Can You Tint A Motorcycle Windshield? Read This First

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If your motorcycle has a windshield, you may notice that it is not made of glass like your cars windows are. Most motorcycle windshields also aren’t generally big enough to cover the whole rider. especially on street bikes, which makes people wonder:

Can you tint a motorcycle windshield? Yes it is legal to tint your motorcycle windshield and is a fairly common thing for riders to do, especially on street bikes. It is discouraged to put a really dark tint on larger windshields found on cruisers and touring bikes because it can decrease your ability to see through.

If you’re thinking about tinting the windshield on a motorcycle there’s some key information to know beforehand that we’re going to discuss in more depth in the paragraphs below. We want to make sure you understand what you’re doing and what implications it may have.

Whether Or Not You Can Tint A Motorcycle Windshield

One of the biggest annoyances with a motorcycle windshield is that it can result in an obnoxious glare. Many people get so frustrated with the glare that they just take the windshield entirely off. That is one way to fix this problem.

The other option would be to tint the windshield. This will prevent any obnoxious glare from getting in your eyes while you ride around and still gives you the benefit of having a windshield. We will dive a little further into how a motorcycle windshield is tinted and what this can mean for your bike.

Checking online forums is another great option to find ideas of things to do with your motorcycle. With a quick google search you can find hundreds of results. Many people have tried different things and come up with great new ways to decorate and tint their windshield.

It may be worth your time to look through some of their ideas. You also can find a wide variety of step-by-step instructions with pictures that you can follow while working on your own bike. The internet is a great resource for lots of these things especially for someone who likes DIY projects. If you are thinking of doing something to your motorcycle windshield, it’s a great idea to see what is out there online to get some ideas beforehand.

So, can you tint a motorcycle window? The answer is that you can, and it is done virtually the same as on any other vehicle. Many different shops will tint your motorcycle windshield for you for relatively cheaply. It is also fairly straightforward and something that you can do on your own if you were feeling up to it. 

Apart from tinting, there are also many other similar things that you can do to your windshield to get a similar effect. Many people who ride street bikes will spray paint their windshield. This gives it the appearance of a tinted windshield. Many people also wrap the windshield in different vinyl’s. This will allow you to add different designs or patterns into your windshield.

Spray painting a windshield should only be done if the windshield is one of the really small ones that is only for aesthetics. Large windshields should obviously never be painted or wrapped since that would obstruct the view of the rider.

There are a huge variety of options as far as tinting your windshield. All of these are available to you. It’s also important that you check your local and state laws to make sure that you are fine to tint your windshield. While this is legal almost everywhere, there are police officers who will have an issue with your tinted windshield.

Also, if you paint or vinyl wrap your windshield certain colors, you may find yourself in trouble for that. That is why it is always best to check your local and state motorcycle laws before making any major modifications to your motorcycle.

How To Tint A Motorcycle Windshield

Tinting a motorcycle windshield is almost identical to tinting automotive glass. It is simple enough that you can do it yourself with just simple instructions. Tinting a motorcycle windshield is also much cheaper than a car as there is much less area that you are tinting.  This can be a very cheap and beneficial modification to your bike.

The first step to tinting your windshield is to clean it extremely well. Be sure to clean it with soap and water to remove any oils, grease, and dirt. Once you are done, make sure that the windshield is dry. Now you are ready to get your window tint ready.

This can be the very hardest part of tinting your windshield. Oftentimes you can find a piece of window tint that is perfectly sized for your motorcycle windshield. Using something like this will make your job so much easier and generally will leave the tint job looking much more professional.

If you cannot find one that is already sized though, you will have to cut your own from a roll. Do your best to make it as exact of a match of the windshield as possible. 

Now you are ready to put the tint on. You will want to spray the windshield with soapy water. This will allow you to move the tint around until it is positioned correctly. Now you can take the adhesive backing off of the tint and put it on the windshield.

As long as there is soapy water, you will be able to move the tint around until it is centered and where it needs to be. Once you are happy with where it is, you can remove the air bubbles with a squeegee or bondo scraper.

As you go, tuck the edges of the tint away into the rubber that surrounds the windshield. Once you have removed all of the bubbles, you are all done and now have a tinted windshield.

Dangers vs. Benefits Of Tinting A Windshield

So, what are the pros and cons of tinting your windshield? The major pro to tinting your windshield is that it will remove any glare. This glare could come from the sun, other vehicles, or lights around the road. If you tint your windshield, you do not have to worry about those at all anymore.

Many people also prefer the look of their motorcycle with a tinted windshield over a clear one. If you like that look, that is another big pro for you.

The major con is that you have decreased visibility especially when there is less light out. Many riders do not look through their windshield while riding around. Some people do. It really depends on the make and model of the bike as well as the preference of the rider.

For those who do look through the windshield while riding, tint in a low-light scenario could become extremely dangerous. This could prevent you from being able to see objects in the road in front of you. Although, if you are someone who only ever rides in broad daylight, this becomes less of a concern. 

As you have seen, there are both pros and cons to tinting your motorcycle windshield. It is up to you decide if the pros outweigh the cons in your own circumstance. Window tint can be a very simple and easy way to get rid of a pesky glare from the sun. It also can help improve the aesthetics of your bike. Unfortunately, it can also inhibit your visibility when it is dark out or while the sun is setting. You have to decide what is best for you and your bike.

Painting vs. Using Adhesive Sheet On A Windshield

One alternative to tinting your windshield is painting it. As your window is just a hard plastic, you can paint it with essentially any type of paint. This is another very simple and cheap solution that offers all of the same beforementioned benefits. Although, there are pros and cons to both painting and tinting your windshield.

The major con to tinting your window, is that if it is not done properly, you can result in bubbles popping up all over your tint. These can look really ugly. If you want another shot at tinting, you have to remove the window tint and then go back through the entire process of putting it back on. The process of tinting is also much harder than painting.

Painting offers advantages in that it is pretty simple to do. The simplest way to paint is to entirely remove the windshield so you do not risk getting paint onto anything else. From here you just need to make sure that you get an even coat so that the paint looks good across the windshield.

Unfortunately, paint has a tendency to peel. Over time and with exposure to the elements, your paint can start to peel off. This can make your motorcycle look bad. Fortunately, you can always repaint the windshield, but this means more time and effort on your part.

And remember, never paint a motorcycle windshield that you actually look through. Only paint the windshield if it is a very small one that is only on the motorcycle for looks.

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. He loves restoring motorcycles, has a vast knowledge of how they work, and has sold his restoration projects to customers from all over the United States.

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