Stop the Buffeting!


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Stop The Vulcan Buffet!!

Almost all motorcycles have some buffeting behind the windshield. It's inevitable with air flowing around all sides of a windshield then slamming back together in the low pressure area behind it. Unfortunately all too often the air is doing its slamming right about the same space your head occupies.

Fortunately there's a fix. With the Nomad (and many other bikes) stopping the flow of air from 'under' the shield will all but eliminate buffeting. That airflow is stopped by a product known as "lowers" a piece of plastic or metal fitted to the forks below the bottom/sides of the windshield. Nomads come from the factory with lowers fitted but they aren't large enough to be very effective at highway speeds. Below are several options ranging from plastic and stainless steel commercial products to 'make your own'.

  1. A new entry to the commercial field is being manufactured of high quality 1/4 inch Lexan by Vernon Appenzeller. Vernon is a former Honda Valkyrie owner accustomed to the buffet free environment behind that bikes giant windshield so he wanted the same large envelope of still air behind his Nomad shield.

    va_lowers2Rather than settle for other commercial offerings he considered to be a little too large he experimented until he found a size and shape that not only provided reasonably still air behind his windshield at (extra legal in most states) highway speeds but by golly, they look good too! They're about 5" taller and just a little wider than stock Nomad lowers.

    These lowers will work with both the Nomad 1500 and 1600 and will accommodate the windshield through it's full range, all the way up or down. They won't collide with the engine protector bar with the steering turned to full lock.  Vernon's lowers also work with the 1700 Nomad. He says it comes with the same tiny lowers the 1500/1600 Nomad was saddled with so it's quite likely those experiencing buffeting issues with the 1700 will benefit from his lowers.

    Want a set? Contact Vernon at this e-mail address. Pricing is $68 per set plus shipping by whatever method you prefer.
  2. edmonds_lowersOne of the original solutions for Nomad is made by Edmonds Enterprises. This is a very high quality 1/4" thick clear Lexan shield that bolts in place of the stock lower. The Edmonds product is available in several configurations depending whether the rider has a light bar or not and whether the windshield is in its highest position or someplace lower. See the Edmonds Enterprises website for details. These lowers are $55 per set and are for Nomad only.
  3. buffetshieldIf you're pinching pennies (or just a cheapskate) you can make your own lowers but be forewarned if you use quality materials such as scratch resistant Lexan rather than the far more brittle (but cheaper) Plexiglas you may, in the end, wonder why you didn't just buy them. Plastic is strongly recommended for this project because it's so easy to work with but more than a few riders have made them from aluminum or stainless steel.

    To make your own you'll need a design. You can make a copy based on the photos above or come up with something on your own. If you have your own thoughts about design (nobody says you can't use a flame shape on the outer edges) I'd suggest you start with a cardboard template. Tape your design to the forks (it doesn't have to be pretty) and ride carrying a pair of scissors in your bags. Get your bike up to speed and check for buffeting in various situations including following one of those annoying big SUV's (they don't know how much dirty air they create behind them) at highway speeds. Stop occasionally to trim your creation until you start to notice some buffeting then tape the pieces you most recently cut off back on.

    buffetshield1Transfer this pattern to your plastic or metal. At this point you might want to try some inexpensive Plexiglas you can purchase for next to nothing at any hardware store.

    buffetshield3Once cut to shape using a bandsaw (best) or handheld coping saw (ok but you'll do a lot of filing to clean up the edges) drill holes for mounting in the stock locations for Nomad or for large U bolts for other bikes and mount em' up.

    Ride and test awhile and if the design is working for you then transfer it to higher quality (and substantially more expensive) Lexan.   Use 1/4 inch as the pro's do or you risk the plastic vibrating and humming as you move down the road at speed.n using a bit of cardboard to make the initial design then cut your lowers from a piece of Lexan.

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