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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

As I'm getting ready for a new screen, I am reading all about the so called safety issues between Acrylic and Polycarbonate.

With the millions of miles on aftermarket screens, has anyone actually experienced a failure of an acrylic screen??


My intent is not to solicit opinion on the saftey factors betwen the two; I'm just really curious about real life experiences.

Thanks

David



+_+_+_

We've all seen the National Cycle windscreen comparison touting their polycarbonate screen over an unknown Acrylic brand; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hsls5ZPCUnE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW01AwrcGXY (3min mark)

But they don't make a 1200lt shield, and I'm always a suspect of coke vs. pepsi taste tests.

Also, I've seen BMWRider79''s great right up!

bmwrider79 said:
Being a professional in the plastics business for close to 30 years here are the pros vs cons. I have seen a lot of mis information about both types of windshield materials on this site and others, so bear with me.

I know this is slightly off topic but... worth reading if your in the market for a new one

I like the cee baileys personally but each has it pros vs cons.

Acrylic:
clearer
RE-polishable even with deep scratches
actually harder
not a flexible
will fracture
Cee-baileys are acrylic & DOT approved so this eliminates a safety argument.
Mine is 1/4" thick and very durable.
It is not as sensitive to chemicals as PC
melts around 450F
It is used for the windshield of most fighter jets. story for another day.

Polycarbonate
not as clear Almost plastic all lenses are made from acrylic.
Can be repolished it but you better really know what your doing.
will not crack see Z-technik ad about breaking.
It will moisture fog can be corrected with alcohol wipe down
It is very sensitive to a lot of chemicals Acetone, & break cleaner will craze & crack it
Melts around 550F

About both materials

Neither is perfect

both can be harmed by chemicals

both weigh the same at the same thickness & size profile

If your worried about breaking issue ie rock stone going down the highway either will do the job. your underwear may not but the shield should make it. besides if a item is that big coming at you and the windshield is your last line of defense your going to have problems more worrisome than wind shield failure.

They are PLASTIC and will deteriorate over time, Sorry it is not glass.

The base resin they are molded from is about the same price $3.50 to $5.00 per pound.
Ironically we have been able to buy polycarbonate for under $2.00 per pound lately

What can makes a plastic last longer? the additives in the plastic, UV inhibitors help prevent sunlight damage. and the yellowing & chalking
cheap acrylic you can buy at the hardware store is NOT what they use for windshields that crap is about a $1.00 per pound. and it is crap.

the process of extruding and then rolling out in sheet form is the same basic process for both polycarbonate and acrylic.

All windshields are made from thermo-formed sheet stock. Ie cut & drilled, heated then formed on a male & or female opposite shape of existing form.

Sad to say the raw sheet that any shield is made from is some where south of $20.00 What your paying for is labor, overhead, liability insurance costs, advertising, DOT certification. and don't forget the owner wants to make a profit. And if sold through your dealer well you get the idea.

If it is not DOT approved I would not recommend buying it

How to make it last longer. Wash with plain soap and water, soak bugs off with a hot soapy towel till they soften up. DO NOT RUB HARD. rinse soapy cloth often bugs dirt and debris are very abrasive and WILL scratch either type of plastic.

Some of the vendors that support this web site have some good cleaning products to clean & polish it up with after a through cleaning.

Mr Moto aerosol polish makes a great final touch and the bugs come off easier on the next clean job!

Hope this helps
 

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Seroiusly, if you fall of your bike, it is not going to matter what windshield you have on your bike. Any windshield out there is going to withstand a bug/small rodent strike up to a point before it fails, There is a breaking point in everything. Buy what you want to and be happy with it. There is a number of people on here who like to blow their own horn and will tell you to never buy this, never buy that, with 118k miles on my bike, I have had bugs hit, small birds hit etc with no problem, and all with aftermarket windshields.
 

