Motorcycle Owners Club

Honda CG125 but also some universal motorcycle information

Motorcycle Universal Screen Review

including Givi A601 A602 A603 A604 and A660 Universal Screens

Motorbike Universal Screens, also known as Windshields and Airstars,
are an essential accessory to any motorcycle that does not have a screen.
The strength of wind and duration of riding is the main cause of fatigue on your body and head.
So unless you're in a city where you are protected by buildings and your speed is less than 50 mph, you need a screen.

A good screen will

Dramatically reduce wind fatigue on your body
Improve wind resistance so less engine power and fuel needed
(5 to 25% more speed against a strong head wind and at least 5% fuel saving in my tests)
Improve the bike's stability especially when overtaking traffic since your body will not be blown all over the place
(screen will even protect you a bit from side winds)
Protect you from most of the rain, insects and cold in winter
Reduce wind noise in your helmet (a bad screen will increase the noise.
If you wear motorcycle ear plugs noise is not a problem)

Universal Screen Mounting / Fitting kits (getting a good one is more important than the screen)

In order to fit a screen to a motorcycle you need a mounting kit (often supplied with screen). There are two types.

Type one attaches to the headlight bracket and can only support a small screen.
The headlight must be of standard size (small bikes and custom bikes are too small).

Type two attaches to the handlebars and can support a screen of medium to large size
(very large screens have an extra attachment to the front forks).
There are only 2 standard handlebar sizes and nearly every motorcycle in the world is one or the other.
Most universal handlebar mounting kits can adapt to both.
The quality and amount of positions a handlebar mounting kit can adapt to is crucial.
It will not only make it easier to install but also gives you more screen positions to try
(to get the wind flowing over you better with less noise).
Clutch and brake cables can also get in the way so you need to be able to go under or over them as needed.
Some handlebars have limited free space and in different places on the left and right,
so you need a mounting kit with as many positions as possible.

You often cannot tell the quality of a mounting kit
until you have tested it for a few hundred miles with some very strong gusty winds.
You at least need to see it in pieces to try and work out if it's strong enough.
The main purpose of this review is to test the mounting kits for quality and amount of positions they are capable of.

I've tested 2 handlebar mounting kits.
One very good one by Givi for their screens and one very bad one by Airblade for their screen.
See How to fit a Givi Handlebar Screen and Why not to fit an Airblade Screen sections below.

Givi Screens

Givi is sold all around the world and can be purchased in most countries.

The current Givi Screens that attach to the handlebars only are the A601, A602, A603, A604 and A660.
They all use the same Givi mounting / fitting kit.
Choosing the correct shape and size screen for you is important.
Below are links to pictures of each screen and dimensions, you can also look at the Givi Website

A601 The screen is 36.9 cm high (from top of headlight part to tip of screen) and 42.5 cm wide.

A602 The screen is 40 cm high (from top of headlight part to tip of screen) and 53 cm wide.

A603 The screen is 37.7 cm high (from top of headlight part to tip of screen) and 44 cm wide.

A604 The screen is 37.9 cm high (from top of headlight part to tip of screen) and 44.5 cm wide.

A660 The screen is 42.5 cm high (from top of headlight part to tip of screen) and 42 cm wide.

To work out the correct size and shape for you, sit on the motorcycle and put one foot on the footrest.
Try to get yourself in the normal riding position by putting the bike on the road and look at what's in your mirrors
(is the road behind you too high or low?).

Get a ruler and measure the height from the top of the headlight to your nose.
The reason for this is if the wind gets under your chin, expect low frequency wind buffeting to get inside the helmet.
Most riders prefer just under eye height since it's far less noisy,
unless your helmet has a poor visor seal (high frequency problem).
Most riders hate having to look through a screen since vision is reduced.

The width of the screen should ideally be as wide as your body with your coat on.

The screen height and width are the most important, but the shape and curves are also important.

The Givi A601 is designed for looks at the expense of noise and stability see Givi A601 Review
The Givi A660 is a brilliant screen in every way see Givi A660 Review
The Givi A602 A603 and A604 will be much more like the A660 than the A601.

If you end up with very loud wind noise,
protect your ears or over time (months or years) you will permanently damage your hearing and suffer from tinnitus.

A sign of exposure to very loud noise is reduced hearing for an hour or so afterwards.
If you're exposed to a very loud noise
it's critical that you do not let it continue for more than a few minutes per trip (never more than 1hr).
Motorcycle ear plugs(must be designed for motorcycle use) will totally protect your hearing with any screen and at any speed
(faster you go the louder the noise)
A small amount of people find ear plugs impossible or uncomfortable to use
(try different makes, shapes or get some custom made to fit your ears).
Some people have a wax problem in their ears
(try wax softening ear drops (or olive oil) and or go to your doctor and get your ears syringed).
Less effective ways to reduce noise include wearing a balaclava or scarf,
fitting a wind blocker (sits under a full face helmet and around your neck),
ear plugs that do not go inside the ear (from some chemists, there like chewing gum,
sticks to outside of your ear but only half the protection of in ear plugs).

