story and photography by Scott Dalgleish
Ever have your Road Glide windshield become a detachable version just when you didn’t expect it? I’ve had the experience of loosened windscreen mounts more than once. This past year’s ride to Laughlin out of Los Angeles turned into an endurance ride on the return home; strong crosswinds and cool temperatures didn’t help.
Factory fasteners never make a tight, rigid connection, and the force of the wind puts pressure along the top of the windshield, causing the bottom of the windshield to work itself out of the holes the wellnuts are trying to hold onto. Because of this action, the taller the windshield and the faster you travel, the more force is applied to the little rubber wellnuts. Add a strong gusting crosswind, and you have the recipe for a detachable windshield.
The problem is the rubber wellnut Harley-Davidson uses to attach the windshield to the fairing. (I don’t know why they don’t attach the windshield in the same manner as the Electra Glide’s.) Since this detachment starts with the
wellnuts closest to the handgrips, I wanted to try something simple and cost effective (read: cheap) to better secure the windshield. Here is what I found works for me.
I found a very small spring-loaded expansion anchor (like the kind you use to put through drywall to hang potted plants) along with matching stainless steel washers and nylock nuts. I used new OE wellnuts in all other mounting locations except for the two holes closest to the handgrips.
I installed the anchor through the hole in the fairing with the machine screw stud attached. I placed a 2-inch strip of electrician’s tape in the windshield across the mounting screw’s slot to hold the stud in place while aligning the windshield to the fairing. Then, I installed the plastic OEM washer to protect the windshield, then the stainless washer followed by the stainless nylock nut. You will need to hold the end of the stud while tightening the nylock to keep the expansion anchor from turning inside the fairing.
I tightened the wellnuts starting in the center, working my way out toward the handgrips, alternating sides. After tightening the nylocks on each of the windshield’s ends to firmly to secure the windshield, I carefully trimmed off the excess stud. The exposed nylock nut can be painted to match the other windshield anchors.