Dang duct tape fell off again...
A few of observations and 2 cent opinions:
1. Acrylic windshields are MUCH easier - and quicker - to fabricate than polycarbonate. Perhaps David could chime in here since he's an engineer and has extensive professional knowledge about this.
2. Acrylic base stock is MUCH less expensive than polycarbonate. Acrylic windshields are MUCH less expensive than polycarbonate, and much more numerous in the market place. While they may be OEM on some of the (sniff) less expensive bikes that does not necessarily mean they are any good in the first place. Bean counters rule production lines. I DO like that fact that you can polish acrylic, but quite frankly with the advent of excellent hard coating for polycarbonate this is no longer an issue. Acrylic is also much easier to cut down and flame polish, so modyfing a taller windshield is actually a DIY for just about anyone with decent skills. Not so with polycarbonate. BTW, uncoated polycarbonate CAN be successfully polished, but it takes more skill and special compounds. One of my good friends, a crew chief for National Guard F-16 pilots, does it all the time.
3. As far as I know there are no FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) for motorcycle windshields like there are for cars. I'm not familiar with what a DOT standard is, but I don't believe it means a whole lot when it comes to specific testing and certification for safety. The FAA also has specific safety standards for windshields, they can be made from all sorts of laminated plastics and even glass - just depends what the manufacturer prefers and the specific mission of the aircraft.
4. Looking at this information from a rather skeptical viewpoint, it would seem that this would allow a lot of "shops" to engage in the motorcycle windshield manufacturing business with a rather low entry threshold, consumer be damned. Thin windshields, no matter what they are made of are just not going to have the inherent rigidity that thicker ones are. I'm not an engineer, but I do know that for every specific increase in wind speed loading goes up geometrically to some pretty astounding pressures. With their excellent aerodynamics LT's are capable of prolonged high speed travel. I'm talking 100 mph all day long, and indeed mine seems more comfortable and planted ABOVE 80 mph. There are VERY few bikes that can do this with any degree of comfort, and this alone - for me - calls for using the very best plastic for protection from hits of any sort. In addition, a tiny rock ejected from a spinning tire in front of you at 25 mph would become a more like a bullet at 100 mph. I used the example of a small rock since we've ALL been nailed by them at one time whether in a car or on a bike.
5. Over 44 years of riding bikes on the street I've been hit by miscellaneous hard shelled insects, small rocks, a Robin that felt like someone threw a hardball at me, and a 5 lb. smooth river rock that was dislodged from between the dual tires of a semi traveling at high speed. I didn't have a windshield for the small impacts, but they all left marks and a long memory etched in my brain. The river rock caught my OEM BMW windshield square in the middle and was deflected. I'm sure it would have killed me either by direct impact or by knocking me off the bike if it wasn't there. I've owned a Chevy one ton dually since 1987, and I have literally had smaller rocks wedged between the tires MANY times that require deflation - or a crow bar - to remove them. I can't image how fast that rock would be ejected (perhaps a couple of hundred miles per hour?)
when the wheel is spinning thousands of times per minute at freeway speeds.
6. Why aren't motorcycle helmets made from acrylic? Many are made from polycarbonate.
7. Knowing the above, I have to harken back to my favorite Dirty Harry saying: "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
All of this blathering won't help the OP make a decision if the product he wants to buy is worth the money. For me personally another $100.00 or so is well worth the peace of mind that I may not become a statistic one day.
It's a free country, but as I've gotten older and wiser I also more and more believe that you do indeed
get what you pay for.
I wonder if Super Glue will hold that duct tape on any better? It works great with acrylic!