The feedback on my post is wonderful. Thanks to you all for your input, as it helps me make the decision on windshield size.
HOWEVER, I am now wondering if I would be better off spending a little bit more for a batwing fairing. I know many riders on here have them and it seems you get a lot more protection from a fairing. My only concern is how high it may come up, seeing that it's opaque.
Anyone with a batwing fairing, please chime in! Windshield vs fairing
If you want any sort of hand protection from wind, rain, and bugs, then you have three choices:
1. a batwing (this was my choice, for both looks and protection reasons)
2. MS Fats or Slim, then add their new "Side wings" (nice for protection and can be removed easily in warm weather)
3. National Cycle makes handguards that mount from the mirror stalks. I've seen these on a V-star at a local dealer and they look like they'd work really well.
My batwing, with 9" shield, lets me (5'8") look over the top by ~1.5" or so (depending on my posture!). As others have said, there's other shield height options from MS. The opaque part of the batwing is well out of your view.
As for the looking over/thru debate, it's all what you're comfortable with, but the first time you're hundreds of miles from home on a weekend ride and a big juicy bug goes splat right in your field of view, you'll know why IMHO looking over is better than through...
'08 VN 900 Custom in Kawasaki racing green
Changes So far
Clear turn signal lenses and Kury license plate frame w/extra brake light
Memphis Shades Alley Cat quick release fairing <or> MS batwing w/9" shield...
Mustang seat w/driver backrest
Mutazu MU Hard Bags
HR2 bar risers
Kury "Premium Mini" floorboards