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Thread: Windscreen Issues with the R1200RT

  1. #1
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    Windscreen Issues with the R1200RT

    I have two questions.

    First, I've been told that I should not use any cleaners contanining amonia, because that will eventually dull the windscreen. So that leaves out the typical Windex and usual products. So, I'm wondering what people normally use. Is there an inexpensive alternative. Water will take the bugs off but leaves marks.

    Second, I'm finding that even in the "up" position, I'm getting a lot of wind and noise that I didn't have with my previous bike - and it's a bit annoying. What's the best aftermarket screen I should consider? I'm 5'10", but have only a 30" inseam (dress pants), so most of that height is above the waist. Thanks for any help with this.

    Jim
    Jim
    2010, R1200RT
    Rochester, NY

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Many chemicals will not only dull, but actually damage the plastic of a windshield.

    After the initial hot water wipe, my favorite cleaner is Plexus. Works great on all plastics and some metals. Shake it up real well, spray it on (liberally if you have a buildup that the water didn't remove), and wipe off with a clean terry cloth (towel-type material). If it doesn't buff out, repeat with a lighter application.

  3. #3
    Geeeeeeeeek. andrewsi's Avatar
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    +1 for Plexus. Works great. But don't use it like an "abrasive" for bugs. If you're heavily bug-splatted, soak a towel in warm water and lay it on the windscreen for 5 or 10 minutes first, then the bugs will come right off. THEN use the Plexus to polish it up.
    Andy
    His: 2009 R1200 RT, in Biarritzblau
    Hers: 2008 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie

  4. #4
    PlaneGeek
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    +1 for plexus. I use mine with some cheap cloth diapers from Target.

    Never use windex, ammonia or anything caustic on plastics. This includes your helmet visors, the headlight assembly, the clear portion the map case on your tank bag, any other lenses on your bike or even your head light assemblies on your car. If you have a convertible or a boat that has plastic windows same thing goes for them.

    When people complain that their windows/lenses are fogging or turning yellow the cleaner is the culprit.

    The only thing you can use windex on your bike is the glass mirrors.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlaneGeek View Post
    +1 for plexus. I use mine with some cheap cloth diapers from Target.

    Never use windex, ammonia or anything caustic on plastics. This includes your helmet visors, the headlight assembly, the clear portion the map case on your tank bag, any other lenses on your bike or even your head light assemblies on your car. If you have a convertible or a boat that has plastic windows same thing goes for them.

    When people complain that their windows/lenses are fogging or turning yellow the cleaner is the culprit.

    The only thing you can use windex on your bike is the glass mirrors.
    Plexus!!!

    While more expensive than some other products, it leaves no residue.

    As for an aftermarket shield, no such thing as "the best possible choice" due to personal tastes.

    I have a Cee Bailey and love it.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 09-03-2010 at 01:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    I have used Plexus and it works OK but is a bit expensive. I also use MgGuires spray detailer which works well. As to aftermarket windscreens I use and like the one from Cal Sci and bought the lowest one they sell. It was too high and so I attacked it with my bandsaw and cut off about 2 and a half inches. Now it's perfect. The folks at Cal Sci are great and would have modded my w/s for free had I asked them to do so and shipped it back to them. It came with a small bottle of cleaner and a nice large microfiber towel. I have the opposite of your problem, I'm 5'8" with a 32" inseam. When I sit down I nearly disappear.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  7. #7
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    I might add that our erstwhile prez - Dave "Kbasa" Swider - swore by CalSci for his RT. Interesting to note, though, that CalSci has the recipe for their windshield cleaner on their web site. It contains ammonia! Wonder why there is so much confusion?!?!?!
    I had a Z-Technic on my '04 RT and loved it. I'm 5'6"/28" inseam.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    2015 R1200RT

  8. #8
    Geeeeeeeeek. andrewsi's Avatar
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    CalSci's windshields are acrylic and not polycarbonate (or maybe it's the other way around) but I'd bet it contains ammonia because it's safe for their windshields, which they make a big deal about not being made of the same stuff as the typical OEM windshields.
    Andy
    His: 2009 R1200 RT, in Biarritzblau
    Hers: 2008 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie

  9. #9
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewsi View Post
    +1 for Plexus. Works great. But don't use it like an "abrasive" for bugs. If you're heavily bug-splatted, soak a towel in warm water and lay it on the windscreen for 5 or 10 minutes first, then the bugs will come right off. THEN use the Plexus to polish it up.
    Yep, 100% agree with the soaking and Plexus. I like plexus cause it's not waxy. I've heard a lot of people swear by "Pledge" but I've not tried it.

