With winter coming on last year I decided I wanted to get a little more protection behind the fairing of my Honda ST1100…build the bubble, so to speak. I could always ride over to the Rifle company here in Atascadero and have them make a 2-inch taller windscreen, but I have been curious about the Laminar Lip Windscreen Extension, which I have heard about and seen in use for many years. This promised to be a reasonable alternative, and I wanted to see how it works. Plus I liked the notion that come warmer weather I could take it off.
Running up the website I read that “Honda ST1100 windscreens are the reason we are in business;” the company began in 1992, two years after the ST1100 came on the market. Obviously somebody thought Honda’s design could be improved upon. Laminar LLC certainly does not use a one-size-fits-all approach, as the company makes different Lips to use in more than 400 applications, all related to size and curve of the stock screen, as well as the intended use—whether it’s basic wind protection, sport, touring, etc. I let my fingers do the dialing and two days later a UPS package arrived, with the Lip inside. It is a long piece of clear, scratch-resistant acrylic, pre-curved to fit the ST, with a length of about 25 inches, a height of 4 inches.
I held it up against the bike, and while its smooth curve was a little more intense than that of the windscreen, it was very flexible. The attachment system is by 3M Dual Locks—3M being perhaps the major glue company in the world. Dual Locks have a ferocious adhesive on one side, a multipronged arrangement on the other, and when you squish two multiprongers together, they stay together until pried apart. With the wife’s help I figured out where I wanted to locate the Lip, which comes with a 4-inch strip of Dual Lock on both ends. The trick is to place three little round (about 3?4-inch in diameter) Dual Locks on both sides of the windscreen to match the placement of the Lip. The kit comes with an Alcohol Prep cleaner to make sure the surface of the windscreen is properly clean, and Laminar recommends 70-degree weather and a 24-hour curing time. I was patient.
Next day I pressed the Lip into place, which was about an inch higher and an inch forward from the windscreen. And I went for a ride. I could immediately note that my “bubble” had expanded, and that the wind was breaking at the top of my helmet, not the bottom—just as I wanted. In all fairness I will say that since I rarely carry a passenger on the back, as Sue rides her own bike, I have no idea what might have happened to back-seat buffeting…but I’m too selfish to care. The aesthetics are admittedly questionable, but since I am a practical rather than a “stylish” rider, I could give two figs about how the Lip looks. It works.
Laminar does warn that these Dual Locks should not be used by those who ride “significantly faster than the speed limit,” but since I generally keep my pace at under 99 mph, that is not a concern. And several thousand miles later the Lip has stayed on just fine. At $84, it is considerably cheaper than a new windscreen.
For more information contact Laminar Lip, 2612 Croddy Way, Unit M, Santa Ana, California 92704; (866) 540-5679; www.laminarlip.com