There are over 8 million motorcycles registered across the U.S., and among those people, there are those who prefer not having so much wind in their faces --  especially during winter rides. If you are one of those riders, then you might have decided to get a windshield for your motorcycle. You can make your own windshield for as little as $20, but you can also buy a sturdier one for a few hundred dollars depending on the type and the brand. 

So, before investing your time or your money into getting a windshield, here are a few things to consider.  

How low can you go?

The size of a motorcycle windshield is mainly in consideration of height. When deciding to invest in a windshield, you may be tempted to get one that is big and tall, as it may seem to offer more protection. However, this might be a mistake for the areas in which you ride. If you are more likely to ride through rain than through snow or on gravel, or you are more likely to ride on a dusty rather than smooth road, then a tall windshield can do more harm than good. This is because many windshields do not come equipped with a wiper, and the rain and dust could then obstruct your visibility. A shorter windshield, though, is likely to present more concerns during cold weather when the wind is sharp, as it does not provide as much protection from the wind in your face. 

Of course, the solution to this dilemma -- if you can't decide -- might just be getting a shield that can be adjusted at the push of a button. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see over the windshield for a distance of up to 50 feet when sitting upright and get protection when riding low. So, you need to try it first while seated on your motorcycle. When you go to a motorcycle dealer for the installation, make sure you do a test run to see if the adjustable windshield is adequate.

Make it fit

The best windshield for your bike would be one that is offered by the manufacturer of your bike. This would guarantee that the windshield would be a perfect fit. If you have one of the popular brands of bikes, then finding windshield options should not be a problem for you. However, it may be more difficult if your motorcycle is an older model or if your motorcycle has been modified. For these you might need to try a universal windshield that can be adjusted to fit the handlebars. While these do not provide the same level of protection or the same aerodynamic changes to your motorcycle, they can be used in a pinch. Of course, you might also try the cheaper DIY option or one that can be detached when you don't need it.

Even with professionally installed windshields, you need to check for yourself that the windshields are not blocking lights or brake lines or not binding any cables. The controls and mirrors should have enough space to function properly and -- especially if mounted to handlebars - they should be tested to ensure that they do not interfere with the steering system.