How to Select a Windshield Size

Multiple Heights
We try to offer two or three sizes for every windshield we sell. It is expensive for us to build and inventory three times the number of windshields for an application as our competitors, but we believe that a properly sized windshield is as important as using the correct helmet or clothing size.

How High
The ideal height for a windshield is just below your line of vision. This means the top edge of the windshield should be somewhere between your nose and your Adam's apple, whatever you are more comfortable with.

We can give you general guidelines for the best windshield height based upon your height, but keep in mind its your height from your waist up and even the length of your arms that determines what size you may need.

Some people prefer to look through a windshield and we do not have a problem with it, but many people wear glasses and use a faceshield. Looking through glasses (especially sunglasses), a faceshield and a windshield may affect visibility. Add some rain and it may be a problem looking through the shield.

Measuring
We try to give you comparative heights to help in determining the correct height to select. A good method to measure for the correct windshield height is to use a wood yardstick taped to the headlight or have another person hold the yardstick for you. If the windshield measurement from us is a length measurement, take into account the angle of the windshield. Sit on the bike, look straight ahead and determine the height of your line of vision. You can then calculate the ideal windshield height for you.

Flips, Flares and Recurves
Q: Does Rifle offer windshields with a flip at the top?
A: No. Rifle can certainly design and build a similarly styled windshield equal to, or of better quality at an affordable price. However, our conclusions and opinions are that these designs have no or very limited improvement over designs with a "clean" shape like ours (vs. dirty), and may introduce many unforeseen negatives or potential safety issues into the final product.

Rifle has been designing and building motorcycle fairings and windshields for a very long time (since our days at Vetter in the 70's) and have ridden and tested virtually every motorcycle since then, evaluating windshield designs for looks, rider and passenger comfort, fuel mileage, handling, and safety in all riding conditions.

Windshields with this design sometimes use the term "flip", "flare", "recurve", "wave", "contour" or trade names like "Wind Splitter". Many come from China. A windshield with a flip may be just be a marketing decision, saying to the customer "buy ours because it is different"; "ours is different that's why we charge more".

We have found that a "flip" style windshield can push up the air higher over the top, but with an very unacceptable trade-off, more turbulence and buffeting. Adding this to to all the other negatives, including our reading of the many negative customer reviews of incorrectly sized windshields (too short) with flips and flares, building a "dirty" windshield is not the way to go. Some flips are so radical, that they end up being 90 degrees or more to the ground. No way these work and for sure they will reduce gas mileage.

Radically changing the direction of a windshield curve (shape) for styling, performance or clearance reasons creates a "seam" that usually introduces a distortion at the seam. Many windshields with this seam also have additional flaws and mark-off introduced during the molding process at this seam. A windshield that is distorted at or near the top or side edges could create a safety issue forcing the rider to look through the distorted part of the windshield in certain riding conditions, like riding on roads with many elevation changes and curves. Riding on these roads should be "fun".

To independently confirm our conclusions, just check out the latest touring bike options from the OEMS, like the new Honda Gold Wing, or the new Yamaha Star Venture, etc. These new bikes have unquestionably been tested for tens of thousands of miles, many computer simulations and time in wind tunnels. These were built for long-distance comfort. If a flip or flare had any significant benefit you would see them offered. You may see them on smaller bikes with little windshields, but for sure they are styling decisions only, designed to convince new buyers the little windshield will perform like a larger windshield (it won't).

Additionally, many companies do not offer returns or exchanges of their windshields and if they do, charge restocking fees, forcing the customer to to accept a less than ideal windshield, or lose money. Many importers force the customer to return the windshield to the originating country, of which the shipping cost conveniently is more than the original windshield cost. For example, shipping from China to the US is subsidized by the both the Chinese government and our own USPS, but not the other way. See our return and exchange policy here.


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