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Windshield - Wind and engine noise?

3822 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  bairo
I am considering adding a windshield to my 900 custom. Assuming the windshield is properly adjusted i.e. looking just above the windscreen and NO lowers installed, I would like some feedback as to what the noise level is like as compared to the Vulcan without a windshield.

I have read on here that engine noise is much more noticeable when a windshield is installed. What about wind noise as compared to no windshield. I am interested to know if the overall noise level (wind +engine) is much different with a windshield installed.


I have some moderate hearing loss most likely from riding in my teens and early 20's, didn't use hearing protection in those days but always wore a helmet full face most of the time. Apparently with a helmet on, at speeds over 60mph wind noise level can exceed 100dB leading to permanent hearing damage.

Today I wear a full face modular helmet with 30dB ear plugs and a Sena SMH-10 headset. The Sena has sufficient volume that I can hear google map turn by turn instructions. I can also do music streaming but between the ear plugs and wind noise the sound quality is pretty crappy. Reducing the overall noise level would be a nice upgrade.

Thanks Guys
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I wear a FF with plugs. Wind isn't really that different in my experience. The benefit of the shield is protection from the wind - wouldn't ride at highway speeds without it.

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With Kawasaki Cafe shield on a Custom, the engine noise is gone. You do get wind in the face though. Sold mine and went to a Memphis Fats 21 with home made lowers.
I hear no additional engine noise and I'm running a Memphis Fats 21" shield.
I use a half-helmet and a set of Panasonic noise-cancelling ear-buds so I can plug them into my phone for music/directions. Can hear vehicles and other things but the engine/wind drone is a lot less
I have noticed the wind noise to be to much without a shield, but the engine noise goes away. On long runs 500+miles I find that foam ear plugs are in order as speeds tend to increase also. I wear a half helmet, I do not like the increased noise rattling around inside a full face, maybe it would help if the helmet had more solid matter in side :)
Windshield or not?

I ride an LT with factory Shield. I would not be without it. I can't take all that wind and noise. I couldn't remember which gear I was in. Home made brackets can add more aero to the windshield if needed or wanted. I have a set of lowers and they do magnify the engine noise that is always there hear it or not. I only use them in the rain so it is a moot point...Ear buds with a half helmet work great for me.
Some earplugs to consider: No Noise

Just in case you hadn't "heard" of them I use the No Noise earplugs. Washable and re-usable.


They cut the damaging wind but allow the sounds you need to hear.
I use half helmet with a Memphis fats and lower. I can hear every tick my motor makes and I like that. I've been riding since the early 70's and never wore anything other than a helmet. Once I got a windshield I know I won't ride another bike without one.
I have rode for 7 years now without ear plugs. I decided this year that it was time to start using something. I have always hated the foam plugs as they start to itch after 15-20 minutes. Because of that, I had a set of custom silicone plugs made. They are warrantied for 3 years and are good for a 32 dba noise reduction. Plus they don't itch.
Engine noise is much more noticeable because the wind noise is not drowning it out when you have a shield. I had a Memphis fats 21 and loved it. I broke it and it interfers with my new LED driving lights anyway. I think I have settled on a MS "big shot" as a replacement. I will never ride without a shield though. I remember the old 1980's cb days and the nighthawk before I rode with a shield. Bike probably does look better without one, but Ahh what a difference it does make.
Lol.. I guess I should actually answer your question. I would estimate that the overall noise is reduced by at least a third; if not half by using a shield large enough to deflect wind above your forehead level
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