Chap 55: Finally: A good windshield design
The best windshield was on my Alcan Fairing all along!
In Chapter 53, I had put a lot of time developing a special windshield for my streamliner. I finished it and it works great but does not "feel"good riding it. It just seems to be too closed in... too cluttered.
I went back to the simple windshield design I developed for my Alcan Fairing in 2008.
Now I am happy
Carol and her Vetter Alcan Fairing on her BMW
Curving the aluminum windshield band has proven to be the trickiest part of the Vetter Streamliner
Therefore, I am going to show you, step by step what is involved. If you make this from my kit and plans it will be much easier for you:
|The first step in designing the windshield for my streamliner was to mock up the Alcan style windshield on Alan's 250 Ninja and my Helix. This wood and "milk carton paper" mockup windshield perfectly matches the nose structure. Would the handlebars poke out in the same place? Can I design one windshield that will fit all likely bikes?|
|Sitting in normal driving position, reveals where the cutout must be to clear my hands and arms. |
|Now aluminum bands can be finalized... right and left... in milk carton paper.|
|I picked .100" thick aluminum shape to provide the windshield structure. The lines show how it it needs to go thru the rollers. |
|My friend, Carl Muia hand rolled the curve. The trick is to roll it in the direction of the parallel lines|
|Cut to size. Pound to fit. Ready to assemble.|
|Carl rolled it close but I had to tap it into the perfect shape. This took time. For me, it is fun.|
At this point, the windshield structure is held together with Cleco hole clamps. I am constantly checking back and forth between the bikes for fit. This picture is particularly interesting because it shows how Alan raised his stock Ninja 250 bars so he could "sit up and be comfortable" a requirement for Vetter Challengers.
Alan plans to ride his Ninja to Mid Ohio from California for the AMA Vintage Days Vetter Challenge.
48 screws later the aluminum is firmly attached to the base ring. You need patience and a flat surface. I will have to replace these little 8-32 screws and nuts with stainless steel components to keep them from corroding.
|Marking and drilling holes for the windshield||The windshield from an a ALCAN fairing fits perfectly. Carol approves.|
Ready for riding. I like the the way it looks.
Feb 26, 2012: First riding reveals:
I left an intake hole at the very front of the new windshield that helps the air "fill in" to where the rider sits. This allows the air to blow around me easier. The windshield directs oncoming air over my shoulders. Perfect.
But it is blown directly into my eyes.
Not perfect. I can fix this.
|A quick test installation of a 3" high blade of windshield seems to be the solution. This nearly vertical blade of plex protects my eyes from the air. I don't even need glasses! I can see the entire road thru this little piece of windshield which is easy to keep clean. |
I am not real happy about how it looks but I already accept the fact that the air around my head will never be streamlined.
Riding for a day in the rain has proven that it is a very good solution.
|Swapping the new windshield back and forth to check fit on the Ninja 250 and my Honda Helix. How different could two bikes be? And yet, these Vetter Streamliner Kit parts fit both.||Alan extends his electrical cables - an all - day job. Motion Pro made 7" longer cables. I did not have to do this on my Helix because the Helix comes with a sit-up riding position.|
This is where motorcycle dreams are made.
Alan finishes the mounting bracket bits and pieces in preparation for transferring the new nose over to the Ninja he rides in the Vetter Challenges. In the background, I am making new, simple and elegant mounting brackets to hold the new windshield in place.
My Helix is currently 28" wide at the front. Too wide. The new bodywork will standardize the width to 24" for the kit.
Will the Prius headlights still fit?
Don't know. Stay tuned.
Several readers have asked about plans and kits for making their own Vetter Streamliners:
|My reply: "As soon as I am happy with the shape of the aluminum parts, I will draw lines around them and print them out on a piece of paper for you. |
The Vetter Streamliner Nose Kit will be full sized drawings for the aluminum parts. You will also be able to buy the fi glass nose.
|As soon as you see that I have finished the new nose on my Helix you will probably be able to order the kit to make your own. The tail will follow. |
I will have the windshield drawings at that time.
Drawings will be available to make the Vetter Streamliner Tail structure, too. Both machines must be complete in time for the first Vetter Challenge of 2012 at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, May 4.
Most of the bodywork will be wrapped in milk carton paper and aluminum.
Of course, if you cannot find milk carton paper, we can roll it up and send it with a kit.
More to follow in Chapter 56
Posted Feb 25, 2012
Revised Feb 28, 2012