Harley Detachable Windshield

Two of the things that stuck with me when I rented a Heritage Softail Classic were the smoothness of the ride, and the reduction in wind noise from the stock Harley Davidson windshield.

At the time, a windshield was not a consideration for my 2006 Sportster, even though I planned on turning it into a touring bike. The reduction in wind noise that I enjoyed on the Heritage Softail Classic was difficult to ignore, and I began shopping for a windshield for the long trips on the Sportster.

The Harley Davidson catalog was the obvious starting point and there is plenty of windshields to choose from. After researching the various dimensions and mounting options, I decided on the standard height quick release detatchable windshield. While Harley makes other detachable windshields, the quick release model leaves behind no mounting hardware, so the bike looks clean.

Installing A Motorcycle Windshield

‚ÄčInstalling the Harley Davidson detachable windshield seemed like an easy task, that was, until I read the mounting instructions. Per the instructions, the clutch cable needs to be re-routed, and the throttle cables may also need to be re-routed.

Sportster Detatchable Windshield

Sportster Detatchable Windshield

Yes, the instructions say that it may be necessary to relocate the throttle / idle cables before installing the windshield.

That’s all the instructions say about the throttle cables. No indication about what models may require throttle relocation. After studying the existing cable routing and the design of the detachable windshield, I decided to mount the windshield without moving the clutch or throttle cable. The re-routing seemed more potentially hazardous than not relocating the cables. Without relocating, the clutch cable doesn’t contact the back of the windshield and the windshield frame arches over the throttle cable. The windshield also comes with a piece of molding that fits over the frame to prevent the throttle cables from chaffing on the windshield frame.

After installation, I moved the front wheel through a full range of motion to the left and the right, checking for any binding or potential hazards. The cables followed the steering direction as they had before the windshield was installed and didn’t move in any way that might cause them to catch on the windshield frame.

The maiden voyage produced a feel that was familiar from my day on the Softail. The newly installed windshield moved the air well around the sides of my helmet, and I had to lean my head considerably to the left or right to get in the slipstream. A properly mounted windshield leaves the rider with a clean view over the top of the Lexan, and a slight turbulence can be felt as the air passes over the top of the helmet.