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Windshield vs No Windshield on A Motorcycle

Windshield vs No Windshield on A Motorcycle

Motorcycle riding can be a relaxing, exhilarating, terrifying, and pleasurable experience. Many riders enjoy the feeling of the wind blowing in their face and hair. But is it always enjoyable?


While riding against the wind on a sunny day may be fun, what about during rainy, snowy, or windy seasons? Can you enjoy riding when it is raining heavily or the wind is blowing at 60 - 70 mph?


A windshield can protect your head from rain, snow, wind, and debris while providing good visibility of your surroundings.

1. Do Motorcycle Windshields Make a Difference?

Windshields can help reduce back pain, fatigue, strain on the arms, dehydration, and muscle cramps by directing wind away from your face and chest. You can enjoy a more comfortable ride with less air pressure blowing against your body.

2. Why Buy a Motorcycle Windshield?

Much like the different motorcycle brands and models available in the market, there are also different windshields. Consider the following when selecting a windshield for your ride:

Its Practical

Windshields can help reduce incoming winds, which helps reduce fatigue. Because less wind is blowing in your face, it is easier to keep your eyes open and scan your surroundings for any incoming hazards.

It’s Versatile

You can easily modify a motorcycle by installing a windshield on your cruiser or touring bike.


Windshields can come in various styles, sizes, and designs that improve their features. They are also affordable and easy to install on different models.

Wind Protection:

One of the main reasons for buying a windshield is to protect the rider from the wind while riding at high speeds. Windshields can help reduce wind fatigue, making for a more comfortable ride.

Safety:

A windshield can also provide added safety benefits by deflecting debris away from the rider's face and body such as rocks or bugs. It can help to reduce the risk of injury or distraction while riding.

Improved Aerodynamics:

By reducing the amount of wind hitting the rider, a windshield can improve the motorcycle's aerodynamics, increasing speed and fuel efficiency.

Style:

A windshield can enhance the motorcycle's overall look and be customized to match the rider's preferences and style.


Overall, a motorcycle windshield can provide several benefits, from increased comfort and safety to improved performance and aesthetics. However, it's important to choose a windshield that is the right size and style for your motorcycle and to ensure that it is installed correctly for optimal performance and safety.

3. Windshield Vs. No Windshield on a Motorcycle

Listed below are the main differences between having or not having a windshield on a motorcycle:

3.1 Having a Windshield

  • Protection from wind 
  • Protection from rain 
  • Protection from cold and heat 
  • Protection from debris 
  • Protect electronics, cell phone, and GPS 
  • Reduces helmet buffeting 
  • Reduces back, shoulder, and neck pain 
  • Improved fuel efficiency 
  • Reduce fatigue 
  • Reduces noise  

Protection from wind

The primary purpose of a windshield is to protect you from the wind by reducing the wind hitting your chest and shoulders and redirecting it around the sides. Some windshields made for touring have a small opening at the bottom, allowing some wind to flow through to equalize pressure and reduce buffeting.

Protection from rain

A motorcycle windshield can protect from the rain while riding. A windshield can help to deflect raindrops away from the rider's face and body, reducing the amount of water that hits the rider and improving visibility. It can be particularly useful during heavy rain or when the rider travels at high speeds, as rain can cause significant discomfort and distraction for the rider.


However, it's important to note that a motorcycle windshield is not a foolproof solution for rain protection. In some cases, rain can still get around or through the windshield, particularly if it is not properly installed or if the windshield is too low to offer sufficient coverage. Additionally, a windshield can also increase the risk of fogging or glare, particularly in wet or humid conditions.


It's important to choose a windshield that is the right size and shape for your motorcycle and to ensure that it is installed properly. Do it to maximize the benefits of a motorcycle windshield for rain protection. Additionally, wearing appropriate rain gear such as a rain jacket, pants, and boots can provide added protection from rain and moisture while riding.

Protection from cold and heat

Whether it’s hot or cold outside, a windshield will help keep you cool or reduce exposure to chilly winds.


For example, if you are riding while it’s 50° F at about 55 miles per hour, the windshield will make it feel like it’s 30° F.


Meanwhile, on hot days, the windshield will cool the blowing hot air and help fan you.

Protection from debris

A windshield is often made of a thick transparent screen that will block flying debris, whether rocks, pieces of sidewalk, trash, etc.

Protects electronics, cell phones, and GPS

Most riders mount their cell phones, GPS, or other electronics onto or behind the handlebars. The windshield is often positioned in front of them as a barrier, preventing them from being struck by flying debris. 

