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  1. #1
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    BatWing windshields: Do they really work ??

    Are they really good for wind protection AND cutting down the turbulance that makes for helmet buffeting ???

    Or are they just the latest "required equipment" for a properly dressed cruiser rider ??
    Don't believe everything that you think.

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  3. #2
    Y2K
    Y2K is offline
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    What's a batwing windshield?
    I have a batwing fairing and it's awesome.

  4. #3
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2K View Post
    What's a batwing windshield?
    I have a batwing fairing and it's awesome.
    Yea, I guess they often are called fairings but in the big scheme of things, I consider them to be just a big windshield with partial lowers.

    Most that I see have a pretty tiny (short) actual windshield part and I think I would want something a little taller.

    I guess the real question is: does it do a good job of deflecting the air that rushes in from the bottom of many shields and causes complaints of "helmet buffeting" ?? I can tell from looking at them that they cut a WIDE swath to the sides.
    Last edited by Easy Rider; 02-06-2013 at 07:50 AM.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  5. #4
    Just Won't Go Away !
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    I assume you are talking about a batwing fairing of the style first made popular on Harley touring models and now found on bikes from other brands.


    A batwing fairing offers many advantages over a windshield. Because the fairing is shaped better instead of just being a slab of plastic sticking up like a sail, it does a much better job of cutting through the air and deflecting it up, down, and to the sides. This not only offers better protection for your chest, arms, shoulders, and hands, but it greatly reduces the buffeting on the handlebars, and the sail effect caused by passing trucks. The inside surface is not an uninterupted smooth surface like with a windshield, so a fairing that fits tightly around the headlight will greatly reduce that helmet buffeting you refer to. The fairing also moves the windshield closer to the rider, further reducing turbulance behind it. Direct wind on the helmet and face depends on how high of a windshield you put on the fairing.
    The fairing also offers the advantage of creating a nice, protected space inside it, allowing for the mounting of speakers, guages, and storage either directly to the fairing or to the handlebars.
    But it is still a bolt-on accessory on a motorcycle, so wind buffeting is not completely eliminated. That's why they sell wind deflectors for them, and lower fairings. For full protection a frame mounted full fairing like that found on a Harley Road Glide offers the best protection. But I found my road glide to be almost unridable in the summer because there was almost no airflow to keep the driver cool. That's why road glides and goldwings have wind deflectors to push air behing the fairing instead of away from it.
    I recently put a batwing on one of my bikes, a C50. If you are curious you can take it for a spin next time you come through town- I owe you lunch anyways for bailing last time. If you come by the house I can use my home made quick release mounts to go from batwing to windshield in less than a minute so you can compare the two.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


  6. #5
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBob View Post
    I recently put a batwing on one of my bikes, a C50. If you are curious you can take it for a spin next time you come through town- I owe you lunch anyways for bailing last time. If you come by the house I can use my home made quick release mounts to go from batwing to windshield in less than a minute so you can compare the two.
    A LOT is happening in my life right now. We are making arrangements to become Fla. residents full time.
    I hope all that will shake out by late spring/early summer so that I can ride to Atl. and spend a few days.
    I'll keep you posted.

    The problem with all of the shields and lowers that I have tried so far is that the lower part is angled the wrong way
    and so it scoops out a big hole in the air instead of deflecting it.
    The Bigshot makes a feeble attempt to correct that at the bottom but it doesn't quite work.....and the lowers are at a fixed, wrong angle too.

    I don't really like the HUGE batwings that I see on most cruisers so I might be shopping for a smaller version; not quite so wide and a little taller.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  7. #6
    Y2K
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    I have the 12" windshield on mine,I might pick up a smaller screen for Summer local riding someday,only takes a minute or two to swap one out.
    I also have the deflector wings attached (comes stock on Classics & Ultras) as well as the wind baffle down in the forks.
    Very little buffeting even at 90mph-110mph.
    I ditched the hard lowers for a set of vinyl covers that snap on the engine guards (crash bars),only use them if I hit foul weather on a big trip and the fit neatly in the sadsdlebags taking up very little space.

  8. #7
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2K View Post
    I have the 12" windshield on mine,
    OK, well if I have to go through all of THAT......I'll just keep the Bigshot that I already have.
    It does a respectable job and doesn't look too bad either.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  9. #8
    Fifth gear streak
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    BatWing windshields: Do they really work ??

    Batwings seem to have become very popular. Must be for a reason.

  10. #9
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterDarker View Post
    Batwings seem to have become very popular. Must be for a reason.
    It could be part of the "uniform".
    Other things have become "very popular" for no better reason.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  11. #10
    Y2K
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Rider View Post
    It could be part of the "uniform".
    Other things have become "very popular" for no better reason.
    Well no,it's because they work.
    All the stuff I listed came stock on my bike except the added deflector wings which are stock on an Ultra,took all of two minutes to screw them on.

    The Batwing has been on Electras since 1975 for a reason and it ain't a fashion statement.

    These little wind deflectors work great.


    The Ultra also has the hard lowers,not hard to take off but I prefer the snap on vinyls.


    Last edited by Y2K; 02-08-2013 at 07:55 AM.

  12. #11
    Fifth gear streak
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    BatWing windshields: Do they really work ??

    Fashions come and go and batwings are currently in vogue. Is it just form or fashion over function? Only by fitting one can you really judge. As Y2K attests; but then if they have been around for 30 years, why have they become seemingly so much more popular right now?
    Last edited by AfterDarker; 02-08-2013 at 07:57 AM.

  13. #12
    Y2K
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterDarker View Post
    Batwings seem to have become very popular. Must be for a reason.
    More popular in Northern states,we get a lot of cold weather and here in Washington a hell of a lot of rain,weather protection is almost a must if you're not a fair weather only rider and when touring cross country you will hit weather any time of year in the US of A somewhere.

  14. #13
    Y2K
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterDarker View Post
    Fashions come and go and batwings are currently in vogue. Is it just form or fashion over function? Only by fitting one can you really judge. As Y2K attests; but then if they have been around for 30 years, why have they become seemingly so much more popular right now?
    Because the aftermarket got into the game producing clones for many different bikes,now it's easy to put one on any cruiser,before one had to adapt a used one from Harley if they could find one.

  15. #14
    Seat Tester
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    Is there any reason why the little lower deflectors are not built into the batwing itself?

    That blue Ultra is my dream bike!

  16. #15
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthiker90 View Post
    Is there any reason why the little lower deflectors are not built into the batwing itself?
    I think there are two reasons and they kind of go hand in hand.
    First and foremost, the deflection angle on the lower part of the shield/fairing is critical for proper air flow........so you don't get that rush of air up immediately behind the shield......that then blows up your nose and tries to tear your helmet off at speed.
    I think it would be hard to maintain the proper angle without hitting the tank.

    A shorter lower mounted at the proper angle is better than a long one at the wrong angle.
    Come to think of it, that often applies to the upper part of the shield too.

    AND......now that we have been assured that the ones that come as "standard equipment" on the big Harleys do, in fact, work really good for basic wind protection just by themselves (I think that's what I heard; that lowers and wings really aren't needed for good basic coverage)...............what about others who have added a batwing to a non-Harley machine ???
    Anybody here done that ??
    Don't believe everything that you think.


 

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