Snowmobile Windshields: Talk The Talk

Windshields being the first line of protection for your eyes, whether from flying snow, grit, rocks, bugs, or just plain wind, should be a crucial consideration for any aspiring professional. Knowing your windshields will also allow you entry into the higher echelons of the elite sledding fraternity. If you can say "Hey, did you guys see that triple heel clicker over a seventeen and a quarter tall stock PowerMadd Cobra that my girlfriend just pulled back there?" with poise and élan, you're guaranteed center-stage in the tightest of sled circles, if only for a few moments.

Types Of Snowmobile Windshields: A Basic Overview

The first step to understanding sled windshields is to know the jargon, such as the difference between windshield stock, stock windshields, and windshields in stock. Windshield stocks come in low, mid and tall, and refer to the distance from the top of the hood to the top of the windshield. They control a lot of things, such as the amount of protection afforded, the aerodynamic drag coefficient, and even the kind of helmet you'll need under different conditions. Stock windshields, on the other hand, are the standard windshields that come with the snowmobile when you buy them. Professional snowmobilers are finicky about being seen in standard gear – to them it's like wearing a while shirt; bland, boring, blatantly conformist, and generally undesirable. 'Windshields in stock', on the third hand (!), might just refer to the physical count of stock windshield low stock in stock. That ought to clear things up.

Types Of Snowmobile Windshields: Further Classifications

The next set of categories is the finish. There are plain, smoked and colored shields that you can choose from, and the names pretty much explain themselves. Smoked and colored shields offer better protection against snow-blinding, just like reflective goggles, but smoked ones aren't usually available in mid and high stock varieties due to their limited transparency. There are also aftermarket windshields, those that are sold to make your snowmobile look unlike any other on the trails. This could be in the form of unique shapes, colors, trims, and other additions or modifications to a standard windshield.

Where To Buy Snowmobile Windshields Cheap

If you're scanning the web for a good deal, you might come across sites like Kittycatsnowmobiles dot com, and OEM sites like Polarispartshouse or Skidoopartshouse. Many of them offer competitive prices and great add-ons, so browse at a leisurely pace and get comfortable with all the options before you take out your credit card. USFreeads and eBay are only two of the great bargain-fountains that are resourceful points of purchase to save you many a buck or two.

Used Snowmobile Windshields: What To Check For

When buying used windshields, be sure to also check out NOS (new old stock) outlets for parts that have been manufactured for your particular sled, but never sold through a retail channel. These are actually new windshields that have, for some reason such as over-estimated demand, are being sold almost as cheaply as old ones. If you're buying used windshields, be sure that there are no major scratches or hairlines that will either affect the visibility or the structural integrity of the shield. Also check for minor scratches from improper windshield care.

Windshield Care: Tips For Cleaning

Whatever make, stock, finish or quality of windshield you buy there are some care-tips that make them serve you better and last you longer. Regular cleaning with the right kind of product will make it last longer without getting scratched or pitted. Synthetic plastics and glass cleaners don't go well together, so use one that doesn't have a high alcohol or petroleum-derivative content. When cleaning your shield, use up and down strokes rather than the typical circular motion – if there's grit on the cloth that you're using, at least the scratches will be linear rather than circular, which are more of a bother when diffusing light. Lastly, use a medium-weave washcloth on wet shields and then T-shirt material to dry it. This will help maintain the clarity of your windshield.