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keithu

Barn door smackdown: V-Stream Touring vs. Madstad 26"

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I'm tall: 6'3" (190cm) with a 33" (84cm) inseam, so a lot of my height is in my torso. I'm planning to ride the six day Butt Lite Rally this year, which means a lot of time at highway speed.

In 2016 I replaced the dreadful OEM screen with a National Cycle V-Stream Sport Touring screen. It was an improvement over stock, but obviously too short for me so I ordered their largest Touring screen. It was adequate, but I've never been 100% happy with it. The V-Stream was kind of loud and buffeting was often a problem.

Many people seem to be happy with Madstad, so I decided to order their largest 26" shield. The Madstad mount is unique because you can adjust both height and angle. I quickly discovered that they had assembled the sliding brackets backwards, which was annoying but it only took me about ten minutes to take them apart and re-assemble them correctly.

While I had everything apart I took the opportunity to slather a little JB Weld on the upper headlight stay, a known weak point when running large windshields. I previously reinforced the stays with all-thread rod through the lower and a brace between the lower and upper. Hopefully the JB Weld adds a little strength.

Once the Madstad brackets were fixed installation was easy, and as before I used one of the mounting bolts for my GPS mount. I set the shield to 60 degrees as a starting point.

I took a little 20 mile test ride loop on I-5 and some local two lane, with some time cruising at 75 and 80mph.

Verdict: big improvement. The Madstad is definitely quieter and smoother. Buffeting in the wake of an 18-wheeler was still there but not as bad, and overall the cockpit is a much calmer, more comfortable place to be. After leaving I-5 I stopped and adjusted the shield angle forward a bit, which I think I like better.

In the side views below you can see the much larger gap between the windshield and headlights with the Madstad than with the V-Stream. It looks weird, but this big gap seems to relieve pressure in the cockpit that makes a it calmer.

You can also see that the 26" Madstad is about two inches taller than the V-Stream. This might be a problem for shorter riders but I still look over the top. I even got a bug splat on my helmet faceshield during the test ride.

The whole Madstad assembly seems a little more wiggly than the V-Stream. We'll see if this becomes a problem long term. I hope not.

The Madstad instructions say that the outer shell of the OEM handguards must come off. I have Barkbuster Storm handguards and they don't even come close to contacting the windshield.

Finally, both my wife and I think the Madstad looks better than the V-Stream. This is obviously subjective and merely cosmetic. But it underscores my final verdict: if you need a gigantic touring shield Madstad is the winner.

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Thanks for the info.  For you Madstad was a good choice. Though at 6'3'',   you just might need a bigger bike than the FJ!:)

Question: Is that box on the pillion seat a supplementary gas tank for the Butt ride?


1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
1971 Norton Commando Roadster
2002 Harley 1200 Sportster
2003 Honda ST 1300
2016 FJ 09

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Interesting. I'm only 6-1, well prolly 6-0 now as I've shrunk when I passed 60, but also have a loong torso.  So much so, that with my Givi Tour shield I added a bolt on spoiler.  I've never been totally happy with the Givi, a lot has to do with wind direction.  Sometimes it's very smooth and relatively quiet, other times there's buffering and fairly noisy.  I have a double bubble type shield about oem height with a clip-on spoiler for intermediate weather an a opaque bikini screen for not weather.  I can swap them in 15 minutes.

 I've been toying with getting the 26" Madsrad but warmer temps are about consistently here.  Maybe I can find a used one before fall.

It may be the slightly taller Sargent saddle in the high position for legroom has dictated a taller than seemingly normal screen for me.  I've also gone to Renthal's Street Naked handlebars, which I highly recommend.

Good luck on 6-day BLR, I followed your auxiliary tank build.  I hope it works well for you.  As men age, they find their prostrate does not permit making it through the one fuel tanks capacity before a pit stop is often suddenly mandatory.

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1 hour ago, nhchris said:

 

Question: Is that box on the pillion seat a supplementary gas tank for the Butt ride?

Yep, check out my "FJR-09" topic under Build Projects for details on the tank.

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2 hours ago, 2and3cylinders said:

Interesting. I'm only 6-1, well prolly 6-0 now as I've shrunk when I passed 60, but also have a loong torso.  So much so, that with my Givi Tour shield I added a bolt on spoiler.  I've never been totally happy with the Givi, a lot has to do with wind direction... 

