Springfield Lower Wind Deflector Mod's

Discussion in 'Indian Springfield' started by SouthernProducer, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    I posted the following comment to a thread on the "other" forum and eventually started getting the usual crap from the rude A-holes that seem to be dominating that site now. It occurred to me (I know..Duh!) that I really should have posted my comments and current project here instead. So, here is the content of 2 of my postings to a thread there relative to Springfield Lower Deflectors. I hope you find it informative...

    I added the factory deflectors to my Springfield this Spring and believe they block too much air from the rider and engine. The increased heat directed to the rider while testing the OEM deflectors on mid-70's Tennessee Spring rides were just plain uncomfortable. Indian changed the mounts to address the change in rake for the Springfield, but used the same large plastic deflectors as those used for the Chiefs. The 4 degrees of difference between the two models (Springfield = 25 degrees vs Chiefs at 29 degrees) seems to have aggravated the problem when using the same size deflector panels for both models. The result of this difference is the Springfield deflectors "stand" more upright and tend to increase the air pressure on those large plastic deflector panels which reduces the movement of more air than on the Chiefs (I rode both and noticed this difference). Apparently, Indian might have agreed as they apparently originally designed a smaller panel for the Springfield (see the picture of the deflector on the Indian website), but did not provide that panel in the Springfield deflector kit. One side note, the mounts for the Springfield are steel, but might be marginal with respect to handling the air pressure created by the large panels (set at 25 degrees rake) when traveling at freeway speeds as I've found that they tend to "bend" a bit after a 50-60 mile higher speed (70-80 mph).

    As a result of my experience, I am currently working with Freedom Windshield's John Lauck to develop an improved deflector panel that will replace the OEM panel on my Springfield (using the stock mounting system). My goal is to reduce wind buffeting while still providing enough air movement to the rider and engine. Of course, others may find the OEM deflectors just fine...so, to each his/her own. If John and I come up with a solution, I'll post it on the forum.

    In an attempt to answer a question I received about any long term effect of using lowers, I had this response...

    These engines run pretty hot in the summer and I'm betting the Polaris engineers have taken this into account when testing the lower deflectors (at least they were involved in that). However, less heat is better for the engine's longevity (at least in my opinion) and maybe more importantly...for the rider. I feel the temperature difference is extreme when the deflectors are installed vs removed (at least the panels...leaving the mounting hardware in place). That is why I have been working with the owner at Freedom Shields to come up with a new design for the deflector panel. I am attaching an example of the 1st prototype that has since been changed to address the OEM interference with the wiring to the turn signals and by shortening the overall height by 1/2" to address the higher air pressure induced by Indian using the same panel as on the Vintage/Chief (remember the 4 degree less rake will "stand" the panel more vertical). I hope to test the 2nd prototype soon.

    Right side.JPG
     
  2. Blueshwk

    Blueshwk Moderator
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    Great write up and thanks for posting it here!
     
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  3. IROQUOIS

    IROQUOIS Gold Member

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    Post a pic of the Freedom Shields on the bike when they become reality.
    I'd be interested in the final product.
     
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  4. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Will do Iroguois...
     
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  5. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Here is an update on the latest prototype Springfield Wind Deflector panels I just received from Freedom Shields today. I will road test them as soon as Tropical Storm Cindy decides to move along from area. In the photo below, I placed the prototypes over the OEM panels so you can see the differences. The prototypes are much closer to the Polaris original design for the Springfield (though not produced), and have the added cut-out at the bottom to allow a bit more air flow into the engine. You will also note that the curvature at the bottom is a better match to the lower section of the windshield. These may work well or I might have to make further adjustments to find the best balance between the best airflow around the engine and reducing the high speed buffeting. Note, the prototypes still have the protective film in place, but when removed will match my clear windshield. If this works out, Freedom Shields will offer in a tint that matches the windshield. I'll keep you posted on my progress...BTW, I won't be posting this to the other forum.

    SprgfldProto1.jpg
     
    #5 SouthernProducer, Jun 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  6. Nazgul

    Nazgul Member

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    Interesting. Keep us posted.

    Don
     
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  7. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    I still want to do some more testing...namely at very high speed, but the results of today's testing were so good that I wanted to pass the results on to the members here. Please let me know what you think.

    I took my Springfield out for a test run today with the latest prototype deflector panels which included testing at various speeds up to 70 MPH. Temp's in my part of TN were in the low 80's. Here are my findings:
    • Turbulence behind the windshield is gone at all speeds tested...up to 70 MPH,
    • More airflow to the engine has significantly reduced radiated heat that reaches the rider,
    • Airflow to the rider is controlled and reaches the outer areas of the legs which is desirable for me as I like to feel some airflow,
    • The comfort level is significantly improved at low speeds typical for riding in towns (25 to 35 MPH),
    • At cruising speeds ( 50 to 55 MPH), wind noise is subdued and offers a quiet "envelope" of air for the rider,
    • I believe combining the newly designed wind deflector panels with the Freedom Windshield that incorporates the bottom flip plays a part in enhancing the effectiveness of the new panels. I didn't re-install the OEM windshield for this test, but believe the results should be similar,
    • Lastly, the overall design just plain looks good in my opinion, and complements the appearance of the Springfield in my opinion. No offense if your opinion differs.
    I will try to get to the very high speed testing as soon as I can, but I would be extremely surprised if the high speed testing shows any different results. I'll let you know if that supposition proves wrong.

    That's it except for the attached photos that show the panels in place on my Springfield from different angles.

