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Discussion Starter #1
I never had a windscreen until I bought my K1200GT. It has the BMW tall windscreen. I am looking for advice, suggestions, ideas, etc. regarding windscreen care and expected lifetime.

What do you do to care for your windscreen?
How often do you clean it?
How do you clean it?
What products do you recommend to clean and preserve it?
Do you remove the windscreen for cleaning?
How long do windscreens typically last before they need to be replaced?

Here is what I have been doing for my K1200GT. What do you think?

1. Remove the windscreen.
2. Using a garden hose, give it a good soak.
3. With my hands and the hose water, gently wipe the grime and dirt off.
4. If there are still bugs stuck on it, spray the spots with BMW bug remover and let them soak for a few minutes.
5. Rinse.
6. Dry the windscreen with microfiber cloths (the cheap ones from Target).
7. Spray Novus 1 on both sides and wipe with dry microfiber cloths.

I notice that there are tiny sparkles (scratches?) on the windscreen. They are very small and hard to see, unless I am riding into the sun. I don't know if they are some kind of wax buildup from the Novus, or actual scratches, or what.

All recommendations and ideas are most welcome. Thanks.
 

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Razel said:
I clean mine with Plexus. If there's a lot of bugs, I'll use a wet, towel and let it sit on the screen for five minutes, then rinse off with additional water and the towel. Dry it, spray Plexus on it (helps keep the bugs from sticking really, really hard) and I'm done.

Wash it with soap and water when I wash the rest of the bike.
What he said.....

and...... DO NOT USE WINDEX OR ANYTHING LIKE IT! That's a sure fire way to frost up a windshield.

(Lemon Pledge works well, too)
 

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clean windscreen

At home take newspaper and soak with water and lay on windshield and keep wet for a time, bugs will soak off, On the road I use alot of water and what ever I can, or let the dew from overnight hit the windscreen then clean off.
 

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What everyone else said....and when washing or drying do it from top to bottom..not across and not in circles ever!
 

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I just clean it

BAK04GT said:
What everyone else said....and when washing or drying do it from top to bottom..not across and not in circles ever!
Huh. I just clean it -- scrub it with the squeegee at the gas station, use the high pressure wash when I wash the bike, and Windex wipes at home for spot cleaning. I don't wipe in any particular direction.

I don't think Windex will hurt the shield, but I have no facts to back this up. (Well, I do notice Windex comes in plastic bottles...) I've only had the GT since last August, but I've been cleaning the shield on my other bike this way for more than 10 years, never had a problem.

I use Windex wipes on my helmet shield too, after pretty much every ride. At the gas station I dip a rag in the squeegee water and use that, never had a problem with it.

Maybe some aftermarket shields are made out of different plastic? The factory shield looks like polycarbonate to me, which I think is usually coated with something else.

Has anyone actually damaged a windshield by cleaning it?
 

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XMagnaRider said:
1. Remove the windscreen.
.
Whyn remove the windscreen? I l never remove it. I clean it while on the bike. I use a cushioned stick to get my microfiber cloth into the inner part at the bottom.
 

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Zaino

Caveat -- I don't have a K1200GT yet, sadly, so have never used this on the motorcycle myself.

Might check out Zaino products. The glass polish worked very well on my BMW 3 series windshield and the plastic cleaner/protectant worked very well on the headlight lenses. Cleaned up some scratches and left a slick surface additional debris didn't stick to easily.

Commentators on the Zaino page show the plastic cleaner removing scratches and protecting "bug guards" on SUVs. Again, I've not been there myself, but that seems very similar to the abuse a motorcycle windscreen might endure.

Their other products have worked very well on my car, for whatever that's worth !!!! :bmw: :bmw:
 

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bonafidebob said:
I don't think Windex will hurt the shield, but I have no facts to back this up. (Well, I do notice Windex comes in plastic bottles...) I've only had the GT since last August, but I've been cleaning the shield on my other bike this way for more than 10 years, never had a problem.
I guess I'd better qualify why I said that. I used to use Windex on the windshield of my '86 Connie. Over time the shield got really fine cracks in it. I changed that shield and never used Windex again on any shield I ever put on that bike. Never had another instance of a fogged up or frosted windshield. It more than likely is/was the material it's made out of. I think the original was Lexan. I think the Rifle system was Lexan, as has been every custom windshield I've put on it since. Polycarbonate may be safe from Windex, but I ain't risking it.
 

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First, I always make sure to use the windshield cleaner at the gas stations. I have found that if your press really hard while rubbing the dusty film will come off. Then if the windshield isn't quite clean enough, I rub a little Comet onto some heavy steel wool and concentrate on small circular patterns working across the windshield diagonally. Finally, I finish off the process by rubbing some Rain-X onto the windshield. Ta-da... beautiful!!!

