Freezing fingers and plastic shields

Around this time of the year, when the temperature drops and I take long(er) motorcycle trips, I'm usually able to stay comfortable with enough layers and leather.  My feet, stay relatively warm with thermal socks but regardless of how hard I try, at interstate speeds, the constant wind on my hands and fingers turn them into icicle digits.  I can't seem to find hand protection that can withstand  several hours of 70 mph blasts of 35 - 40° humid air defeating some really great ski gloves.

I've thought about heated grips, electric gloves, bat-wing fairings for the bike and all sorts of concoctions that either were non-effective, too expensive or simply too much trouble to deal with.

Recently, someone sent me a link showing some clear acrylic wind screens that would block the wind and looked like something I could deal with.  They were not too big, not all that expensive and didn't require batteries or electrical hookups, all for $89 plus tax and shipping.  I began thinking on these and figured, "What the heck?  I can make my own!"

Bouncing the idea off my brother-in-law and with a general design in my head, made my way to Home Depot for some materials.  There, I bought a pair of corner braces ($2.87), 3' metal strap ($6), box of nuts and bolts ($3) and a sheet of Lexan ($18) clear plastic.  The Lexan has more flexibility than plexiglas, relatively flexible, can be shaped with heat and most important, is not quite as likely to split or shadow when drilling or sawing it.

After settling on a general design, I cut out a rough draft on cardboard and mounted it on the corner braces that I had attached to the mirror bolts on the handlebars.  Applying masking tape to both sides of the plastic, I transfered the shape from my template with a marker and cut it out with a jig-saw.  The reason for masking tape is two fold; (1) the tape gives you something to trace the pattern to and (2) further reduces the chance of the Lexan splitting or shattering when the jig-saw starts it's cut.  After the shape was cut, I sanded the edges and drilled holes for the mounting brackets to attach the Lexan.  It should be noted here, I recommend using Lexan by brand because my first attempt was with plain plexiglas which shattered when I attempted to cut it out.  It was cheaper but not near as strong.  Add another $8.00 plus gas back to Home Depot on the cost.

It took a bit of time to adjust the angle to be aesthetically appealing and to be effective in blocking the wind  but I believe I have something I can live with for the next 3 months when the weather warms.  This coming weekend, I probably will refine the shape a bit more to remove a few flat spots and make it more rounded.

Hopefully, my new hand shields will keep my hands from losing all feeling on my next 500 mile ride in January or February.