Clearview Shields initially started as Oliver Plastics in 1977.Oliver Plastics manufactured bar mounted motorcycle windshields which were eventually used for Denver police department’s mall patrol back in the early 80’s. Owner and operator Jim Oliver designed the two piece windscreen (one large lower section with a upper screen mounted midway) as a customizable unit designed to fit different height mall patrol riders. Seeking retirement he sold his business to a Plastics fabricator who changed the name to Clearview Shields in 1984. In 1986 Owner Andre Roy Sold Clearview Shields and passed Jim Oliver’s designs and equipment to one of its current owners, Craig Stenger, a budding young man only 18 years of age no more than a few months out of high school. True I had never even rode a motorcycle until 6 months after buying the business, but with the financial, physical and mental help of my now lovely wife Tonya, we managed to build a very successful motorcycle windshield manufacturing firm that after 27 years is known worldwide for high quality and unique replacement motorcycle windshields. I have to admit our first plan was to run the business long enough to fund our college educations, but with coaching on fabrication from the previous owner and my wife receiving instruction on how to keep solid books from my then entrepreneurial grandma the reality sunk in… THIS WAS OUR COLLEGE EDUCATION!!
Two years after our purchase, Tonya and I were married. Growing the business was our primary goal. We worked other jobs at night, Clearview Shields during the days and spent the rest of our extra free time (weekends) researching and creating mailing lists for the business. Back then the library was the only true resource. Now that I think about it I don’t believe we have stepped into a library now for at least 15 years!
Later in 1988 Clearview Shields received our first break. Hearing about the halt of production at Vetter Corporation, we managed to get on the Vetter Corps referral list and began manufacturing and distributing Vetter’s replacement windshields to Dealerships across the country, covering all of their fairing lines. Our Dealer network grew and the business took off showing revenues soaring over that of previous years. Now we both knew that we can make Clearview Shields work. Ironically we purchased our first major Touring bike (a Honda GL1000) with non-other than a Vetter Windjammer fairing attached.
1991 arrived and so did our first child Brandon, now graduating Clearview Shields to Family owned business. Early 1994 and we had our second boy Ryan. During the whole course of operating Clearview Shields and raising a family we never had to take our kids to day care, we just always brought them to work
I always applied myself to truly helping the rider. Designing enhanced motorcycle windshields tailored to their bikes. I found that working directly with motorcyclist was the best part of the business. To pursue more of a background in design and increase my knowledge of flow dynamics, I spent many weekends at the Wind Engineering and Fluids Laboratory (WEFL) at Colorado State University. With the help of some faculty and other students I learned more about air flow and how different shapes influence the airstream. Motorcycles are the most difficult to design for. The key really, is to know the correct angles and their relationship to the rider. Each motorcycle with the accompanying fairing produced it’s own new dynamic to producing effective comfortable airflows for the rider. On top of that each rider has a different body style and a different expectation of what they want from their motorcycle windshield and the ride. Every new design challenge further increased my understanding of the ergonomics of Motorcycling.
As a family we all grew to enjoy Colorado and the different motorsport riding it provided. The family attended many motorcycle shows and Vending at even more. The boys were always with us at these events and outings while they were growing up. Ryan has helped at many rallies not only attending to customer questions but installing screens on site. The family pets could even be seen laying at a booth from time to time…… (when grass was provided).
Now the oldest Brandon, has recently graduated from the Air force Academy as a second lieutenant and his brother Ryan soon will be graduating Lincoln College with his Master ASE in Automotive mechanics, both pursuing directions that will take them to new and greater things.
Clearview Shields is still run on family values. We have a large production crew that believes in manufacturing only quality products for you the rider. You can still find Tonya and I working the booth at Sturgis (now in our 6th year) for years to come as well as many new shows we will be adding for 2014. We work every year at bringing unique designs for current and New model motorcycles not limiting ourselves and our customer to just a few models and expanding our knowledge of how a motorcycle windshield can be one of the best changes a rider can make to improve the quality of their riding experience and not just the looks of the bike! We will always be a manufacturing company first. This is one thing that I vowed at the beginning. Keeping a close eye on all areas of windshield production and keeping all production within our facility.