Have you cracked your windshield, and now you might be thinking, “can you fix a cracked motorcycle windshield.” Yes, you can, and it’s not that difficult either. We have got you covered.
This guide will help you in fixing the crack on your motorcycle windshield.
Some bikers prefer to replace the windshield, but that can be costly. If you are not willing to spend, for now, you need to do some repair work, so keep reading.
Can You Fix A Cracked Motorcycle Windshield or Replace It?
You might be thinking, can you repair a cracked windshield on your own, or should you replace it for good? Well, you can replace it on your own, but you need to assess the magnitude of damage.
In most cases, a crack that is more than an inch around the edge can be repaired. But it will not last very long, and in such a case, you need to replace the windshield.
If the crack is small and is located around the windshield center, then any repair efforts have a good chance to last. This is because the windshield that motorcycles have on them are usually made of plexiglass or polycarbonate, and there is no regular glass there.
Regular glass can stay sturdy, but it is more vulnerable to impacts. So as long as you don’t hit the glass directly, all will be good. Plastics can take a hit or two, but the repair must be proper once it gets cracked. Too big of a crack will always need a replacement.
Therefore, in the case of plastic, the hassle is a lot smaller. However, if you don’t fix it properly, you might have a much bigger problem than what you originally thought.
How Can you Fix a Cracked Motorcycle Windshield – Step-by-Step
Now tools are fine; what is the process then? The process is pretty simple and straightforward. Not rushing through it will yield better results.
Motorcycles have plastic windshields on them, and the best part is they can be easily repaired without a problem with the help of acrylic solvents and some plastic buffing compound. Here are some steps for repairing a cracked motorcycle windshield.
Step 1 – Washing the windshield
First of all, you need to wash the windshield from both sides with the help of some hot water and dishwasher detergent. Next, ensure to clean the crack thoroughly, and don’t forget to use a cotton rag to clean your windshield.
This way, you will avoid scratching your windshield. If you don’t cement your crack properly, it will continue to split no matter what. This is what you need to get this thing done.
Step 2 – Taping the area around the crack
The next step is to tape the area around your crack with the help of the painter’s masking tape. Leave around a 0.25-inch border of plastic exposed around this crack. If you use solvent cement, it can scar the plastic windshield if it spills on the surface of the windshield. However, the tape will create a barrier between the windshield and the solvent cement, so it needs to be there.
Step 3 – Choosing the right kind of crack repair kit
Make sure to go for the right kind of crack repair kit. You need to have an applicator to make it easier for you to apply the solvent onto the surface.
Step 4 – Applying the solvent
You need to fill your applicator bottle at least halfway up with your culvert cement. Acrylic cement works well for almost every transparent plastic that is available out there.
Use your index finger and thumb and apply pressure on the sides of the bottle until the liquid is right near the top of the bottle. Now slightly release the pressure, and by doing so, you have created a vacuum within that bottle. Now the solvent won’t spill out of the bottle when you tilt it during the application procedure.
You need to apply a thin bead of cement right down the crack’s length on one side of your windshield. The cement will be sucked into the crack due to the capillary action, and you need to leave it for a couple of hours. And remove the masking tape.
Step 5 – Repeat the same on the other side
Now work on the other side of the windshield and begin by applying the masking tape right around the crack and then fill the crack with the cement and leave it for 24 hours.
Now take 100% cotton rag and a buffing compound and remove any remaining masking tape from the surface. Buff the area right around the crack till any residual solvent is polished away.
This compound has an abrasive in it that will grind the residual glue and will keep the plastic-looking clear. Now you need to wash the windshield once more on either side with the help of a dishwashing detergent, and your entire project is complete.
What should you do for the care and maintenance of a windshield?
Here are some of the things that you need to have first, to begin with, the maintenance process.
- Plastic polish.
- Terry cloth towels.
- Microfiber cloth.
- Plastic cleaner.
Step 1 – Washing the windshield
The first to begin with is cleaning the windshield, and you have to make sure there is no debris on the surface or within the crack. Any residue will indeed influence the results, so you need to clean it well.
Therefore, you need to use a mild soap that is not abrasive and, with the help of thick terry cloth, washes your entire windshield out along with the crack.
Step 2 – Drying the windshield
Now take another one of these terry clothes and dry your windshield entirely. Make sure not to use any paper towels because these towels will scratch your windshield even more.
Step 3 – Applying some plastic polish
Once you have your entire surface clean and dry, it’s time to apply some plastic polish on it along with the microfiber cloth. The plastic polish is only slightly abrasive. Therefore, it is going to work well with your motorcycle windshield.
Ensure you apply the polish in a circular motion to the entire surface, and then take a clean cloth and wipe it off. You are doing this to get rid of any scratches on the windshield beside the crack.
Step 4 – Spraying plastic cleaner
In the end, you need to spray some plastic cleaner that needs to be rated for use as an after-polish product. It will clean any excess polish and will also protect your windshield from any future debris.
How to remove bugs from Motorcycle Windshield
If you are dealing with a windshield, cracked with bugs, you will need your terry towel. Soak it in water and place it for a few minutes on the windshield to soften the insects up. Now wipe the bug. But you may end up scratching your windshield.
To remove the scratch, you might have to go for the polish that has resin or wax in it. It will work well against any scratches and will prevent the windshield from catching any debris.
Can a glass windshield be repaired?
Plastic windshields are easier and safer to repair. However, it is not the same for glass windshields. It will be better to replace them if they get cracked because they are unsafe to use in such conditions.
Should I use a rotary polisher for buffing?
It is highly recommended that you use a rotary polisher for buffing and polishing because you won’t have to worry about applying too much pressure on the surface. It will keep the movements consistent. All-in-all it will allow you to get the work done with less effort and tiring.
Can you fix a cracked motorcycle windshield with glue?
If your windshield is of plexiglass, it will resist the glue and won’t stay on the surface. And even if it is not plexiglass, glue is not ideal because the finished work won’t be clean.
There is always a chance that the windshield will develop the crack again. Yes, you can use glue for a short-term solution, but it won’t work for you at all. So, it’s better to get it done the right way in the first place to avoid any inconvenience later on.
Now you know the answer. Can you fix a cracked motorcycle windshield? Yes.
Fixing your cracked windshield is not that difficult of a job. Right?
You need to have the right kind of tools and also determine whether you need to repair your windshield or replace it for good.
If the crack is too big (bigger than 1-inch) and is around the sides, you need to replace the windshield instead of repairing it because the crack will happen again with an impact.
You need to use soft and slow hands when applying the solvent and not rush through the job. And you need to be as detail-oriented as possible to get the best results.