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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday we rode to a dealership just to have somewhere to ride, and of course to look at Vulcan accessories. They had a 15" Memphis Shades Slim windshield with the black gradient that when held up to my bike looked pretty awesome. The top of the windshield was below my eye level, which I thought was ideal. I don't care about looking through a windshield while driving; in fact I think I would prefer not to. I simply want some protection from the wind at high speeds to reduce fatigue, and of course save my helmet shield from bug splatter :)

Since I'm relatively new to motorcycling, and even newer to the Vulcan Classic I was wondering if anyone out there has a Memphis Shade Slim windshield. If so, what height did you go with?

Any thoughts or suggestions on windshield heights?

Just to throw it out there, I am about 5'8", (so no problem flat-footing the bike at stops) and proportionate, so my torso isn't long and my legs short or vice versa. As I mentioned, the 15" windshield 'appeared' to be about nose level or below when I was sitting on the bike. The guy I was working with said most people try to avoid a windshield where the top hits them at eye level since you either have to look through it or over it and are constantly adjusting their heads to do so.

I'm just a new girl (utterly addicted to my Vulcan) with plenty of questions, and always open to suggestions, feedback, and helpful hints!

:beauty:
 

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The fun thing about windshields are you never know what they will do until you get one. I had the same windshield on an 1100 v-star and it done wonderful by its self. Now I have an 08 V2K with the factory windshield. I got a lot of turbulence and air from below the windshield. I had to drill new holes and laid the windshield back to kill the turbulence. Now the air is hitting my wife square in the head. I fell like I can win for losing. I have though about just taking it off and going with out it except in the winter (wife don't ride with me much in the winter)
 

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Small windshields just don't do the job, IMO. The bottom of the WS should come down to within about 3/4" of the headlight to prevent too much air from going under the ws at this point. Meanwhile, the top needs to be tall enough for me to look through it at the road ahead.

I like to look about 2" or 3" below the top of the ws. Since I'm 5' 11" and sit pretty straight up on the seat, I need a tall ws. If a rider looks over the windshield, he/she had better wear glasses because sooner or later some big beatle type bug is going to hit him in the eye. I've been hit numerous times on the front of my helmet which is just about where my eyes would be if I were looking just over the windshield.

Also, head buffeting from the wind is often an issue if you look over the windshield. Just giving my opinion based on my experiences. I'm sure others may have different opinions.
 

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Many of the dealers have a test windscreen from Memphis Shades that you can have someone hold in place while you sit on your bike. It has markings to show you where a 13,15,17,19 inch screen will come too. I found it very handy while trying to make that same decision a few weeks back.

I ended up going with a Fats 17" on my 900. I am 5' 9" and of equal proportions. I have yet to take out the bike with the wind-shield installed to provide feedback but it seems right when I sit on it in the garage. The top of the screen is 2-3 inches below my eyes when sitting at a relaxed posture.
 

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Sit on your bike on a flat stretch of road. Measure 50' in front of your bike and put something on the road to mark the distance. Your line of sight should be able to just look over the top of the windshield and see the mark on the road.
 

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I'm curious. Why is it that we should look OVER the windshield? No one seems to complain about looking through the windshield in their car. :confused: Even if they have a convertible and have the top down, no one (that I know of) tries to look OVER the windshield. They still look THROUGH it.

If there were some severe distortion looking through a motorcycle windshield, then I could understand not wanting to look through it, but all of them that I've had were clear and perfectly normal looking through them. I've ridden for 50 years looking THROUGH windshields and haven't missed seeing anything yet. :confused:
 

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I set mine so I look through it but don't have it any higher than that. It never occurred to me that I might want to look over the windshield.
 

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I have only had two windshields, both I looked over the shield (about 2 inches). I prefer to look over versus thru. Even with a new clear windshield it distorts more than I care for. I currently have a MS Batwing with a 9" windshield, and protects great (I am 6'). The next size would be the 12" and think I would be looking thru the edge which would be distracting. I guess it's all personal perferrence, but I still like a little bit of wind in the face.
 

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I'm curious. Why is it that we should look OVER the windshield? No one seems to complain about looking through the windshield in their car. :confused: Even if they have a convertible and have the top down, no one (that I know of) tries to look OVER the windshield. They still look THROUGH it.

If there were some severe distortion looking through a motorcycle windshield, then I could understand not wanting to look through it, but all of them that I've had were clear and perfectly normal looking through them. I've ridden for 50 years looking THROUGH windshields and haven't missed seeing anything yet. :confused:
Paco is correct. Measure so that you look over the shield. You might be the exception but the shields will deteriorate over time and distort your vision - esp at night. Remember that they are not made of glass but perspex or variants of that. Even micro scratches which are inevitable will have an effect. Rain will also cause visibility problems as you don't have wipers.
 

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I would suggest trying it both ways. Try it higher, 2-3 inches above your eyes, and try it for the 50ft mark as others have said. I would not try it in between that, it is too much of a haste.

For all you rain riders out on the road, I find it nice to have the windshield over my eyes by 2-3 inches so I can look over it if need be. This also comes in handy for wet fog, which collected on the windshield like glue the other day.

What are some home remedies for fog (shaving cream?) and rain (rainx?) on our windshields to repel this condensation? I heard rainx may not be good for the plastic on our oem windshields?
 

