How to take scratches out of motorcycle windshields

Written by finn mccuhil
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How to take scratches out of motorcycle windshields
A windshield on your motorcycle can make long trips more comfortable. (motorcycle image by Goran Bogicevic from

A windshield or a fairing on your motorcycle can make long trips safer and less tiring. Being exposed to a 60mph wind for hours at a time can take its toll on your stamina. Unfortunately, motorcycle windshields are made from polycarbonate or acrylic plastic. Both are easily scratched and require special care when cleaning. Repairing small scratches is simple, but requires time and a great deal of elbow grease.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Towel
  • Abrasive polish
  • Lint-free cloth

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  1. 1

    Clean your windshield with a mild solution of dishwashing soap and warm water. If you have dried bugs on the windshield, soak a thick terrycloth towel in warm, soapy water and drape it over the windshield for 10 minutes to soften the dried-on parts before cleaning.

  2. 2

    Apply a small amount of fine abrasive polish to a clean lint-free cloth. Polish a small area using circular motion. Cover no more than a 4-inch area at one time.

  3. 3

    Check your progress every three or four minutes. Move to another section when the scratches are no longer visible.

  4. 4

    Remove the residue from the polishing compound with warm soapy water and a clean towel.

Tips and warnings

  • The best way to keep your windshield or fairing scratch-free is to avoid the use of paper towels and abrasive cleaners. Whenever possible, clean your windshield with a mild dish soap and a soft cloth towel.
  • Fine abrasive plastic polishes are readily available for a wide variety of applications. Consult your local dealership for the appropriate product for your particular windshield.
  • Try a small amount of polish in a hard to see location before polishing your windshield. Some products work well with plexiglass, but not with polycarbonate. A few manufacturers put a vinyl coating over polycarbonate windshields that can be damaged by abrasive polish.
  • Avoid the temptation to use a power buffer to remove scratches. The increased friction could cause heat damage to your windshield.

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