Bad windshield design! - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1

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    For anyone considering a vstream wind screen by Ztechnik let me give you my experience. I put one on my f800gt. Evidently the screen magnifies sunlight and melts your instrument cluster. I went to the MOA rally in billings and talked to a Ztechnik rep. He said they warned me in the instructions, I guess I just didn't get what they were saying. In any case he said I should have placed a rag over the cluster to prevent the meltdown. Of course I find it hard to read the instruments with a rag covering them! They should just admit it's a bad design and offer me my money back. I will let you know what BMW is going to charge to fix the problem. I'll bet the bill won't be less than $500.00!
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  3. #2
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    I don't believe this is an issue if the bike is moving, as the direct sunlight coming through the screen will not be able to focus on the same spot on the instrument cluster for more than a couple of seconds at a time, and since the bike is moving there will be enough airflow to help keep things cooler.

    Regardless, this should not happen even with the bike parked, clearly a design flaw.

    Maybe, you should file a complaint with the NHTSA and if they receive enough complaints, they will do an investigation that could lead to a recall.

    BTW, I have the vstream and I have heard of this issue. Whenever I am out riding and park the bike, I make sure I the bike is facing in a direction so the sun is not in a direct line with the screen and the instrument cluster.

    Maybe we can use this thread to help document all of those who've had a similar issue with the vstream and get the word out.

  4. #3

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    The bike was facing north. The sun made an arc right across my instruments and melted as it tracked. I now park my bike facing south or facing toward the sun when I can. What is the NHTSA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Havana1 View Post
    I don't believe this is an issue if the bike is moving, as the direct sunlight coming through the screen will not be able to focus on the same spot on the instrument cluster for more than a couple of seconds at a time, and since the bike is moving there will be enough airflow to help keep things cooler.

    Regardless, this should not happen even with the bike parked, clearly a design flaw.

    Maybe, you should file a complaint with the NHTSA and if they receive enough complaints, they will do an investigation that could lead to a recall.

    BTW, I have the vstream and I have heard of this issue. Whenever I am out riding and park the bike, I make sure I the bike is facing in a direction so the sun is not in a direct line with the screen and the instrument cluster.

    Maybe we can use this thread to help document all of those who've had a similar issue with the vstream and get the word out.
    F800GT Orange
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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMUU View Post
    What is the NHTSA?
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They are the government agency who makes the determination if a recall is warranted and the extent of the remedy. I believe you can file a complaint online.

  7. #5
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    yes, there is a warning however I did take heed and the following is my solution.

    Using a piece of 1/16 ABS textured plastics I made a sub shield which almost looks as if it belongs there. It sits underneath the standoffs of the windshield









    On the plus side I actually really like how the windshield itself tunes the wind or me. Mine is actually the tallest screen that has been cut down till I found my sweet spot. (About 2" off the top). And I have also taken off maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the bottom to allow more air underneath.
    Last edited by Wisconsinkris; 08-03-15 at 06:12 AM.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet 

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  9. #6
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    Nicely done, WIkris.

  10. #7
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    All y'alls are flogging a dead horse. A little research will inform you that is an old issue.
    Caveat Emptor.
    That DYI fix is nice. My CalSCI never did anything untoward to the dash. After market screens can be a non problem.

  11. #8
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    I agree that the screen has a real problem and should be removed in markets where there are sunny climates. I can't think of any product for my bike, which when used correctly, can cause damage like this. Just unacceptable.
    Last edited by TelemarkTumalo; 08-03-15 at 06:32 PM.

  12. #9

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    If the maker had any ethics they would do a redesign and offer it to existing customers at lowest possible cost or even free if feasible.
    I've used VStreams on other bikes BUT now I know I ned to wait a year or 2 after the introduce a new model so the first adopters (AKA beta testers) can find out what screwups they've made, if any. Clearly they have no intention of taking any reasonable corrections so its buyer beware..

  13. #10
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    Exactly. They should immediately stop selling this screen except in Arctic climes, the offer to buy back the flawed screens and offer good will to those riders who have incurred damage.

  14. #11
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    Hi all, just wanted to chime in to clear up some information.