This process never fails to draw gawkers who marvel at my magical cleaning prowness! :stir:
 

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Falconfire said:
First, I always make sure to use the windshield cleaner at the gas stations. I have found that if your press really hard while rubbing the dusty film will come off. Then if the windshield isn't quite clean enough, I rub a little Comet onto some heavy steel wool and concentrate on small circular patterns working across the windshield diagonally. Finally, I finish off the process by rubbing some Rain-X onto the windshield. Ta-da... beautiful!!!

This process never fails to draw gawkers who marvel at my magical cleaning prowness! :stir:

I really dont understand why you put so much work and different cleaners into cleaning your shield.....seems like a lot of extra work!....why have countless cleaning supplys under your kitchen sink....clean out all those usless bottles of cleaners and just replace with one 4 oz bottle of PAINT REMOVER.....never have to clutter up your under sink again.....works the balls on any tough cleaning job!...also comes with added acid pre cleaner for those tougher jobs...make sure you use eye protection and never ever smoke!....
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and good humor. I have been doing some things wrong, so I will fix them. I learned a lot, including which people on this forum whose advice I should do the opposite. :spank1:

1. Does anyone have advice concerning Plexus vs. Novus #1?

2. How long (or how many miles) should the windscreen last before it needs replacement?
 

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But seriously...

XMagnaRider said:
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and good humor.
Yeah, fun thread. :popcorn:

So all the anti-Windex posts got me interested, and I poked around the web. (What did we do before the internet??)

Turns out polycarbonate will cloud up if you use ammonia on it. But it's also sensitive to water! and UV! (oh no! don't ride in the rain or the sun!!) ...so windscreens and stuff that needs to weather is coated. (Source: wikipedia articles on polycarbonate and Lexan)

However, Windex does not contain ammonia (aka ammonium hydroxide)! It contains: Isopropanol, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ethylene glycol n-hexyl ether, and water. (Source: wikipedia article on Windex) Looks like the "Ammonia-D" they blab about is a marketing thing. (Download the material data sheets from SC Johnson for the real facts.)

The Windex FAQ implies its safe to use Windex and Windex Wipes on plastics. (But they recommend doing it out of the sun.)

Anyway, back to cleaning the windshield... I guess I expect the bits at the front of the motorcycle to be tough. I ride in all kinds of conditions, and the bike gets dirty -- I'm not remotely a "polish the chrome" kind of rider. Sandpaper, comet, and steel wool are excessive, sure. But what exactly is wrong with a little soap and water and a squeegee? If a part can't stand being scrubbed with a sponge, it's got no business being on the outside of my motorcycle!
 

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bonafidebob said:
Yeah, fun thread. :popcorn:

So all the anti-Windex posts got me interested, and I poked around the web. (What did we do before the internet??)

Turns out polycarbonate will cloud up if you use ammonia on it. But it's also sensitive to water! and UV! (oh no! don't ride in the rain or the sun!!) ...so windscreens and stuff that needs to weather is coated. (Source: wikipedia articles on polycarbonate and Lexan)

However, Windex does not contain ammonia (aka ammonium hydroxide)! It contains: Isopropanol, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ethylene glycol n-hexyl ether, and water. (Source: wikipedia article on Windex) Looks like the "Ammonia-D" they blab about is a marketing thing. (Download the material data sheets from SC Johnson for the real facts.)

The Windex FAQ implies its safe to use Windex and Windex Wipes on plastics. (But they recommend doing it out of the sun.)

Anyway, back to cleaning the windshield... I guess I expect the bits at the front of the motorcycle to be tough. I ride in all kinds of conditions, and the bike gets dirty -- I'm not remotely a "polish the chrome" kind of rider. Sandpaper, comet, and steel wool are excessive, sure. But what exactly is wrong with a little soap and water and a squeegee? If a part can't stand being scrubbed with a sponge, it's got no business being on the outside of my motorcycle!
My biggest problem with using the squeege at the gas station is that you never know what is in the solution or what is stuck on the scrubber part. With my luck, it would have small cinders or glass that would scratch up the windshield. As for the Rain-X, I have always heard it is not a good idea for plastic. Makes it cloudy after a while.
 

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Plexus since the bike was new, on two different screens (summer and the rest of the year). 5 years, 115k miles, no issues that I can see.


Rain-X hasn't been an issue, either. Used to be a product sold at marine outlets that was specifically available for plastic windows on boats, but I don't see it anymore.

Thing is, though, that the face shields probably last about two years before I replace them due to chipping from rocks over time. Those chip marks never find an unused portion of the shield, either.



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Plexus and microfiber cloth. And even at that, it's tough to keep it free of those fine scratches. Not long ago, I ran out of Plexus and I had a spray bottle of Turtle Wax. Spray on, wipe off stuff. Works well on the paint and plastic. Since then, I've noticed my windshield clouds up after it has been sitting for a while. It cleans off easily with Plexus, but it comes right back... Strange.
 
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