Clear vs Tinted Motorcycle Windshield: Which Is Best?

Motorcycle windshields are common on luxury bikes, although many of them are not high enough to keep the air off the rider’s face, and some of them are fitted only to make the bike look stylish. So, you may be wondering whether a clear or tinted motorcycle windshield is best.

A clear motorcycle windshield is best as it offers protection from the wind while allowing the rider to see through it clearly. It extends its advantages into the night and in low light, when dark-tinted windshields can be a hindrance to riding safety, although some riders prefer their aesthetic.

A windshield can be a great help to shield the rider’s face and chest from the oncoming wind and the dust from country dirt roads. Below, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of clear and tinted windshields in more detail. 

Should Your Motorcycle Windshield Be Clear Or Tinted? 

Your motorcycle windshield should be clear, and made from the best quality of optical polycarbonate available, with sufficient height to protect your face from the oncoming air. A windshield that falls short of shielding your face by a few inches is as good as no windshield at all.

Pros & Cons Of A Clear Motorcycle Windshield

The main purpose of a motorcycle windshield is to protect the rider’s face from the air flowing against it. This includes dust, tiny insects, and water droplets. In the night, the clear windshield has the advantage of allowing the rider to see through it clearly without cutting down the light passing through.

When you’re riding in heavy rain, the wet windshield may not provide much protection to the rider due to the distance between the rider’s eyes and the windshield, but should still retain good visibility without any distortion. In low light, the rider must be able to see the road ahead clearly even in the absence of street lighting, making clear windshields preferable over dark ones.

Pros & Cons Of A Tinted Motorcycle Windshield

A tinted motorcycle windshield provides essentially the same protection as a clear windshield. Air flow, dust, and tiny insects are deflected with the added benefit of the tint to shield the rider’s eyes from glare. On a bright day, the tint provides the advantage of reducing glare that also reduces eye strain.

The disadvantage of the tint is in low light, when the rider needs to be able to see the road ahead clearly. On country roads, it could become dangerous as animals cross the road frequently increasing the risk of collision, and road conditions themselves can be less than ideal, requiring increased awareness.

What Is The Best Material For A Motorcycle Windshield?

The best materials for motorcycle windshields are acrylic and optical polycarbonate because of their light weight, strength, and transparency. Optical polycarbonate is widely used to make car windshields, snowmobile windshields, motorcycle helmet visors, skylights, and window glazing.

Optical polycarbonate, also known as reading plastic, has excellent properties that are ideally suited for windshields of any type. It has low distortion, excellent strength, is transparent to light, and exhibits better light transmission characteristics than many types of glasses. It is used in essential applications such as laminated security glazing, military vehicle glazing, outdoor signs, and machine guards.


• Clear motorcycle windshields are better than tinted ones

• They allow the rider to see better in low light conditions

• Motorcycle windshields made of acrylic and optical polycarbonate are best

Motorcycle Windshield vs Helmet With Visor

Motorcycle Windshield

The motorcycle windshield has a lot going for it. It doesn’t need to be put on and removed every time, and it leaves the ears uncovered to hear all the sounds of the traffic around. Most luxury bikes come with the windshield pre-fitted, but in some cases the rider can opt for a clear or tinted windshield to suit their preferences.

Most motorcycle windshields are just high enough to protect the rider’s face. A tall rider may find it difficult and uncomfortable to stoop so that their head and face are protected by the windshield. Of course, the windshield does not protect the rider’s head, but it does block the wind from hitting their face and eyes.

A motorcycle with a tinted windshield cuts down the amount of light passing through it, which could be to the rider’s disadvantage in low light. It also offers little protection from rain that wets the rider’s head and drips off his forehead into his eyes. In extreme cold, it does a great job of blocking the icy wind from hitting the rider’s body.

Helmet With Visor

The most important benefit of a helmet with a visor is that it protects the rider’s head. Your face and eyes are covered by the visor, and your ears are also covered which can make the riding experience much quieter.

The visor protects your eyes and face from the wind, dust, and small insects that are very irritating when they get into the eyes. Press-fit visors are available that can be fitted and removed easily as they are mounted on two circular studs on either side of the helmet. A rider who wants a tinted visor during the day and a clear visor in low light can keep both, and fit one as needed.

A helmet has disadvantages in that it has to be put on and removed each time, and it offers no wind protection for the rider’s chest. Compared to a windshield, it costs less but it may not appear as stylish, and it doesn’t keep the cold wind off the rider’s body. However, you could always use both – and we recommend doing so!

The Obvious Winner

However, the helmet with visor wins easily if only for the advantage of protecting the rider’s head from injury. Its other advantages are the ease with which visors can be changed, from clear to tinted as the surrounding light conditions change. It works well in rain and snow to keep the rider’s face and eyes free from dripping water too, but clearly the head protection is the most important reason!

Final Thoughts

A clear motorcycle windshield is generally better than a tinted one thanks to its superior visibility. You need to ensure that the windshield is sufficiently high and that it is made from acrylic or polycarbonate that is optically clear with a low haze factor and low distortion.

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