    It's true - windshields can melt dashes. However, it's important to note that this isn't a ZTechnik- or VStream-specific problem. This can occur (albeit rarely) with any curved windshield. So unfortunately, there's no way for us to 'redesign' the windshield to prevent this from happening.

    If you search around various forums, you'll see people reporting that this has happened with all sorts of bikes and windshields, including OEM windshields and other aftermarket brands, for years, as notacop has noted.

    Keep in mind that the ambient temperature (IE, the local climate) doesn't have all that much to do with this effect. It just has to have the right angle, so it has to be sort of a 'perfect storm' of conditions for this to happen. In fact, I recall hearing a few years back about a motorcycle's dash melting... in Canada... in October... parked in a garage, with the setting sun shining into it. I've also never heard of this happening while riding, it's only while parked - I believe that the vibration and continual movement of a bike on the road won't allow a focal point stay stable enough to cause melting.

    We sell thousands upon thousands of windshields per year, and it's still extremely rare for us to hear about this issue.

    Solutions include:
    1. Install a textured covering/visor on top of your dash - looking good, Wisconsinkris!
    2. Always park your motorcycle in the shade, or FACING the sun.
    3. Throw a rag/t-shirt on top of your dash when parking.

    If you do ANY of the above, you won't have a problem with this. We do note the the possibility for this occurrence in the installation manual for all of our VStreams - see the bottom of the 2nd page under 'Warnings' on this PDF example: http://www.ztechnik.com/ispl/10-118542-000.pdf

    If you have any further questions on the matter, feel free to call us directly at 1-866-ZTECHNK.

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  16. #12
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    I am impressed that somebody from Ztechnik is concerned enough to reply to this forum. I pretty much agree with the reply, and maybe there is a sales opportunity to also supply an optional cheap dash cover like Wisconsikris if it is a problem for people. I had a Vstream screen on my old F800ST which was pretty good and I am trying to find UK prices for one for my current F800GT. I have been waiting a month for the UK supplier to let me know dimensions and prices, and I am now considering a Givi screen. So if Mr Ztechnik can give his supplier in the UK a nudge to reply to emails I would be grateful.
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  17. #13
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    It is impressive that ZTechnik took the time to provide a response on this thread. However, I consider their response more of an excuse and justification, 'Corporate Speak', for marketing and selling a product than could potentially cause hundreds of dollars in damage to your motorcycle.

    I have previously owned National Cycle products and currently have the VStream screen on my F800GT. My decision to purchase it, was based on my previous experience with their solid quality products.

    Soon after I purchased the VStream, I started hearing about incidents of melted dashboards, caused under certain conditions by their windshield creating a magnifying glass effect, and melting the dash.

    I immediately started to paying attention to the direction I park the bike outside, and trowing a towel over the dash. The question is, why should I?. After 50+ years of riding and owning about a dozen of motorcycles with windshields, that is something that I never had to worry about, it never even crossed my mind.

    ZTechnik mentions that there is a warning of this possibility in their installation instructions. Fair enough. But what happens when the motorcycles with the VStream are sold, and resold, and the subsequent new owners are not aware of the potential damage to their dash? Who is responsible then?

    In their post ZTechnik writes; "you'll see people reporting that this has happened with all sorts of bikes and windshields, including OEM windshields and other aftermarket brands, for years, as notacop has noted". Really ZTechnik?. This is akin to the response from a child when they do something wrong and use, "but every one does it" excuse. A very poor excuse, especially coming from National Cycle with a solid reputation as an aftermarket supplier of accessories and parts. You need to take responsibility and be accountable for your products. And if it does happens to others, you need to rise above your competition.

    To put it perspective; Imagine what would happen if an automotive aftermarket windshield manufacturer developed a replacement windshield, that under certain conditions melts the dash of certain cars. I can guarantee that there would be a recall faster than you can say class action lawsuit.

    Lastly, ZTechnik writes; "So unfortunately, there's no way for us to 'redesign' the windshield to prevent this from happening". Again another excuse. The OEM BMW windshield doesn't melt the dash and I understand you are the OEM manufacturer of BMW windshields for several of their models. I believe what you are trying to say, is that is cheaper for you to do nothing than to take some proactive action.

