Review by Buzz Buzzelli
[This Sportech Cruise Series Motorcycle Windshield Review was originally published in American Rider magazine]
We Harley riders can be awfully picky about what looks good on our rides, and we’re especially finicky about what we choose to bolt onto them. When it comes to windscreens, many riders prefer a quickly detachable shield that’s easily doffed for cruising around town. The Sportech Cruise Series motorcycle windshields fit this requirement nicely.
Visually, the Sportech is as clean a setup as you’ll find. The shield has no crossmembers or other bracketry, and the mounting system is the picture of simplicity. The Sportech uses a pair of handlebar clamps as mounting points, with a set of stainless-steel Y-shaped brackets that slide snugly into slots in the handlebar brackets, which have a spring-loaded ball bearing retaining device. The shield, along with its brackets, can be slid on and off without any tools.
The windshield itself is molded from Lexan polycarbonate, a material much stronger than acrylic. A GE FMR hard coating—the same coating used on OEM windshields—provides tough abrasion resistance. The Sportech company is so confident in the durability of this material that it offers a lifetime warranty against cracks and breakage.
Mounting the Sportech is a no-brainer. After laying out the parts and reviewing the instructions, which are very clear and complete, it took about five minutes to mount the brackets to the shield, and maybe another five minutes to position and attach the clamps. The only tools required are a 1/8-inch Allen wrench and a 1/2-inch wrench or socket (a ratcheting socket wrench speeds installation).
The Sportech screen weighs very little compared to stock Harley-Davidson shields that have metal cross supports. The top edge of the windscreen has a curved lip to help deflect air over the rider’s head. Visibility through the shield is clear and undistorted except for a narrow sliver at the top caused by the air-deflector curvature. Riders who are 5-feet-9 should find that the top of this Mid shield lies just below the line of sight; shorter riders will likely be looking through the shield’s distorted area.
The height can be adjusted slightly by rotating the shield forward or backward, although this also affects airflow. When rotated forward it allows more air to dump in ahead of the rider, increasing turbulence. After trying several positions, I found that angling it parallel to the fork angle minimized wind buffeting.
Although the mounts are a slip-on design, installing and removing the shield takes some force. After several tries I learned the technique of wriggling and jiggling the brackets’ forks onto and off of the slotted clamps.
Sportech windshields are available in three sizes: Low, which is 15 inches tall by 14 inches wide and has a flat bottom edge and no headlamp cut-out (MSRP $289.00); Mid, a 20-inch model that we installed on a Dyna Super Glide ($379.00); and High, measuring 22 inches tall and 22 inches wide ($399). Tints are available for the Low ($10.00 additional charge) and Mid ($20.00 additional). A 1-1/4-inch handlebar bracket is also offered.
For further information call 763-712-3965 or log onto www.sportechinc.com.