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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About how much does a full size shield reduce MPG on average?
 

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Lost but making good time
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73 Posts
I've been wondering about this myself. Thinking about it, the windshield doesn't catch any more air than my chest would anyway.
 

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2,344 Posts
I would think that it wouldn't make much difference at all.............in fact, if someone had read a study that found that it increased mileage, I would believe it.
 

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1,946 Posts
When I had a Boulevard C50, my mpg definitely suffered, anywhere from 45 on down with the shield, and usually 48 and better without.

With my Vulcan 1600, I was getting 40mpg at best without a shield. Put one on, I dropped down to 36-38.

It made a lot more difference to me on the smaller bike than the 1600, but there are times when I get 34-35 on the 1600 and it doesn't make me feel too good.
 

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Giant Biker
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2,323 Posts
Mine made zero difference.......but that might be because I am wider than the shield anyways.
 

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900 LT
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1,135 Posts
I read a study (cant find it now) but it went something like this.

a larger shield costs 2 -3 mpg while a smaller shield deflects just enough air to reduce the drag that the body would create anyway and increases mpg 1 - 2 mpg

either way its usually hardly noticeable but i will say this, we ride with a woman that has a Yamaha virago that tops out at 72 mph, after she installed the shield the top end was 78 mph, that tells me that small shield on that small engine reduced drag
 

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900 Classic
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190 Posts
I freaked out from my first tank after I put my windshield on my 900. 38 mph. Just went 102 miles without cranking the throttle to hear the exhaust and I'm back up to 51. Basically, it's all in how you twist the grip.
 

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Loan Ranger
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49 Posts
I replaced my 15 1/2" shield with a 20" shield and it did lower my mpg by 3-5 mpg and can tell a little difference when it real windy, but I wouldn't switch back.
 

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ILBTS
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1,248 Posts
mine made no difference at all. Vn900 with a memphis slim and i still get mid 50's highway, mid 40's city. thats right where it was at before i put the windshield on.
 

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Michigan Back Road Rider
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293 Posts
I went from a Cafe shield on my Custom to a 21" Memphis Shades Fats. Mileage went from about 53 to 51 on average.
 

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Strat Man ... ok, PRS too
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582 Posts
I think there is a difference. I added a switchblade 2 up about 2K miles ago, so not many shields bigger....

I used to fill up and do the math for 40mpg and see a little above. Now I do the same math and come up a few miles short. To guess, I'd say 40 or 41 vs. 39 or 38 for most tanks. The faster I go, the bigger the difference.
 

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i have never really checked mine but my fuel millage did seam to decrease a little with the shield not much but a little
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
If I ride a naked bike stock, it generally gets worse mileage, than it does with a windshield installed.
My latest bike I noticed this on was an old Honda Nighthawk I have, stock is not as good as when I put on a large aftermarket windshield I bought for it.
I took the windshield off for a ride, and MPG dropped again, put it back on and up went my mileage.

Not saying all bikes are the same, but in this case it adds comfort, i eat less bugs, and get better MPG with it on the bike.
 

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Dunno if my MPG has gone down... maybe a lil bit... but my top end speed has suffered a tad.. but I'm also on a 550... with a Memphis Shades Roadmaster shield.... lol, the stars 'n stripes on my sissybar waves towards me like im goin in reverse.. haha.

Windshield was a lil larger than I anticipated.. but eh.. still looks/performs excellent, do need to find someone to chop it a bit shorter (without it looking like it was done with a hack-saw), as I look through it, not over it.
 

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Machinist For Sale/Rent
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1,234 Posts
Wife and I both have 800A with Plexistar II windshield on mine and a Plexistar I on hers. When we ride we fuel same time, always. Her bike usually takes a bout .05 more fuel than mine on a near empty fill. My windshield broke and was removed for a day ride. i used nearly.4 gallon less than her. That is .35 difference for roughly 110 miles. Roughly 5mpg difference. Average speed was 60mph with a 70mph blast on the freeway.
 

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I had the stock windshield on my 9 for the last 4 years. this spring I put on a Memphis Shades Batwing fairing and my miliage increased by about 40km or more per tank. ( just my 2 cents )
 
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