I think the large air gap at the bottom of the Madstad shield is the key difference because it breaks up turbulence behind the screen. Full disclosure: Ambient winds were dead calm during my test ride yesterday, so it remains to be seen how well it performs in cross and head winds. But there was a sense of calm behind the Madstad shield that I never felt behind the V-Stream. With the V-Stream I always felt like the screen was plowing a big ugly hole though the air, a sensation I didn't get from the Madstad.  

Quote

As men age, they find their prostrate does not permit making it through the one fuel tanks capacity before a pit stop is often suddenly mandatory.

I don't (yet) suffer from that malady, but it will be important to stay hydrated during the ride to reduce fatigue and maintain health. I'm currently working on a hydration system to help with this. If I don't stop to pee about twice as often as I stop for fuel, I'm probably not hydrating enough.  

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Posted (edited)

Nice shield. I was forced into one when my other barn door (Kappa the wind catcher) became prime suspect of having broken my dash stay. I think that for it's size, the Madstad still looks decent.

I use my 22" panel (at lowest setting) with the X-Creen Tour deflector that I removed from the old setup. The Madstad on its own worked very well, but the combination made it just right. The deflector is not so much an extension of the shield, but it manages buffeting very well and can be adjusted (offset/height and angle) while sitting on the bike (say a stop/ light). I still see over the screen comfortably.

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Edited by piotrek
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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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4 hours ago, nhchris said:

Though at 6'3'',   you just might need a bigger bike than the FJ!:)

Like what? 

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Hi Keith,

I am glad to hear you are happy with your Madstad screen. I agree with your conclusions.

I use the shortest version, so likely there is less barn door effect. I have not reinforced my brackets and have had no problem.

Yes, because of the way the Madstad brackets fit on the stock brackets you get an amazing amount of angle and height choices, but it does seem a bit wiggly. However, I have been using it for over 45 thousand miles and have had no problem in that regard.

The material Madstad uses is significantly thicker then any other windshield I have ever had, and much more nick and scratch resistant as well After over 45 k miles, most of which is at hwy speeds, I have no seriously noticeable surface damage. I use it in a position that is lower than my my eye level, but still look through it often and find it to have no appreciable distortion. 

The shape of the windshield is specific to the bike and carefully fills in the areas the unfortunate (Gen one version) stock shield did not.

Madstad states that the gap behind the windshield is the specific reason for the calm cockpit, and has illustrations on their web site to explain  how that works. And, it does work including in the rain. the noise reduction is also significant, and might take a little bit of experimenting to get the right angel. I wear pretty quiet helmets, and never ride without ear plugs, but still suffered from noise and buffeting with all the other windshield I tried before finding this one. This one is a clear winner. 

I was introduced to this brand by a guy I met during a ride. I saw it a Madstad on his Versys and asked about it. I was regained about how good it was through breakfast (Blue Bird Cafe, Hopland, CA). I had never met a guy who was actually happy with his windshield!

I also use after market hand guards (KTM) and they do not interfere with the windshield, while doing a much better job than the ('15) stock items.

As usual, YEMV, and alas, I have no relationship with the Madstad company.

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43 minutes ago, TheBigG said:

Like what? 

If I had to replace my FJ-09 tomorrow I would probably look at the FJR-1300 or R1250RT. I would probably "Oh" and "Ah" at the RT and then after looking at the price tags come back down to Earth and buy the FJR. 

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1 hour ago, keithu said:

If I had to replace my FJ-09 tomorrow I would probably look at the FJR-1300 or R1250RT. I would probably "Oh" and "Ah" at the RT and then after looking at the price tags come back down to Earth and buy the FJR. 

I find the FJ09 to be much roomier than the FJR or the BMW RT. I'm 6-5 and think the FJ09 is one of the few bikes out there that is built for guys my height.

On the windshield - nice write up. I was between the Madstad and the Puig. Ended up with the Puig Touring. Big improvement over stock. I can't say how it compares to the Madstad, but I can say it's good enough that I don't feel a need to replace it.

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35 minutes ago, nevada72 said:

I find the FJ09 to be much roomier than the FJR or the BMW RT. I'm 6-5 and think the FJ09 is one of the few bikes out there that is built for guys my height.

The numbers at cycle-ergo.com back you up; the FJ-09 is a great bike for tall people. But for the LD riding that I seem to be doing right now I still think the FJR or R1250RT are better suited. They have much better weather protection out of the box; I can put a big windshield on my FJ-09 and I have, but now I live in constant worry about the front subframe cracking under the strain. The FJR and RT also have much more standard fuel capacity, and the FJR even runs on 87 octane fuel.  

