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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know that this is an old issue on this site, but...

I have a Plexifairing 3 on my Vulcan, and (at 20.5") it's just too tall -- I have to look through the top of the shield, and the optics are distorted. I've made all the shield adjustments possible, and the problem persists. And so far I haven't been able to find someone who is able/willing to cut it down (and I don't really want to try it myself). I suppose I could utilize an Airhawk seat pad to gain an inch...

But I'm considering other shield options. Since I ride year 'round, and commute often, I like a full-coverage shield. But I guess that I would be willing to sacrifice a little coverage to be able to look comfortably over the top of the shield.

I would welcome all suggestions/comments, including links to photographs and retailers.
 

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Premium Member
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Hey Charlie, look in your yellowpages and call around to glass/plexiglass shops. You can surely find one that will cut it for you. All you have to do is sit on the bike and have someone put a piece of masking tape on it where you'd be looking over it by about 1.5"-2" and get someone else to cut it for you. Shouldn't cost too much. I know my best friend cut one down for the girl who rides with us on her vn500 and he said it wasn't hard but he took it real slow.
But call around, I'm sure you can find someone who can do it.
 

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HAWK
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2,576 Posts
I cut mine down myself, I used the tape to find a point then a dremel with a new sharp cutter and went slow.
Then a sander to smooth it out.
 

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Super Moderator
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Well, If I lived near you I would come over and cut it down for you.
Your in Cinci Ohio right? Any members here around there?

Really, there should be a bunch of auto glass or plexiglass dealers around you willing to cut it down for you. It is not that hard to do yourself...I think someone had a link here with a step by step instruction with photos.

KM
 

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Now what
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400 Posts
Since you're looking around for a replacement anyway, why not try and cut it yourself? If you screw up, you lose some resale value (if you're really into selling stuff) and you buy another shield anyway. I'm getting a PF3 myself and am more than likely going to have to bob it. I have a Bosch jig saw that can run real slow and I suspect a fine tooth blade would do the job. But if I can get a glass shop to cut it for $20, I'll probably go that route. If I decide to do the job myself, I'll probably take an inch off at a time. Arbeit macht der Master (practice makes perfect, so to speak). I'm probably going to have to take 3-4 inches off the top and I tend to do things way better the second or third time I try it. Plus it's darn hard to put plexiglass back on after it's cut off (haven't found any clear duct tape yet :p ) so doing a little at a time will give me a chance to take just the right amount off.
 

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Mohycle
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42 Posts
I also have a 20.5" PF3, and have tried several angles and mounting options. I am 5'6" and have the windshield raked way back and can look just over it; perfect. I've got the bottom pushed out pretty far which makes the whole thing angled more than the front fork angle. I also angled back the handlebars about the same, so that made a difference too.
If you still need to cut it, I'd use a Dremel type grinding tool, and shave off a little at a time. Just go slow, and clamp a fence on to prevent accidents.
Good Luck.
Mo
 

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Premium Member
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508 Posts
If you can find a spitfire they are perfect for me. 5' 9" with a saddleman gel seat and the shield is just below my line of vision. Often times I wish it were a little larger when our winf gets blowing hard.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #9
I called a lot of glass cutting places, and I couldn't find people interested in cutting curved plexiglass for me. Finally I contacted Cinn City Choppers who said they could do it (even they usually only work on "American bikes"). Hey, plexiglass is plexiglass, whether it's a VN 750 or a Harley Fat Boy! I have an appointment for next week. Between now and then I will determine how much needs to be cut down and then mark it (with either masking tap or a water soluble marker). I'll let you know what happens!!!
 

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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I also have a 20.5" PF3, and have tried several angles and mounting options. I am 5'6" and have the windshield raked way back and can look just over it; perfect. I've got the bottom pushed out pretty far which makes the whole thing angled more than the front fork angle. I also angled back the handlebars about the same, so that made a difference too.
Hmmm, I'm 5'9" and looking through the top of the shield (a section which doesn't have the best optics). I have the PF3 about 1/4 - 1/2" off the headlight and raked back. I do NOT, however, have the bottom pushed out as you have described -- instead I have everything parallel with the front forks -- so that's one more non-cutting adjustment I could try. But I don't want to mess with my handlebar location.

I wouldn't doubt that your riding posture is much more erect than mine! :cool:
 

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First Kawi makes a 17 inch windshield as a new option and a engraved wing.

Second is the Harley shops that get attitude on "we only work on our bikes". I got that when all I asked for was did they do oil changes. It's the attitude of some elitist Harley people. Most are not like, this but it only takes a few to give them a bad rap.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I'm still going to chop the windshield, I think. I took Mohycle's advice and flipped out the lowers. That final tweak DID drop the shield to the appropriate height, but it just doesn't look right -- e.g. the bubble for the handgrips is now well below the handgrips, and I don't like the lowers sticking out like that. I'll let you know what happens, and maybe snap a few photos along the way.

