Windshield Buying Guide for Harleys 2013, Block the Bugs!

By Glenn Zetterquist (Zee331)
Windshield Buying Guide for Harleys 2013, Block the Bugs!

Windshields may not be the sexiest accessory you can add to your motorcycle, but on a long ride (or even a short one in bug country) having a windshield can make your riding less painful and more enjoyable. Bugs, rain, and windburn are just some of the nuisances that make many bikers pull off the road prematurely.

Today we will walk you through the key windshield elements so you can make the best windshield purchase for your particular application.

Motorcycle Windshield Brands You Can Count On             
Kuryakyn Windshields   Memphis Shades Windshields   National Cycle Windshields   WindVest Windshields
Slip Streamer windshields   Klock Werks Windshields   Hondaline Windshields   Star Yamaha Windshields  

Adding a windshield, or at the very least a deflector of sorts, is a great way to eliminate the aforementioned ailments. Some of the biggest names in motorcycle windshields are Memphis Shades, National Cycle, Kuryakyn, Slip Streamer, and Windvest. While all of these brands make great windshields, they each have very key differentiators.

Let’s begin with the top 5 things to think about before making your decision:

  1. Material
  2. Mounting
  3. Size
  4. Style
  5. Fitment / Accessories


There are two or three basic materials used to make motorcycle windshields; acrylic and polycarbonate and Quantum Hard Coated polycarbonate. What’s the difference?


Once you figure out the material that best fits your needs, you must decide how you want to mount your windshield. Do you want the windshield to be quick release or a permanent fixture of your motorcycle? When it comes to quick release, here are the three most popular options:

  1. Acrylic is lighter and less expensive but has the tendency to scratch easier. Memphis Shades, Windvest, and Slips Streamer are great examples of acrylic windshields.
  2. National Cycle was an industry innovator with the Switchblade Mounting System. This is sleek fork mounted stainless steel spool system which allows you to swap 2up, Chopped, Shorty, or Deflector windshields on and off your bike in "seconds!"
  3. Memphis Shades offers fork / triple tree mounting options with their trigger lock mounting kits. These kits polished aluminum kits allow you to purchase additional side plates (polished or black) that allow you to run any of the following: Fats / Slims windshield, Batwing, Bullet, or Gauntlet Fairings.
  4. Kuryakyn offers AirMaster quick release mounting kits which merge some of the best features of the two mounting kits above.


Okay... now to the meat. What size or style of windshield is the perfect for you? It really is pretty simple, but the first thing to remember is that size is more than just windshield height. Key measurements or dimensions to take or at least think about are:

  • Height: from the bottom of windshield (or headlight cut-out) to the top of windshield.
    -The perfect height is between your nose and upper lip. Then stretch out your arm to determine the proper distance from you.
  • Width: Side to side of the windshield at its widest point.
  • Headlight Cut-out: Side to side of your headlight
  • You should also look at width, around the headlight, down over the forks.

If you still feel that your eyes or face are getting too much wind Cruiser Customizing recommends considering goggles or a full face helmet. The new Bell Helmets Bell Rogue Open Face Street Helmet also provides better face protection without actually being a full face helmet.


Okay... so most windshields are not the sexiest looking accessory... but what style suits your fancy? Here are a few of the most common styles from bigger to smaller:


Now you are almost there! You have now figured out the perfect style, material, and mounting option for your specific application. Now hold your horses, we're not done yet! Are you running an aftermarket lightbar, headlight, handlebar, risers, fork covers... or any other item that has the possibility of interfering with windshield fitment? If so, call a Cruiser Customizing professional at 1-888-857-5417 to examine your options.


  • Lowers: If after your windshield installation you notice a bit of head / helmet buffeting when on the freeway, you will need to purchase windshield lowers. Often times lowers are brand specific, so choose lowers that not only are specified to fit your motorcycle make / model, but also the brand of windshield you have mounted.
  • Rain Zip: Do you want an anti-fog coating which will literally repel or shed water off of
    your shield? Rain zip is the product for you!

Thank you for checking out this Cruiser Customizing Windshield Buying Guide. You can find all of the products mentioned above at and can get detailed help by calling our windshield professionals at 1-888-857-5417.

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