Poll: What Snowmobile Windshield Height is Best?
The question is, should one look cool or stay warm? Fashion versus comfort, such a dilemma for a man my age. Sure, you might think I’d look great in high heels, but oh, my back! No worries, I’ll stick to boots and try not to creep you out any further.
Still, I have a difficult decision to make. I passed my trusty 2004 Renegade onto my oldest son — for reasons I’ll explain another day — and finally bought a new ride. A decade of memories riding that sled, it’s nice to keep it in the family.
The new snowmobile is less of a ditch banger and more of a trail cruiser, but no slouch. It’s got all the bells and whistles I wanted, electric start, reverse, mirrors, trunk bag and full gauges but still has plenty of the performance bits, like the big bump suspension and an injected engine.
So what’s the problem? The stupid windshield!
The brochure calls it a “Sport Performance High Windshield” but after riding it I’d say it’s more sport and less performance. It’s not tiny, like those silly little windshields that resemble a bikini bottom, it’s more like a set of tighty-whities. It looks like a regular windshield and I’m surprised it doesn’t do a better job of breaking the wind.
Now, I’m afraid, I’ll have to install one of those huge windshields that might best be described in underwear-speak as grandpa’s baggy boxer shorts. Repulsive, ain’t it?
In the late 1980’s I had a giant windshield on my sled and I have to say it was awesome. Dorkey, yes, but sooo comfortable. Beyond the warmth, there was far less noise, and snow roosters from leading sleds pinged off the windshield as if it were bulletproof glass. When it snowed, my helmet visor stayed clear, and on warm days I could raise it and not get all tearyeyed from the steady gust.
Hate to bring up the unspeakable R-word but there were a few times when it rained and everybody got soaked and couldn’t see out of their helmets, but the Dorkmeister with the Mack Truck windscreen stayed dry and saw it all.
Most likely I could get away with the short hipster shield around town, so long as it doesn’t get silly cold, but those multi-day trips up north demand more protection. The stock set-up looks racy but who am I fooling? I tend to be a practical guy but I’m just not sure if I’m ready to be seen wearing those baggy undies in public.
Story and photos by Dan Gould