My 2000 FXD and 2012 FLD both sport detachable windshields that I use for long-distance riding. The windshields do a fair job of keeping rain and debris off my face and upper torso, however, they act like sails while riding in high winds. This results in my having to fight the front end to stay in a straight line, and I’ve had more than one scary moment when I’ve almost been blown off the road or into vehicles in other lanes. So after years of suffering from battered bike syndrome, I decided to look for another solution.
I’d been hearing about Klock Werks’ Flare Windshield for some time, and figured it was time to seriously consider the product. The Flare Windshield was born out of necessity: When Brian Klock’s wife Laura competed at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Klock Werks’ Biker Build-Off-winning custom bagger, she noticed a front-end lift as she increased her speed. That discovery led to the development of the Klock Werks Flare Windshield for baggers. Based on the success of the product, Klock Werks then created the Billboard Flare Windshield for Sportsters, Dynas, Softails, Road Kings and other bikes that did not ship with stock fairings.
Klock Werks offers two windshield heights, tall and short, for their Billboard Flares, and due to my 5’4″ frame, I ordered the short size for both of my bikes. The windshields come in either clear or tinted and work with the OEM accessory Quick-Release Detachable Style windshield brackets. Both arrived in short order, complete with installation instructions. The windshields took only about 10 minutes each to put together, primarily because all hardware from my current windshields could be reused with the new Billboard Flare Windshields.
I removed the brackets, hardware and cross braces from each of my current windshields, taking note of the different lengths for each screw in relation to which holes they were removed from. For each windshield, I aligned the holes in the just-removed brackets and cross braces with the corresponding pre-drilled holes in the new Billboard Flare, and loosely installed them onto the windshield in the order shown on the installation sheet. Once I ensured that everything was lined up properly, I tightened each screw, again using the sequence shown. The final step was to attach the windshield to the fork brackets, and voilà! Each bike now had its new Billboard Flare installed and was ready to roll.
The most visually noticeable difference between the Flare windshield and the OEM (or many other aftermarket) windshields is the curve, or “flip,” across the top and the “hips” at the lower portion of each side of the screen. The original Flare, as well as the Billboard Flare, has been wind tunnel-tested and for baggers, a 50-percent reduction in down force, from 30 lbs. to 15 lbs., was measured. The windshield is made of Lexan Polycarbonate with FMR hard coating, resulting in a highly durable product.
On my test rides I immediately noticed a reduction in wind turbulence between the screen and my upper body, which was due to the “flip” and “hips” design. But I could still feel the wind in my face, which is an important and enjoyable part of my riding experience. When I took to the highway, I also noticed that the front end of each bike was much more stable because of the reduced downforce. In order to avoid the dreaded wind buffeting, it is important to get the windshield that is the correct height for you—in other words, you should be looking over the top of the windshield and not through it. Along the same lines, riding with a low-profile helmet (or no helmet) also helped reduce wind buffeting just as it would with a traditional windscreen.
Klock Werks warns against cleaning the windshield in the hot sun or high temperatures, and cautions against using powdered, abrasive or alkaline cleansers, as well as benzene, paint thinner, gasoline or other harsh cleansers and rain-sheeting products. Instead, Klock Werks recommends just warm, soapy water, as well as their ShineWerks non-abrasive cleaner designed specifically for the Flare Windshield. I use ShineWerks on my Flares, and it not only acts as an excellent cleaner, but also repels dust, dirt, bugs and debris that otherwise might gather at the bottom of the “flip.” It comes in a four-ounce bottle and I carry it, and a microfiber towel, in my saddlebags.
The Billboard Flare Windshields have been welcome additions to both my Dynas, and since the Flares have been installed, my road trips have been both smooth and stable. After product testing at the Salt Flats as well as in high-tech wind tunnels, I would expect nothing less.