Lowers and Windshield

Thought I would post some pics of my "Lowers and Windshield Mod" on my new bike.

First off, this is me and my new bike (7 miles on it when I bought it a month ago)…

Nice stock V 1300. No bags, no windshield, no nothin’. Well, after a few hundred dollars (or should that be thousands?) and a lot of internet searching I ended up with this. New bags (brackets were backordered EVERYWHERE – finally found a pair from a nice dude at Woods Cycle Country in Texas), new windshield (ALSO backordered – ended up ordering from Michigan), sissy bar (eBay), passenger floorboards (eBay), and luggage rack (eBay).

Looking much better, but wait – is that windshield actually tipping AWAY from the rider? Well, that looks downright silly. And besides, I’m only 5’8" and the top of the windshield was WAY too high for me. And then, of course, there’s the dreaded "head buffeting" problem. So after researching these things on my V 1300 forums, I discovered I needed lowers and a new tilt to my windshield. I didn’t want them, I NEEDED them (Honestly dear – wait, wait, what if I make them myself? Is that okay? Yes? Thanks honey!)

So I set about making myself some lowers. Not wanting to mar my nice fork sleeves with ugly straps, etc. I opted to go the route of attaching them to the OEM windshield brackets. So I fabricated a couple of brackets out of 1" aluminum angle bar.

Notice how much better the top one looks after I wire brushed the aluminum. I then set about trying various shapes and sizes of lowers made from masonite board that I cut on my bandsaw. I ultimately ended up with these (with apologies to Buck, who I kinda sorta copied it from).

After settling on this design, I then went ahead and got a piece of 1/4" window plastic from Lowe’s. Don’t know if it’s Lucite or Lexan or some other type, but it’s nice and rigid. After cutting them out and mounting them in place of the masonite boards, I ended up with this…

Looking good – note that I also took the lazy way out and simply removed the bottom bolt from the windshield bracket and tipped it out. The lowers brackets were then tightened down on it and kept it in place.

Well, now I had two new problems. One, the tilted windshield was now tilted TOO far (see below – I wanted the windshield tilt to match the forks), AND my control cables and hoses were NOT very happy about being squished back by the windshield. Oh, and did I mention this made the gap between the bottom of the windshield and the headlight housing about two inches wide? All that did was let MORE air in to slap me around. AND, the windshield seemed to have more vibration in it, possibly due to the reduced mounting. All in all, not quite was I was looking for…

What to do, what to do? Ah, I remember reading on one of the forums about a guy who made brackets to move his whole windshield forward and down. Where was that again? Ah there it is – thanks Zippo!

Well, Zippo made his brackets out of 1" aluminum barstock. I happened to already have some 2" aluminum barstock laying around, so I used that. I figured if anything it would be a bit less prone to vibration, as well a stronger. So after much trial and error, I ended up with the design shown below (unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the upper bracket, this is the lower one). Again, notice how much better it looks after wire brushing it (it’s the one on the left, stupid).

And here’s how they look mounted to the bike before putting on the windshield…

Note they’re simply installed UNDER my lowers brackets, exactly where the stock windshield bracket would normally be. After mounting the windshield, they look like this…

And so, after all is said and done, I ended up with GREATLY reduced buffeting, the windshield is now the proper height, and the angle matches the forks. Another side effect is that I now had someplace I could mount my navy base access pass OTHER than wrapping it around my fork with hose clamps. SUCCESS!!!

All this for about $20 in parts and a couple days of my time (Yes, I know dear, I was supposed to be spending those days cleaning out the garage, but I really, REALLY needed to do this… But look how little I spent!!! Yeah, I know, I promise to clean the garage NEXT weekend…) Not as nice as Buck’s (no chrome, no scratch free plastic, etc.) but functional.

And all BEFORE I took it in for my 600 mile checkup!


Comments

Lowers and Windshield — 2 Comments


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    Hi.
    Thank you for sharing your mods and your great looking bike.
    I have had my Vstar 1300a for about three months now and have added soft saddle bags, 2up windscreen, and cruise control.
    I have my tank off at the moment as I can smell fuel vapor.
    I found that the two pipes to the front of the tank where very hard to remove so I put brass joiners in line so I can refit with out having to worry about the fuss.
    I have added stainless steel pipe clamps to all fuel lines including those two at the front. My hope is that this might fix the issue of fuel vapor or leakage.
    I was thinking of modifying the stock air box too, but was wondering if you think buying a after market brand that has bigger air filter.?

    Anyway enough of my rambling, again thanks for sharing your ride.

    Regards David.(From Australia)


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    The lowers look great. Would you share the dimensions for the plastic and the angle bar?? I want to make my own and could save a lot of time if you could share the patterns. Its up to you.
    Thanks

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