Have you ever wondered what causes motorcycle windshield buffeting?
Windshield buffeting occurs when motorcycles with windshields are at freeway speed; The windshield pushes the wind from the rider. The vacuum created by this is filled with air streams that are not consistent and cause Windshield Buffeting.
To Stop motorcycle windshield buffeting is a tough job. You’d have to adjust different equipment in your bike until you get a perfect riding experience. If you fail to do so, your body can get stiff from constant buffeting.
To help you with wind buffeting, we’ve jotted down some methods to stop it.
Different Methods to Stop Motorcycle Windshield Buffeting
Adjusting The Height of The Windshield
The first main reason that can cause motorcycle windshield buffeting is the windshield itself. If you haven’t adjusted it to your riding height, the size of the windshield becomes irrelevant. It will cause buffeting. If the wind is hitting the helmet from underneath, it can cause the helmet to move around.
The solution to this is to get the wind to go over your helmet. Whereas if you have a motorcycle or sportbike with a smaller Windshield, it should pass underneath the helmet.
What you need to do is to adjust the windshield’s height. If the windshield that came with your bike is not suitable, then you’d have to get one from the aftermarket. The goal here is to let the wind pass over your helmet to stop motorcycle windshield buffeting.
Choosing The Correct Windshield
When you’re dealing with wind buffeting, you can’t just go to the market and get the first windshield you see. You’ll have to go through different windshields and find the suitable one.
The windshield should be made of a stronger material and should not bend when facing high wind resistance. This way, you’ll have constant wind resistance, and you won’t have to face different wind buffeting pressures.
Another thing is the height of the windshield. There are two height settings for windshields. It can be either as high as your nose or as high as your shoulders. But It shouldn’t be as high as to block your view if it gets dusty. There’s a trick to check the size. When sitting on your bike, it should be as high as your nose.
Properly Installing the Windshield:
The windshield is there to save you from wind resistance. But if the windshield is not installed correctly, say a few screws were left loose by mistake. That can change your riding experience on the freeway. And if you installed it to reduce the wind buffeting, it’ll end up increasing that.
The main purpose of the windshield is to change the airflow for your motor. It cuts through the air and removes the air resistance you face directly.
If the windshield is not installed correctly, then it’ll fail to do its job of reducing wind buffeting.
Will Windshield Spoilers Work?
Considering the height of the windshield when trying to stop motorcycle windshield buffeting is important. That’s why it’s necessary to get one that is at the right height.
If you don’t want to invest in a new windshield, windshield spoilers will do the trick. These spoilers, like car spoilers, are an add-on to the windshield. They’ll increase the overall height of the windshield. And the good news is that they come in different sizes, and most of them are adjustable. They hold onto the windshield with the help of two clamps.
Once installed, you can adjust the height of these spoilers to your needs.
Enhancing The Air Flow of Windshield:
Even after adjusting the height, the issue persists, and then you’ll have to move on to the next step. That is, to enhance the airflow of the windshield. You’ll have to raise the windshield to provide a gap between the fairing and windshield. A small amount of wind will flow through this gap in the windshield. So, the vacuum generated behind the windshield would be greatly reduced.
Now a question arises, will this affect the riding experience? Well, no, because this gap isn’t big enough to allow a larger amount of wind to pass. It’s just wide enough to stop vacuum generation behind the windshield.
Some newer models can automatically adjust this gap while riding on a freeway. If yours doesn’t, you can manually add spacers to the windshield’s bolts and create a gap.
Keep An Eye on The Lower Portion of The Front Fairing:
Airflow from the bottom of the front fairing or larger windshields can cause problems too. Several riders have noted that this airflow comes up to the chest and then up to the helmet, which causes wind buffeting.
For this, bikers recommend installing Lowers on either side of the bike, just underneath the faring of the windshield. Once the lowers are installed, the airflow will go around your legs instead of going up to your chest.
You can find the lower from many manufacturers in the market. Those from Harley Davidson are known as remarkable. If those don’t fit your model, you can get them from a variety of manufactures in the aftermarket.
Maybe It’s Your Helmet:
The windshield doesn’t always cause the windshield buffeting; your helmet can be the reason. For Example, if you use a sports helmet for your day-to-day usage, you might not face the issue even if you use the windshield at medium height, just over your chest and shoulders.
And if you use a standard helmet, the buffeting can come back. That is because your new helmet will have a different shape than your older one. As a result, its airflow might be completely different and cause buffeting.
When you’re facing wind buffeting with a newer helmet, you’ll have to experiment with the height of the windshield. Oftentimes, it’ll be solved by slightly lowering the windshield if you had it on your shoulder level earlier. The key solution is to purchase a helmet that has good aerodynamics to reduce wind resistance or noise.
Why Even Have a Windshield?
Since the windshield causes buffeting when riding. And buffeting can end up making a 5-mile ride feel like a 50-mile ride; why even use a windshield?
You’re already facing wind buffeting, which isn’t even constant. Why not feel a constant wind resistance from the front side?
The windshield does not only save you from the wind. When on the freeway, there’s dust and bugs. If it weren’t for your windshield, you’d be facing these directly onto your body. If you set the windshield correctly, it’ll greatly reduce the wind resistance and wind buffeting. You’ll have a smooth and tense free ride on the freeway.
Should You Look Through or Over the Windshield?
Although it feels as if you should look through the windshield, but that’s not correct. The correct way would be to look over the windshield. For this, you can set it two ways. Either you can set it so that the tip of the windshield is at your nose level. Or that you can see the ground 50 feet away from you.
At What Wind Speed Should You Not Use a Motorcycle?
Strong winds can put you in danger when riding motorcycles. When riding a motorcycle, 20-30 mph winds cause problems for lightweight motorcycles. Winds that range from 40 mph to 45 mph are considered too much when riding on a heavy bike. When winds get to 50 mph, you shouldn’t ride on a motorcycle.
Do Lowers Help in Wind Buffeting?
The wind buffeting of a bike stops without the need of installing lowers. But if the airflow from your motorcycle tank is causing wind buffeting. Then it’s time to install lowers to stop motorcycle windshield buffeting completely.
What Does Buffeting Mean?
Buffeting means to strike repeatedly onto something. In biker’s language, buffeting means when the wind tries to fill the vacuum created by your bike’s windshield. The wind repeatedly strikes your body while filling it, making it worse for you to control the bike. If you have to feel wind buffeting for a longer period, it’ll make your shoulders feel stiff.
We’ve talked about different aspects of wind buffeting and different ways to fix motorcycle windshield buffeting. We hope one of these methods works for you.
We have also discussed how important it is to adjust the windshield’s height because it’s the one thing that can either create or dissipate the vacuum created behind it.