How to fit a Givi Handlebar Screen

The Givi handlebar mounting / fitting kit is of high quality and is very adaptable to many different positions.
In fact it's so adaptable to so many different positions it's almost impossible to list all of them.
It's very easy to miss some of them even when there in your hands.

Have a look at the pictures in the links below to see some of the different mounting positions.

Position 1

Position 2

Position 3

The screen below is no longer available but it's the same Givi mounting kit (it's on a Honda CG125 2004 to 2008 model)

The image above was cut out of the Givi fitting instructions page 2, study it while I try to explain as many positions as I can.

Part 12 goes around the handlebars and Part 13 goes inside it to adapt it to small handlebars.
Part 12 has a cone shaped side with many groves in it like a cog which goes inside an inverted identical cone in Part 11 or 2.
This cog system means you can move the parts 360 degrees,
so Part 12 can be mounted vertically / horizontally or any position you can think of.

Part 11 allows the metal rod (part 1) to go through it so the rod length can be adjusted.
The rod is round so the part can turn 360 degrees.
There are two Part 11 parts one for the left and one for the right.
Both parts are the opposite of each other, so one has the cog on the left and the other on the right.
The clever bit is that you can remove Part 11 from the rod and put either version on the left or right handlebar
(handy when you are trying to avoid clutch cable).
When you tighten the screw in Part 11 it also makes Part 11 grip the rod tight.

Part 2 is identical to Part 11 in every way except it does not allow the metal rod (Part 1) to go all the way through it.

Part 3 can turn 360 degrees inside Part 4.

Part 4 has a little piece sticking out the bottom that connects to a small hole in the screen.
Along with the main hole in the screen this means the screen is firmly held and cannot rotate once screwed into position.

Part 6 is a rubber gasket, one on the front and another on the back of the screen;
it distributes and cushions the stress of Part 4 and Part 5 on the screen.

Part 5 goes on the outside of the screen; a screw goes through the middle and the screen in to Part 4.

The maximum possible length,
from Part 11 to Part 2 (furthest ends of each part) with the metal rod (Part 1) at full length is 20 cm.
Part 12 is 2 cm wide where it goes around the handlebars.
Part 12 with Part 11 or Part 2 attached sticks out a total of 2 to 2.5 cm away from the handlebar.

All the screws need a standard 5 mm Allen key (6 sided hex key) to tighten them.
Any cable ties that hold the electrical cables to the handlebars can often be removed and repositioned.
Look for a little plastic piece inside it and move it.

When you have fitted the screen to the bike,
move the handlebars as far to the left and right as possible and make sure no cables are caught including the clutch.

Find the best wind and noise position for the screen by finding a straight road with headwind,
speed the bike up to get a decent amount of headwind.

Take your left hand off the handlebar and hold it horizontally, move it up the middle of your body until you feel the wind.
Put your hand back on the handlebar and then listen to the wind noise,
move your body down and up also forward and backward to find the best spot.
Then re-adjust the screen to the ideal position.

For additional information click on the links below for a large(could take some time to download) photo
of the Givi fitting instructions(click on the photo to zoom in)
It's for the Givi A660 but the A601 A602 A603 A604 all use the same mounting / fitting kit.
Givi fitting instructions page 1

Givi fitting instructions page 2

Why not to fit an Airblade Screen

The Airblade handlebar mounting / fitting kit is supplied with their Custom Blade Screen
(screen looks identical to the Givi A601 but mounting kit is totally different).
Its design in my opinion is not capable of holding the screen up and is dangerous.
I found the parts to be very substandard resulting in screws shaking loose and threads being stripped.
I thought I had received a faulty one until I found two others on motorcycles with screws replaced.
I've not found any with all the original screws in
and even then I don't believe the threads will last very long since the metal is too soft and some screws are too small.
I will not bother to list the other faults with it. It probably breaks at least one law in your country for being too dangerous to use.
In my opinion and experience it could cause an accident. I knew the problem with it and so tightened it as much as possible.
After 100 miles the screen fell down on the right hand side
when a lorry travelling in the opposite direction hit me with a strong gust of wind. This was just before a tight bend.
The distraction of the screen falling down was bad enough but it also effected the steering since the left hand side did not drop.
This could never have happened so catastrophically with the Givi design.

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