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Discussion Starter #1
I know this subject has just about been done to death here, but I'm hoping to cover some new territory.

About four weeks back, I bought a Givi windscreen for my 400. It was love at first ride! All of the things I liked least about scooter-riding-- wind blast on my head and hands, noise, turbulence-- were gone in an instant. I never had it so good! Immediately, I began planning to pretty much park my truck for the summer, and use the scoot almost exclusively (including several long trips).

Now, I knew that rain was a potential problem with any windscreen that a rider looks through instead of over. I'm tall enough in the saddle that I can _almost_ look over the Givi; indeed I _can_ just barely look over it, at maximum stretch, so long as I'm not going downhill. So, after many hours of web-searching, I bought a product intended for aircraft canopies that was supposed to act much like Rain-X (which is of course not intended for plastic) but is claimed to be safe on all plastic windscreens. I figured that there was at least a good chance that I'd be able to see OK, using this stuff.

Wrong!

When it begins to rain, the raindrops appear almost to _adhere_ to the windscreen, much like they did with the untreated stock unit. After careful consideration, I've pretty decided (with a sick feeling in my stomach) that this "stickiness" is due not to a lack of slipperiness on the part of the plexiglass, but rather to the fact that the windscreen is a laminar-flow design, meaning that a boundary air layer is trapped right up against the plexiglass and does not move. Thus, no matter what Rain-X-like product I might use, the drops are not going anywhere, because no air is pushing them anywhere.

(By the way, if my theory about what is happening is wrong I'd be very grateful if someone were to tell me. It's pure supposition based on observation.)

My next thought was to cut the Givi down. So, I took a nice little ride tonight on the highway, and as I rode down the road at high speed I carefully raised my head to various heights, trying to see how high I could go without getting buffeting and wind noise. The answer, sadly, is about a quarter inch, with the noise growing severe at half an inch. Meanwhile, in order to look over the Givi as opposed to through it, I need to whack at least an inch and more likely two. Thus, at this point, I feel that I might be better served putting the cursed factory windscreen back on rather than cutting the Givi down.

<sigh>.

I really, really don't understand two things here. One is why motorbikes don't have windshield wipers as standard safety gear. (During my rain test-ride, I was so seriously blinded that had I been in traffic, I feel it is likely that I would have been in an accident. Which of course is why I chose to test-ride at 2AM in the first place, but that's another story for another day.) Even more, I do't understand why no one makes an aftermarket wiper unit. It seems to me that it would be fairly easy to design a fast-spinning clear disc powered either by wind or a little rechargeable-battery motor. The whole thing could stick on the outside with a suction cup. This would remove rain via centrifigal force, as is done on large ships. Or, alternately, a removable wiper-arm could clip onto the top of a windscreen. Or, even a set of spinning wiper blades that clears a circle could be set up. With so many reasonable-sounding alternatives, why hasn't anyone done this yet? You wouldn't have to clear a very large area, after all, to make things far better than they are. Or _have_ they made such a thing, and I just can't find the product?

The second thing I can't understand is why on God's green earth _anyone_ would design a windscreen utilizing laminar flow, knowing full well that in so doing they would be creating a situation where rain and dirt are not "brushed" away by the slipstream. Doesn't it ever rain in Tokyo? I mean, what conceivable advantage is laminar flow anyway, save for a tiny bit of drag reduction? There's other factors in the rider's universe besides aerodynamic drag to consider, you know! Lots of them!

<sigh again>

Somebody's sure to suggest the Clearview if I don't beat them to it. So far as I know, the Clearview's are laminar-flow as well. And, I suspect, I will have to go as tall with one of those as my current Givi to get the nice peaceful ride I so covet. Worst of all, the last I heard Clearview wasn't even _close_ to ready to put a 400 windscreen into production; about a month back, they had not even created the mold yet. While in the long run I might give these guys a try, I need something _now_.

In my short time on this forum, I've learned an incredible amount. I've nothing but the highest respect for both the intelligence and many years of riding experience to be found here. So, I'm kinda throwing this whole subject open for comments. Be advised, however, that I'm not handy with tools at all. I need to _buy_ a solution. Changing the windshield was about the limit of my technical competence, and even then I managed to only be able to reinstall five screws. :)

Thanks in advance!
 

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Excellent and well written post. I don't have answers to most of your questions but just wanted to set forth 2 items.

1. I just received my new Clearview a couple of weeks ago and to my surprise, the instructions that came with it say Rain X is ok to use on it. I know I've read in many posts not to do that so, the fact it was recommended really struck me.

