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I no longer live in the Bay aea, but I remember those winds. It's a personal choice - I hate windshields but I live in the desert now and it's not a big issue. I think there's buffeting both ways, just different. Most cruiser windshields cause more focal head buffeting off the top - at least that's been my experience - which annoys me more than chest blast. And I don't like the updraft from beneath or the backdraft from behind. The whole dynamic is poor in regards to bike handling. Having said that, I think windshields are great in the rain which is a pretty big consideration if you're not in the drier East Bay. And when the temperature drops they're pretty comfy. Probably worth the investment if you get one that pops on and off quickly. Then you can use it as needed.
 

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The worst bridges are the ones with the metal grate that you can see through. Gives me the willies. As for the windshield. I like them and used to ride without one before I knew better. For long distance you can't do without unless you like being twice as tired as you ought to be at the end of the day. I'm in Nebraska so I can't relate to your Bay Bridge but can imagine what you are going through. I have had the wind hit me in the middle of a tornado storm and it felt like the hand of God moving me into the other lane and there wasn't anything I could do about it. No traffic out in the middle of the Pine Ridge Indian Res thank God.
 

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The wind blows just about everyday and often times very strongly here in SD. I have a smaller windshield on my Magna that I find just OK. It looks really good, but I thought it would work better than it does. It's short enough that it keeps the wind off of my hands, arms, and chest, and it hits at about the chin of my helmet. Yes, I wear leathers and a full face helmet on a cruiser(even when I ride the Deuce). It's a Memphis Shades Bladerunner, it'd look good on a Marauder, but if you want function(but you didn't get an SV 650 or Concours so you must not) find a different windshield.
 

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I wasn't a big fan of windshields until I rode a bike that had one...I immediately went out and bought one myself, though I bought a smaller 'sport' shield rather than the 'barn door' variety.



I didn't mind the wind so much, but it can tire you out over a long day's riding, and the shield alleviates that tiredness...and that's worth the money it cost.
 

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I'll second the quick detachment nomination. It is a special feeling to be able to switch modes in 60 seconds or less. Though I can't say how much better a windshield will make bridge riding, I know it does wonders for foul weather and long distance. Unless you're a fair weather to-the-bar biker, get the winshield.
 

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Some bikes are most definitely more susceptible to buffetting wind more than others. Depending upon the bike, adding a windshield, particularly a fork mounted windshield, isn't really going to help the problem.



On the other hand, I've noticed that different people on the same bike seem to be much more suscpetible to cross winds than others. For most people, this is a result of maintaining a tight grip on the handlebars, frequently made worse by the anziety of riding in windy conditions. When you have a white knuckle grip on the bars, every movement of your head or body transfers to the bars and causes the bike to steer. This sets up a vicious cycle wherein the rider tightens his grip even further, making the next gust even worse. I ride the Bay bridge quite frankly (although never on a Marauder or even a similar bike). On my various bikes, I've never felt buffetting that upset the bike much at all, unless weather conditions were really ugly (stormy).



Before you spend a bunch of money and time on a project which may or may not help the problem, I would suggest that the next time you ride over the Bay Bridge when traffic isn't too bad (yeah, that'll happen!), try relaxing your grip on the bars as much as possible. I find it a useful tip to tell people to flap their elbows. If your arms are relaxed enough to flap your elbows, they are usually relaxed enough to damp all but the strongest inputs from wind.



I suspect that you'll find that the wind effect is greatly reduced when you are relaxed. Once you see it for yourself, it usually doesn't take long for you to learn not to tense up in adverse conditions, instinctively. This GREATLY increases your chance of a positive outcome in all sorts of potential incidents that can occur on a bike.



If that doesn't do it, I would try to find a Marauder riders group somewhere on line. Every bike reacts to a windshield so differently, and most bikes react to different windshields in very different ways, that it is worth consulting the collective wisdom of a group of Marauder riders, who will be able to direct you away from shields that have proven to be troublesome.
 

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You'll get blasted on any of the bay area bridges with or without a windshield, with or without a tight grip. However, relaxing is ALWAYS a good idea as the previos poster pointed out.

I rode an XL 600 for years and even had a factory Honda windshield on that. Rode it across country! I now ride an Intruder 800 and cross the bay area bridges frequently. (Try the Golden Gate on a windy day!) The wind is bad, always will be, get used to it. Some shields, depending on how big they are could make it worse.

I tried my Intruder for a few weeks without the shield. Forgettaboutit...you need the shield. I went for the cheap man's version which is a Maier sport style shield for under $60. I posted the link to JC Whitney.

This shield does a great job. There are bigger ones available, but I don't like the 70's cop-bike look, like you'll see on a Road King. The Maier would look good on the Marauder, fits the styling. I set mine just below eye level so I can duck behind it if need be. It's brainless to mount and comes on and off easily.

Good Luck.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/catsublist.jhtml?CATID=59833&BQ=mot
 

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I have a 2001 marauder and just put on the Suzuki windshield. I am 5'10'' and have it adjusted 2-3 inches above the headlight. Wind hits me in the head slightly. If I tuck a little or lean back it gets pretty quiet. I guess what I'm saying is that it is just enough. I really like the looks (small), it was easy to install. It offers no hand protection, but I was concerned about the handling in windy conditions. Its OK up to 25mph side wind. I don't ride if it is windier. I'm going to put hand shields on one of these days.
 

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Have you considered a Concours?

