...With Long Ride Shields
WORDS: Jordan Mastagni
PHOTO: Jordan Mastagni
Windshields in the bagger market are like opinions. Everyone’s got one! Try searching the catalogs, dealerships, or online, and you can end up more frustrated than before you started since there are so many different screens available.
In the never-ending quest to find the perfect windshield, we stumbled across Long Ride Shields (LRS) and decided to give it a try for two of the most popular Harley baggers on the market today, the Road King and the Street Glide. Obviously, these two models are very different so two different types of shields were required; the Road King needs to mount via brackets of some sort, and the Street Glide windscreen mounts directly to the batwing fairing. LRS carries a wide range of shields for all motorcycle applications.
We decided on the Thunderbolt for the King, which falls into LRS’s universal category. The Thunderbolt mounts to the handlebar without much effort and comes with black or chrome hardware (we chose chrome to match the King’s chromed look) and offered in a variety of tints: dark, medium, or light tint, and of course, clear. We went with the dark tint Thunderbolt because our rider likes to ride with a full-face helmet and doesn’t like wearing sunglasses underneath his lid.
For the Street Glide, LRS offers a variety of windscreen heights for varying riders’ needs and dimensions. Our rider was looking for something to cure the dreaded wind-buffeting because he was complaining of headaches after a few hours on the road, James from LRS recommended the Ultra because of its curved upper lip at the top of the screen, which redirects the wind in more of an up-and-over manner. Also, our Street Glide owner complained that the screen he’s been using was too dark and he had trouble seeing at night, so he went the opposite route with a clear shield instead.
According to LRS, its shields are constructed of Impact Modified Acrylic (IMA), which is made by adding butyrate to acrylic and significantly improves its impact strength. IMA has moderate scratch resistance because of its relative hardness and is a good choice for windshields since scratches can be buffed out. Long Ride Shields will soon be offering a full line of polycarbonate windshields.
01 Here sit the two lonely baggers looking for a wind-deflection upgrade. The King didn’t have a windshield and the Street Glide’s shield wasn’t adequate for its rider.
02 The clear Ultra windshield (left) is made of durable Impact Modified Acrylic, which is scratch-resistant due to its hardness and it’s also durable and protects you from the elements/debris out on the road. The Ultra is curved up top to redirect wind flow up and over reducing buffeting when traveling at highway speeds. The Thunderbolt windscreen (right) is universal and its quick-release design makes removing/installing it a snap. The Thunderbolt is available with chrome or matte-black hardware and this specific model’s tint is dark enough to protect from the harmful rays of the sun come sunset/sunrise.
03 & 04 The Thunderbolt is easily installed in moments by removing the four Allen bolts from the chrome hardware that’s attached to the back of the shield.
05 Once the bolts were removed, we installed the Thunderbolt to the Road King’s handlebar, which mated to the 1-1/4-inch handlebar perfectly.
06 One last snug of the bolts holding the shield in place and installation was complete.
07 As you can see the Thunderbolt fits the handlebars nicely and doesn’t look awkward at all like some of the other universal shields on the market.
08 & 09 Moving on to the Ultra windshield, installation was a no-brainer. We simply removed the three bolts holding the previous shield to the batwing fairing and removed it.
10 After wiping down the crud that’s worked its way into the crevices over the years we mounted the new Ultra windshield in place.
11 The Ultra fits the batwing fairing nicely and provides that lip at the top to redirect the flow of wind to resist wind-buffeting at highway speeds.
12 The two baggers have now been updated with some serious wind-deflection hardware. After installation was complete, we took the bikes out for a spin and found the Thunderbolt blocked wind just enough while still providing a nice breeze with our helmet visor up. It also kept the sun at bay while riding directly into its harsh rays. The Ultra’s flared tip was just what the buffeting doctor ordered. We can report that it almost eliminated the annoyance at highway speeds for our rider’s 5-foot-10-inch frame. Check out the Long Ride Shields website for a screen to fit your needs. They got you covered.
LONG RIDE SHIELDS