Instructions for Installing a Motorcycle Windshield

Written by karen boyd
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Instructions for Installing a Motorcycle Windshield
Motorcycle windshields block wind, rain and flying objects from hitting the rider. (police motorcycle image by Goran Bogicevic from

Motorcycle windshields help protect the rider from the elements by blocking much of the wind and rain from hitting her body. Many bikes come from stock without windshield, or with a very low windshield that serves little more purpose than looking sporty, so many riders find themselves in the market for a larger windshield that will serve their needs. Fortunately installing a motorcycle windshield does not require taking the bike into the shop or even purchasing a lot of special tools. The job can get accomplished easily with only a screwdriver.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • New windshield
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Determine the screw pattern. Most cruiser style motorcycles have either a universal fit two screw attachment system or four screw attachment system. Other motorcycles have slightly different systems, so when buying a new windshield, you should confirm that it fits the specifications for your bike. Most manufacturers have a list of motorcycles the windshields will fit available online.

  2. 2

    Remove the current windshield. To remove a motorcycle windshield, simply unscrew the screws that hold it in place.

  3. 3

    Install the new windshield. Hold the new windshield in place aligning the screw holes. Starting with the top left side, screw tighten the screw enough to hold the windshield but still giving some room for give. Next, tighten the lower right side screw, again leaving it somewhat loose. Proceed to gently tighten each of the other screws. While the screws should be tight enough to hold the wind shield firmly, over-tightening can cause the plastic to crack.

Tips and warnings

  • Putting small rubber washers between the windshield and the crew can allow you to get a snugger fit without putting as much pressure on the plastic, thus reducing the chances of cracking the windshield.
  • Make sure you install a DOT approved windshield. It is illegal in some states to use a non-DOT approved windshield or plexiglass, which can shatter if hit by a rock or other road debris that sometimes get tossed up by trucks.
  • When you clean the fingerprints off your windshield after installation, be sure to use a cleaner specially designed for high performance plastics to avoid damaging the surface. Aviation plastic cleaner works very well and will not cause the hairline cracks, or crazing sometimes seen on motorcycle windshields.

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