Triumph Thunderbird 1600 Project Review

Creating New designs is the best part of being co-owner of Clearview Shields. It is a way to really give back something to the industry that has supported Clearview over the last 27 years. Managing Clearview Shields for the last 10 years has taken much of my design time away, which is ironic to me; I thought the addition of employees would provide more time to new designs.

Now with the company running strong and a great production crew in place, I have found that time again. Each new project we now bring to our riding clientele represents the years and years of exposure to the many different makes and models of motorcycles we offer replacements for, not to mention the countless hours of helping thousands of motorcyclists find that perfect windshield.

Our Thunderbird Project is a great representation of what works and what does not work. After test riding John’s cut down 18” Triumph screen, I was amazed at the lack of coverage it provided. It was a constant bombardment of rushing turbulent wind coming from all directions.

As stated in my first Blog, more height choices will need to be created to fill the large gaps between the sizes offered from Triumph. We have sloped the screen back, not only bring the pocket further back behind the rider, but it will allow the recurved top edge to deflect wind at the appropriate angle. We will classify the sizes as Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large with measurements taken vertically as opposed to length.

Just as important as creating the correct height, for many cruisers width can make the ride much more comfortable. As pictured, we have added just under 2” of width to each side. On average the ratio of coverage felt from side enhancement for the rider is 2 to 1 when traveling at speeds of 60 mph. Expect a pocket to increase to under 4” wider on each side. The only change I would consider is broadening the radius of the top section to avoid the narrow or tapered look, while enhancing the coverage.

Venting  can help minimize the low pressure area behind the screen but as we mention in our “Windshield Venting” blog different types of venting will work more effectively than others. To keep some aesthetic appeal to the overall look of the windshield, we opted to omit the cross brace and nest the vent down low.  While this looks a bit more compact, the function of the vent is not as affective due to the low location. For the rider to hear the difference, the vent will need to be higher on the screen.  We will test a new location on the next prototype and open up the cut around the headlight.

Last but not least, we added length to the lower section of the screen, an area that, with many cruiser screens, is left vulnerable to the airstream filling in the pocket from below, which then hits the tank and becomes turbulent around the riders head and upper torso. Losing this part of the design will compromise the complete balance of the pocket, but continues to be the final piece of the design that is being chipped away for the sake of the quick detach function.  As seen in the picture, the slot started as an oval hole and still needs to be opened to allow the hinge forward for removal.

Overall the design of the Triumph Thunderbird 1600 aftermarket windshield has greatly improved the coverage that the stock windshield failed to provide. Road tests of the enhanced changes have made this motorcycle enjoyable for the short distances at speeds of 60 to 70 mph, which means longer tours will become even longer and more enjoyable.  We will be working to make these changes final over the next month.