    SprgFldProto2Instal.jpg SprgFldProto3Instal.jpg SprgFldProto4Instal.jpg SprgFldProto5Instal.jpg
     
  8. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Here's the results of my high speed testing yesterday. Before setting out, my Springfield was checked for factory recommended tire pressure and a quick safety check. Note, I ran a Freedom Shields windshield for all my testing. I covered 120 miles with temps running from low 80's to high 80's. Winds were 10 to 15 mph. Travel included all directions (North and South freeways; East and West freeways) to make sure I traveled with winds from all directions. Speeds covered were 75 mph to 85 mph for most of the test and a few miles at 90 mph. Most cruising was done at a steady (cruise control maintained) 80 mph. I also included travel through a TN county seat on my way home to see how low speed, and stop and go travel impacted the effectiveness of the modified deflector panels. Here is a summary of the test results:
    • There was NO buffeting at any of the speeds tested,
    • A comfortable airflow for the rider (me) was experienced at speed with airflow targeted at the lower section of the boots and extending around the outer legs. The heaviest airflow blast is directed about 6" from the rider's legs. Overall, a pleasant ride at a steady 80 mph for 20 mile runs in several directions. That was not the case with the OEM panels (too much radiated heat and some buffeting that upset the bike's handling) at those speeds.
    • I decided to stop at my dealer to get their feedback. They "loved" the design as it complimented the windshield design, and they considered the airflow dynamics to be an improvement over the OEM "barn door" panels. Their lead Tech also insisted that the cutout located at the lower inside corner of the panel as designed will allow more airflow to the engine which will also improve the effectiveness of the optional oil cooler that sets in front of the engine (Note: I do not use the oil cooler on my Springfield). The Tech also noticed that the top of the panels allow more clearance for the turn signal wiring harness which he reported had caused chafing with some Springfield's running the OEM panels.
    • At the end of the high speed testing, I ran home through my county seat which was made directly after exiting the freeway where I was traveling at 80 mph. So, any issues with a heated engine starving for cooling air would be evident. I'm happy to report that the engine cooled down normally without any extreme heat radiating to the rider.
    I am finished with the testing and consider it a success and an improvement over the OEM panels...especially for warm/hot weather riding. I have turned all the data over to John Lauk, owner at Freedom Shields. He plans to offer the panels on his website as soon as possible. He promised that pricing will be very reasonable. Note, I do NOT have an interest in, nor am I employed by Freedom Shields. I will not profit from any future sales of these panels...this should answer any concerns from a guy on the "other" forum.

    BTW...until Indian makes replacement panels available for order without requiring you to order the complete kit, these modified panels may provide a low cost option for a "repair" panel. If I can confirm the bolt hole spacing is the same for the Chief's and Chieftain's (see my request for bolt hole spacing measurements on the forum), the modified panels may provide an alternative to those riders as well.
     
  9. IROQUOIS

    IROQUOIS Gold Member

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    Excellent write up and obviously great design.
    I have the exact same bike and color also so your pictures really related to me.
    Look forward to Freedom Shields offering them.
     
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  10. Largeandy

    Largeandy Well-Known Member

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    Nice research and great super helpful effort on the part of Southern Producer here. Trading off a 2015 Harley Roadglide CVO today for a 2017 Springfield so I would be highly interested in this product. Could not get the price I wanted for the CVO so I instead added another Indian to the tribe!
     
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  11. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Largeandy. In my last conversation with the owner at Freedom Shields, he was all set to manufacture the deflector panels. He only needed to add them to his website which apparently he has not done yet. I suggest you give John a call (303-816-1615) to have him ship out a set to you. Note, you will need the factory hardware for the installation...just like the windshields. I hope this helps.
     
  12. Roadie

    Roadie Bronze Member
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    Sure wanting to try a set for my Chieftain, hopefully he produces some in dark tint.
     
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  13. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    He told me tinted will be available. He plans to match all the tints offered currently for the windshields. BTW...I was able to confirm the deflector panels will fit the Vintage and Chief Classic hardware. My dealer didn't stock the deflector kit for the Chieftain. So, I couldn't confirm the panels will work on your model. Do you know if the panels are the same as those used in the hardware kit for the Vintage and Chief Classic?
     
  14. Roadie

    Roadie Bronze Member
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    No, they bolt up different on the Chieftain due to the Fairing.
     
  15. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    I know that the hardware is different, but wondered about the plastic panel. I wouldn't be surprised if it might be the same as used on the Springfield and Vintage/Chief Classic. The hardware is different between the Springfield and the Vintage/Chief Classic because of the difference in the rake.
     
  16. IROQUOIS

    IROQUOIS Gold Member

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    Based on what you've reported they should do a pretty good job keeping a majority of the rain off a guy also.
     
  17. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    I didn't test them in the rain, but believe you are right.

    On a personal note... I hate wearing a rain suit when it's really hot, so find that slipping on a pair of gators work great unless it is just raining too hard.
     
  18. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    The new deflector panels are now available (in clear to various tints) from Freedom Shields even though they are not on their website yet. Somebody here already called the company to order a set.

    UPDATE...Looks like the new panels are on Freedom Shields website now and at $49.95 seems like a good deal. Wind Deflectors Indian Springfield / Chief
     
    #18 SouthernProducer, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  19. Largeandy

    Largeandy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you again SouthernProducer for all your work, time and research. Just ordered two of these on their website.

    Best

    Largeandy
     
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  20. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks...I enjoyed doing this project and appreciate your comments. Enjoy the ride...
     
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