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If properly cared for, windshields will not "deteriorate". Clean them gently with only water and a soft "chamois" type rag. Don't use paper towels and don't rub hard. Let the water soften the bug splats and gently wipe them off.

BTW, I'm pretty sure that windshileds are made of acrylic which is also the material used in some window panes such as in "Florida Rooms" here in Florida and other warm climate areas. And I'm pretty sure that acrylic is used in the making of the face shields that millions of motorcyclists use.

Yet another example of "plastic" being looked through is the tens of millions of eyeglass wearers in this country (and elsewhere). Very few people choose glass for the lense material nowadays. The majority choose "plastic" CR-39 which is very similar if not identical to the material used in windshileds.

So, I don't think there is any "correct" or "incorrect" way of looking ahead. It's all a matter of preference.
 

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What are some home remedies for fog (shaving cream?) and rain (rainx?) on our windshields to repel this condensation? I heard rainx may not be good for the plastic on our oem windshields?
Since most of the windshield are a acrylic material, I would be hesitant with either (unless someone can confirm use with no damage). For anti-fog on dive masks (this will sound wierd), we use saliva (good o'l spit). Rub it on with your hand, quick rinse with water. I have gone an entire day with no fog.
 

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Since most of the windshield are a acrylic material, I would be hesitant with either (unless someone can confirm use with no damage). For anti-fog on dive masks (this will sound wierd), we use saliva (good o'l spit). Rub it on with your hand, quick rinse with water. I have gone an entire day with no fog.
There is truth to the ole "Spit Shine" method. I don't know how it works but it does.
 

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There is one significant consideration when talking about looking over or through a windshield and I don't believe the issue is distortion.

RAIN

How does a windshield handle rain or roadspray versus a helmet. My 900 LT windshield does not shed water like my full face helmet does. Certainly speed and quantity of water are variables to consider but my helmet consistently sheds water better than my windshield.

OTOH, I am only 5-8, I cannot set the standard windshield low enough to not look through it :)
 

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How does a windshield handle rain or roadspray versus a helmet. My 900 LT windshield does not shed water like my full face helmet does. Certainly speed and quantity of water are variables to consider but my helmet consistently sheds water better than my windshield.
I just think it's the curvature of a helmet shield, or glasses that shed water quickly, plus the closer your eyes are to a shield/glasses it's easier to look through or past the rain vs. a windshield (motorcycle or car).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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
 

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The Memphis Shades batwing windshields come in 5", 7", 9", or 12", in clear, tinted, or with the bottom portion tinted. If you measure from the 12 o'clock position (~65mph on the speedo bezel) straight up, a 9" shield will be about 16" above the bezel. Since the shield doesn't sit perpendicular to the wind, a difference in the shield height won't necessarily correspond exactly to the change in apparent height while looking at it from the seat.

Other than that for the MS batwing, I don't have measurements for anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Memphis Shades batwing windshields come in 5", 7", 9", or 12", in clear, tinted, or with the bottom portion tinted. If you measure from the 12 o'clock position (~65mph on the speedo bezel) straight up, a 9" shield will be about 16" above the bezel. Since the shield doesn't sit perpendicular to the wind, a difference in the shield height won't necessarily correspond exactly to the change in apparent height while looking at it from the seat.

Other than that for the MS batwing, I don't have measurements for anything else.
Thanks for the measurements GB. Do you find that the fairing restricts your view of anything road-related while riding?

I am going to assume the wind protection offered is better than that of a plain windshield, but I have also read that buffeting occurs in specific spots without the fairing lowers?
 

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There is one significant consideration when talking about looking over or through a windshield and I don't believe the issue is distortion.

RAIN

How does a windshield handle rain or roadspray versus a helmet. My 900 LT windshield does not shed water like my full face helmet does. Certainly speed and quantity of water are variables to consider but my helmet consistently sheds water better than my windshield.

OTOH, I am only 5-8, I cannot set the standard windshield low enough to not look through it :)
I don't ride in the rain if I can avoid it, but I have ridden in the rain many times. My procedure, when on a highway in the rain, is to put my feet up on the highway pegs and lean in close to the windshield with my face. The ws blocks the rain and I look through the windshield.

While the water does do some distortion, it's not so bad that I can't see a car or other large objects. Besides, I don't wear a shield over my face, so the tall windshield is a big plus in blocking the rain from hitting my face.
 

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I'm 5' 8" and with the OEM Classic LT windshield I have to look through the windshield. I wear glasses and sunglasses and have a face shield on the helmut. I'm looking through 4 layers of plastic. I found when I sat up really high and looked over the windshield it really made a difference in visibility. I ended up cutting 3 inches cut off the windshield so I could look over it sitting normally. World of difference in visibility and absolutely no increase in buffeting or any other negative effects. When I took the windshield in to the Plastics Manufacturing place to have it cut I also took in my sister's aftermarket windshield she had installed on her Honda Spirit. The guy told me my windshield was Lexan and that her's was Acrylic. He replaced her's with Lexan at no extra charge beyound the price to cut in down 2". He told me that no motorcycle windshield should be made from Acrylic as it was too brittle a material for a windshield. I guess some of the aftermarket manufacturers use Acrylic because it's cheaper. He charged my $35 to cut down the winshield and made a perfect job.
 
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