Clearview Shields has been manufacturing replacement windshields for the Harley Davidson FHLT since1994, starting with the earlier model 1985 Bat wing Fairings and working our way up to the New 2014. We have learned much through designing, manufacturing, and installing these windshields on countless numbers of motorcycles through shop visits by locals, on the road at Rallies across the country, and most importantly, sponsoring many, well-known long distance riding competitors. Each time we listen, take notes, and improve past designs to bring new ideas and products to your Electra Glide, Street Glide, and now Limited.
This Design Blog will lay out the current improvements we have brought to the 2014 models and will soon bring to the 1996 – 2013 models. We always welcome input and questions from motorcyclists because your feedback is key to making each new design a success. Twenty eight years in the industry would not be possible if we ignored the rider. After reading this Design Blog, if you have questions or input please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be happy to respond.
One thing that we learned during the early years of product development through studying the dynamic of a motorcycle in a Wind Tunnel first hand is that there will never really be a “Capsule” to enclose the rider and allow the air to stream over the top and around the sides and bottom of the rider. I believe the definition of that shape would change the vehicle to be classified as a car. The best thing to keep tabs on is what we like to call the deflection angle. Stack the angle too steep and the airstream shoots up and stalls falling back towards the rider in a cluster of turbulence and buffeting. Bring the angle too low and the airstream accelerates closing the pocket usually around the body of the rider. While this is less turbulent, the blast over long periods of time is exhausting.
With our New 2014 FLHT replacement options we have adjusted the angle of slope to not only lessen back pressure caused from a steep angle but we have moved the whole pocket further behind the rider while still reshaping the top section to get the airstream effectively over your head while allowing a Clear View of the road. We also designed our ReCurve shape to transition through a longer stretch of material. This allows smoother changes to the direction of the airstream while reducing optic distortion.
A thing or two we have learned after installing countless numbers of screens is that thicker really is not better when dealing with FLHT. With the exception of the early models that just mounted between two chrome strips, the Electra Glide fairings have been designed with a certain tolerance of thickness between the outer and inner fairings. Windshield Bags push this tolerance, but adding more to the screens thickness can over exaggerate an already stressed situation and is not needed unless the material used is not within DOT standards.
Clearview Shields uses a quality High Impact Plastic that exceeds DOT and does not need to be thicker than stock. Our material also holds the best optics in the industry keeping your view through the screen unmatched when the need may arrive. Clearview also “Cool Cuts” each screen, maintaining a low heat during the early stages of fabrication. This means no laser cutting or extreme polishing of outer edges which can extract moisture from the material causing stress fracturing and crazing over time.
Thinking Outside the Box
The one shape that will never come to mind when talking about an effective aerodynamic design is a box.
Mother Nature gives us queues of smooth flowing shapes: a rain drop sculpted by air as it finds the fastest route to earth or a river rock carved by water 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Clearview Shields will keep smooth flowing lines a part of their windshield design whenever possible. The concept of keeping the shape of all of our FLHT replacements rounded and flowing creates the smoothest stream of air around the rider.
With this new shape, simple length references to determine height become somewhat obsolete. The slope back towards the rider would not give an accurate comparison when matching length of the stock screen. Instead Clearview suggests to measure vertically when determining the correct height. Start with the ‘Off” designation on the switch then measure up to the top edge.
Coming Soon in Mid-December: Tour X-Large 19″
Clearview Shields is excited about our new 2014 Street Glide, Electra Glide and Limited Replacement options
And we are sure you will be too.
Optimal performance without the distortion makes a quality Clearview Shield.
American Made Products for the American rider, proud to be serving the industry for another 28 years.
Over the next 6 months Clearview Shields will be distributing Demo Heights of all four sizes for rider test drives at dealerships across the country. Please contact Clearview and let us know what Dealership you do business with and would like to see our products in and continually check our website for a dealership near you.