2. I was one of those "I want to look thru the shield, not over it" guys even tho' the common wisdom is you should be able to look over a shield in case of rain and such. One day I turned into the long driveway up to my work and the temp must have been just right and that, combined with all the wet grass along the driveway instantly turned my shield into a foggy mess. It was absolutely opaque. I managed to stop ok but it scared the heck out of me and I kept thinking what if it had happened on the interstate or in the middle of a turn. So, I cut it down to where I just look over it when I sit absolutely up straight. So now I can slouch and look thru it or up straight and look over it. The helmet buffeting is a bit more with the shorter shield but it's better than getting into an accident.

My .02
 

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When everyone says "cut them down" How are you safely cutting the plastic to get a smooth edge? No cracking etc.
Thanks
 

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I think rigging up a little wiper motor with a wiper is a great idea! Where I live, though, the rain only affects my ride a few days a year. So I'd prefer a wiper unit that could snap-on and quickly come off.

The burgman seat is what I think could have the most effect on rainy-day rides. Because of the butt-rest, I can't slide back. On my old scooter I could slide back and duck down just enough to get within the rain/air-bubble and still see over the top edge of the shield. The Burgman seat plants me in one spot and forces me to accept my relationship with the shield as-is.

Another option might be to design some sort of clear veining to apply to the front of the shield. It would direct airflow in a way that would push rain off the edge. Of course you'd need access to a wind tunnel to design it.

Lastly, if the rain is constant enough to prevent you from seeing, then stopping is what you should do. Even in my cars I've encountered serious rain that reduced visibility to 0. Only fools proceeded on those nights. Forunately, those rains never lasted long and I could proceed again shortly.
 

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Lckdragon said:
How are you safely cutting the plastic to get a smooth edge? No cracking etc.
I've cut both plexiglass and lexan with a jigsaw and a bandsaw. Be sure you cover the shield with masking tape to keep from scratching it. You also need to go slow and allow the blade to cut thru rather than melt it's way thru. If the surface edge is too rough, just sand it down.
 

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4DThinker said:
Another option might be to design some sort of clear veining to apply to the front of the shield. It would direct airflow in a way that would push rain off the edge. Of course you'd need access to a wind tunnel to design it.
Or just some trial and error. :wink: As I often ride in the rain it might be worth testing.
 

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Wouldn't a windshield wiper setup end up scratching the shield ? The plastic is pretty soft.

I've cut a couple of shields down. Easiest way is to leave it on the bike, put a strip of masking tape about 2" wide where you want to cut and draw a line on the masking tape where you want to cut. Use a jig saw and if possible, have someone (very careful here!) hold the top of the shield while you cut. By keeping the bottom of the shield on the bike and holding the top, the shield doesn't vibrate much. Go slow and it's very easy. Sand the edge to smooth it out.
 

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I've run into the same rain problems with my Givi. I originally had the factory shield plus the "Laminar Lip" to help with wind flow. It was very effective and I could see over the shield just fine. This past fall I upgraded to the Givi because I wanted hand protection and the screen was nearly the same cost as the hand shields that Suzuki offers.

I love the Givi, but rain has posed a problem. I now keep a small camping pillow in my trunk that I sit on when it rains. This gives me the boost I need to see over the screen when it's raining without needing to cut the screen down.
 

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Bill wrote
I've cut both plexiglass and lexan with a jigsaw and a bandsaw. Be sure you cover the shield with masking tape to keep from scratching it. You also need to go slow and allow the blade to cut thru rather than melt it's way thru. If the surface edge is too rough, just sand it down.
Just wanted to add a fine blade even a metal cutting blade will work best.
Slow and easy, it's not hard to do a professional looking job.
 

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My solution was to have my Givi windscreen cut down at a plastic shop so I can see over the top of it without a body stretch. That worked out fine until I got caught in a rainstorm and couldn’t see through the windscreen for all the rain and the road water being blown on my windscreen by vehicles passing me. I was not very happy when I stuck my head above and around the windscreen as the rain was hitting my face at 50 to 60 mph and that hurt. I returned home and the next morning went to the Motorcycle shop and purchased a full face helmet something that I had been avoiding as I liked my ¾ helmet. I thought that I would feel caged in by a full-face helmet, I was wrong. Two days ago I was returning from Victoria and got caught in some rain, no problem with the full-face helmet.

I purchased a KBC FF_R Sport-Modular helmet http://www.kbc-helmet.com/kbcbbs/zboard.php?id=street

What I like about this helmet is the flip up face and the multi adjustments for the visor. You can ride very comfortably with the face up if you want lots of wind in your face. The ventilation system is very good as there is very good airflow with the face down and the visor down.

My wife and I plan on doing a fair amount of touring once I get delivery of my 650A and I don’t want to have to stop my ride every time it showers or rains so, for us it’s full face helmets. We live on the west coast and in the result have to live with rain through the year
 

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That's a cool brain bucket Al! Thanks!
 

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Just a few thoughts.

While a windsheild wiper is a cool idea, it was mentioned earlier that the plastic would scratch quickly. I'd think - very quickly - and with the amount of road grime/bugs we get, quicker still.

