July 2004 Safety Thoughts 

Windshield Thoughts 

by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer 

This month Iíd like to discuss windshields. Most of us here already ride a model that comes with a windshield as standard equipment. Still, we have many riders opt for models that donít have windshields. For those members, let me list the benefits a windshield can provide: 

o       Our Chapter has many rides that dictate 300 plus mile days, usually dictating the use of expressways & speeds of 65, 70 mph or more.  These are easy behind a windshield, but without one, youíll definitely know youíve been riding by the end of the day.

        Hearing protection

o       Some windshields (not all) provide a reduced wind noise level that will help protect us from hearing loss, negating the need for ear plugs for hearing protection.  Those windshields that have reduced wind noise provide enhanced fatigue relief without resorting to ear plugs.

        Flying hazard protection

o       The old adage that you can tell a happy biker by the number of bugs in his teeth no longer applies when you ride with a windshield.  Further explanation should not be necessary.

While the advantages of a windshield may be fairly obvious, selecting the proper height can be a mystery for many.  For average height riders, stock windshields on most Harley models will be too tall.  Fortunately, the fix is as close as the Harley Accessories Catalog.

The correct functional height is determined by an imaginary line that runs from the seated riderís eyes to a spot on the road in front of the bike thatís equivalent to the distance traveled in about one second at a typical average night riding speed (25 to 75 feet).  This height will provide maximum protection will still allowing the rider to see the road is a worst case riding scenario.

Whatís a worst case riding scenario?

        Night riding.

        In the rain (or for the die-hards, in the snow).

Anyone whoís been caught in these conditions will tell you, itís not a lot of fun. 

Ride Safe!

Words of Safety