    I have a Cee Bailey on my RT and I can't complain about it. It is a "+2" and works great but I think any aftermarket shield is better than the stock.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  10. #10
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    Thanks

    About the bugs: Looks like Plexus is the big winner here. About the Windscreens: CalSci seems to have a good rep., but I did notice too (as has been mentionded) that they publish their formula for windscreen solution - which contains a LOT of amonia. So it must be true that their windshield material is of a very different chemical composition. Any chemists in the group? Thanks, everyone for your comments - very helpful.

    Jim
    Jim
    2010, R1200RT
    Rochester, NY

  11. #11
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Polycarbonate is degraded by ammonia, although I used Windex for years on a polycarbonate windshield and face shields without any noticeable effect. I suspect that most, if not all, polycarbonate products are coated. Acrylics, like those used by CalSci, are not affected by ammonia.

    A dilute solution of dish detergent works pretty well, although if you use too much detergent it may take some rinsing.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  12. #12
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    I've been using non-ammonia Glass Plus for awhile with good results. For light scratches and hazing I use Novus.

    I installed an Aeroflow and have been very satisfied. Quiets down the ride with little buffeting. Good weather protection. Passenger approved, too. I've ridden with it extended at speed -- no broken windshield brackets to date.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW K1600 GTL '18 | Honda Goldwing '12

  13. #13
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanRT View Post
    I've been using non-ammonia Glass Plus for awhile with good results. For light scratches and hazing I use Novus.

    I installed an Aeroflow and have been very satisfied. Quiets down the ride with little buffeting. Good weather protection. Passenger approved, too. I've ridden with it extended at speed -- no broken windshield brackets to date.
    Good points! I use Novus polishes for scratches and it works great. Maybe need it once a year at the beginning of Spring.

    And yes, the brackets. I had to replace mine with the stronger aftermarket type and they work great. If you break an OEM bracket, don't replace it with OEM.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  14. #14
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    Some are apparently worrying a lot about an issue that doesn't matter much unless you go to extremes or forget common sense. (eg- use ammonia or an alcohol undiluted, clean a dirt covered screen, etc)

    Sure, various chemicals can damage plastics given enough time, heat or concentration.
    That includes ammonia, isopropyl alcohol, methanol, gasoline and others to varying degrees and depending on whether the screen is acrylic or polycarbonate, coated or not.

    What you're forgetting is that UV light is way more damaging to plastics than just about any typical cleaner at normal frequencies. UV yellows, embrittles, and eventually clouds all plastics, some a whole lot faster than others. And UV damaged plastic can also become more susceptible to visible chemical damage. Polymer chemists can write you a text about what they do to delay UV effects but they are inevitable. (The guys who picked the plastic for the BMW tank bags ought to try reading a couple chapters- the plastics picked are a wrong choice and yellow/cloud very easily in the sun)

    Then there is road debris that pits plastics or scratches them. Coated polycarb is a lot tougher than typical acrylics used for bike windscreens re scratching. Don't forget road "grease"- that oil film from combustion and tar products isn't plastic friendly either.

    I figure a bike windscreen has a life a lot less than the glass ones on my cars and even those only last 100K miles at most before getting sanded/pitted/cracked enough to make doing a change worthwhile. None of my cars has its original- one is on number 5. I'm guessing maybe 6-7 yrs out of a screen (Z Technic) on my RT based on current rate of damage it picks up in use and my tolerance level for damaged plastic. But there's a big mileage and time in the sun factor that could change that a bunch.

    I clean it first with the cleaner on the CalSci website (I make gal at a time and use it on my cars too) when its glutted with bugs or grease and with water if its not. Follow with Plexus. Plexus does very little to clean off road grease or bugs by itself- it tends to dissolve and smear grease into a transparent film that builds up over time.

    For glass, I'm a big believer in siliconing (Rainex is one but there are better) but do not use it on plastic!! Concentrated chemicals in these things will not do any plastic any good.

    If you want long screen life, first keep your screen out of UV when not in use and remember that UV is a lot worse at higher altitudes and lower latitudes. A bike owned by someone in the SW, FL, or the Rockies might get 10-20X the UV exposure of one ridden by someone in MN.

    racer7, Ph.D.
    (run various labs for over 40 yrs)

  15. #15
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    I use Sprayway Foaming Glass cleaner. Works great. No ammonia - never had it - never will.
    Nom de Plume:
    Steve Aikens, Clovis, NM
    BMW MOA #6218
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