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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by nickmo, Jun 25, 2021.
The Dart screen eliminates that issue
With a helmet and a windshield I like the air coming off the windshield to hit me mid chest. Without a helmet the turbulence is much less noticeable.
To wit, over the weekend I'll be cutting the windshield on my Ultra, removing 3 inches off it to lower the air to my chest. Other wise I'd have to increase the shield quite a bit to move the air over my head, then mid bike turbulence comes into play.
Funny thing is, the same worked for my Triumph Trophy as well [lowering the windshield] .
On the Ultra, The turbulence off a stock 10 inch windshield is bad when I wear a Scorp exo-1400, and worse when I wear my Arai quantum x.
On my Ultra Classic I went with a 9.5" (I think ) Clearview windshield with a recurve. Not perfect 100% of the time, but good enough that I road it for nearly 90,000 miles. I could ride with an open face helmet if I wanted to and the recurve pushed the air over me.
My rev-it "overshirt" does much much better at speed than my leather or textile jackets. Makes everything else feel like I'm wearing a kite. I'm on a "naked" bike with a teeny tiny fairing (Urban GS).
I've never checked. When I'm at hiway speeds + it's hard to tell. It just feels like it's ripping all around me. It makes sense that it's filling the vacuum, the air flow is pretty chaotic.
The first time I noticed how much air was around the tank: I was reaching across my chest to check a jacket pocket zipper. When my arm went across my chest, I noticed the air was much quieter. Once I noticed that, I could move my hand beside and in front of the tank to block the air.
Next time I'm out I'll move around a little bit and see if I can tell.
Things that eliminate buffeting include a smaller screen & a less vertical screen. Also sometimes blocking other air paths, and maybe using screen with vents.
Take the screen off altogether, and the buffeting will be gone, though wind blast may be a thing. If it is, change the ergonomics (e.g. butt further back, hands further forward), and wind blast may not be a thing anymore either. Not saying that's the way to go, but no screen at all might give you a good baseline if you haven't tried. I suspect the best solution would be a small, somewhat sloped screen.
I did a 100+ mile round trip freeway commute for many years, and easily the best bike for it was my naked R1200R with its small stock sport screen. Never tried it with no screen at all, because I was happy with it as came. But I've had a naked bike that was totally fine on the freeway with no screen at all, and other bikes that weren't so pleasant at freeway speeds with the screen removed.
size matters (or so I'm told) but shape and position matter more. On bikes with relatively small shields like a Vstrom or S10 the addition of a Madstad bracket which allows you to adjust the angle and height by only a few inches can make a dramatic difference, even with the same shield. Any shield disrupts the air flow, the larger the shield the more the disruption. If how it channels that air is not right, the result can be pretty bad which sounds like what you are experiencing. I'd take the current shield off and try a smaller, cafe-like unit like those of the Darts. 'Not sure I'd want to go to the other coast with just that but for the type of riding it sounds like you do it might be ideal. It's a bit like seats or bars, it's not finding the right one that matters, only the right one for you. That takes some experimentation as everyone and situation is different. 'Good luck.
Find some lower air deflectors to go under the windshield. They make a huge diffetence! Check out the ones for a touring model. I made some for an 883 to go below the quick detach windshield. ( That thing was unbearable before the deflectors)
Had a '79 Superglide Lowrider and put a stock H-D windshield on it. It kept the heavy air off my chest and face. But oh boy in the rain you got soaked from the water coming up underneath you. Rain up and under coating the inside of the faceshield. Then two Electra Glide Classics. Wonderful in bad weather. Only truck tires got you real wet. Now I'm on a new bagger Wing. Pretty damn nice. But wind and weather wise the Beemer RT is the best.
The closer the top edge of a screen is to your head, the less height is required to find the sweet spot, which is different for everyone and every bike. Don't know if Madstad makes anything for Harley-Davidsons, but adjustability and experimentation are required to find your personal comfort zone. Also, the addition of an adjustable deflector such as the MRA X-creen can make a smaller shield behave as if it's much taller, protection-wise. Like a laminar lip, it serves to keep airflow attached longer before it burbles over the top edge. A tank bag can mitigate some screen turbulence because the air that tumbles over the top can't flow as freely downward with the bag in the way.
My Givi A603 windscreen is perfect for me. It mounts to the bars using rods and clamps that make it fully adjustable for height and rake. Between that, the size and the shape, it keeps the wind and the majority of the rain off my chest and keeps my head in the clear. Have had on on different bikes of different styles and it worked o all of them.
I've also tried a variety of shields on my Dyna. Compact Memphis Shades is worse than nothing, turbulence-wise.
I tried the large, touring Nat Cycle shield. Still a lot of turb coming from under the bottom. Memphis Shades lowers helped a lot, but the setup was unsightly (to me). Still, I did a lot of long trips with this setup.
I then tried an old Vetter Windjammer. It works great. I still use it in the cold months.
In summer I run a Nat Cycle Mohawk. It's small, a bit larger than a Dart, but takes the pressure off the torso, but leaves the shoulders and head in clean air.
I thought this was the perfect height windscreen on mine while it lasted. I put 50,000 some mile on it in 2 and a half years.
I rode today and felt around. It's definitely coming up around my tank in front of my knees. It shoots up from both sides past my helmet.
On a naked cruiser, you really have 2 options in my experience: add a small fly screen, bullet/club fairing or gear bag to the front - just enough to punch a hole in the air in front of your chest, and keep your head in the wind + use a very quiet helmet, or go full bore with a very good windshield, AND - mandatory - lower deflectors on the fork legs, and maybe extra ones that you fab yourself. Lower fairings mounted on crash bars take this to the next level, similar to a full 'dresser'. Even the leather covers that go over crash bars help.
Big windshields on a laid back cruiser are garbage, most especially the tombstone shaped ones all the manufacturers sell. As you've experienced, the airflow from under the 'shield, across the forks and upward toward your shoulders causes crazy wind shear and buffeting. Wind between the shoulders and bottom of the helmet is where most of the noise comes from too.
Look at how touring bikes and baggers are done, and try to do that.
Wind deflectors below a windshield will many times eliminate buffering. I had a set on my Roadking that really smoothed things out. Might have to make of modify some for your bike.
I have the Dart Classic, which is smaller than the Marlin, on my XSR900. It works really well at all speeds under 80mph. Pressure off your chest and clean air to your helmet with no buffeting.
It really defys its small size how well it works.