Does a windshield for the Honda CRF250L make sense?
This little Honda is designed to be a street savvy, dirt diggin’ bike. Use it for daily city commutes with weekends in the hills, or for adventure trips that combine paved and dirt roads.
You can do it all if you add accessories to suit your needs. That applies to most dual sport bikes. So is a windshield a must-have option?
Well, Clyde (my CRF250L) seems to think so. He’s pretty chuffed about his new wind screen. He figures that the adventure wind screen from TCI products, puts him squarely in the dual-sport adventure bike league. But Clyde is no 1200cc Bavarian Behemoth. He is a simple, slim and nimble, 250cc Asian. Is Clyde fooling himself? He is known to be a tad naive.
Has Clyde earned his shield?
The whole point of a windshield is to make highway miles more comfortable. But how many highway miles will you ride on 250cc’s?
As many as you want! Some of us actually enjoy the challenge of doing more on less; less cc’s, less fuel, less weight, and yes, even less power. It’s awesome fun to do the unexpected.
Why else would riders like Lois Pryce set out on such fantastic motorcycle adventures around the globe — on 250cc’s and less?
We’ve left something out in the “less of” list, though. Small dual sport bikes also have less road presence on the highway, and we can’t turn that to our advantage. Clyde is not an alpha male at 95 kph on asphalt. He would like to be, but he is not. He gets pushed around — even bullied dare I say it — by the wind and its incorrigible gang of road surface nuances.
The CRF250L is clearly not in charge on the highways. But what it lacks in high speed stability, it makes up for in road feedback.
Clyde tells me everything that is happening in his world, which allows me to adjust how he handles the highway. He’s not the best bike for long highway trips, but with the addition of a windshield, those trips become much more comfortable.
So, yes, Clyde deserves his shield. He’s not just a city boy with hiking boots. He can also do the long hauls, and I am much more willing to do them with him with the addition of the windshield.
The TCI Adventure Touring Wind Screen
This wind screen from TCI products was the obvious choice for many reasons. Here are some of them:
- Made from DOT approved “Implex” impact-modified acrylic. They say that no other aftermarket manufacturer uses this type and thickness of acrylic, while many OEM’s do.
- Will not shatter.
- Removes in two minutes using a coin.
- Designed specifically for the CRF250L. It attaches easily with no modifications required.
- The brackets which are permanently mounted, do not rise up beyond the bars like spears ready to impale you on the trail, when riding with the shield removed.
- The windshield looks like it belongs on the CRF250L. It’s a good looking wind screen. Clyde wouldn’t have it any other way!
Riding with the windshield installed is much more comfortable at speed. I am 6′ tall, and I feel no wind pressure at all on my torso. I do get wind in the face, but less than without the screen. I do not experience any buffeting. The TCI windshield was designed for the CRF250L from quality materials. It’s not one of those generic windscreens adapted to fit the bike.
I prefer to leave the windshield on my bike. It is low enough that it doesn’t interfere with standing on the pegs while leaning over the bars on steep uphills. It is also tough enough to withstand the bumps and scrapes it may get off-road. At first, I thought I would be removing it for trails and such, but I haven’t found it necessary yet. I removed it once to test the difference. I couldn’t wait to put it back on.
How to install the TCI Wind Screen
Opening the shipment from TCI reveals two well-designed brackets, a bag of nylon nuts and bolts, plus curved metal and rubber washers, and the wind screen of course. An instruction sheet is also included.
The instructions are clear, so you won’t have any difficulties. It would have been helpful though, if they included torque values for the triple clamp pinch bolts. I’ll list that below. Attach one bracket at a time. The brackets attach to the lower pinch bolt on the upper triple clamp, and to the forward-most handlebar pinch bolt. I didn’t get the torque specs for the handlebar bolts. I went by feel there.It’s best to attach to the triple clamp pinch bolt first. Just remove the lower pinch bolt from the upper triple clamp on one side, then remove the forward handlebar pinch bolt from the same side. Position the first bracket, ensuring all wires and cables are free, and that the mounting tabs for the shield point to the outside.
Apply some Blue Loctite to the threads of the triple clamp bolt and snug the bolt lightly. Next, line up the top of the bracket with the forward handlebar pinch bolt and start that bolt. Now torque the triple clamp pinch bolt to 24 lbf.ft (32N.m). Tighten the handlebar pinch bolt. Finally, because you have removed and torqued the lower triple clamp pinch bolt, it’s best to torque the upper triple clamp pinch bolt as well, even though you didn’t touch that bolt. Use the same torque spec as the lower bolt.Now just repeat the procedure on the other side. You’ll notice that when attaching the right bracket (when facing the front of the bike), you’ll have to remove the circular plastic brake cable retainer, to clear room to work.
And there you have it, a brand new awesome looking windshield for the CRF250L. Clyde and I thank you for reading this.
Have you installed this windshield on your CRF250L? Do you like it? Have you installed another brand? Any thoughts, just fire away in the comment section below.
Over to you now…