    I retired from a Fortune 100 consumer goods corporation, and let's say I have a little experience in dealing with the customer, the consumer and strengthening company reputation. Accordingly, you need to consider the impact on the consumer, BMW and your own reputation.
    Last edited by Havana1; 08-26-15 at 07:06 PM.

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  19. #14
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    I can understand your frustration if this happens to you. In the UK we only get 3 sunny days a year, and they sneak up on us so fast we don't get our bikes out in time before it starts raining again so we don't tend to experience these problems. I don't know what the solution is.

    We do have a glass building in London (nicknamed the Walkie Talkie because of it's shape) which is concave and was focusing sunshine (on one of these 3 days a couple of years ago) onto the pavement below, this caused car paint to blister and somebody with too much free time fried an egg on the pavement I believe. The solution was to put shading over key areas on the building, I don't know who paid for the damaged cars. A piece of useless frivolous information on this topic I thought I would share.
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  20. #15
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    ^^^ Not frustrated at all. Just making an observation and providing feedback. That simple. I read the ZTechnik post and my BS alarm went off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dink99 View Post
    We do have a glass building in London (nicknamed the Walkie Talkie because of it's shape) which is concave and was focusing sunshine (on one of these 3 days a couple of years ago) onto the pavement below, this caused car paint to blister and somebody with too much free time fried an egg on the pavement I believe. The solution was to put shading over key areas on the building, I don't know who paid for the damaged cars. A piece of useless frivolous information on this topic I thought I would share.
    The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is clad in curved and polished stainless steel panels, which at the right time of day reflected sunlight that made ovens of nearby blocks of flats. They had to abrade the panels on that side of the building to take away the shine. (I have no notion of what this has to do with GT motorcycles, but I'll take a ride past the building next chance I get, so that will make it legit.)
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  23. #17
    mondello's Avatar
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    I thought the Ztechnik reply was a model of reason and logic. Sometimes shit happens and its nobody's fault. BMUU was the reluctant receiver this time. After 6 years service on my elderly ST I have no hesitation in shortly ordering ZT's equivalent for the my GT Z2478. I don't expect to be disappointed.

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    Doesn't ZTechnik (aka National Cycle) actually make the stock screens for BMW?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZTechnik View Post
    ....We sell thousands upon thousands of windshields per year, and it's still extremely rare for us to hear about this issue. Solutions include:
    1. Install a textured covering/visor on top of your dash - looking good, Wisconsinkris!
    2. Always park your motorcycle in the shade, or FACING the sun.
    3. Throw a rag/t-shirt on top of your dash when parking....
    Seriously? CYA?

    I've parked many a motorbike in the sun in all conditions including AZ, CA, UT, CO and NM. Direct sunlight including Death Valley. No melted dashboards. The ZTechnik design is flawed.
    Last edited by TelemarkTumalo; 08-29-15 at 11:14 AM.

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  27. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbon View Post
    Doesn't ZTechnik (aka National Cycle) actually make the stock screens for BMW?
    Yes. To my understanding they are an OEM supplier to BMW for some of their screens. Not sure which models the supply.

  28. #21
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    Years ago, about 1995, I managed to fry the seat on a BMW R100R with a Parabellum blade screen in California, it went a horrible brown. Had a recover in black, (original was grey/black) and it didnt' happen again. Interesting mod, the instrument cluster cover. Have a GIVI screen on my F800GT, no problem so far. Worth thinking about, as the clear plastic could fog.......
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  29. #22
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    Yeh, there is a building in London, a silly curved skyscraper, that cooked some cars parked opposite: boom!
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  30. #23
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    I have ztechnic screen and am really happy with it. I do take precations when I park in direct sunlight...I just stuff my gloves in there ( and yes I know, someone might steal them). Where I live, plenty of cars have cracked dashes for exactly the same reason. With our car we always put a large silver foil reflector inside the car across the 'screen (held up by turning the sun visors down) when parked in sun. So this is not a problem that is bad design by ztechnic....just about any glass or clear polycarbonate will act as lens given the right conditions. Get over it. Dave

  31. #24
    Elgin, Scotland ST404 is offline Volunteer Moderator - GT
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    Would ZTechnic care to be honest and actually state what percentage of their screens have caused issues?

