When we finished our Suzuki GSX1250FA project bike (“GSX-essive,” Jan. ‘12) and the story was sent off to the printer, we couldn’t help thinking that the bike’s real potential as an excellent sport-touring mount wasn’t fully exploited. The engine and suspension performance was finally there, and Suzuki had sent us a set of Suzuki Genuine Accessories Givi hard luggage (the subject of a later SR Tested) to try out. The ergos didn’t need any adjustments…except for one small area. The stock windscreen on the GSX is woefully small, intended more as a styling exercise than any real functionality.
Enter longtime windscreen manufacturer Zero Gravity (actually, Zero Gravity was the first aftermarket windscreen manufacturer that we know of, established back in 1989 by company CEO Glenn Cook). Zero Gravity offers four different types of windscreens for nearly every current sportbike out there, with the company’s Sport Touring Series screens just the ticket we were looking for with the Suzuki.
All windscreens are definitely not the same. When the aftermarket saw how successful Zero Gravity was in the early ‘90s, a whole slew of windscreen brands began sprouting up.
Many other brands exhibit some distortion when you look through them—but that flaw is hard to find on a ZG screen. Utilizing a highly specialized vacuum-forming manufacturing method (similar to that used for fabricating aircraft canopies) ensures that the ZG windscreen is virtually distortion-free. And then there’s the strength/flexibility factor; many others use a lower-grade acrylic plastic that is much more prone to cracking, especially once the screen is mounted and road stress and vibrations take their toll. And the mounting holes and all edges on a ZG windscreen are chamfered and finished to decrease the tendency for cracks to form.
In fact, mounting the Zero Gravity screen was a snap, once we had all the necessary bodywork and other components out of the way. The ZG screens are pre-drilled, and the hole sizes were a perfect fit and location for the OEM rubber compression-fit nuts that are used on the GSX1250FA.
A couple of weeks spent with the Zero Gravity Sport Touring Series windscreen that included a 300-plus-mile ride gave us ample time to gauge its performance, and we definitely weren’t disappointed. The Sport Touring Series screen is significantly taller and longer than Zero Gravity’s other windscreen models (nevermind the stock windscreen), with a much steeper slope that helps deflect more of the windblast away from the rider. The OEM Suzuki screen also has flat extensions on each side to help defect the airflow to the sides, and the ZG windscreen extends these tabs considerably as well for even more protection. While not exactly transforming the GSX into a full dress tourer, the ZG windscreen made day-long stints in the saddle much more bearable, while adding a quality styling touch to boot.
What We’re Testing
Avon 3D Ultra Supersport
Avon Tires is set to launch its new 3D Ultra lineup to press in the immediate future, but has already shipped us a set of the new 3D Ultra Supersport tires for long-term abuse.
Alpinestars S-MX Plus Boot
The color of Alpinestars’ new S-MX Plus boot may be what first caught our attention, but its comfort and protection features kept it. We’re racking up the miles with these boots and will update on their performance.