Reduces helmet buffeting

Buffeting is a kind of turbulence when wind blowing against or around the helmet causes intense vibrations that can blur your vision.


A windshield that is at or above your height when seated will help block the wind and prevent it from hitting your helmet.

Reduce back, shoulder, and neck pain

Riders who travel over 50 mph across hundreds of miles often suffer from neck, back, or shoulder pain. This is because riders have to constantly fight the wind, wearing down their muscles and energy. A windshield can protect the upper body from being buffeted by wind, helping your muscles to relax more rather than constantly being worked.

Improves fuel efficiency

Windshields have a streamlined, aerodynamic design that helps improve your motorcycle’s fuel efficiency. According to expert riders, riding with a windshield at high speeds often resulted in better fuel efficiency.

Reduces fatigue

While riding a motorcycle, riders must constantly work their muscles and shift their weight to stay upright while holding the handlebars. When riding against the wind, having to expend so much energy can cause riders to become fatigued. The muscle groups often suffer fatigue while riding in the back, shoulder, arms, and forearm muscles. But a windshield will allow you to relax your grip on the handlebars, your core, and shoulders more, ensuring you don’t feel worn out by the end of a trip!

Reduces noise

A motorcycle windshield can also help to reduce wind noise while traveling on a motorcycle. When riding at high speeds, wind noise can become a significant source of discomfort and fatigue for riders. Windshields can help to deflect the wind away from the rider's helmet, reducing the amount of noise that reaches the rider's ears and making for a more comfortable ride.


If you also wear a helmet, a windshield can help reduce the volume of the wind blowing by your ears, making it possible to ride at speeds at or over 100 mph without going deaf.


However, it's important to note that not all windshields are created equal in noise reduction. The shape, size, and placement of the windshield can all affect its ability to reduce wind noise. Additionally, the type of helmet and other riding gear can also play a role in determining the amount of wind noise the rider experiences.


It's also a good idea to wear earplugs or other hearing protection to reduce wind noise and protect your hearing while riding.

3.2. Having No Windshield

Compared to riding with a windshield, riding a motorcycle without a windshield can make high-speed travel more difficult.


The main reason many riders don’t get a windshield is that they do not want to ruin their vehicle's styling. For example, you will not often see a windshield on a cafe racer or bobber since they would ruin the style and look of these motorcycles.


Moreover, riding a motorcycle without a windshield can offer a different experience compared to riding with a windshield. Here are some points to consider:

Wind:

Riding without a windshield can expose the rider to more wind, particularly at high speeds. It can create more turbulence and may result in more fatigue for the rider. However, some riders prefer the feeling of the wind on their face and the added sense of freedom that comes with riding without a windshield.

Visibility:

Without a windshield, riders may be more exposed to debris, bugs, and other elements that can impact their vision. It can make maintaining visibility more challenging and create safety concerns.

Style:

Many riders ride without a windshield for aesthetic reasons, as it can create a more streamlined, minimalist look.

Maneuverability:

Riding without a windshield can make the motorcycle lighter and more maneuverable, which can be an advantage in certain situations, such as off-road riding or tight, technical roads.

Noise:

Riding without a windshield can also increase the amount of wind noise the rider experiences, which can be a disadvantage for some riders.


Ultimately, whether or not to ride with a windshield is a personal preference. Some riders may prefer the added comfort and safety benefits of a windshield, while others may prefer the feeling of the wind in their face and the added sense of freedom that comes with riding without a windshield. It's important to consider your riding style, preferences, and safety concerns when deciding whether or not to ride with a windshield.


Sr. no. Feature With Windshield Without Windshield
1 Protection from wind  Yes No
2 Protection from rain  Yes No
3 Protection from cold and heat  Yes No
4 Protection from debris  Yes No
Provides a cool look No Yes
6 Protects electronics, cell phones, and GPS Yes No
7 Protection from crosswind No Yes
8 Reduces helmet buffeting  Yes No
9 Reduce back, shoulder, and neck pain  Yes No
10 Improves fuel efficiency  Yes No
11 Reduces fatigue  Yes No
12 Reduces noise  Yes No
13 Prevent wind from buffeting legs No Yes
14 Too much cleaning requires Yes No
15 Provides better comfort Yes No

4. Does a Motorcycle Windshield Help You Ride Faster?

Yes, a windshield can help when traveling at high speeds since it reduces helmet buffeting, blocks incoming wind, and reduces noise to make it easier to navigate without distractions.


A motorcycle windshield may help you ride faster by reducing wind resistance and improving the motorcycle's aerodynamics. By deflecting wind away from the rider, a windshield can help reduce wind drag, increasing speed and fuel efficiency.


