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Friday, November 30, 2012

Elwood Gets a Windshield

Yesterday (11-29-12) I started a new project, to make a new windshield for Elwood (the 1979 H-D 1200 Fatbob). There are a couple factors in this, 1) the old windshield was short and narrow, and 2) it had about a 60 degree angle and was hitting the handlebars and brake/clutch cables. So this project is twofold in purpose: larger windshield, higher canter.

When I made the windshield for the Kawasaki we bought a large piece of lexan polycarbonate. Thankfully, there was enough left over for Elwood. So I had a 36 x 25 inch piece of lexan and the support strip from the old windshield. I would need more reinforcement for the shape of the windshield, so I went to a local hardware store and picked up some aluminum U-bracket material, a strip of 1" x 36" galvanized steel, and a strip of 1/2" x 72" aluminum. Here's some of what I am using:
I cut the aluminum strip and U-bracket to 33 inches so that it will reinforce the sides of the windshield. If I don't do this, it looks wavy. I cut the galvanized strip to 25 inches to help shape the curve of the windshield. I do all the drilling and mounting and I have a pretty good looking windshield. So at this point, before I drill the holes for the mounting bracket on Elwood, I set the 'shield on the motorcycle to get an idea of what it will look like:

Well that was unintentional. That's a tall windshield!

Back to the cutting tools! I went back to sizing it properly and I got called on an emergency mission by my wife. Something to do with paying for an event ticket. I go to start the Kawasaki and the battery was dead! Guess I have to take Elwood, even without a windshield. I went about 3 miles and discovered how cold the wind is when it's blasting you at 35 to 45mph.  I have an even greater appreciation for a windshield. It keeps the bugs off AND that blasting cold wind!

I get back home and back to work on the windshield. I cut about 2 inches off the top and put a curve to it. I also had to angle cut the bottom outside a few inches because the 'shield was jamming into the gas tank when the wheel was fully turned. After wearing out my sawblade from cutting aluminum and steel, I cut the 'shield exactly how I wanted it.

When I went to mount it, I used washers to increase the canter. This was extremely difficult but I got it mounted and this is what it looked like:
Still a bit tall! I am sure that it looks taller than it is because it's not much more wide than the last 'shield. I thought about taking it off and cutting off about 4 inches, but as difficult as it was to mount with the modified canter, I am alright with a tall windshield. I call it "customized"!

Here it is, all finished:

I praise the Lord Jesus! You made me and saved me, and I love You for it! Amen!

1 comment:

  1. Jon it looks great. You are tall so you need a tall window shield.