By April 21, 2009

2004 Yamaha FZ6 touring screen review

Yes, my most exciting and rewarding times on a motorcycle are blasting around twisty corners and challenging myself to make a perfect turn. However, the vast majority of my “saddle time” is spent on the highway. Bull’s-eying womprats in Begger’s Canyon back home — I mean, passing tractor trailers on I-95 — can kick up an awful lot of turbulence on an already windy stretch of highway.

Road noise and wind turbulence are two of the major contributors to riding fatigue (seat and seating position are the other two). I sought to reduce the noise and the windiness by swapping out the stock Yamaha FZ6 wind screen on Cylon with Puig’s double bubble racing screen when I first got my bike. It served me very well and I didn’t really know any better until I got Raptor, my BMW K1200LTE. That windscreen was a little TOO big: it blocked a ton of wind and noise but acted as a sail in a cross-wind. Raider, my BMW R1150R, had a much better wind screen that was just big enough to stop a lot of air, but not so big I felt like I was behind a riot shield.

I needed something a little larger than the Puig on my FZ6. The problem is that the newer FZ6 models have a different mounting system, and apparently it’s easier for aftermarket manufacturers to build screens for the new arrangement. Most of the really effective touring screens are for the 2007+ models. After searching the Internet for the best screen for my 2004, I bought the touring screen made by Yamaha.

There’s no mistaking it, the touring screen is bigger than the Puig (and much larger than the stock screen). The shape is a little flatter than I’d hoped for, and flashbacks of the K1200LTE’s plastic sail flashed through my mind.

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Yamaha touring screen (left) and the Puig double bubble racing screen (right).

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The screens are the same width, which led me to not expect any addition wind protection from the touring screen. I had hoped that it was a little wider at the bottom, to better shield the hands and lower body from the wind. The windscreens for the newer FZ6s are wider at the bottom than the stock screens.

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The Yamaha touring screen is only a few inches taller, but the lip profile makes a big difference as far as head chop and buffeting goes.

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I really like the look of the Puig in dark smoke.

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The Yamaha touring screen installed. It doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would. ;)

My first real test-run was riding up to Fredericksburg with Tomax, Xamot, and Donut to check out the open house at Morton’s BMW. We took a leisurely pace up Route 1 on the way up, but I rode home by myself and put the screen to the test on I-95. The touring screen redirects the wind to the very very top of my head. I’m 6′ 0″ have a fairly long torso. If it was just an inch longer I’d be happier (shit, I’ve said that more than once before). Regardless, the Yamaha touring screen reduced the buffeting and noise at speeds past 90MPH.

In fact, it might be a little too effective. My face felt hot all day because I wasn’t getting blasted in the noggin like I do with the Puig screen. I am going to keep the Yamaha screen on until it gets really hot, and then re-install the Puig. Besides, that dark smoke looks really bad ass.

I picked up my Yamaha touring screen for under $70 used, and I consider it well worth that purchase price. I’d probably spend double that and still be pleased. If you are looking to upgrade your first-gen FZ6, make sure you get a screen designed for the 04 – 06 model years.

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8 Comments on "2004 Yamaha FZ6 touring screen review"

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  1. Gremlin says:

    My V-Strom came with the stock screen and a laminar lip installed as well as the larger touring screen. The stock screen with the laminar lip gives me a good clean airflow over the helmet at highway speeds while deflecting 99% of the bugs and birds over the top of my helmet. With the laminar lip removed I might as well not have any screen installed at all. The touring screen causes a bit of buffeting and no airflow over the helmet. The laminar lip may be the ugliest piece of gear on what many people consider the ugliest bike on the market. But it’s also the most functional windscreen I’ve ever ridden behind.

  2. Spectre says:

    Don’t lie! We all love blasting womp rats in our T-16’s.

  3. Stu says:

    No consolation now, but you owe it to yourself to try riding with no windscreen on the FZ.

    Ever the contrarian, I was looking to go shorter on my windscreen. My basis for this was in thinking that a shorter screen would lower the angle of the turbulence to put my helmet in clear air.

    Before I committed to cutting the screen, I took a short hop around town with it removed completely.

    A few hundred miles later, I doubt I’ll ever put it back on.

  4. drfaulken says:

    Hi Stu!

    Cool idea — I’ll definitely try it, as I will be switching the touring screen out for the Puig screen when the weather heats up.

    Do you ride in the rain much? It rains a lot where I live, and I wonder how much rain and road crap is blocked by the windscreen.

  5. Stu says:

    I have not yet had occasion to ride screenless in the rain. However I am quite comfortable saying you WILL get more wet in that configuration.

    I have a perf leather jacket, and with the screen in place, I scarcely notice any airflow. With no screen, I get a huge amount of air through the perfs. By extension, I assume rain would work similarly.

    But that’s the cool thing about going screenless vs a full-on naked conversion. When I go touring, I will seriously consider just strapping the screen onto my tailbag. If the weather turns foul, 3 minutes and 5 screws and I have protection again.

  6. Pete says:

    Hi, i see you have mounted vstrom handguards onto your fz6. do you have a writeup on this? i am interested in doing this as well, i need some hand protection when it gets cold.

    thanks,

    Pete

  7. drfaulken says:

    Hi Pete, yes those are the Vstrom handguards. I don’t have a write up on it yet — I actually had to remove them because the right guard kept the front brake lever from releasing all the way (kept my brake light on) and also caused a problem with the throttle returning to neutral.

    It was like a cheap crampbuster cruise control, but I didn’t like it. :)

    I plan on modifying the right handguard a little more for next fall, but now that the weather is heating up I took the guards off.

  8. Clint says:

    Where did you find the Yamaha touring screen to buy? I can’t find one for my ’05 FZ6!

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