I had a H-D Low Rider with the detachable windshield. I think some aftermarket companies are making quick detach windshields for metric cruisers as well. That really is the best option because then you get the best of both worlds.

For around town riding I would leave it in the garage, but for trips or two-up or cold weather I would pop it on.

I would avoid a tinted shield. They're fine during the day but at night it can really be a problem even if you're looking over the top.
 

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Originally I came from the "no windshield" camp. I went so far as to convert my 1996 Bandit to a naked model (they weren't offered that way in the US at the time) and didn't think it made much difference.

The bikes I've had since have all had windshields, culminating with my '98 Valkyrie Tourer (my first cruiser) and its see-thru barn door. I took it off recently, just to see what it's like.

Pros:[*] improved handling (better but not transformed)[*] helmet buffeting gone

Cons:[*]the windblast gets old quick on a cruiser!
[*]riding on a crappy day much less appealing

So while I still think most bikes look better without a windshield, there's no question that one makes a bike more useable in climates with less-than-perfect weather.
 

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How far do you have BEFORE you reach the bridge? On the bridge the shield isnt going to help all that much as its normally a west - east cross wind and your not going that fast in traffic anyway. But the ride to and from will be much nicer with a shield and like mentioned above much better in foul weather.



Into strong head winds you'll definitely be happier as a rider, though the added resistance of the shield you will feel performance wise. I have no experiance with fork mounted shields but with my faring mounted K12RS I always lower the shield in strong winds. Less of a sail factor in strong gusts. I also hug the tank to cut down my cross section. I recently took a gig in benicia so I gave up the bay bridge and dont miss it one bit. But the benicia bridge is twice as windy every day, luckily its short and with a reverse commute almost empty... Ride safe
 

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I've tried both the Suzuki flyscreen and a Givi A604 (or maybe A603 hard to remember as I bought it used). The flyscreen looked cool, but was just this side of non-functional. During a "spirited" ride along some long straight roads in the middle of no where Canada, my buddy and I noted that his unshielded SV did much worse at 120mph than my shielded SV. At lesser speeds the difference was less notable.



The Givi, on the other hand, looks like azz. I was really unhappy with it when I first put it on. Then I rode with it and have never taken it off in the 9 months since. It blocks enough wind to give me a good pocket to tuck behind without blocking so much that I can't get air. Probably the second best addition to my bike (number one being heated grips).
 

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Get the windshield, but with a quick release. My Road King is twice the bike it would otherwise be by having the ability to put the shield on for longer/hwy rides in 30 seconds (I have a 1.5" tall shield). It dramatically cuts down on fatigue on longer rides.



As for bridges, the worst I know is Mackinaw, which connect the MI upper penn. to the rest. Very long, extreme crosswinds, and the lake 200' below is fully visable through the grating.

 

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Sure, buy one. I've usually had windshields on my bikes. I tend to mount them as low as possible but still be able to look through them. The old ones use to get easily scratched, but the ones made these days can be cleaned daily with very little scratching. Get a bottle of Novus plastic shield polish or equivalent. It works great.



You can tour forever with a windscreen.
 

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I'd like to know if other Bay Area MO'ers find riding the Bay Bridge to be a somewhat hair-raising, white knuckle experience.

I rode ol' school standard type bikes for years in the bay area. Did the bay bridge gig for a while, then did the San Mateo bridge for a while. I never thought wind was any significant problem until I started working in Livermore. The Dublin grade I580 is like riding in a gusty wind tunnel. Going eastbound, you don't feel it at all. But going w/b, holy cow. After a few months of that, I got rid of the old standard & started riding my brother's harley with that big ol' cop-style windshield. It made it a much nicer ride, but the wind still pushed that beast of a bike around at times.

I also have some family that lives in Disc Bay--just over the altamont pass--and let me tell you, all those windmills are there for a reason ;-)

I guess all this is to say, no, I don't think the bridges are a treacherous experience, and even the metal grate bridges, like the small park street bridge I ride over bother me that much. But I think that comes from also riding dirt. Dirt bikes move around under you so much that you can't really be bothered by it. The windshield will make for more comfortable riding, but i don't think it will eliminate your concerns about wind pushing you around.
 

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I've put an NC Plexi-fairing on virtually every bike I've owned since my '81 Honda CB900C. I can't imagine how I would live without one any more. 'Course, I do 85 Interstate miles up and down I-15 commuting at around 80mph Mon-Fri. Then weekends... who knows? Salt Lake to Evanston or Ft. Bridger and similar rides fairly often. The desert and mountain winds can get pretty vicious, but the windshield has always been far more a benefit than a problem. Especially if you get caught in the middle of the desert on I-80 in a hail storm... ouch!



I don't care one whit what anyone else thinks about the looks. I can ride all day without feeling all beaten up any more. Do it.
 

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Thanks for the help on this topic!

Gents,

Thanks for all the informative and helpful input/feedback. Before I go buy a windshield I'm going to try and loosen the grip of death I have on my handlebars.

I've checked out shields by Memphisshades, Meier, Rifle and NC. Price ranges from about $70.00 -$300, so a shield won't have to set me back as much as I thought. I like the classic looks of the Rifle windshield; anyone have anything made by this company? Of course, the one I like best is also one of the pricier windshields @ $279.00.

As to how I ended up on a cruiser.... It was a 2000 with 1983 miles on it for $1500. I found it on Craigslist and simply couldn't resist. Podiatry student moving to TX couldn't take it with him.... Of course, now I need a second bike and whoever recommended the Concours was dead on, it's one of my faves.
 
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