Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS | DOIN’ TIME

Long-Term Update: Swapping windshields, looking for turbulence-free protection.

WRIST: Marc Cook
MSRP (2014): $12,699
MILES: 10,478
MPG: 40
MODS: More new windscreens
UPDATE: 6

I'm playing with windshields. I'd used the Suzuki accessory screen before with good results—it is taller and wider than stock and works well for me.

Suzuki's accessory touring windscreen, standard on the Adventure model, costs $235.

But California Scientific sent me a couple of different screens to try. First was the Shorty ($140) whose top edge is approximately 2 inches higher than stock. The CalSci Shorty is even wider than the Suzuki accessory screen at the bottom and extends further below the mounting brackets, partly closing off the slot between the cowling and the screen itself. It's narrower at the top by 2.5 inches, and because it's the shorter of CalSci's efforts, it does not have the slot that helps the larger screens have less turbulence.

This is the Shorty screen mounted with the angled brackets, in the lowest of three holes found on the Suzuki mount, and angled all the way back.
CalSci's Shorty screen for V-Strom 1000

I like the appearance of the CalSci Shorty screen better than the Suzuki piece, but overall coverage is quite similar. I’d rate the CalSci as providing slightly less turbulence, but it has to be in the second angle “notch” to get the same amount of coverage as the Suzuki screen. (The V-Strom’s mounts tilt in three steps plus you can mount the screen to one of three heights; all of these screens were in the lowest holes.) I think that’s because the Suzuki screen has a flip at the top that the CalSci does not. The Suzuki screen’s flip helps push the air up and away from the rider, but it’s more turbulent when it rejoins the rest of the slipstream. (It’s been said that we wouldn’t fly in the air if we could see it.)

CalSci's Large screen.

So, I like the Shorty screen quite a lot. I also was sent the CalSci Large screen, and I get the desire for extensive coverage. Probably if I lived in a really cold climate, I’d love this screen. It provides a very large pocket of still (ish) air with amazingly little turbulence. But it’s so tall that I’m looking through or below the top edge, which is a deal killer for me; and I totally admit that this is one of my personal quirks. If you’re accustomed to looking through glass, you’ll love the taller screen for its tremendous coverage.

These brackets make the hardware fit flush to the curved CalSci screen but move it forward, away from the rider slightly.

The only fly in the CalSci ointment is the mounting scheme. Suzuki’s stock mounts are flat across the front of the bike but the CalSci screens all have a natural arc. (Suzuki’s stock and accessory pieces apparently come out of the mold with the mounting points cast at an angle to the screen’s natural curve.) With the CalSci screens, you can either accept that the screws run through the screen at an unsightly angle—and be very, very careful to not over-torque the screws unless you want to crack the screen at the mounting points, like I did—or you can use the optional brackets that fit between the screen and the bike. Using the brackets moves the screen forward and created marginally more turbulence for me.

One of the challenges in getting the V-Strom’s aerodynamics in line is the distance from the rider to the screen. It’s not a short bike, so getting the air moved out of the way and reattached to the atmosphere around it before it becomes turbulent is hard work. With any of these screens but the stocker, if you lean forward the wind noise evaporates. Magic.

Next time: I have a number of trips on the SW-Motech Dakar soft panniers and will report back on this versatile luggage system.

CalSci's Shorty screen for V-Strom 1000
This is the Shorty screen mounted with the angled brackets, in the lowest of three holes found on the Suzuki mount, and angled all the way back.
CalSci's Large screen.
Suzuki's accessory touring windscreen, standard on the Adventure model, costs $235.
These brackets make the hardware fit flush to the curved CalSci screen but move it forward, away from the rider slightly.