Archive for June, 2013

For the last year and half or so, I have read, heard, and seen countless gripes about buffeting on a Street Glide. And for the last year and a half or so, I swore to myself and others that I did not feel any buffeting. Do I feel wind hitting me in the face as I look over a 4 inch windshield? Absolutely. Did it shake my head or make my ride uncomfortable and dangerous? Absolutely not. But in the back of my mind I always wondered how a new windshield would affect my ride.

The Design

Klock Werks owner, Brian Klock, designed the Flare windshield to help channel the air around the rider, while applying a downward pressure on the front of the fairing to provide better handling. Rather than write the information, here is a video by shield creator Brian Klock talking about the Flare design:

I have always put function over form, and the flare windshield is no different. Although I am not a huge fan of it’s looks, if it delivers on its promises, I can easily live and ride with the curvy design.

The Ride

In view of last Friday’s 450 mile run, I figured it was at last time to take advantage of the local dealership’s test ride program. I headed down to TSI Harley Davidson in Ellington and grabbed myself the Klock Werks 6.5 flare windshield. I brought it home, quickly swapped out shields (the three screw process is as easy as it gets), and immediately sat on the bike. As a tall rider, the 4 inch stock windshield is not in my line of sight at all. My initial thought when I mounted the bike was that the extra 2.5 inches were going to affect my visibility.

The first part of the trip was all highway riding and it took me all of 30 seconds to get used to the new windshield. I found the windshield worked well to limit the wind noise blowing by my ears, however it did little to reduce the wind that was hitting me behind the fairing. I was actually playing my stereo at 3/4 the volume I normally had it set to. And my initial claim was that I didn’t like it, but I would not change it out and I would give it a fair shake. 450 miles later, it had grown on me, but it wasn’t ride changing.

The Flare 6.5

Saturday morning I swapped the 6.5 for the 8.5 figuring the 8.5 might improve the areas the 6.5 was lacking. Much to my surprise, the 8.5 was intolerable at best. On the backroads and the highway I had wind hitting me from all directions behind the windshield and fairing. Head buffeting was at its highest I’ve ever experienced, making the ride increasingly more uncomfortable. As an aside, for those riders that utilize the 3 pouch windshield bags, the Flare 8.5 is designed to accomodate them.

The Flare 8.5

One thing I did not get to try with either of the windshields was 2-up riding. A common complaint from many riders seems to be the wind flow on the passenger. Truthfully, I have never heard this from passengers, only salesmen. Although I wanted to prove the truth or debunk the myth, the opportunity just did not present itself. Then again, my wife always says she gets no airflow sitting behind me, and I can’t imagine a windshield would change that.

The Verdict: Not Love at First Ride

If forced to buy a brand new windshield today, the 8.5 Flare is not the way to go for me. I found the air to be swirling behind the windshield, and perhaps due to the height of the air channels on the shield, I felt more buffeting from the sides out of the 8.5 than I did running both the 6.5 and the Street Glide stock shields.

This 6.5 inch screen was nice, but it was not love at first ride. Perhaps I was foolish to think all the wind would disappear entirely. And perhaps I was being even more foolish to think I wanted the wind to disappear entirely. The day of riding was in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s and I was baking on the bike. One thing I noticed, the swirling wind behind the fairing definitely wasn’t the same as the clean and cooling wind that hits you directly in the chest.

If the 6.5 was my full time windshield, I might learn to appreciate its benefits, but it did not provide me with enough of a positive change in wind feel to warrant the $150+ price tag at Amazon (the seemingly cheapest retailer at the moment including free shipping – eBay does offer it cheaper if you choose to go that route). I expect a major change for the price paid, and if the positives of the KW6.5 are few, then that may be money better spent else where.  I will not rule out the 6.5 entirely however, as I plan to take it out for a second ride at some point this summer.

In the future I also plan to try the Harley Wind Splitter, and would like to test the Long Ride Shields Ultra if I can find one (currently they don’t offer test rides), but for now, stock is the way to go.

To learn more about the Klock Werks line, please check out their website

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.


Posted: June 22, 2013 in Destinations, General Musings, Photos

Yesterday I embarked on my longest day of riding to date… not in the number of hours, but in the number of miles. Left the house at 5:55 in the morning to meet Todd at 7:00 in Lee, MA. We hauled down 90W into New York and then up Route 30 through the Adirondacks. This was a work trip for Todd, but it’s hard to fathom a better way to spend a Friday.

Here are a few pics.

Along Route 28

Route 30 North

Todd riding up 30 (actually heading south)

The Route

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

Bikes and barbeque seem to go hand in hand. Like Tom and Jerry. Like ketchup and mustard. Like meat and potatoes. Like bacon and, well, anything. So when the opportunity to finally ride out to Wingdale New York to try Big W’s Roadside Bar-B-Q presented itself, I couldn’t resist. Big W’s was brought to my attention two summers ago, and the first ride was planned for last summer until things, as they say, got in the way.

Now, I’ve been to Big W’s twice, and both times I was impressed. The ride on its own is beautiful, and the Q makes it even better.

The First Visit: Sunday April 28, 2013

Three of us (myself, Todd, and Kim) rolled into Big W’s around 2:00 pm. I didn’t think it until my second visit, but our arrival time might have made a difference here. We were hungry to say the least. And from the moment we pulled in we were hit with the sights and smells of barbecue; from diners enjoying large platters of food on the outdoor picnic tables, to Big W carving pounds of brisket, ribs, and chicken on the cutting board as you walk through the door. Our senses were hit immediately and stomachs groaned for food.

