Design Constraints

Naked or Standard bike riders may be looking just to get the air blast off their bodies so that they can relax and not have to “hang-on” all the time. Since the Laminar LIP is designed to attach to an existing windshield and these bikes, by definition, have no windshields our Speed Shields or LaMini Fairings can make their ride less exhausting mentally and physically.

Sport bike riders have a small fairing made to stream the airflow part way over a tucked 5’6”, 120 lb. rider as he lies on the tank. Full sized riders cannot tuck into this envelope and certainly cannot remain in a tucked position for an all day ride. Our LIP added to a sport bike can make a larger envelope for a larger rider on track days or make an upright rider more comfortable for an extended ride. Our Touring LIPs, made for some of the latest Sport bikes, move the air stream even higher for, as implied, a touring option.

On-Off road motorcycles in general have very poor rider wind protection design. Because the bike is made for the rider to stand on the pegs when off road the windshield is located very far forward. This allows unstable air to close behind the shield and also come up the riders legs and arms to his chest and face. Because the steering turn angle, lock to lock, is great (the off-road part) and must allow clearance for the mirrors the shield must be very narrow. Because it is narrow protection is minimalized and it may not be very strong to support much additional weight or pressure. Also these shields are usually very vertical, again, so that the rider can stand over the tank and not bang his chin on the shield. All this contributes to poor rider protection and extreme noise and buffeting. The V-Stroms may be the most difficult motorcycles we know of to quiet. For each rider these bikes sometimes require a lot of experimentation.

Sport Touring motorcycles have windshields that almost function correctly. The Honda ST1100 windshield is the reason we are in business, the buffeting drove us crazy but the LIP made the shield work great. Then our Windshield/LIP Combo made it look great too. Riders moving from a Sport bike to a Sport Touring bike may think the windshield great while a Goldwing rider may ask why didn’t they put a real windshield on it. Our LIP added to a Sport Touring bike can improve the protection and quiet desired by many riders.

Touring motorcycles have large windshields so it seems they would offer the best comfort. Yes and no, they do offer good wind protection but because all that air must be displaced somewhere noise and buffeting may increase at a certain location. For instance, when the GL1800 shield is adjusted to allow sight just over the top while riding you may feel a tapping on top the helmet. Since most riders prefer to see over the shield the Goldwing LIP is our most popular model for Hondas as it quiets the airflow. Many Touring and Sport Touring motorcycles offer adjustable windshields but the fairings do not allow room the let the shields slide lower vertically the designers are forced to make the adjustments by moving the shield forward and consequently more vertical as it goes higher. This is opposite what should happen as the shield is moved higher and farther from the rider while it disrupts the airflow even more. By adding our LIP the attack angle of the lowered shield may be preserved while smoothing the airflow over the top of the shield making a much quieter ride.

Ideal shield height- an interesting phenomenon is that motorcycles with no fairings or windshields also may have no buffeting. What they do have is great wind pressure that attempts to push the rider off the back of the seat. Adding a small fairing can greatly decrease this pressure and make just holding on much easier and thus more comfortable and safer. Since this works so well it would seem that a larger fairing/shield would work even better, many times it can but there is also a good chance that somewhere the noise and/or discomfort will be worse. After years of experimentation we have found for best protection and comfort a rider should sit on his motorcycle, looking over top the shield (and LIP if installed) and see the pavement about 40 feet in front. The top of the shield 12” to 18” in front of the rider’s eyes. This setup should work well (we do not recommend looking through the shield). Only Touring bikes, some Sport Touring bikes and Cruisers with taller shields will easily allow this setup. All smaller (lower) shields and fairings will be a compromise, on these motorcycles too we recommend the LIP to help reduce the noise and discomfort. Dual Lock mounted LIPs need be installed in a range from tops of the LIP and shield even to a max of one half the LIP (at the center) above the top of the shield. It is very important to have an overlap of at least half the LIP with the shield to allow the venturi effect to work. Sometimes, lowering the LIP can make a quieter, less turbulent, ride.

Mounting- Laminar LIPs do not require drilling to mount though, if desired, 5mm x 25mm nylon machine screws with flat washers and nuts may be used by the customer (these will require drilling, we recommend through the centers of two opposite side Dual Locks). When possible Laminar LIPs are attached with supplied longer screws at the existing windshield mounting locations. When existing mounting holes are not convenient our LIPs are mounted with 3M™ Dual Locks. These allow the LIPs to be removed and replaced also the Dual Locks may be removed from the motorcycle without damage to the bike.

Adjustment- Because of the varying windshield designs some LIPs have a larger range of adjustment than others. LIPs that utilize existing windshield mounting screw locations for attachment have no adjustment. LIPs that must fit onto very curved or tapered shields may be very restricted in adjustment latitude. You can see that a single LIP may have a very small fitment range on an extremely tapered shield whereas a LIP on a cruiser shield (tombstone shape) may be almost infinitely adjustable. On these shields we have had riders mount LIPs 5” below the top of the shield and still be happy with the noise and buffeting reduction (see Owner’s Photos Pages). Some LIPs are very sensitive to adjustment and a movement up or down of ¼” can be noticed. Riders wishing to experiment with LIP locations may use a good brand of duct tape to adhere the sides of the LIP to the shield. Also place a layer of tape between the shield and the LIP to prevent scratching the windshield. Be sure not to block airflow between the LIP and shield as this gap is essential. If the Dual Locks are removed from the shield or LIP do not reuse them. Slope angle of the windshield is also important the shield should be angled back at least as much as the forks if possible.