Goldwing Windbender windshield

Firecreek Accessories has made Windbender electric windshields for Goldwings for awhile. The earlier models put a motor under the right storage pocket and ran a cable to the windshield. The whole setup was pretty expensive.

'Quickdraw' from the GL1800 forum recently bought the company and added some improvements to the windshield. Instead of the cable-driven windshield it now uses an electric actuator. This eliminates the cable, adds an additional inch of windshield travel, and is 1/3 less expensive. All this combined to picque my interest so I ordered a kit.

The well-packaged kit arrived in a few days. Nice and speedy. The kit included the shields and electronics.

The kit comes with EXCELLENT installation instructions. The stock windshield is removed.

The hardware is transferred to the base windshield which is smoke colored. The Windbender shield consists of two separate windshields that allow two paths of air. This is supposed to eliminate the source of buffeting and give a more airless ride. The motorized part of the kit is an option.

The base shield is installed.

When I was taking the old windshield off I heard a clunk but didn't think much of it. When I got the base windshield on I went to adjust it down and found it was stuck in the top position. After messing with it for awhile I could stick a screwdriver in the mechanism and get it to lower but as soon as I ran it up again it was stuck once more. I searched the GL1800 forum and found my problem. The clunk I heard earlier was a piece of the ratchet mechanism falling out. Apparently this isn't uncommon. I found it lying in the nose of the bike. In my attempt to put the piece in somehow I got it jammed in the mechanism and now the windshield was infinitely didn't click every inch or so. Another thing I realized is that my windshield has NEVER clicked like that. To fix it correctly I'd need to take it apart. A project for winter I'm thinking.

While I was pondering the windshield mechanism problem Mike and Andy stopped by. They were changing a U-joint on Andy's truck and hit a snag. Apparently General Motors felt the need to improve a U-joint design that has worked fine for a hundred years. They now inject some sort of liquid paste into some internal groves which keeps the U-joint in place. Fine I guess until it needs changed. They used my torch and hydraulic press before reverting to the old standby...the cutoff wheel. The offending U-joint. Not one of GM's greatest ideas.

If you just got the windshield part you would insert the top windshield and the project would be done. Since I got the electric option I had to drill holes for the actuator. Following the instructions I marked the bottom windshield for drilling.

The kit includes a spade bit, but mine was bent, so I used regular bits. Not a problem.

The upper windshield is inserted. There is some variation in the positioning allowing the rider to mount the windshield at different heights depending on riding preference. I sat on the bike and found the heights I preffered, then drilled the hole for the other end of the actuator.

My windshield setup. I've since added a cable clamp to protect the connection to the motor.

The control switch goes anywhere, but I ordered the premounted version. The wiring harness has plenty of length to reach everything, and uses connectors at all ends. The harness tees into the power plug under the left storage box.

The window in action. I had to loosen the outer screws a little to adjust it for smooth operation.

For its maiden voyage I took IN-450 down to Shoals to eat at Bomacs. IN-450 has a little bit of everything. I love the new windshield! With it down it's like riding with no windshield, and you don't have the wind blast. You just feel a trivial amount of air, and no buffeting. At highway speeds the airstream comes down some so putting the window up puts the airstream back over the top of the rider for continued smooth riding.

Two thumbs up for Quickdraw's Firecreek Accessories and their great kit.

Window department sticker and a reflective/glow in the dark US flag.

Update August 2011 - After a couple motorcycle trips and a summer of riding I can report I love the Windbender! Being able to look way over the windshield, yet have no wind blast or buffeting is great. For me, I have the bottom shield up two clicks, and I usually run the top shield all the way down. This is the way I have it 99% of the time. The only time I ever put it up is for long runs on the interstate. Because of this I rarely use the electric function. If I had to replace the windshield I would probably forgo the $400 electric option. Especially since the Windbender now comes with quick-adjustable manual pins.

Update December 2011 - The control switch was moved to the lower left control panel so I could put a PTT button in its location. Installation was simple: mark the hole, drill it, and install the switch. I tapped power from the control panel harness to simplify the wiring a little.

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