And I haven't even mentioned the shaft drive. 

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1 minute ago, keithu said:

The numbers at cycle-ergo.com back you up; the FJ-09 is a great bike for tall people. But for the LD riding that I seem to be doing right now I still think the FJR or R1250RT are better suited. They have much better weather protection out of the box; I can put a big windshield on my FJ-09 and I have, but now I live in constant worry about the front subframe cracking under the strain. The FJR and RT also have much more standard fuel capacity, and the FJR even runs on 87 octane fuel.  

And I haven't even mentioned the shaft drive. 

Agreed on all points. I think the FJR is king of the Iron Butt Association. Unfortunately it's just too tight for me. The Ninja 1000, however, feels a little better to me. I think I could live with that, but again, chain drive.

When I really rack up miles I use the Harley. It's not fast by any means. But it will run 90 MPH all day long and I'll be comfortable the whole day doing it. Range is okay, but really drops off at those speeds. At 75/80 I can get about 200 miles of range.

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As someone who currently rides a 'Wing and previously owned an FJR (2007), and just purchased a Tracer, I can say that the Wing is the most comfortable one of the bunch as long as you buy an aftermarket seat (the factory one is an embarrassment). The FJR is definitely sporty and great for touring, but I still found its screen to be on the small side. +1 for the shaft drive, though. Can't argue with that. But the Tracer so far wins for the most fun to ride. It doesn't have the comfort and wind protection of the Wing, or the shaft drive and fuel capacity of the FJR, but it puts the biggest smile on my face at the end of the day. Now, day 6? Hehe, maybe not. 

Oh, almost forgot to add, +1 for Madstad as well. Great company and great product. Had one of their shields on an Africa Twin. It was fantastic. I love that it offers both height and angle adjustment.

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3 hours ago, huck said:

Yes, because of the way the Madstad brackets fit on the stock brackets you get an amazing amount of angle and height choices, but it does seem a bit wiggly. However, I have been using it for over 45 thousand miles and have had no problem in that regard.

Currently I have the Yamaha bracket adjusted all the way up and the Madstad bracket all the way down. I'm trying to decide if it might be better to move the Yamaha bracket down and the Madstad bracket up. I should be able to get about the same shield height, but it might alter strain forces on the subframe. 🤨

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Posted (edited)

I just went out to the shop to check how mine is adjusted. I am about 5'8" with a 30 inch inseam and have the Yamaha "comfort seat which is a tiny bit higher than the unfortunate stock gen one seat. I use the shortest (22") Madstad windshield set at the lowest height in both the stock and Madstad hight positions. I stood in front of the bike a flexed the windshield a bit from side to side. I seems that the flex comes from the whole assemble moving, as if mounted in something flexible. I have no idea what the final mounting base is but perhaps the mounting bolts are in grommets or something? Has anyone been in there to see? I detect no movement in the screen when riding so I have never paid it any attention. I suspect this slight flexibility in the bracket may be intentional. When I get a chance I'll look in the service manual.

I have owned two FJR1300's, and consider them to be the most well sorted out machines I have ever owned in over 55 years of daily riding. I have, as have so many others, hundreds of thousands of trouble free miles on FJRs. They are amazingly trouble free, dependable, very fast, have great weather protection, handle very well for a +625 pound machine, and can't be beat for ease of use in LD situations. The drive shaft negates bothersome chain maintenance, regular gas is cheaper, the gas tank gets you 250 miles, and the electric windshield is brilliant. Oh, and no bar vibration! Currently there are many really low milage used machines in the market, and I am often tempted to buy one of them as they have such a wonderful high milage history as to make a used unit purchase pretty safe. 

However, the older I get the lighter I want and need my motorcycles to be. I do not think the FJ-09 is in the same league as the FJR in terms of fit and finish, dependability, or any other category. However, with a few strategic mods and up dates (tires, brake pads... and well, suspension) it can become a damn good machine that is light weight, is very nimble, and has enough leg room to help deal with geriatric knees. I kept my last FJR for the first year of FJ-09 ownership, but once I had the thing sorted out, I found the FJR to be too tight in seat to peg space, and way too heavy. I really love the FJRs but fear I can't go back to something so heavy and so like sport bike ergos. I note that the new GT model Tracer is heading into FJR territory in terms of up grades, and perhaps it will continue to do so. I assume, at least for now, that the Tracer GT is my next bike. Meanwhile, my much modded '15 FJ-09 works for me for all the above reasons. 

Edited by huck
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