Cee Bailey's Motorcycle
Cee Bailey’s Motorcycle Headlight Stone Guard
by Bob S. for WebBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
aircraft-grade acrylic mounts over the motorcycle's
headlight to protect the lens from damage. We
can’t imagine a rock penetrating these guards and coming
with Cee Bailey’s customer service and attention to detail,
the guards are a winner.
Ever seen a hole in a windshield or headlight from a
stone? Of course you have!
We’ve replaced three
headlights in three vehicles in just the last year and
have come to regard it as just one of the expensive
nuisances of life on the road.
Most motorcycles aren’t
used for enough miles to have the daily exposure of cars
and trucks, but then there are those of us who ride many
more miles in a year than average.
Hmmm... So, how much
will it cost to replace the headlight on your spiffy
motorcycle? No need to check, because we already
made some calls and did the checking for you -- the
answer is that unless you have a simple round 7-inch H4
glass lens, a typical plastic headlight will cost from
$250 to $450!
There are clear film products that can ostensibly
protect the headlight, but if pebbles can make a hole in
a car windshield, I don’t think that these thin films
will do much more than protect against coarse sand-like
particles. The reality is that for anything more coarse,
they are more likely to simply keep the pieces of your
broken headlight on the bike.
Cee Bailey’s Aircraft Plastics has an effective
solution at an affordable price. Their web page lists an
impressive array of clear plastic guards for both head
and fog lights and they been making aircraft windshields
and other aircraft products since the 1950’s.
company likes to point out, anybody can heat and form
acrylic plastics and there are hundreds of companies
doing so. However, doing it so that there aren’t odd
warps and distortions is somewhere between an art and a
Achieving a certification from the Federal
Aviation Administration to make windshields and aircraft
products is no small task (only about 3 companies have
it, they say) and Cee Bailey’s has obtained
this for almost every light aircraft that flies. So the
company knows something about plastic! The company
branched into making motorcycle windshields, headlight
guards, and other products in 2001.
We ordered a set of headlight guards for a 2004 Yamaha
FJR 1300 from the company’s web-site. They arrived a few
days later in a bubble-wrap pouch and the covers for
each lens were wrapped in thin foam.
impression after unwrapping was that these were really
solid pieces of plastic. Whipping out the calipers, the
guards are not surprisingly made of the same 1/8th inch
(0.125”) acrylic that is used for the side windows of
most light airplanes.
Cee Bailey buys their acrylic
literally by the truck-load, so we reap the quantity
discount and the corporate knowledge about how to work
with it. Measuring a couple of other handy items for
reference, a Shoei helmet visor was 2mm (0.078”) or
about 2/3 as thick, and the stock Yamaha windshield was
5mm (0.197”) thick. It is hard to imagine a rock
penetrating one of these headlight guards.
Distortions of the plastic can result in light going
into the eyes of oncoming drivers, bushes, tree-tops, or
other sub-optimal targets, so the second thing that we
did was to check for waviness in the acrylic. Slowly
rotating and tilting the covers over a piece of lined
paper, there was a small amount of distortion where the
stylistic curvature of the FJR lights got really tight,
toward the ground. However, we really were not worried
about a little light straying toward the front fender
and in general the covers were as distortion-free as the
headlight lenses themselves.
Note the lack of waviness or distortion in this
complex headlight guard.
The plastic guards were placed over each headlight and
the curvatures of the guards were slightly more open
than those of the headlights. This allowed for the
slight gap that the hook-and-loop fasteners would
One thing that was noticed was that the
curvatures were not quite the same and that one guard
had conspicuously less gap. But this was the product we
received and we proceeded with installation anyway.
The installation instructions were a single page of
paper, but then the installation wasn’t rocket science
either. The package arrived with nine white round
hook-and-loop tabs, with one as a spare. We cleaned the
headlight thoroughly and then used the alcohol wipe
supplied by Cee Bailey’s to make sure there was no wax
on the headlight lens.
After waiting to make sure the
alcohol had evaporated, the tabs were stuck to the four
corners of each headlight. Our first attempt at just
placing them at the far corners didn’t work out at all
and we learned quickly that the tabs needed to be placed
inward slightly from each corner.
The instructions say that the tabs can be repositioned
for a short period of time and that turned out to be an
understatement. These round tabs are the industrial
heavy-duty version of Velcro and at first only stuck to
the headlight with a gummy feel.
We peeled them off and
for the second try attached the mated tabs to each guard
and then just pressed the guard over each headlight,
which worked much better. We could actually slide the
guards around a little on the gummy adhesive of the
tabs. However – and this is a big one – don’t expect to
reposition the tabs the following day. The gumminess was
gone and the tabs were rock solid.
The round mounting tabs are visible as the white dots.
Note the lack of distortion
in the headlight.
Cee Bailey’s Warranty and Customer Service
Remember the mention that one cover that didn’t have
much gap in the curvature? The fit was OK, but sat on
the nose of the FJR differently than the guard on the
The guards were sent back with a
photo and request for a replacement at the beginning of
the work-week and later that week we got a phone call.
The nice young lady on the other end was very apologetic
and asked “Sir, would a three-day shipment be OK, or do
you really need your replacements sooner?”
on and around airplanes for most of my life, I’ve been
in shops that have had a couple of prior experiences
with their warranty on materials and workmanship. See if
you get that from Joe Plasticbender who is selling parts
from his garage!
A couple of people have said that they don’t like the
looks of headlight guards and to each their own. If you
had the guards and didn’t want them for a special bike
night, they could be popped off of the tabs, which is
done routinely for washing the bike.
people don’t notice the extra protection that the guards
provide, especially for the long distance rider, daily
commuter, or anybody else who rides a lot. We can’t
imagine a rock penetrating these guards and coming with Cee Bailey’s customer service and attention to detail,
the guards are a winner.
Review: Cee Bailey's Clear Headlight Guard
||Suggested Retail Price: Typically
$19-$49. $42.95 for the set shown here.
|Colors: Clear and tints.
in: California, U.S.A.
|Review Date: May
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