How-To: Screen Swap

Replacement windscreens are one of those great accessories that are in good supply for just about every sportbike made, and are blessedly easy to install. Even better, the tools you'll need normally amount to a screwdriver and a towel. Follow along as we swap this Kawasaki ZX-6R's stock screen for a Zero Gravity Double Bubble.

Remove the old screen by extracting the stock screws (1). Notice the thin nylon washers under the screw heads; don't lose them. Typically, sportbike screens are only held on by these obvious mounting screws, but a few installations secure the screens with additional tabs or plates; never force the issue. If you've removed all the screws and the screen isn't budging, go back and check the directions that came with the screen and/or the bike's service manual.

Gently draw the stock screen from the fairing (2). Most replacement windscreens reuse the original hardware, in this case rubber-covered plugs with internal threads called well nuts. Carefully extract the well nut through the stock screen (3). by pulling on the narrow end. It should come easily, but if the well nut is hardened or cracked, buy new ones from the dealer or screen manufacturer.

When installing the well nuts into the new screen, it's sometimes possible to push the nut in the right way--narrow end first (4). If the hole is too small to admit the bulge in the well nut, you can thread it in flange first. Use a spot of silicone lube (or, believe it or not, saliva) to ease the job. Once installed, the well nut should sit flush and square with the screen surface (5).

Because the inside, forward edge of the screen is often inaccessible once installed, take a moment to remove fingerprints now (6).

Slide the screen into place and double-check that all the fastener holes align and that the general contour of the screen fits the fairing. If you have to force or twist the screen to get the holes aligned, something is wrong. You may be able to force-fit the screen, but it'll soon crack.

By hand, install the first screw at the lower center part of the fairing, or as close as you can get to it (7). Tighten until a couple of threads are showing under the screw head to allow you to align the whole screen--that is, don't hunker down on the screw just yet. After installing all the screws loosely, gently tighten them to the final (very light) torque, again starting at the bottom, center holes and working your way up and back. Make a final check of the well nuts to see that they're not bulging excessively or pulling through the material; this is what it should look like (8).

Wipe your new screen with plastic polish (we like Plexus) and you're done.