Jumping back into the MadStad club - the review!
For those that followed my thread about jumping back into the MadStad club, here's the review after the fact:
Background: I had a 2013 Candy Orange RGC that I bought new and really liked. Like many, I did not like the buffeting which started a 45 mph and quickly got very bad from there on. Also like many, I tried a couple different windshields that were a little better but still not great. Then finally jumped on the MadStad bandwagon and was thrilled with it's performance. For that bike I went with an 11" dark grey model. I'm just under 5'8" and I wanted the minimal amount of windshield for looks and performance to my height. The 11" worked fine for me even in the all-the-way-down position. The very dark grey tint looked sharp. While many do not like the look of the MadStad, I came to not only like it, but Road Glides without MadStads looked funny to me!
I traded in the '13 RGC this Spring for a '13 RGC CVO. I stripped all the parts off the trade-in (of course) intending to initially use the MadStad on the new bike. But I found that the stock windsplitter did a fairly good job handling the wind and I really didn't get much buffeting until I got up around highway speeds over 55 or 60. We generally don't do a ton of highway riding preferring the 50 mph backroads so I sold the MadStad off. But after awhile that buffeting at highway speeds did grate on me (and the wife!) so I decided to jump back in the MadStad club. Since I had already sold off the original MadStad, I needed a new one.
I did a lot of research online (even though I already knew the MadStad works) mostly for size and tint comparisons, viewing many threads here especially the ones that were 'Post photos of your bike with a MadStad' types. I was thinking of going with a 13" to get a little more wind protection in the fully down position. I thought a 12" one would be better, but they don't make this size. I remember people saying they had requested (and received) holes to be drilled higher or lower to achieve a more customized setting. So i thought, great, I'll do that and basically split the difference between the 11" and 13" and get the equivalent of a 12".
Then I needed to decide what tint to get. I had the very dark tint for the 11" one and that was fine as I could easily see over it in the lowered position. I did lose a little bit of the road but only at night and it looked best on the Candy Orange color. But I wondered if going with a lighter tint might not be a better choice with the 13". Then I saw a photo of someone's RG with a completely clear MadStad and I loved the look. What was so great about it was that it allowed the normal front end look of the shark fairing to basically come through. Being clear the MadStad windshield just sort of fades away. The brackets do show through so it's a trade off. That's another thing I liked about the very dark tint is it hides the brackets from view.
So I ended up ordering a 13" very light tint with the holes drilled lower. I went with the light tint just to get a little bit of tint on it but like it says on the website, it's practically clear. Ordering the holes drilled lower was a mistake. In my mind the holes would be drilled lower on the mounting plate making the windshield lower but in reality the holes are drilled lower on the windshield itself which means to get lower you must drill the holes higher. Fortunately I figured this out quickly and called and emailed to request the change which they were able to do. But MadStad should really make this clear on their website!
The windshield arrived quickly, about a week after ordering. I had ordered a set of the 'upgraded' grommets a year ago and never used them so I had those on hand and I must say, they are great! Definitely order them!! The 'CVO' sized base plate seemed difficult to install with the holes not lining up perfectly and so the outer holes really needed to stretch to make them fit. Part of this might be the rubber trim when combined with the larger surface area of the upgraded rubber grommets. I think MadStad should do cutouts of the rubber trim in those areas and the fit would be much better. Obviously you can do this yourself but I got it to fit and once on it stayed on although I did have to tighten one of the end nuts pretty hard to keep it from popping out. Once it got it to stay though, it has not popped out again.
Since I had a MadStad before, I pretty much knew the angle that worked best for me. I find that if I angle the windshield basically the same as the angle of the mounting bracket, that works best. But I went ahead and played around with angles a few times on the highway and found that like before that angle does indeed work the best for me. It was nice to be back in 'the pocket'! I still get a little bit of air in my face from below (no lowers, but I do have Sanchos Wings) but it's a gentle wind that does not buffet or annoy. I tested this up to about 90 mph and no buffeting. The wife also pronounced the ride much better at highway speeds with no more buffeting for her either.
The only downside I can think of is now I can hear better the gawd-awful cacophony of sounds that is our HD motors! But I can also hear the stereo much better. Another reason I wanted to go back to the MadStad is that I'm a helmet wearer that wears a 3/4 helmet with a faceshield. Faceshields unfortunately dampen the sound significantly. Recently I've started riding without the faceshield, wearing instead just sunglasses and I love that but don't like getting hit in the face with bugs and debris. The MadStad just about eliminates that with it's wind flow. Bugs fly right up over your head.
Going with the (nearly) clear windshield was the right call for me. I love being able to completely see through it. Even with the added inch of height I'm still looking over the top of the windshield. I would guess it's about nose-tip height. The top line of the windshield covers about 2.5 car lengths in front of me and I've taken to using that as a basic visual guide for keeping that much distance between me and moving cars in front of me. I love being able to see the road right in front of me for things like debris and potholes and whatnot. I also love the look. As hoped, the natural lines of the sharknose fairing come through unimpeded and the exposed brackets do not bother me at all.
So, I'm back in the club now. I highly recommend the MadStad (again!) and also highly recommend the clear for those that don't like the look of the MadStad. And remember, have the holes drilled HIGHER if you want the windshield to sit LOWER, and vice versa.
Photos to follow as I upload them from my phone!
2013 Road Glide Custom CVO in Roman Gold/Burnt Emerald, Le Pera Maverick, Vance & Hines Power Duals, SERT, MadStad 13", Kury ISO grips & Scythe mirrors.