Reprinted by Permission from Mr Tidy's Tech Tips
I think we all enjoy riding in comfort. Check out the number of accessories that are available which increase rider comfort. Windshields, lowers (especially Bucks!), handgrips, saddles, floorboards and foot pegs, better helmets and clothing. Yes, we enjoy comfort while riding our bikes.
Let me offer a suggestion for a fairly inexpensive, do-it-your-self item that offers a good degree of increased comfort, and something you may not have thought about!
UPPERS ! Yes my friend, uppers. Simple plastic panels that are bolted (!) on each side of a windshield and which increase the shield’s width from the Road Star’s 19” and the Silverado’s 23.5” , to a total of about 30 inches. Mr. Tidy says the addition of lowers and these “Uppers” provide wind protection that the factory windshield alone should offer. Most riders don’t realize the great fatigue we experience from wind pressure on a long ride. Just take your windshield off and ride 25 miles! Any reduction in wind blast increases our comfort when touring.
Two years ago, while riding in a heavy rain, I thought about the possibility of a wider windshield which would keep the heavy rain off of my hands. With a few pieces of plastic I came up with a design that BOLTS to the edges of the windshield and deflects a great deal of the slipstream around my hands. I found that these uppers also reduce the amount of wind that “sneaks” around the sides of my windshield and onto my upper body.
|First, let’s talk about plastic. Following are a few “Facts” I discovered making my lowers:
Polycarbonate (Lexan) – By far the best plastic for us to use. Almost impossible to break or crack. Cuts well with any saw, files and sands well, and easily drilled. The downside is the high cost of “Poly”, and availability. Comes in two versions – plain and AR (Abrasion Resistant). AR is EXTREMELY expensive and probably not worth the cost. Poly lasts 10 years before yellowing.
Acrylic: - Most common plastic for windows in doors. Cracks VERY easily. Chips a bit when cut with a course toothed saw, files and sands well. Scratches very easily. Is very inexpensive and can be found in many stores. Lasts 5 years before yellowing.
Poly Styrene: - Only in colors , cuts and sands like Acrylic, does not crack as easily as Acrylic, and is fairly durable. Does not discolor. Not normally available in hardware stores.
My bet is that the “Average” rider will opt for the readily available Acrylic plastic because of it’s low cost. You can make three or four sets using Acrylic for the same cost of one set in Polycarbonate.
Cut two panels of 1/8” plastic. Round each corner to ¾” radius .
I am currently using panels 14”L. X 5.5”W. You may want to use panels that are a few inches longer. Taller riders need longer panels. My panels start about ½” above the tops of my lowers.
Note: Square corners will cause vibration!
The uppers are on the “Inside” of the shield, and overlap the shield by 1.5”. Two stainless bolts – 10X24 ¾” and Acorn nuts fasten the uppers (along with cushioning washers) to each side of the shield.
Drill two holes in the Panels 7” apart, the first is approximately 3” down from the top of the panel. The holes are located ¾” in from the edge of the panel. It’s best to cover the area with masking tape before drilling as it helps to prevent chipping if using Acrylic.
To help prevent cracking, use a larger drill bit (by hand) and ream out both sides of each hole.
Now tape the drilled panels to the inside of the windshield. The holes you drill in the shield should be ¾” in from the edge of the shield. Align the panels so that you are sure they are symmetrical. Sit on the bike and check alignment. The panels should project beyond the edge of the shield by approximately 3”.
Before you drill the windshield holes, tape the uppers to the outside surface of the windshield in the final position. Take the bike out for a ride and determine if the uppers are doing their job.
Now mark the windshield and drill the mounting holes.
Hardware: I use a “Special” stainless washer I have made for my lowers, that has rubber bonded to one side. You will have to locate a supply of Neoprene rubber washers – usually at Home Depot Or Lowes.
From the front of the windshield here is the hardware sequence:
10X24 X ¾” button head bolt
1/8” plastic panel
SS Acorn nut.
Now tighten hardware (remember that Acrylic cracks easily), but not too tight.
You may find that the windshield curves slightly from top to bottom, causing the top and bottom of the new panels to contact your windshield. A very small bit of foam tape at each contact point will solve that problem.
I like the looks of green plastic, but I have also used red and clear. The green uppers in the picture are an early, shorter version – 12” tall. They worked well also.
Now take the bike out for a ride. At highway speed, move your hand outward from the bars. About 1” or 2” out you will feel the extremely strong wind blast that is being deflected around your handgrips. Life is good!!
In all of the miles I have used the “Uppers” I have never seen any sign of vibration.
If you do not like the deflectors, you can easily plug the holes with some chromed plastic mushroom caps , or short bolts.
Have fun and ride safely my friends.
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Quote this article on your site | Views: 24966
|Written by Lazydog, on 01-28-2010 22:37 |
I see this post has been here a long time. I think it's a great idea. But, I'm more interested in the windshield bag in the photos. I've been looking for one like that and haven't seen it yet. Anyone?
|Contact your local sign maker|
Written by Shoshin, on 03-16-2009 13:52
I called my local sign maker and asked for some scrap offcuts. I found some very nice black material that matched my bike, but other colors were available. I used it to make some lowers. All in cost, including the aluminum channel for the bracket and stainless steel bolts, was about $40. Such a deal.
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