I’ve done a lot of reading on this forum, other forums and the internet at large regarding windshields. Not being able to get past the looks of the Madstad, and went the route of traditional sheilds.
I had a Clearview on my old Street Glide and it was fine, but nothing to cheer about. I read reviews on Windvest and they sounded good, but reviews on Freedom came out more positive so I ordered a few. Loved the looks of the Klockwerks sport flare, read mostly good, but mixed reviews and added that to the mix.
Here is what I ordered to test:
- 14 Inch Klockwerks sport flare, dark smoke
- 12 Inch Freedom touring, dark smoke
- 13 Inch Freedom,touring dark smoke
- 13 Inch Freedom touring, medium smoke
- 5’10 32 inch inseam, but can sometimes do 30, depending on brand of jeans
- 2016 Road Glide Special, stock seat, suspension and stereo
Each test was the same 2 miles in the city, 5 miles on freeway 60-80 mph, stereo on
Test 1: Freedom 12, Dark smoke
In the garage it was comfortable to see over both sitting up straight, and slightly slouching, which tends to be how I ride. In the city there was a moderate difference from stock, but that was only 35 mph -so hard to really tell. On the freeway there was a huge difference from stock, I could hear the stereo fairly well, though still had to be full volume, still got some wind, but was comfortable. Felt a lot like my older SG with the 6 inch shield on it, if that’s of any help. Got hit with some crosswinds and was unaffected.
- 12-inch height was perfect for me
- Blocks a lot of wind, while still allowing enough to make me feel I’m on a bike
- Can hear the stereo far better
- Side view looks good on the bike
- Dark smoke tint goes with the bike nicely
- Fit and finish are excellent
Test 2: Klockwerks Sport Flare 14, Dark smoke
- Front view is a little dorky looking
- Smoke tint has a warmer-brown than the colder-grey of the stock smoke. Not sure how I feel about that yet, but not a big deal
- In direct sun I could see through the dark smoke OK, at night it will be a different story though can see over fine and don't ride much at night, so not really a con.
Right from the get-go this looked really cool, even sitting in the garage, side, front, in the saddle views, all looked great. I really wanted this one to work. At about 30 mph I could tell this was not going to block the wind as well as the Freedom 12 I had just taken off. In the city is was fine, better than stock, could hear the stereo. On the freeway just past 60 mph I started to loose the feeling of any protection. At 75 I seriously couldn't tell if was that much better than stock. Please keep in mind there was heavy traffic and crosswinds. When the cross winds hit, it effectively turned off the stereo until they stopped. I forgot the stereo was even on until i slowed down to 50 taking the freeway exit ramp.
- Looks great
- Smoke tint is cooler (true back variation) vs warmer (browner) of the Freedom
- The ‘hips’ on either side open up the view to the road better for greater visibility
Test 3: Freedom 13, medium smoke
- Just did not do the job for me
- Did not block nearly the same wind as the Freedom
- Could not hear the stereo much of the time
(did not bother testing the 13 dark)
As soon I as mounted this and sat on the bike I knew it was too tall for my height. Strange that only a one-inch difference made it seem like like it was actually 4 inches higher than the others tested. I also had an immediate dislike for the medium-tint and front-view in terms of appearance of the bike. On the freeway, it did, of course, block a little more wind, but for me, not enough to outweigh the appearance, could not see over it comfortably, and maybe blocked a little too much wind.
- Blocks a little more wind
- Did not like the appearance
- Did not like having too much wind blocked
- Medium tint made it look more like a bolted-on windshield as opposed to the dark tint which looked like it was an intentional part of the bike.
I took the protective coating off the 12-inch Freedom Touring shield, hit it with the Plexus and installed it. Looks good, and from the initial test, works well. If it ever stops fricken raining I’ll give it a much, much longer test. Will it be the only shield I own?
Probably, barring I get past the way the Madstad looks. I have read great reviews about them, but just cant get passed their appearance. However, I also used to say that about the Road Glide shark-nose fairings, too and now I have one. For now, the more traditional looking Freedom 12 inch does the job I want it too and looks good doing it.
Good luck in your search for the perfect windshield.
Pics are below.
In the group pic on the left is the 12 inch Freedom in front, Stock to the left of it, with the 13 Freedom dark smoke behind stock. On the right of the Freedom 12 is the 14 Klockwerks and the Freedom 13 medium smoke behind it. The group pic on the right has Stock first, Freedom 12 behind, Klockwerks 14 next followed by the Freedom 13s.