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Old Yesterday, 10:53 PM   #1
Superzoom OP
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Do you tour without a windscreen?

Do you tour without a windscreen (or fairing) by choice? If so, is it because there is something about a windscreen that you dislike (noise, turbulence, removes you from riding "experience")?

I'm talking about long or longish days in the saddle, say 200+ miles days. I know anyone can ride anything for an hour or two at a time.

I'm curious if touring without a windscreen can be done comfortably and whether it can be preferable to touring with one. I think touring with and without a windscreen each have their pros and cons. I'd like to hear if you think touring without a windscreen's pros outweigh its cons.
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Old Today, 12:01 AM   #2
haggis mctavish
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: brisbane oztralia
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Many years ago I used to travel from London to Glasgow every couple of months on my brand new Honda CB750. If the weather was poor it was an exhausting experience and could not be called fun.

I put on a very basic 3 point screen and the benefits were substantial.
No wind blast on the chest meant less fatigue, I kept warmer, dryer, and you could duck behind the screen to avoid the horrendous road spray from semi trailers in your vicinity.

With the screen at the correct height you could ride through pretty heavy rain with the airflow lifting most of the rain over your helmet allowing you to maintain good vision.

If your plan is to do high mileage days in my opinion there is no better value than adding a screen, apart from cost I can think of no negatives.

What I should add however that any screen you add may have to be fine tuned to eliminate helmet buffeting, which usually means playing with the screen height or adding winglets to the base of the screen to redirect airflow.

My factory screen on my current Suzuki c50 induced so much head buffeting as to make any long ride a nightmare. However the addition of lower screen winglets eliminated 95 per cent of buffeting and made the screen useful again.

good luck with your choice but if you plan on bid mileage days you will enjoy a windscreen.
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Old Today, 04:40 AM   #3
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Windscreen? Who needs a windscreen?

Three hundred and fifty mile days are fine with this set-up.

(Ok there is a small flyscreen.)

It is when it rains heavily that you wish for a fairing.

The rest of the time you wish for a bigger fuel tank.

In fine weather, or even light rain, this is great. And you get a nice sense of speed.
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Old Today, 04:54 AM   #4
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Hate wind-screens, like to have clean air around my helmet.
But a small roll-bag on the stearing-bar is nice for longer trips, takes away some pressure from the chest and keeps the magnetic tank-bag from being pushed back when going into the triple digits.

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Old Today, 05:14 AM   #5
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If I was commuting long distance id use my tall one. If adv'ing long distances I use my little shorty which is on all the time now. Just more real.
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Old Today, 05:18 AM   #6
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Yeah, it keeps me out of speeding ticket/performance award territory when the wind gets too harsh on my head/shoulders around 80 or so.

I know there are a lot of he-men who ride at triple digits when they tour, but I'm not that guy.

I also don't like the buffeting and whatnot. It's more irritating than just facing into the wind and riding.
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Old Today, 05:45 AM   #7
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350 miles isn't very far, it's largely a matter of perspective or experience.

I suppose in good weather in the right temps you can defy convention and ride a naked bike while touring and enjoy the breeze but function trumps form in the long term. That's why tourers, sport tourers, sport bikes, scooters, etc., are almost universally defined by certain design attributes and standard equipment.
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Old Today, 05:58 AM   #8
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Logged about 17k on this one over the past 1.5 years. Just picked up a new ADV though and gotta say, I do like a windscreen. Still will ride this hooligan but for the long tours, it's gonna be lux wind blockage.
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Old Today, 06:17 AM   #9
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Buehla here and I did about 4,000 miles in nine days, including two half days for a new fuel strip and back tire, out to Colorado from Indiana and back summer before last.

I've never ridden "across the country" on a bike but half way or so several times. Buehla here is the first bike that I owned that had any type of screen, and I wouldn't really call that a protective screen. I think it's all about what you're used to. On that trip we hustled across Kansas at 85mph+ in 103 degree temps and did just fine.

Was it as comfortable as riding my Electra Glide? Can't lie, probably not. Was it miserable? Not in any way except the heat, but once we got to the mountains it was all good. I do enjoy the in the elements aspect of a naked bike, always have. If you asked me to ride to Montana this summer, I'm likely going anyway, I'd pick Buehla there in a heartbeat. If Mrs. easy comes along it'll be the EG
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Old Today, 06:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Superzoom View Post
I'm talking about long or longish days in the saddle, say 200+ miles days. I know anyone can ride anything for an hour or two at a time.
I'd say anyone can ride anything 200+ miles a day.

I haven't toured without any screen at all in decades, but I cut down the stock screen from my '07 GS and made a flyscreen out of it.

I think the most important thing to consider would be your physical condition. I'm getting close to 60, and not in the best shape, but I could easily do multiple consecutive 400 mile days with the fly screen. Even a little screen makes a big difference.
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Old Today, 06:45 AM   #11
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I do it all the time. Lots of 300+ mile days with the longest being 550 miles on my Aprilia 250. On cold days a wind screen would be nice but I don't miss it on warm or hot days.

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Old Today, 07:03 AM   #12
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you can go cross-country on anything but certain pieces of equipment can make that a lot more comfortable. A proper screen keeps wind blast off you reducing noise and physical strain. It makes cold mornings in the mountains a lot more enjoyable, or heavy rains, or searing heat for that matter. The problem with a shield is that the level of protection it provides may not be what you are looking for 15 minutes down the road. That is why an electrically adjusting screen is so nice, full up when the rain hits, full down when you slow down and/or need some air. My current touring bike (ST1300) is the first I've had with an electric screen and I would never be without it for serious long distance travel. If the bike you have/are looking at does not have it, I'd at least look for some manual adjustably. It really makes things much more pleasant.
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck
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Old Today, 08:02 AM   #13
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I ride with windscreen on both bikes.
On the viffer my head is way above it, so I exist outside the bubble. Though sometimes I try to tuck down behind when at high speed.
The feejer offers much more wind protection of course, but even still, 90% of the time my stock height windshield is at its lowest position, with helmet well above and in the wind. When riding in the rain I do raise the windshield.
I feel more 'connected' to the road when I feel the wind. Inside the bubble seems odd to me.
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Old Today, 08:31 AM   #14
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I prefer no windshield. It may be true for some people/places/circumstances that a windshield is necessary for comfort, I don't think that's true universally. For me a good suit, heated gear, and quiet helmet help.

These 3 bikes have done "days" of over 1,000 miles without a windshield.

My experience with windshields from Parabellum, Shoei, Gustafsson, and others is that the turbulence they create is worse than the protection they offer. I'm sure that if I tried a large enough windshield there would be something that works.

None of my experience is with motorcycles that have aerodynamic bodywork. Touring bikes and sport-tourers have bodywork designed to work with a windshield. Even so, people with those bikes often look for ways to reduce the turbulence.

I suspect that the one dividing line is the speed you travel. My motorcycles are comfortable at the speeds I ride. I'm sure that if I went faster a windshield would be more attractive.
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Old Today, 08:36 AM   #15
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Call me a pussy

But I absolutely love the electrically operated windscreen on my Kawasaki concourse. Hot day in traffic I put it all the way down out on the road it's on a medium position in the rain or if I'm getting spray off the trucks I put it all away up. It's like heated seats in the car it sounds decadent till you experience it and then you can't see any reason to go without it
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