Big W’s serves three basic sizes: truly sensible, sensible, and roadside. Story has it that roadside, the largest portion, dates back to the earlier days of Big W’s as a roadside eatery without tables. Diners would get large portions of ‘cue and often split it amongst multiple people. One platter and multiple forks is a size option suitable for me, but even I couldn’t bring myself to order the roadside portion on this visit.

The Artist and His Canvas

After staring in wonder and awe for a few minutes, it was finally our time to order. There is something exhilarating about ordering for the first time at a restaurant you’ve looked forward to visiting. Am I ordering the right thing? This looks good, but so does that… I have a simple solution. Order more than necessary. That’s right, be a glutton when possible.

Between the three of us, we ordered 1/2 dozen of the smokey hot wings, and three sandwiches (or as they call them at Big W’s, Smokin’ Wich) – beef brisket, pulled pork, and burnt ends. Each Smokin’ Wich was ordered in the sensible size and came with a side of slaw and your choice of regular or spicy sauce (or both).

Neither of us was at all disappointed in the food. I focused my efforts on the brisket and wings, eating only a few of the burnt ends and a small portion pork. In fact, when sampling a new barbecue joint I will typically choose brisket as to me it is the best apples to apples comparison between restaurants. If one screws up their brisket, I probably don’t want to be eating there. Much like I will judge pub fare by nachos and wings. If you can’t make a good nacho platter, why am I to think anything else will stand out?

The wings and brisket.

So, on to the brisket. The brisket was extremely tender, trimmed perfectly, with the proper amount of char to get both the flavors of the meat and the flavors of the burnt ends in a single bite.  I found it much easier to eat some of the brisket with a fork, as the mountain of meat makes it a more difficult sandwich to eat by hand. And please, understand, this is a compliment to Big W’s, not a complaint. The more the better, especially when quantity does not sacrifice quality. This brisket rates much higher than many of the briskets I have eaten locally.

Between three of use, eating a half dozen wings should not have been a problem. Except for the fact that it was. We filled up on meats and could not bring ourselves to finish the wings. I brought three of the 6 home. They were smokey, and they were spicy, just as the name implied. The heat was not a buffalo/hot sauce heat however, and they were a welcomed change from traditional hot wings.

Kim ordered the pulled pork and she enjoyed it, as did I enjoy the bite or two I took. However the big surprise was the burnt ends. I get it, as I smoke by own BBQ at home, the burnt ends are the best parts of the barbecue. We make jokes that the burnt ends are nothing more than smoked carcinogens, but that doesn’t stop us from eating them. And fighting over them. In fact, it’s like fighting over the turkey skin on Thanksgiving, only no one makes a turkey skin sandwich (quite unfortunate I say). But Big W’s makes a Burnt Ends Smokin’ Wich with all the charred and meaty goodness. On this visit, the burnt ends were smoky, they were meaty, and they were still, surprisingly, a little moist.

The burnt ends were definitely the star of the show. With our Smokin’ Wichs gone and the wings packed to go, we made our way out of Big W’s and on home. I knew I would have to make the trip back sooner rather than later. And I did…

The Second Visit: Sunday June 9, 2013

Sometime after our trip to Big W’s in April, we all hopped on the bikes and made our way back to Bub’s BBQ in Sunderland, MA to compare the two. We remember Bub’s to be excellent. And next to Big W’s, it was not. So our mind was set to journey back to Big W’s. The biggest difference between this trip and the last, Melisa was able to join us. The second biggest difference, everyone had burnt ends on the brain.

I again ordered the sensible brisket. Only this time, instead of supplementing the meal with wings, I added the mac and cheese and the sloppy ribs instead. Ordering the sloppy ribs was actually a mistake, as I thought I was ordering a pound of ribs on the bone, not a pound of rib meat. Had I paid attention to the menu, I would have known the difference, but no harm no foul. They were certainly sloppy and the meat was extremely tender. I can only imagine how messy this would be on a Smokin’ Wich. And how tasty as well!

Melisa, Todd, and Kim all ordered the Burnt Ends Smokin’ Wich. The burnt ends on this visit were drier than the first visit, and accounted for a slight fall off in quality, but we could only attribute this to our later arrival time… after 5:00 on a Sunday. This will by no means prevent us from coming back and ordering them again. Interestingly, although I ordered the brisket, I ate more burnt ends this time than the last. And my wife ate the majority of my brisket as it was more tender. This again, is not the fault of Big W’s. Why a woman whose idea of cooking meat is walking a cow through a warm room would ever order something called burnt ends is beyond me. But she did. And her loss was my gain. Of course, I did lose out on my brisket in the process.

The short and skinny from the tall and fat… For the second time in less than two months we walked onto Big W’s hungry, and we left full and satisfied. It’s been decided that next time, and there will be a next time, we are cutting to the barbecue chase and ordering the “For the Table.” It will give us a great sampling of everything… 1 whole rack of ribs, 1 whole chicken, 1 pound each of brisket and pulled pork, and 6 large sides. I think the “For the Table” leftovers is the real reason I bought the tour pack…


Address: 1475 Route 22, Wingdale NY

Phone: 845-832-6200

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.