One thing: I commute much of the year, and that PF3 is great coverage for my 22-mile round trip (which, in addition to suburban/urban streets, includes short stretches on one highway and two interstates!).
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #13
Update

I dropped off my Plexifairing 3 at Cinn City Choppers today. They are going to shave about 1.5 inches off the top for me. I'll write back later with an evaluation of their work and the new fit and feel of the newly-shorn PF3.

For the moment, I must say that riding without that huge plexiglass shield (for the first time) is weird! I feel... well... naked! From the rider's seat, the side mirrors seem to stick out like huge ears, and the front end looks like it's been chopped off!

I will say, though, that when I get off the bike and look at it, I like the look a lot better without the windshield!

But the warm South wind was pushing me around pretty good as I rode the back streets back home. And I know that when I'm on the highway I will want that wind/bug protection! (And in cold weather? It's not even a question!)

By the way, nobody at Cinn City Choppers hassled me about bringing in a rice-burning metric. In fact, I saw one of the guys wrenching on an old Honda 400 in the back! But they traffic primarily in Harleys and custom machines.
 

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For the moment, I must say that riding without that huge plexiglass shield (for the first time) is weird! I feel... well... naked! From the rider's seat, the side mirrors seem to stick out like huge ears, and the front end looks like it's been chopped off!

I will say, though, that when I get off the bike and look at it, I like the look a lot better without the windshield!QUOTE]


I was gonna post the same exact sentiment. On Saturday I took off saddle bags and tank bags and my windshield. Wanted to see the difference. My immediate thoughts were this bike looks even better with nothing on it. Riding without windshield makes a huge difference. Stupid me picked a day with 18mph winds with 25 gusts. Got hit in the face about 75 times in 60 miles. Stupid me again I knew I shoulda grabbed the fullface. I have the nc street shield ex which now I know gives me good protection, but Id like something a little larger and a little less sporty.
 

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I did the same thing on mine. I removed the saddle bags while I was doing the spline lube and for grins took off the shield too. The bike definitely looks good nekkid. I tried riding w/o the shield for a couple of days, but I'm already spoiled, so it went back on...and the bags are a necessity for the work commute, at least until I can find a good roll bag or sissy bar bag that'll fit with our seat.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I tried riding w/o the shield for a couple of days, but I'm already spoiled, so it went back on...and the bags are a necessity for the work commute, at least until I can find a good roll bag or sissy bar bag that'll fit with our seat.
"Spoiled" ~ that's a good way to describe it! I don't think that I could go back to shield-less riding now!

I commute to work on my bike but do not use luggage (saddle bags or top case). So far I have been able to make do with the tail bag from Tour Master. It's a perfect size. I put it on the passenger seat and attach 2 of the bungees to the stock tail rack and the other 2 to the helmet locks. (These internally-attached bungees are much more conveniently located than, for example, the Chase Harper version.) I wish the zippers were bigger-stronger, but so far so good. When stuffed the bag provides nice lower back support too!

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/item.aspx?style=4154&department=668&division=6

When I'm traveling light, I will just slap on the Tour Master/Cortech mini magnetic tank bag. With the PF3 blocking the wind, I just use the magnets ~ no strap. (I haven't been able to figure out a good way to attach the strap on our particular bike.)

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/item.aspx?style=4136&department=668&division=6
 

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I have the MS Fats shield, saddlebags and a trunk and they stay loaded up pretty much all the time. I bought a laptop backpack that if you squeeze it just right, fits in my trunk, fully loaded with laptop, external drive, tool bag and a cd portfolio, plus other accessories. Danged bag loaded weighs probably 15 lbs. Since I ride every day I can, and I'm a sys admin for two sites that are about 25 miles apart, I need the storage. I keep my rain gear in one saddlebag with some tools etc. and my bike cover in the other with my compressor and some other stuff. Beats having to wear the backpack! Plus having a place to store my helmet when I'm parked is nice, without having to use the helmet locks, of course, if the backpack is in the trunk, helmet gets the outside storage or goes with me to keep it cool, especially when it's really hot out.

I love the windshield. I can't imagine riding without it. Especially every time I clean it, I'm thinking about all that crap hitting me instead!



Edit: I don't particularly care for the trunk, mainly the way it looks on the bike, but I've sure used the crap out of it, and like I said, it beats wearing a backpack, or even having to strap and unstrap a tail bag.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #18
And now, the rest of the story...

I am delighted to report that Cinn City Choppers "chopped" 1.5" off the top of my Plexifairing 3 and did a superb job. (As an added bonus, for reasons I can't quite fathom, the annoying wind whistling is gone too ~ at all speeds!)

It cost $41, but it was worth it. I also made a good contact. This guy focuses on building custom-made choppers. But he would be happy to do the odd job for my "metric" (like help me install floorboards or an air horn). And as we were doing business we talked about everything from armor and road rash to the U.S. Army and the Protestant Reformation!
 

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HAWK
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Good to find a place like that.
Good people are hard to find
 
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