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I have a couple C/B's for the LT and a couple for my 950, as you can tell i like them. On a ride a couple of years ago a friend who rode a GS650 crashed on our ride. He was cooking into a corner and just couldn't make it, hit the dirt and ended up in the embankment. I was right in back of him and it looked like it was going to be bad but he had good gear on and is very tough. He had a C/B on his bike and here are some pic's.
The crash took the screen off at the mounting and I don't think any screen would have done any better. He went right over the bars and into the embankment. When the ins fixed the bike he got another C/B. Here is a pic before the crash

Here is a pic of right after the crash the busted screen is in the dirt just above the fender

here is whats left on the bike

Here is what the screen looked like
 

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My only personal experience has been as a rider. I only laid one down a long time ago, a Honda 350 and the damages to all was minimal.

Fast forward to today and my 02 K1200LT still has the stock polycarbonate windshield. Since I ride 99% of the time with ATGATT, for me personally I would not ride with any windshield, other than polycarbonate. I think using something that "could" shatter would be contrary to my riding philosophy. I have watched a few videos showing what could happen and I just don't want to take the risk.

Everything we do on a bike is voluntary as most just ride for fun, so for me, it just isn't worth the risk vs. reward..
 

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Just wish to add what IMO may be a way in making better sense of info gathered, that being WHAT MATERIAL the shields on the market are actually made from ?

Cee Bailey ...

Parabellum ...


Aero Flow ...


Etc Etc ...


** Fill in if you know, add to the manufactures list using copy and paste so as thread progress's ALL the info collected is within the last post.

JMO,
Scott
 

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The CB's are the shape and size that works for me. I understand the risk with a jagged break on an acrylic shield. I accept that. (Hell, I was on a DC8 the other day with a broken, yes, cleanly separated from the gear strut, main gear retract cylinder, busted down lock bungee cylinder hydraulic supply hose puking fluid, and false TCAS traffic alerts going off during the RTB. I guess risk is relative to the individual)
Anyway, I have hit 1 seagull in 20 deg temps and a couple other smaller birds in warmer temps and the CB shield holds up just fine. I find the non-coated acrylic shields last longer for me than the scratch resistant coating on the polycarbonates, as far as clear visibility through the shield.
 

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I have 80,000 miles on my Cee Bailey & I have one bird hit to many stone chips to count & rode thru a hail storm. I would buy another one without a second thought.
 

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saddleman said:
I have 80,000 miles on my Cee Bailey & I have one bird hit to many stone chips to count & rode thru a hail storm. I would buy another one without a second thought.

Yea, but you wear Kevlar. :D
 

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I like my Cee Baileys and have none of the issues I have had with OEM poly shields. I like that they can be refinished to remove scratches and can be completely restored to like new by Cee Bailey for about $50. Removing scratches from a poly shield has proved impossible for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
rkimmel2 said:
I like my Cee Baileys and have none of the issues I have had with OEM poly shields. I like that they can be refinished to remove scratches and can be completely restored to like new by Cee Bailey for about $50. Removing scratches from a poly shield has proved impossible for me.
Wow..I had no idea..I'm sending my -2 wing back for refinishing; Talk about scratches!

D
 

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Love my Cee Bailey's. IMO the outside chance of a shattering windshield injury is more than offset by the fact the I can actually see though the Acrylic.

I've taken a fat pigeon out at about 70 mph on the Cee Bailey, and it held up just fine.
 

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This man, (I guess the writer is a man?) speaks the truth. I stopped by a plastic shop last fall to see if they could polish the factory shield and the guy said the material was too soft and success was not likely. I will go acrylic this spring when I replace the factory shield. I've had them in the past and never had a problem.

Acrylic for me!

Loren

rkimmel2 said:
I like my Cee Baileys and have none of the issues I have had with OEM poly shields. I like that they can be refinished to remove scratches and can be completely restored to like new by Cee Bailey for about $50. Removing scratches from a poly shield has proved impossible for me.
 
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