How do I know which windshield is right for me and my style of riding?
To begin, you need to determine how much wind protection you're looking for. If you use your bike mainly for around-town cruising or short trips, a smaller or shorter shield might be all you need. If you do a lot of touring, high speed long distance riding, or commuting in all types of weather, then a larger or taller shield would be a great benefit.
But first, look at yourself, the rider. Consider your height and how high or low your sit in the saddle. Note where your eye level is in relation to your bike's headlight. Windshield height is a personal preference, but seasoned riders and National Cycle recommend that you are able to look just over the windshield to see the road at a distance of 50 feet in front of you.
All the windshields in our catalogue and on our web site list the mounted height (distance from the headlight cutout to the top of the screen) and the width. This information will help you visualize where the windshield will sit on your bike.
Now consider your bike. Some of our windshields and mount kits are designed for narrow forks and some are designed specifically for wide forks, while others can be mounted on practically any bike. So you need to choose a windshield based on (a) desired level of wind protection, (b) fitment on your model motorcycle, and (c) style and appearance.
Our Products By Bike section can make this process pretty simple. Select your make and model to see which windshields will fit. In most cases, the windshields are illustrated on the actual model of bike to make the visualization process easier.
What exactly do lower deflectors do? Do I need them?
Lower deflectors maximize the wind protection from your windshield by minimizing the updrafts that occur when air is deflected below the bottom part of the windshield.
These updrafts are the reason you feel buffeting on the back of your helmet, or feel your back coat tail lift. In essence, lower deflectors are an extension of your windshield, and serve to increase your windshield's effectiveness.
How are the new SwitchBlade® windshields different from your Heavy Duty™ windshields?
The primary difference is how the windshields mount to your motorcycle.
SwitchBlade windshields use the SwitchBlade Mount Kits, which are available for almost all metric and domestic cruisers. The windshields can be easily removed or switched in less than 5 seconds... without tools. The Mount Kit stays on the bike, but is minimal and unobtrusive by itself.
Heavy Duty windshields use bike-specific mounting kits that are designed for a "permanent" bolt-on fit. The windshield itself can be removed or swapped in about 10-15 minutes with the proper Allan wrenches. The mount kit also stays on the bike, but is not intended for proper appearance without a windshield.
SwitchBlade windshields come in four styles and sizes: the SwitchBlade 2-Up® (clear), SwitchBlade Chopped™ (clear or tinted), SwitchBlade Shorty® (clear or tinted), and SwitchBlade Deflector™ (clear or tinted). These are all one-piece construction windshields. The inside windshield hardware is highly polished stainless steel. The SwitchBlade Deflector features our patented Rake Adjust™ to change the windscreen angle. SwitchBlade windshields for Harley-Davidson® motorcycles also feature an integral security lock.
Heavy Duty Windshields come in a wide range of sizes and styles: One Piece Heavy Duty™ for wide front ends, Beaded Heavy Duty™ for wide front ends, the Touring Heavy Duty™ and Chopped Heavy Duty™ for wide front ends, and finally the Custom Heavy Duty™, Low Boy Heavy Duty™ and Ranger Heavy Duty™ for narrow front ends. All except the One Piece Heavy Duty feature an adjustable lower window to fine tune the headlight cutout and clearance. The inside windshield hardware is finished in matte black.
The SwitchBlade is our top-of-the-line windshield, but either way, you can't go wrong. Both windshield lines are premium quality and made from the best and strongest materials. Both feature durable 4.0mm Lexan® polycarbonate with our exclusive Quantum™ coating for the toughest, most scratch resistant windshields you can buy.
Take it from the people who've been making motorcycle windshields since 1937 – SwitchBlade Windshields and Heavy Duty windshields are as good as it gets.
What's the difference between Lexan® Polycarbonate, High Impact Acrylic, and Acrylic windshield materials?
Lexan® Polycarbonate is the tough stuff for riders that demand the best. Lexan polycarbonate with FMR hardcoat provides unbeatable strength, superior optical quality, and outstanding scratch resistance. Lexan polycarbonate with our exclusive Quantum™ coating provides scratch resistance 10X better than FMR and twice the outdoor (UV) life. Hardcoated Lexan polycarbonate is the OEM motorcycle industry standard and was proudly developed for the motorcycle industry by National Cycle, Inc.
High Impact Acrylic is a step up from regular acrylic. High impact acrylic merges the crystal clarity of acrylic with an impressive impact resistance. A standardized plastic test (IZOD test) compared standard acrylic to high impact acrylic: Standard acrylic breaks at 1.5 foot-pounds, while high impact acrylic can withstand up to 8 foot-pounds. National Cycle uses the best material for each product design and price range.
Acrylic (which includes brand names such as ICI Lucite® and Acrylite®) is good when combined with our No-Hole Ballsocket™ mounting system. Acrylic is known for its crystal clarity that stands the test of time with UV stabilization that prevents yellowing. Many years ago, during the development of the clear fairing, National Cycle found that ordinary drill mounting methods caused stress cracks and eventual breakage with acrylic shields. That's why we developed and use our patented No-Hole Ballsocket system on all of our acrylic products.
What's the difference between FMR coated polycarbonate and Quantum™ coated polycarbonate?
FMR is a special surface coating for polycarbonate developed by General Electric®. This coating gives polycarbonate a level of scratch/abrasion resistance 3X greater than typical acrylic windshields. National Cycle first introduced motorcycle windshields made from FMR coated Lexan® polycarbonate in the 1970s. It soon became the OEM motorcycle industry standard for windshields.
Now a NEW standard has been set. Quantum™ Coated Lexan® Polycarbonate is the industry's absolute best in motorcycle windshield strength and durability. Developed for windshield use by National Cycle, Quantum coating takes motorcycle windshields a quantum leap forward in abrasion resistance and outdoor life. National Cycle applies this crystal clear, hard coating to polycarbonate material. The combined result is the strongest, most abrasion resistant windshield material available worldwide.
How Quantum™ Coating Compares
• Quantum coated polycarbonate has 30X the abrasion resistance of acrylic (ICI Lucite®)
• 10X the abrasion resistance of FMR coating
• Quantum coated polycarbonate is 23X better than acrylic (ICI Lucite®)
• Equal to FMR coated polycarbonate
• Quantum coated polycarbonate is 20X better than acrylic (ICI Lucite®)
• Equal to FMR coated polycarbonate
Outdoor (UV) Life
• Quantum coated polycarbonate has 2X the lifespan of FMR coated polycarbonate
Quantum™ is an exclusive product of National Cycle, Inc.