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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent the last few months trying to solve the head-rattling buffeting problem with my 2022 Heritage Classic, and I'm pretty close to my wit's end. I spend most of my time riding CA highways, doing 80+ most of the time. I'm 5' 11", and in the stock configuration I experienced buffeting coming off the top lip of the windshield and coming up from under the tank.
Below is the list of solutions I have tried:
  1. Replaced the stock 17.5 windshield with a 19.5 shield from Clearview shields. Result: Still getting buffeting off the top of the windshield, hitting me in the forehead instead of the eyes.
  2. Replaced the stock seat with the H-D hammock, hoping to raise myself up out of the stiff stream of air coming up from the tank. Result: no noticeable difference, except that it seems to have raised me up maybe an inch or two, negating the taller windshield.
  3. Purchased JES fangs, hoping to cut back on the wind coming up from under the tank. Result: Buffeting from below is almost completely gone. However, there is significantly more heat from the motor, which might be problematic down the road. More worrying is the noticeable shimmying and general instability that worsens as I approach 80 MPH+. With the fangs, the bike is unstable enough that I've taken them off. It doesn't help that they are ugly af.
  4. Tried switching to from my Shoei RF-1400 to a Bell pit boss half helmet. Result: seems to be that the less helmet I have, the less buffeting I experience. I might not notice the buffeting at all if I wore only goggles.
Is anyone else dealing with this? From scouring the forums, it seems like nobody in the last 10 years has really dealt with buffeting on this bike, except for like 5 other people. Save me from giving up and just trading this bike in for a road glide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
here is what my riding buddy installed on his Heritage Classic, he say it really reduced his helmet buffeting. Yes I know the part says it is for a gold wing... you do have to cut a hole in your windshield.
There are a couple of videos on YouTube about reducing buffeting, one of them show installing a vent like this. On a Harley
I bought one of those vents and I also bought a Klock werks Flare 20" windshield (Billboard Flare鈩 For H-D 2018-2021 Softail Models | Klock Werks). It's got these little flares at the bottom that might deal with the wind coming up from underneath. If the Klock werks shield doesn't pan out, I'll drill into my Clearview shields 19.5" and install the vent. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks for the support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wanted to post a quick update about the Klock Werks billboard flare shield that I had ordered. I swapped out the clearview shield for the KW one, and the first thing that struck me is the weight difference. KW makes their shields from some sort of polycarbonate, while Clearview makes their shields from high impact acrylic. The Kw shield is not only much lighter, but it is ridiculously flexible. I bolted it on and took it out, but the buffeting remains. No noticeable difference when comparing the Clearview, Klock Werks, and H-D shields.

The air is coming up from under the tank. I reinstalled the fangs, since the KW guys claim that their shields provide something like 15 lbs of downforce on the front wheel. It seems to have an effect, because where previously I noticed severe wobbling, the combination of KW shield + fangs seemed to negate that instability. However, the fangs cause noticeable heat build-up. My legs were roasting behind those fangs.

My last ditch effort will probably be to install the vent in either the clearview shield or the klockwerks shield. If that doesn't work out I'll just put up with riding it naked until I can trade in on a road glide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't have buffeting with my windshield, and it's a sportshield. Memphis Shades Del Rey (or Del Rio, whichever one is the taller one). The top of the windshield is even with the top of my lip. The windshield angle is a little adjustable, but I have the shield parallel with the forks. I added a cheap clip-on extension from Amazon which is in it's lowest and most vertical position, the top of which is even with the tip of my nose. Also on the bike are Memphis Shades custom lowers.

At the time when I was messing with this setup, I had a Maywood 3/4 helmet. I kept adjusting angles and mounting positions until I had the least buffeting, but still had buffeting over about 50-60 mph.

Then I got a new helmet, HJC i90 helmet and all my buffeting was gone. I think a lot of people probably don't put enough stock into how much the helmet choice affects buffeting.

So, I don't think bigger or more windshield is necessarily the answer to buffeting. Plenty of naked and sport bikes have the tiniest of windshields without buffeting. Of course, the rider is often much closer to the windshield on those.

You'll never stop air from trying to rush in behind the windshield without a vent. The trick is to get the turbulent air to not hit your helmet and just have clean air hit it, and to have the right helmet and helmet fit. A lot of people wear a helmet that is one size too large for them. If it's a full or 3/4 helmet, it should be squeezing your cheeks a little, but not so tight it's causing headaches or pressure spots. You also need to make sure you got the right shape, most people are intermediate oval but some are more round and some are elongated. And different brands will have slightly different fitments in the same shape and relative size.

But a good aerodynamic helmet aside, it just takes a lot of trial-and-error and adjusting the mounting of the windshield (if it's adjustable).

For reference, this is my setup. I played around with where the lowers were mounted (swapped mounting arms left and right to put them higher to overlap the windshield and back how they're supposed to be, angled more forward or back, etc), played around with the angle of the windshield, how high and low it was mounted on the forks, played around with the angle of the extension, etc. Of course, we're talking maybe 1 to 1.5" of movement in any direction at most, but just a small change can have a big effect.

I also used to have a bar bag mounted behind the windshield (which can be seen in this picture). I took that bar bag off earlier this year and although I didn't have buffeting with it there, the air control improved when I took it out.
View attachment 819285
Thanks for taking the time to type this up. I appreciate that the helmet aerodynamcs can make a big difference, and I've read that cited in other places. I've ran with a Shoei RF-1200 for a long time before replacing it with the RF-1400. I love those helmets, and I get them sized correctly - quite snug. All the same, I tried replacing swapping my helmet for a Bell Pit Boss half helmet (a liberating experience after 6 years of full face helmets), but the buffeting is just about the same. Honestly it feels like if there's anything on my head, it will buffet. I imagine if I strapped on a pair of goggles and took off, my problem would be solved. Unfortunately I value my gray matter too much, and besides that, CA law doesn't grant me that freedom.

I've given thought to the idea of a tiny little screen, just enough to take the wind pressure off my chest. Previously I slapped a Memphis Shades gauntlet fairing on my 2019 Street Bob FXBB, and it worked like a charm. I should have never gotten rid of that bike. I've attached a picture of the fairing before I paint matched it. Anyways in the spirit of going small, I went out and picked up a fine tooth blade for my jig saw, and I'm going to cut down my stock shield as low as I can, to see if it works out. It'll probably end up around 13" all said.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That looks badass, I would love to run something like that on my FLSTC..how does it mount up?. I played around with the idea of a clamp mount and universal fairing, but experience tells me they are anything but universal.
Memphis shades sell the fairing with mounting hardware. Installation was pretty straightforward for me.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just wanted to update you guys with the solution to my buffeting problem. After trying just about every combination of fixes suggested online, I started wondering why nobody suggested just cutting the windshield down low enough to get completely clean airflow to my head?

I ended up cutting down my stock windshield as low as I could. It now measures at right around 10鈥. I鈥檓 happy to report that my problem is solved. I now have clean airflow to my helmet and the buffeting is completely gone. Out on the freeway at 80+ mph I can feel the wind rushing over my shoulders, but the pressure on my chest is completely gone. I could ride all day behind that chopped down windshield.

Now for the negatives:

I鈥檓 sure people will have strong feelings about the way it looks. I kinda chopped it pretty straight across, but I鈥檓 planning on rounding off the edges and giving it a little curve again.

This set up makes my half helmet useless. I don鈥檛 know how some people are riding freeways with just sunglasses and half buckets. I tried that, and it was a hairy experience to say the least.

Tl;dr 11鈥 stock windshield + shoei RF-1400 is the perfect setup for no buffeting but comfortable freeway riding.


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