Plexifairing III installation question - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Plexifairing III installation question

I recently had my Plexifairing III windshield arrive but couldn't get to messing with it until today. After trial fitting it, I've come up with several questions that I hope some of you already with the Plexifairing III can answer for me.
I see now that the "III" isn't tailor-made for the Vulcan but also fits the Shadow and Virago. If I position the screen so that the handlegrips are covered then there is a huge gap between the bottom of the screen and the headlight. I can place my fist on the instrument cluster panel, between the tach and the speedometer, and still have a thumb to spare before the bottom of the screen is touched. We're talking about a five inch open gap.
Does this sound right to you?
Also, I'm 5'11" and when the windshield is positioned thusly I'll have to trim it down some 5 or 6 inches off the top in order to look over the top edge.
Does this also sound about right for those of you having installed one already?
National Cycle assures me that this is, in fact, the correct part number windshield for the Vulcan and I was told that a small opening at the bottom is desired so that a negative vacuum won't be created when moving at speed. The guy on the phone said that without the opening, some riders are actually pulled forward towards the windshield.
Ok, I can kinda accept that I guess but 5 inches isn't small to me. (Keep your mind out of the gutter! )
So, for those out there that have already gotten theirs, are my concerns valid or groundless?
Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 05:30 PM
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The PF3 "handguard" does not line up with the grips on the Vulcan, so many just try some comprimise here. I don't think I would raise it more than 2 inches above the is true that you do want some air coming up from the bottom, but 5 inches would be too much really.

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Last edited by Knifemaker; 01-07-2008 at 05:37 PM.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 05:52 PM
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I am not familiar with the Plexifairing III but I assume it does not fit well because of the Vulcans standard 8-inch ape bars. Easiest fix may be to go to a low-rise handle bar. I have some temporary lower rise (~ 4-inch) bars on my bike now and I like the position better. I am 5'11" also (but I also have a lower than stock seat).

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 05:58 PM
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I can't say I've noticed being "pulled forward" when I've had my PF3 just even or sometimes even slightly below the top of the headlight......

Maybe the swept back angle I have it at has something to do with it??

And, like KM said, the shield doesn't line up very well with the grips
There have been more than a few here who've had their shield trimmed down on top for better fit for their size. I just deal with it like it is. The slight distortion from the top takes some getting used to, but once ya get used to it, it's not much of an issue (for me atleast)

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Last edited by hyperbuzzin; 01-07-2008 at 06:00 PM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply's and pics!
The swept back angle on your PF3 looks good, Hyper. It's supposed to be the same angle as the forks and those two pics you sent are the best that I've seen yet for details on the fitting.
In regards to the handguard not lining up ideally with the grips, does this difference that people have had to compromise for actually affect the protective coverage of the hands or does the wind flow pattern still pass over the hands?
One of the main reasons that I chose the PF3 was to get some hand protection and this revelation about it not lining up has me wondering if I made a wise selection. I've not read any threads in here or anywhere else where someone mentioned the non-alignment nor if it had a negative proctective effect in any real, practical sense. If it still works when out of position, then I'll compromise, as KM says, and position it so there is a 2-3 inch gap over the headlight and just accept the visual "offness" of the affair.
Placing it thusly would mean less of a top edge trim job, too. I'm not concerned about doing that anyway.
I'm always looking forward to seeing front end pics for comparisons and truly appreciate all of your suggestions. I think I'll keep my factory handlebars though.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 08:36 PM
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I usually have the shield mounted so the lowers are the same angle as the forks, not the shield itself. But on that ride (1st Erie Potluck Jamboree), it wasn't too cold, so I decided to go with the swept back look. Although, with it like that, it rubs against the signals and front brake master cylinder.

You could make up a set of homemade deflectors/extentions out of some plexiglas/lexan, and rivet or bolt them to the handguards of the shield.

Last time I had my shield on, in cold weather, the handguards helped with some barrier against the wind, but ofcourse, it could've been better.
IMO, it's better than nothing.
The PF 2 is the exect same as the 3, but without the lowers. I'm not sure what other shields offer any kind of hand protection like the PF's.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-07-2008, 10:51 PM
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I'm 5' 8"-9" tall and found that trimming 2" was perfect. I don't keep it as sloped back as in Hyper's pic. I'd say that I experience about a 75% wind hand protection. Would be nice if it covered the grips completely but, it's not bad.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Well, after all is said and done, I think the windshield looks better in person than I thought it would look. And the price is unbeatable (mine was under $150).
But overall I am still disappointed. In my opinion National Cycle is flying under false colors by saying it's for the Vulcan when it's clearly a more generic product meant to work on several different models. The documents that come with it don't even mention the Vulcan but refer to the Shadow and Virago. The PF3's main selling appeal to me was the handguards which don't fit the Vulcan.
For the price it's not bad. However it's not what it's advertised to be. Hiker pointed out if it offers about 75% protection for the hands, but to me that is like saying a person is 75% pregnant.
It may be the best on the market yet that may be due to being the only one on the market that offers even that much hand protection.
All in all, I'm happy for the protection that it DOES give but am disappointed that it's not what I thought I was buying.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes, as long as I could add certain caveats to the recommendation.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 11:07 AM
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I mounted it in such a way that it covers the handlebars almost completely. There's just a teeny bit of wind-flow over the end of the handlebars which manages to JUST catch my big hands, but it's SO SO SO much better than when I used to ride without a windshield in 40-degree weather. I can go over an hour without my hands freezing while wearing my pretty thin gloves when, without the PF3, I could only go 20 mins, if that. The only annoying thing is that, since I've yet to trim the windshield, my visor fogs up a bit from lack of ventilation. I just crack the visor open 1/8 an inch and it seems to handle the fog fine like that.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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I've decided to mount it higher and have the nads completely covered. I'll trim off more at the top but trimming is trimming so that part is no big deal.
As far as the bottom gap I've plenty of time to experiment with some materials to see what would be best to modify/attach and fill in the 5 inch space. A trip or two to Home Depot should fess up a few different ideas that I have for such a filler. It's also been recently suggested to me to try some plexiglas and play around with heating and molding. That sounds interesting, too.
I've plenty of time and the weather lately has had juuuuust enough ice on the road that I'm content to have it in the garage. Cold doesn't bother me. Nor does rain. Ice...... not happy with ice.
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