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Adjustable Windshield ( ST1100 ) *

Started by KoTAOW, February 20, 2012, 03:24:10 PM

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Submitted by Bob Meyer, STOC #1157
Original article can be found here:


Adjustable Windshield ( ST1100 )

Side view, shield down.

Side view, shield up.

Rear view, shield down.

Rear view, shield up.

Front view, shield down.

Front view, shield up.


Here's some more detail:

This is built on the Laminar Cafe shield. I really like the Laminar Cafe in the summer, but when it rains I'd like something taller. And even with the lip, the air coming over it is pretty noisy, although the lip keeps it smooth, without much buffeting.

Laminar Products for ST1100

I happen to have two Laminar Cafe shields. The first one I received was molded incorrectly, and cracked at one of the side mounting holes. Laminar replaced it, of course, but I hung on to the old one with a mind toward making an adjustable shield someday, somehow.

When Tim Shevlin, STOC #1183 made his adjustable sliders for the Laminar Lip itself, I tried adapting that to make an adjustable shield, but it just didn't work. I didn't have a lot of confidence the metal sliders were strong enough to support a complete windshield, rather than just the lip, and I didn't feel real good about have several pieces of relatively sharp-edged metal right in front of me.

But there was another, similar mechanism designed specifically for adjustable windshields:  Firecreek Accessories, LLc.

Tom Yeager at Firecreek Accessories, LLc. has been making his Windbender adjustable shields for Goldwings for years, and actually made a prototype shield for the 1100:

But abandoned it when the 1300 came out with a factory electric shield. I actually had the opportunity to ride with the owner of that prototype many years ago, and after I ended up with my two cafe shields I contacted Tom and asked if he would sell me the hardware only. At that time, he said no. But this past fall, I decide to try again, and this time he said "yes"!! I paid $38.50 + shipping for all the hardware. The sliders are made of a nylon-like material, and have naturally low friction. The fixed piece is undercut, and the moveable piece slides up and down in the undercut groove. The moveable piece, in turn, has 4 cross slots cut in it, at one inch intervals, giving a total adjustment range of 3 inches. There's a hole cut sideways through the top of each of the fixed pieces--line up one of the slots in the slider with the hole, and insert a pin to hold the two parts together. Can't be done while riding, of course, but it only takes about 30 seconds to make the change.

It took me a while to get around to it, but this weekend I finally took my cafe shields, took a bunch of measurements, made some templates, drilled some holes, and put the whole thing together. I was a bit concerned that 3" wouldn't really be enough, but while I would like more adjustment 3" is actually pretty significant.

I took some test rides this morning:  With just the bottom laminar shield (and no lip), I got what I expected. Lots of wind, but also lots of buffeting, and lots of noise, especially at the helmet's top vents. No way I'd want to ride very far that way.

I added the top shield, in the full low position. What an amazing transformation!  The gap between the two shields acts like a laminar lip on steroids. I still got lots of cooing air on my upper body and face (with the visor flipped up), but it was much smoother and quieter. If I pushed up on my feet, to get my head higher, I could get back into the noise. I'd estimate the second shield pushed the clean air up about 2 inches above the top of my helmet.

With the shield raised to it's highest position, it blocks most of the wind off my body, and leaves a bit of wind on my face, but at a much lower velocity than in the low position. And it's at least as smooth and quiet as my laminar combo shield while being lower overall. (I didn't do a back to back comparison, but I've been riding with the laminar combo all spring.) I'm really kind of surprised how well it works. I was planning to add the lip to the top shield, and maybe I'll experiment, but right now I don't think I'll need it.

I did make one mistake:  I measured and drilled the shields with them off the bike. Mounting the fixed shield to the bike flexes the plastic, changing the shape a little bit. The two shields don't fit together quite as smoothly as they did before mounting, but the material of the sliders is slippery enough they are still easy to adjust.

Now I don't envy the adjustable shield on the 1300 quite as much. I could even make it electrically adjustable if I wanted it bad enough, but at $575 for the electric adjuster I think I'll pass.

Edit:  The profile of the lower part of the laminar combo shield is the same shape as the bottom of the laminar cafe. I think I'm going to buy another set of the moveable part of the slider and add it to the Laminar combo for fall and winter riding.


Thank You again for your contribution Bob Meyer, STOC #1157