    Plus, as a service to customers, why don't you design a plastic inlay, like Wisconsinkris's, provide it with the screen and then if their dash melts, they only have themselves to blame.
    Last edited by ST404; 01-11-17 at 10:40 AM.

  32. #25
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    I recently bought and fitted a ZTechnic Vstream to my GT. I rode it through 40C temps a month ago, but never parked it up for more than a half hour and had no problems while moving of course.

    I'd never heard of this melting thing. I do like the plastic insert that you made Wisconsinkris.

    However, I'll just do my usual thing and spray paint the inside of the screen black. I've done that on a bunch of bikes, like my Blackbird here:



    I do that because I find it easier to read the clocks. My only complaint with the Vstream was that the curved ridges (owners will know what I mean) that form the 'V' light up at night. Much like the OEM with those holes near the nose transmitting light throughout the whole screen. I ran some black duct tape up the sides.

    On both the OEM and the Vstream I also had to put a length of soft curved rubber tube - here in Oz we call it car roof rack rubber and like those grip puppies but longer - to overcome the light up the inside of the screen. I find it very annoying on dusk to dawn allnighters.


    OEM painted on the inside:







    Vstream with black tape on the outside:






    I realise that the Vstream is too high to paint the whole thing. I think the painting is better than the dodgy tape job, I just didn't take the time to do it to the Vstream before my last trip. Though I do like that subscreen of Wisconsinkris......

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  34. #26
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    Which size VStream is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    Which size VStream is that?

    Z2478 CLEAR HIGH TOURING SCREEN measurements: H. 54cm (21.25"), W. 48.3cm (19.00").


  36. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZTechnik View Post
    However, it's important to note that this isn't a ZTechnik- or VStream-specific problem. This can occur (albeit rarely) with any curved windshield. So unfortunately, there's no way for us to 'redesign' the windshield to prevent this from happening.
    Deflecting the issue to other windshield manufacturers isn't a solution.

    A redesign is not needed. Consider affixing automotive sun shade film (below) to the lower half of the shield. Another option is to package a piece of film separately with the windshield and let owners decide if it's needed.


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    +1 to ZTechnik & +1 to Havana1
    Both have valid points and both well articulated. As a consumer i will side with Havana1.
    As a fix, Wisconsinkris shape opaquely printed on the screen surface would block the suns rays onto the instrument cluster??
    As well, the screen would visually hide the back of the instrument cluster itself and the crud that gets in behind after coming thru the gap below the screen.

    Is it a general consensus with those who have used a vstream wind screen that they work, and by work i mean keep the wind off and not created buffeting noises, as the stock screen has no buffeting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pAUL_bmw View Post

    Is it a general consensus with those who have used a vstream wind screen that they work, and by work i mean keep the wind off and not created buffeting noises, as the stock screen has no buffeting.
    Hi Paul

    Are you saying that for you the stock screen causes no buffeting?

    My stock screen wasn't too bad compared to some other bikes, but it is better - much better - with the Vstream. A few months back I rode 3000km in 36 hours and by the end I'd had enough of the stock screen.

    I fitted up the Vstream and rode over 8000km in 90 hours very happily. It keeps the wind and rain off and buffeting is gone - for me.

    The reason I put in the distance and times is just that longer saddle times tend to magnify any problems a bike may present. A quick blast with mates down the local twisty latte road may not reveal a problem at all, or at least it may not cause a bother. On longer touring days things like screen, bars and seat can all of a sudden seem very uncomfortable.

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    Hi Peter

    Late reply but...

    I am 178cm tall sitting on a 'comfort' seat which i believe is higher than stock.
    The wind off/over the top of the screen hits me just below the bottom of my helmet, in effect putting me in relatively clean air and i get no buffeting as such. Lots of wind noise from the Shoei GT Air helmet however unless the visor is locked down and all vents closed (and even then the vents make noise when closed). Never will i buy a Shoei again.
    Standing up puts the helmet in even cleaner air.
    Having ridden lots of different bikes with different screens, i am of the opinion you need a low screen (like the stock GT screen) or none, or a screen tall enough that you get totally behind (then you have to look through it which is suss).
    I can not afford to buy screens to find out they do not work for me. Previous owner said he had one of those clip on deflectors which worked for him so i may give one a try one day but i am not confident it will work well enough to justify the $ outlay.
    Personally, i think the stock BMW screen is as it is because testing by BMW found it to be the best compromise.