I do a lot of riding at night, but if the humidity is high, I fugure I'm just better off driving. I've had situations where (I also look through the shield) both the shield and my helmet shield fogged and would not clear. The only thing to do was to raise the visor shield and stand to look over the windshield. Even then, my glasses fogged up real bad, but at least it was only one fogged item to look through, rather than three.

I wouldn't have recommended making your test at night either. Sometimes I enjoy riding in the rain. Unless it's a terribly hard rain or drizzle in heavy traffic, it's generally tolerable. But I try never to ride in the rain at night. With the already limited visibility, that's really asking for trouble.

Steve
 

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alburg said:
I purchased a KBC FF_R Sport-Modular helmet
Very nice looking helmet Al. Mind me asking what you gave for it and where it was purchased?
 

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wasions said:
I've had situations where (I also look through the shield) both the shield and my helmet shield fogged and would not clear. The only thing to do was to raise the visor shield and stand to look over the windshield. Even then, my glasses fogged up real bad, but at least it was only one fogged item to look through, rather than three.
Steve,

You might want to try out the FogTech stuff LR reviewed here :

http://burgmanusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4068

I thought this same stuff might work on the Givi since it forces moisture to spread evenly over the plastic's surface. I'm going to contact Gene at FogTech and see what he has to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone for their replies!

Living in the wet Southeast and working night shift is a combination that pretty much makes night-riding in the rain inevitable, if I am to ride very much at all. Plus, when I take long trips I have very definite schedule goals that I need to meet in order to get back to work on time and keep my job. This is probably why I'm being so picky about the issue. I recognize the danger, and realize that I need to get things _right_.

(Though I'll note in passing that I never had any visibility trouble doing this with the factory screen)

The softness of the windscreen material vis-a-vis the lack of wipers is an interesting point. Personally, I'd just as soon consider my windscreen to be disposible and throw it away every year or two in exchange for a decent wiper system. I don't know how many other riders would agree, but I bet it's a surprising number.

The Chinese scoot with the wiper is a _great_ concept- I _love_ it! If I didn't already know from experience that I can't get by with a 150cc scoot, I'd probably order one. Something similar build on one of the super-scoot chassis would be _wonderful_!

(I wonder if turbulence from passing semis or crosswinds gets caught under the roofline? That looks like potentially a _very_ ugly situation to me!)

As things stand right now, I intend to try and get a price on cutting down the Givi, fully expecting it to be rendered useless to me in the process but hoping for the best. (After all, it's useless now if I can't ride in the rain with it.) Then, I expect to put the factory screen back, all the while cursing motorcycle engineers everywhere and designing wiper systems in my head. After that, I'll probably try and find a custom-windcreen maker to design me a non-laminar-flow version of the Givi that I can actually use Rain-X on. THAT would, I think, be the perfect solution. Though a damned expensive one...

Thanks again, everyone!
 

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I picked my burgman 650 (with a Givi Windscreen) from Connecticut and proceeded to ride back to Houston, but first I passed by Pennsylvania to visit my friends.

It rained, and rained all the way until I passed Ohio, and it was hard too! Since I am only 5' 7", I had to see through the Givi and could not see the car ahead of me most of the time. Often I had to stand up to make sure that I was not too close to the cars ahead -- and why most of those guys left their headlights off in that weather was beyond me. I had to look to the right and left of the windscreen from time to time.

It was easier to wipe rain off the face shield than the windscreen, so I began to sit on the top of the butt stop -- raindrops kept falling on my head -- and wiped the rain off with my soaked wet leather gloves.

In contrast, I picked up my Vulcan 750 from Tennessee, and it rained hard all the way until I hit Louisiana border. The difference this time, besides being 30-45 degrees most of the way, was that the bike had no windscreen. Without the windshield, I could actually see the road better than in a car with wipers -- because there are always moments of blurred vision before wipers refresh the view -- especially in heavy rain.
 

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I use a full face helmet and look over the shield so the rain does not cause visability problems. However fogging can be a problem. I bought some of the FogTech stuff and have ridden one time with it since the purchase. The initial run was excellent. Absolutely no fogging on the areas that were coated. You might want to give it a try Steve.
 

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Good ideas here but as already mentioned the plexiglass or plastic shield would scratich so quickly that it would be useable even during non rainy days. Would you like trying to look through a opaque piece of glass just like the ones they use for bathroom showers or windows. That's what will happen to your plastic shield with a wiper. Someone has solved it though because I did see some Aprillia scooter with a wiper type system but when I touched the wind shield I could almost swear it was glass.

You know what would be a break through .... if someone could invent a means of inserting a portion of tempered glass (slightly curved) into a scooter windshield and then you could place a wiper system in front of it. It could be retrofitted to existing windshields and run with 3 settings just like your car. Nice thought eh!
 
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