Street Shield EX and the Plexi 2 at various heights and rake angles. I'm over 6', the noise and wind gusts are worse with the shield on than off, and after having my seat lowered I end up looking through the darn thing. Forget it... I'm in the wind and like it much better.

Michael
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 05:14 PM
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My tip on windshield height is if the shield itself does not cause any weird optical aberations and you do not have a problem looking through it while riding...then you should alter the height so if you sit straight up ...slightly stretching yourself ...you can see over it.

Normaly when we ride we slouch a bit...to alot, and the only issue one might have with looking through a windscreen instead of over it would be when it gets wet. (or possibly spashed with mud?)

If this happens you will NEED to see over it, and cutting to this height does the trick. If you have to see over it you can with a bit of effort, but most times you are safely positioned behind it looking through it. This will cause the least amount of buffeting and provide the quietest ride too.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
I found them to be just a bit too loose for the VN750 forks: even fully screwed in, I could rotate the clamps around by hand.
for a switch I actually have a tip instead of asking for one:
the aluminum used in beer and soda cans is (as metal goes) fairly sticky. a strip of that stuff makes a great shim

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Fitment of National Cycle Street Shield EX vs. Memphis Slim in 17" and 15" height

OK, I got the 15" Memphis Slim in the mail today and swapped it in place of the 17" one. This is definitely the one for me; it comes up to just about my lower lip in my normal sitting position, as opposed to the bridge of my nose.

First, the National Cycle Street Shield EX (the pic I had before is the one from my older, red bike, which was a National Cycle Deflector Screen DX, but both had the handlebar mounts that crowded the instrument cluster):



Then, the 17" Memphis Slim shield as viewed from the front and slightly to the side:



You can see how high the shield looks! If that's what you want then great, but I definitely preferred the 15" shield on the VN750:



I took the bike for a 30 minute jaunt on the highway. I didn't notice any real difference with the 15" vs. the 17" shield on going a steady 70 MPH but could easily see everything over the top of the shield without having to sit straight upright (I'm a slouchy sitter and ride with a full face helmet).

I had to relocate the turn signals to put on the Memphis mounting brackets. I can see now in looking at the pictures of all three shields that if I'd done that before putting on the National Cycle ones, they wouldn't have raked as sharply and would have been more vertical. That is one thing good about them, they can adjust the angle very easily, but you'll have to move the turn signals in order to get the clearance to do so.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 08-14-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 01:00 AM
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I have also been thinking about getting a windshield.

I am curious if any of you know how one of these looks on our bikes.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/SPORT-STYLE...4200_10111.jcw

I searched the photo section a bit, and even tried creative ways of typing it for google images, but couldn't find a thing.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 07:39 PM
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On ebay they have a Spitfire shield that is 15", it looks like that Memphis slim, anybody look into these? I see the way some of these mount can be an issue. Don't want it to fly off while going down the highway!

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