  40. #32
    Elgin, Scotland ST404 is offline Volunteer Moderator - GT
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    Quote Originally Posted by OX-34 View Post

    I fitted up the Vstream and rode over 8000km in 90 hours very happily. It keeps the wind and rain off and buffeting is gone - for me.
    Peter, how tall are you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST404 View Post
    Peter, how tall are you?
    Pat I'm 180cm tall.

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  43. #34
    OX-34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pAUL_bmw View Post
    Hi Peter

    Late reply but...

    ....................
    Having ridden lots of different bikes with different screens, i am of the opinion you need a low screen (like the stock GT screen) or none, or a screen tall enough that you get totally behind (then you have to look through it which is suss).
    .............................
    I have also found that no/low screen to be a good option for some of my bikes.

    I found the stock screen on my K1200R to be horrendous. I lasted about 5 minutes before I pulled over and removed it on the first ride home. I then removed the screen and replaced it with a Yamaha MT-01 headlight protector to keep bugs off the back of the clocks (painted black on the inside):







    One of my other bikes currently is a Yamaha Super Tenere. I did a test ride with its screen removed and it was much, much better. It has stays to hold the screen up that attach near the clocks and project upward. I didn't want to hacksaw them off, so I compromised and replaced the screen with the shortest possible one - fabbed out of scrap aluminium checkerplate, bent over my thigh and painted black on both sides:





    Then again I went the other way with the bike I rode in the Iron Butt Rally - as big as a barn door and good to hide behind for 1000miles a day 11 days in a row:


  44. #35
    Elgin, Scotland ST404 is offline Volunteer Moderator - GT
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    Quote Originally Posted by OX-34 View Post
    Pat I'm 180cm tall.
    In that case I think I'll go for the shorter version of the Vstream as I'm only 174cm

  45. #36
    jimlowe's Avatar
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    I have the short dark tinted version,but to be on the safe side beore I fitted it,sprayed the bottom half on the inside with "plastidip"Click image for larger version. 

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  46. #37
    Wisconsinkris's Avatar
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    It's the end of the bubble (crease) towards the outside edge that causes the light to focus on the dash....you may want to extend the plastidip out a bit.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet 

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  48. #38
    jimlowe's Avatar
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    Thanks for that,wonder if the dark tint will help?

  49. #39
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    Hi Wisconsinkris
    Super solution
    can you please set measurements on the pic of the sub shield
    so i can make me one, sadly my dash have already got a melt.....
    will be very grateful

    kind regards
    kenn (denmark)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsinkris View Post
    yes, there is a warning however I did take heed and the following is my solution.

    Using a piece of 1/16 ABS textured plastics I made a sub shield which almost looks as if it belongs there. It sits underneath the standoffs of the windshield


    On the plus side I actually really like how the windshield itself tunes the wind or me. Mine is actually the tallest screen that has been cut down till I found my sweet spot. (About 2" off the top). And I have also taken off maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the bottom to allow more air underneath.

  50. #40
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    This is hardly an issue unique to this windshield. I have been following F bikes for a decade and I can tell you that this has happened before and with several makes of windshields. It almost happened to me - the speedometer got hot enough to prevent the needle from returning to zero but all was well once it cooled off. That's when I took an interest and discovered similar occurences. If the intensity of the sun is sufficient and if the angles just happen to come together such that the inner curve of the windshield focuses the light toward the cluster then the heating will occur. To be clearer - the sun must be coming from behind the bike and hitting the inside of the windshield.

    As an aside this has also been experienced with entire glass sided curved buildings. At a certain point there has been extreme heating across the street from such buildings.

  51. #41
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    With old threads, you may have better luck sending a PM to the person you want to contact.

  52. #42
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    Hi notacop

    yes i just done that

  53. #43
    Kenna65's Avatar
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    Hi OX-34 , how have you found the V screen? Looking to fit one on my bike.

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