National Cycle Vstream Tall Touring Windscreen for Ducati Multistrada Review

[This National Cycle Vstream Tall Touring Windscreen for Ducati Multistrada review was originally published in the August 2011 issue of Rider magazine]

National Cycle Windscreen for Ducati MultistradaIt is no easy task to build a “better” motorcycle windscreen, as lots of variable come into play. In the case of the stock Ducati Multistrada 1200 ’screen, however, there’s lots of room for improvement. It is too small for long-distance riding and creates lots of noise. Since many Multistradisti like to go traveling, National Cycle created a good touring ’screen for them as an addition to its substantial new Vstream line for touring and sport-touring bikes.

A measuring tape shows that the stock Multistrada windscreen is 20 inches tall, the National Cycle Vstream Tall Touring, 22.5 inches. And while the maximum curved width on the stocker is 14 inches, the Touring is 19 inches. These figures alone mean a lot more wind is going to be deflected away from the rider, and the inverted V design of the Vstream enhances the effect. If you don’t need quite as much protection, National Cycle also offers lightly tinted 19.5- and darkly tinted 17.5-inch-tall Vstream ’screens for the Multi.

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The stock windscreen uses a three-point attachment system, mounted on a sliding adjuster that gives another 3 inches of extra height. Hand-tighteners allow adjustments to be made in a couple of seconds—when stopped, please. While the stocker fits flush against the three points on the slider, the National Cycle attachment system tilts the windscreen away from the rider the better part of an inch, using what it calls Standoffs in the five-minute installation. These stand the ’screen a little straighter up.

So National Cycle’s bigger ’screen blocks more wind, but that is only part of the aerodynamic equation. What happens when the wind spins around the sides of the ’screen? Does it create a quiet space? Or buffeting to the rider? This is all quite subjective, as I am 6-foot, 3-inches tall with a longish torso and arms, so that seats me in a specific way. For me, the new windscreen worked marvelously, creating a nice buffet-free pocket. Keeping the windscreen in the lower position kept the wind off my chest and shoulders, while allowing a smooth flow over my helmet—the way I like it to be. Fully raised, shorter riders on staff report that the ’screen makes life so quiet you almost don’t need ear plugs, and the top is still below line-of-sight. It does bounce a bit on rougher roads on this bike, which has a somewhat flexible upper fairing, but if this bothers you just lower it till you’re back on smoother highway.

I rode with the stock ’screen about 150 miles, and the Vstream about 400—and much appreciated the latter. At 85 mph (rural highway speeds here in California) I was much more comfortable. As a traveling man, I found the stock Ducati ’screen a bit too small for my taste, with the National Cycle Tall Touring protecting me a lot better. The N20500 is made of a DOT-approved, hard-coated Lexan polycarbonate, and comes with the company’s “3-Year Unbreakable Warranty.” Price tag is $214.95, and if anyone is planning a 10,000-mile trip on a Multistrada, it is definitely worth the money.

For more information: Contact National Cycle at (708) 343-0400

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