Have you bought a windshield for your Road Star only to find that you are getting a whole load of head buffeting that you have never experienced before despite your best attempts to adjust the windshield? Then you, my friend, are a candidate for a set of Buck’s Windshield Lowers! What we have for you today is the second product review for RoadStarMagazine.com and the first one done by Australian, John Beddoe. It is well worth a read, especially if you have a windshield or are thinking about getting one.
- Ease of Installation: 9/10
- Installation Time: Five or Twenty Minutes (20 if lowers are broken down for international shipping)
- Mechanical Aptitude Required: Beginner
- Tools Required: 7/16″ Wrench & 5/32″ Allen Key
- Quality of Instructions: Very Good
- Quality of Product: High
- Contact: BUCK1@MI.RR.com
- Reviewed by: John Beddoe, N.S.W. Australia (edited by Glenn Martin, this review is subject to the following disclaimer)
The main function of windshield lowers is to stop the blast of wind that is directed at your upper body. Believe it or not, this actually comes up from over your knees and not from over your windshield. ?The wind blast from that area is there with or without a windshield, but when you do have a windshield it is more pronounced due to the extra protection from the direct frontal wind blast, kind of like holding your hand into the wind out a car window for lack of a better description.
After installing the Yamaha windshield on the Road Star I was surprised at the extra comfort from not having my arms stretched by the wind to the chest, and the wind protection it offered in general. But being 6′ 2″ and despite testing different settings I found I was getting head buffeting which I never had before I bought the windshield. I made a comment about this on the Road Star Forum and Buck came back with a reply that I would have an extra degree of comfort again with lowers installed. From various postings that I have seen on the Road Star Forum, the general consensus from owners is that Bucks Lowers are the best available so this made my decision to buy Buck’s lowers instead of Yamaha’s an easy one.
Buck’s Lowers consist of two clear flat Lexan deflectors that are slightly thicker than the windshield so they do not vibrate excessively (some vibration does occur); they are also now scratch resistant providing better long-term life. Although the lowers are thicker, it isn’t terribly noticeable and I had to get out a ruler to be sure. Buck also supplies the high quality chromed steel mounting brackets using stainless steel bolts that the lowers themselves are mounted on.
The adjustable brackets supplied allow you to find the ideal position for the lowers, but I assume most people will want to have the lowers and windshield lined up with the forks. At first I thought a neater appearance could have been achieved by having preset holes instead of an adjustment facility in the lowers mounting brackets, but after consulting with Buck he explained it is done in this fashion to accommodate the various brands of driving lights available.
Bucks Lowers are only made for attachment to the Yamaha brand windshield and aesthetically they complement the styling of the shield and bike. The Lexan deflectors are not tinted, as are the Yamaha windshields in the US, but in Australia the Road Star windshield comes with a very light tint, although it is not so contrasting as to be an issue.
A concern I do have for the future is the gap due to the rubber washers between the lowers and the mounting bracket. I do not wish to have to take off the Lexan to be able to clean the chrome/Lexan in this gap, which is otherwise inaccessible. I was also expecting a chrome plate to cover the area at the front of the lowers where they are attached to the mounting bracket, like the way the windshield has chrome strips on both sides of the windshield (see attached).
Initially I was expecting to find some leg protection from the lowers because of their location. ?This isn’t the case and neither is it what any set of windshield lowers are?designed to do (for leg protection you will require a full dresser fairing or similar). What I, and surprisingly?my pillion wife, did experience was the total disappearance of the head buffeting that we?had after buying the windshield. ?We also found that there was now even less wind noise than after the windshield was installed. I don’t understand the aerodynamics of this, because the lowers are installed in front of your legs,?but it sure works well. ?If you are riding along the highway on your Road Star and place your hand on your knee you will feel the windblast that is directed towards your upper body and head and this is what the lowers deflect.
One day on the way down the F3 to Sydney the overhead electronic signs said to be cautious due to strong winds. And they were strong! Fortunately the wind was head on (as opposed to hitting us from the side) and we had no buffeting effects on us around our heads thanks?to the lowers and at times where travelling at 120 to 130 km/h (75-80MPH). The lowers themselves were getting visibly buffeted but I couldn’t feel it?and better the lowers getting buffeted than my head and body. Even in normal highway conditions the bottom of the lowers can sometimes be seen to be buffeting, but this is not transmitted to the windshield nor the handlebars.
I found that with the lowers my lower legs are protected to varying degrees dependant on travelling speed. At 80km/h (50MPH) most of the lower leg is protected but now the majority of the wind blast is hitting the outside edge of my legs. Above 120km/h (75MPH) the protected zone due moves outwards resulting in more protection for the lower legs. This can have a small benefit, especially in the rain, but to repeat, it is not what lowers are primarily designed to do.
After riding with the lowers for a couple of weeks I removed them to just remind myself of what things were like with just the windshield:
- 100 to 120 km/h (62-75MPH, some head buffeting without lowers is present again, which is not there when the lowers are installed
- Around 80 km/h (50MPH), not much difference re buffeting.
- What was very obvious was the extra wind pressure on the chest area that I had previously?put down to the gap between headlight and the windshield in the high position at all speeds. I now know this blast is what is coming over the top of my knees and the lowers stop this.
- Also could again feel wind pressure on the arms and shoulders which is not present with the lowers at all speeds.
Pretty simple, just bolt it all together and Buck even labels the brackets “Left” and “Right”, so you can’t go wrong. I used a wooden dowel to ensure that the lowers are in line with the same angle as the windshield for the sake of appearance although some (including Buck) find the lowers a bit more effective when angled more vertically.? After installation the lowers can be removed in two or three minutes if need be.
But here’s a big warning for you, always read instructions in full. ?Unfortunately, when I was applying the nut locking solution some of it got on the Lexan and I now have a permanent copy of my fingerprints on them although I couldn’t get them to show up in a photograph for this review. Buck does address this very important issue in his instructions and warns of this happening. ?He also recommends the immediate use of alcohol to remove the thread locker if it does get on the Lexan.
Buck’s Lowers are compatible with all driving light setups on the market at this time, so you won’t have fitment problems there. But you do have to be careful if you have highway bars, because the Cobra, Waynesville (by MC Enterprises) and the new high mounted Yamaha highway bars do not allow the mounting of Buck’s Lowers, and quite possibly anyone else’s for that matter. ?If in doubt, be sure to check with Buck first.
Not only am I pleased with my purchase of Buck’s Lowers, so is my wife. When I told my wife I was going to remove the lowers for a weekend ride, so I could do a reminder comparison to how the windshield was before the lowers, she replied, “No way!?I remember what it was like before you put those things on!” ?This is the sort of extra top up you can ask your other half to give to you as a “gift” to match the windshield that you have just purchased. As always Buck is so confident you’ll be happy with the lowers that he is offering a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. You can contact?Buck at BUCK1@MI.RR.com or visit http://www.buckslowers.com/ for further details and a price.