To shield and protect
My bike, a 1982 FXRS Shovelhead, was near stock when I got it, and I intend to keep it that way. The FXRS Shovelhead was manufactured for only 2 ½ years, and many of these models still on the road have been customized to some extent. I’ve made minimal changes, only those I deemed necessary to make the bike safe and to fit me better, and every modification can be easily reversed and put back to stock.
One of my goals with the bike is to ride her to Sturgis, and I’ve been gradually increasing the length of my road trips until I’m confident that she can handle a round trip of nearly 4,000 miles. During one of my 100-mile shakedown rides, the weather turned cold, the wind picked up and it began to rain. All my other bikes have windshields, and I’ve been spoiled, having gotten quite used to the protection they offer, and I’d forgotten how fatiguing it is to fight the elements at highway speeds.
By the time I got home, my neck and shoulders were sore, and I decided that I absolutely had to have a windshield. But not just any windshield; an unobtrusive detachable one so I could revert to the stock look quickly and easily. Although Harley-Davidson as well as various aftermar-ket manufacturers made windshields for my FXRS, I discovered none were detachable. That is, until I found the Memphis Fats for FXR Super Glide, made by Memphis Shades.
The windshield I ordered was the MEM-3100 Memphis Fats for FXR Super Glide, clear, in a 13” height. This windshield is also offered in 15”, 17”, 19”, and 21” heights, and besides clear, comes in gradient black, ruby, purple, blue, burnt orange, solar, and night shades. I also needed to order the MEM-8967 Trigger Lock Mounting Hardware which is available in either a polished or black finish. (If the bike previously had a Memphis Shades Trigger Lock kit installed, all I would have needed were the plates for the Memphis Fats windshield, available for $65.95.)
One of the hallmarks of Memphis Shades is that they still offer windshields and accessories for older bikes, even though none of today’s Harley-Davidsons sport the smaller-sized forks that came on earlier-year models. And another attribute that I admire is that the windshield is of a mini-malist style; in other words, it doesn’t detract from the looks, or the flow, of the spare, uncompli-cated styling of the FXRS.
Detailed mounting instructions with photos were included with the mounting kit, as well as all hardware and tools with the exception of a 7/16” or 11mm wrench which we all have in our toolboxes anyway. The mounting clamps are adjustable for clearance and to change the angle of the windshield, and the genius part of the clamps are that they are also adjustable to accommodate 35mm to 39mm forks. The windshield also has an approximate 1” adjustment where you can slide the shield higher or lower on the mounts. The entire installation process took less than half an hour to accomplish.
Former racer Allen Mueller founded Memphis Shades in 1974, producing windshields out of the family garage in Rossville, Tennessee. Demand outgrew production capability in that small space, and the company moved to a building with a larger footprint in Collierville. Once again, Memphis Shades needed to expand, and in 2006 the company moved to an 84,000-square-foot facility back in Rossville.
Memphis Shades windshields are made of Lucite acrylic, which provide clear optics as well as strength. Clamps are polished stainless steel with CNC-machined billet aluminum fittings, the socket-head screws are stainless steel, and the latches are glass-filled nylon, so none of the hard-ware will rust or corrode. And Memphis Shades uses 3-D modeling, CFD analysis and automated finished and electro-coating for uniform fitment.
Also included in the shipment was an instruction sheet for simple and easy windshield care. Only soapy water, i.e., mild dishwashing liquid, should be used along with a soft cotton cloth. Glass cleaning products, petroleum-based chemicals, or harsh chemicals should not be used as they’ll damage the Lucite acrylic. The company offers its own product, Memphis Shades All Kleer, which is a cleaner/policy, bug remover and rain repellent.
I wasn’t sure the 13” windshield height would be adequate since I’m used to windshields 15” or higher. But what I discovered on my first long ride after installation is that, between the height and the angle at which the windshield was set, I experienced virtually no buffeting, even while wearing a helmet. Yet the windshield was quite effective in greatly reducing the force of the wind hitting my torso, and my neck and shoulders suffered no strain or pain whatsoever. Nor did I feel any extra weight at the front end; the bike still handled as well as it did without the shield.
Shipping is free in the continental U.S., and Memphis Shades offers a generous 21-day return policy if the product hasn’t been used and is sent back in its original packaging. A 24-month warranty is in effect for all product components against defects in materials and workmanship. That said, I’ve never experienced any problems with any of the Memphis Shades windshields I’ve used, and chances are good that you won’t either.
Memphis Fats for FXR Super Glide 13”, #MEM-3110, $175.95
Trigger Lock Mounting Hardware (polished), #MEM-8967, $149.95