The windscreen on our long-term Yamaha Ténéré 700 not only complements the bike’s rally styling but works quite well for a stock bug catcher. Still, I felt that comfort for long highway stretches could be improved. My priorities for an upgrade were reducing wind noise and buffeting, retaining the bike’s good looks and durability. Having enjoyed a National Cycle screen on a previous motorcycle, I gave its VStream Sport model ($129.95, light tint) a go.
The shortest of three Ténéré windscreens offered, the Sport measures 12 inches from top to bottom, just an inch more than the stocker and low enough for adventuring. Calming the cockpit requires moving wind blast to the sides and away from the rider’s head. To accomplish this, the VStream is 4 inches wider than stock and incorporates side flares as part of its patented shape. I think they’re onto something, at least for a rider of my 5-foot, 8-inch stature. My freeway rides were definitely quieter, with less turbulence around my helmet; your decibels may vary. Taller riders can opt for the 15.25-inch Sport/Touring ($149.95, light tint) or 18-inch Touring ($159.95, clear) versions.
National Cycle’s proprietary 3-mm-thick Quantum hardcoated polycarbonate addresses durability issues. They’ve tested it to be 10 times more abrasion resistant than the next best material, Lexan FMR, and invite doubters to attack it with steel wool. So I did, also going after the Yamaha’s Lexan screen. With some hard work, I put a few small scratches in the VStream, and with much less effort did serious damage to the stock unit. A harder surface keeps the view clean and crisp by preventing light-scattering scratches and lets me slack off on my persnickety shield cleaning routine. National Cycle’s website video of a screen taking a shotgun blast vividly displays its polycarbonate’s impact resistance (spoiler: it didn’t break), making the 3-year breakage warranty a safe bet.
Installing the VStream on the T7 was as simple as removing four 4mm hex-head screws, swapping screens and re-installing the screws. The width of the Sport takes something from the 700’s rally vibe, but what it gives back in durability and comfort make it worth the sacrifice for me. Having made windshields since 1937 and pioneered the use of polycarbonate in 1975, National Cycle knows how to build a good windscreen. And they do it in the U.S.A.
For more information, visit nationalcycle.com