Best Motorcycle Windshields: Protection From Wind, Rain & Debris
These top motorcycle windshields will make your ride more comfortable
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON February 27, 2020
Many bikers, especially those who travel long distances, use a windshield on their Kawasakis, Yamahas, BMWs, and Harley-Davidsons because it makes the trip more comfortable. The best windshield for motorcycles can make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your ride. Whether you're riding in the rain or at high speeds, windshields provide a good layer of protection. Check out some of the best motorcycle windshields in our buying guide below.
This Spitfire is designed for round and square headlights. It is 15 inches tall and 17.5 inches wide and is made with 1/8-inch acrylic and red graphics. The hardware is adjustable.
- It's sturdy, effective, and easy to install.
- It works great at high speeds and in windy conditions.
- It doesn't feel like the wind is dragging your body backward off the bike.
- The windshield may be too small and/or challenging to install on some models.
- The mounts may also rub against the gas tank.
This windshield is designed for bikes with eight-inch round headlights and comes in three colors: black, light smoke, and dark smoke. It's made with 3mm high-impact acrylic.
- It's easy to install, looks good, and works great in all types of weather conditions.
- It cuts more wind than you would expect for such a small windshield.
- You may experience turbulence around your headlight, and the mounting points may crack prematurely.
- The instructions are also not very good.
This windshield comes in three sizes: 5, 6.5, and 9 inches. It's designed so you look over it and is made of lucite for durability and optics.
- The windshield allows you to hear your motorcycle or music from your sound system instead of the wind.
- It's heavy-duty, easy to install, and is made of high-quality materials.
- Some users report blemishes/defects in the windshield from the factory.
- It doesn't include hardware and may cause buffeting if you wear a full-face helmet.
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Benefits of Motorcycle Windshields
- Protect your face and body. When you ride a motorcycle, you're exposed to a variety of elements, including bugs, rain, and road debris. You can keep debris off your chest and face if you install an aftermarket motorcycle windshield.
- Reduce fatigue. When you ride your bike for a long period of time, it can be tiring. A windshield cuts down on the wind, which contributes to rider fatigue.
- Hear the bike better. Whether you're wearing a helmet or not, it can be hard to hear how your bike's engine is performing when there's wind in your ears. Avoid wind blast by purchasing a motorcycle windshield.
Types of Motorcycle Windshields
Acrylic/lucite windshields are very popular because they are cost-effective. If you don't want to spend a lot of money or only ride occasionally, search for this type of windshield because it will save you a lot of money. The downside is that these windshields scratch easily; however, you can buff them out. They also lose clarity over time. One benefit is that they do not turn yellow or get dull when exposed to the elements or UV light.
Windshields made of polycarbonate are more durable and abrasion-resistant than their acrylic counterparts. They are also more flexible and less likely to chip or shatter, so they're ideal for bikers who ride in various weather conditions and on roads that kick up more debris. There are some disadvantages, however. You can't repair deep scratches or scuff marks, and they can turn yellow over time. They are also more expensive than acrylic windshields.
The Puig brothers founded their company in 1964 in Granollers, Spain, in central Catalonia. The company initially designed fairings and later branched out to manufacture all sorts of accessories to protect riders from the cold and wind, including the Puig Light Smoke Naked Universal Windshield for 8" Round Headlight.
Slipstreamer is one of the largest motorcycle windshield manufacturers on earth. It was founded in the early 1970s in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is currently located in Blaine. All of its windshields are hand-molded, including the Slipstreamer Spitfire Shield.
Memphis Shades is based in Rossville, Tennessee, and produces a wide range of windshields, fairings, and other accessories for bikes including Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Victory. One popular product is the Memphis Shades Ghost 9" HD Spoiler Batwing Fairing Windshield.
Sled Shields manufacturers custom-etched and OEM replacement windshields specifically for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The company is based in Florida, and all of its products are made in the United States, including the Harley Davidson 10" light tint windshield for 1996-2013 Street Glide/Electra Glide/Ultra Classic/Tri-Glide.
Motorcycle Windshield Pricing
- $20-$100: Many wind deflectors and windshields fall within this price range. You can find a good-quality product that makes riding more comfortable and protects you from wind, rain, and rocks.
- $100 and up: Some windshields cost several hundred dollars, depending on the brand. Many are designed for specific makes and models, such as a Honda Gold Wing, Harley-Davidson Road Glide, etc.
It's critical that you choose the correct size windshield for your motorcycle. The height is more important than the width, and you can choose either a tall or short windshield. Ideally, a windshield should not be higher than your nose. You should look over the windshield and not through it because bugs and rain that hit it can affect your visibility. Windshields that are too short may cause the slipstream to send air into your eyes.
Some windshields are permanent, while others can be quickly and easily removed. A fixed-style windshield is fine if you want to keep the windshield on your bike indefinitely. If you don't need to remove the windshield for storage or transporting your bike, this style is just fine. However, if you only want the windshield on for long-distance rides, you may want a quick-release mount, which allows you to remove the shield whenever you want.
Some windshields are adjustable, while others are fixed. If you want the ability to redirect airflow, you should look for a windshield that is adjustable. This will enable you to find the right position so you have more airflow on warmer days and less on cold and rainy ones. Some brands even allow you to adjust the height and angles.
- Universal vs. Fitted: If you want a perfect fit, then choose a windshield that is specifically designed for your bike's make and model. This isn't too hard to do if you ride a popular bike. However, if you have a vintage or a custom bike, you probably have to purchase one with a universal fit. Still, these may require some modifications during installation.
- Style: Windshields come in a variety of colors, tints, profiles, and sizes. With a little bit of research, you will find one that suits your personal style and goes with the look of your bike. In the end, it's a personal preference. What you like may not be what your buddy would put on his bike.
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- Aftermarket windshields may have a “+” or “-” sign in front of them. This is the size difference between that windshield and one from the factory. For example, a +5 product will be 5 inches taller than your stock windshield.
- The width of the windshield should match the width of your motorcycle for style purposes, but it's not critical. Sportbikes look better with narrow windshields, while baggers look better with wider windshields.
- Do not use gas station squeegees or paper towels to clean your windshield because they can scratch it, and while some scuffs and scratches can be buffed clean, others can’t.
Q: How do I install a motorcycle windshield?
A: Read the manufacturer's instructions because it's different for every windshield. Essentially, you need to line up the windshield with the holes where the fasteners go and then attach the brackets.
Q: What’s the best way to clean a motorcycle windshield?
A: Soak a rag and lay it over your windshield to soften it up and loosen up any dirt and debris. Avoid abrasive materials or too much force, which can cause scratches. Stick to microfiber or soft cotton towels to wash and dry the windshield.
Q: How does a motorcycle windshield help my helmet from buffeting?
A: The best motorcycle windshields tunnel air around you, which prevents it from hitting your head and chest. Essentially, they create a pocket of protection that minimizes buffeting and decreases wind noise.
Our pick for the best motorcycle windshield is the Slipstreamer Spitfire Shield. It looks good, is easy to install, and works well at high speeds and in windy conditions.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Puig Naked Universal Windshield for 8" Round Headlight.