However, the impact of a motorcycle windshield on speed will depend on several factors, including the size and shape of the windshield, the speed at which the motorcycle is traveling, and the individual rider's riding style and preferences. Sometimes, a windshield that is too large or too tall for the motorcycle may create more wind resistance and slow down the rider.


While a windshield may help you ride faster, speed should never be the sole focus when riding a motorcycle. Safety should always be the top priority, and riders should be mindful of their limitations, the limitations of their motorcycle, and the road conditions they are riding on. It's also important to ensure that the windshield is installed properly and does not obstruct the rider's vision or create other safety hazards.

5. Types of Motorcycle Windshields

Here are the main types of motorcycle windshields:

  • Touring: Taller and wider windshields designed for touring motorcycles. 
  • Standard: Windshields with standard factory specifications and can perfectly fit into standard factory mounting holes. 
  • Sports: Windshields are often called “double bubbles” with a special hump in the middle.

The following are the main features most windshields have, though this can vary between types:


Detachable: These windshields can be removed whenever you want, allowing you to change your motorcycle’s look.


Rigid: These windshields are securely mounted to the motorcycle and take more time to remove.


Adjustable: These windshields come in various sizes and can have their height adjusted to better suit different riders.


Size-specific: These windshields can be detachable or fixed, but come in a single size. Before choosing a size-specific windshield, make sure its height matches or is higher than your height.


Motorcycle-specific: These windshields can only be installed on specific models from specific brands unlike those that are universal fits.


Mounted with wind deflector: These windshields come with mounted wind deflectors that improve aerodynamics, control, and protection.

6. Popular FAQs

6.1 How to Choose the Perfect Windshield for My Motorcycle?

Choosing the perfect windshield for your motorcycle depends on several factors, including the size and shape of your motorcycle, your riding style and preferences, and the riding you'll be doing. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a windshield for your motorcycle:

  1. Size and shape: The size and shape of the windshield should be compatible with the size and shape of your motorcycle. A windshield that is too small may not provide adequate protection, while a windshield that is too large may create more wind resistance and reduce speed. Make sure to measure your motorcycle's fairing or handlebars and choose a windshield that fits properly.
  2. Material: Windshields can be made from various materials, including acrylic, polycarbonate, and tempered glass. Acrylic is lightweight and less expensive but more prone to scratching and cracking. Polycarbonate is more durable and shatter-resistant but is more expensive. Tempered glass is the most scratch-resistant and optically clear but is the heaviest and most expensive.
  3. Height: The windshield height should be comfortable and protected adequately from wind and debris. Some riders prefer a taller windshield for maximum protection, while others prefer a shorter windshield for a more minimalist look.
  4. Tint: Windshields can be tinted to reduce glare and improve visibility. Choose a tint appropriate for the riding conditions you'll be encountering.
  5. Style: Windshields come in various styles, from sporty to touring. Choose a style that complements the overall look of your motorcycle.
  6. Brand and reviews: Choose a reputable brand with good customer reviews to ensure you get a high-quality windshield that will perform well and last a long time. Check out our windshield collection. 

Choosing the perfect windshield for your motorcycle requires careful consideration of your needs and preferences. Take your time, research, and choose a windshield that provides you with the best protection, comfort, and style.

6.2 Should I Put a Windshield on My Motorcycle?

If you love touring or cruising for hours, it is suggested you install a windshield. They help reduce fatigue, improve visibility, lower noise, reduce helmet buffeting, keep muscles relaxed, and provide protection from rain, wind, and debris.

6.3 Is It Illegal to Ride a Motorcycle Without a Windshield?

It is not illegal to ride a motorcycle without a windshield. Whether you want to ride with or without a windshield is up to personal preference.

6.4 What is the Best Type of Motorcycle Windshield for Airflow?

A windshield made of polycarbonate or acrylic with wind deflectors will help improve airflow.

6.5 What is Wind Buffeting on a Motorcycle?

Wind buffeting is direct interaction with the blowing wind that causes vibrations. On a motorcycle, wind buffeting can cause vibrations throughout the motorcycle, windscreen, helmet, and body.

7. Conclusion:

When choosing a motorcycle windshield, ask yourself what kind of protection you need and for what purpose. Windshields are best suited for riders who love touring, racing, or cruising. While it is not necessary to have a large windshield while cruising in the city, you can install a smaller, standard windshield to ensure a smooth ride.  Make your motorcycle comfort for riding by adding a windshield; you can also add saddlebags, tank bags, sissy bar bags, touring packs,  backpacks, or other motorcycle aftermarket parts to make it cozy and durable.

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