Parabellum BMW Windscreen Review
The Chris Blogs
by Chris B. for webBikeWorld.com
I'm not really sure what got
me thinking about replacing the stock windscreen on
my 2000 BMW K 1200 LTC.
I’ve been using it with a Laminar Lip (see my review) for
nearly 100,000 miles now and have been satisfied
with the performance, although it does have a few
The primary issue I have
with it is that if I raise the BMW's
windscreen up to completely block the wind (which I
rarely do), I end up looking through a total of four
layers of acrylic: the face shield, sunglasses
or eyeglasses, windshield and the Laminar Lip.
Searching around for
something different, I remembered reading the Parabellum ads in the BMW Owner’s
News magazine for years.
Parabellum has been
around for many years and their products are very
popular with BMW motorcycle owners.
The owner, Charly
Perethian, apparently worked for Craig Vetter
(remember him?), then left to start another famous
brand -- Rifle Fairing (which is still around) --
before he started Parabellum.
originally focused on making windshields for BMW
motorcycles, but the company has since branched out
to make windshields for many different makes and
I suppose it was
Parabellum's claim of
increased fuel mileage that really caught my eye --
an important factor with the premium fuel that "Big
Red" requires now going for about $4.35 per gallon
-- but I decided to give it a try.
Two very important requirements
I have for a motorcycle windscreen is that I must be able to
look completely over the top lip and I must be
comfortable when riding with it in the fully lowered position at
The electrically adjustable
windscreen on the BMW allows me to fine tune the height as needed, and
I can also lower it when riding in town or in the “twisties”,
which ensures a clear, unobstructed view of the road
So I asked Parabellum
about this and after several e-mail exchanges, the sales rep assured
that the windscreen for the BMW K 1200 LT would meet
And by the way -- since this is also the bike my wife and I use on our
yearly two-week motorcycle vacation, it had to perform well for the
During the exchange of e-mails prior to
the purchase, which were always promptly and
politely answered, Parabellum suggested that because of my height (6’3”), I
would probably benefit from a taller windscreen than
the stock size.
So on their recommendation, I opted to go with their
“Performance/Touring Windshield” in the taller size
(2" taller), along with an option I’ve never seen on
a windscreen: pop out vents.
One of the
drawbacks to a large windscreen is that can do such
a good job of blocking the wind that it can also
make it too warm for the rider. So the pop-out
vents sounded like a nice addition, and since they
cost only $49.00 more, I
included them also. After all, what did I have
to lose? Parabellum apparently has confidence
in their products, because they offer a
30 day money back guarantee.
I received a message
soon after the order was
placed just to confirm that I did indeed want the taller
screen. Apparently, because of the pronounced bow in
the Parabellum windscreen when compared to the stock
unit, the top
edge is located significantly higher. So I
thought about this and made the decision to instead go with the standard height.
I really wanted the windshield
in enough time to mount it on the bike and give it a trial
test before we took off on our upcoming 4,000 mile
so I placed the order six weeks before the trip.
Despite being very busy, Parabellum was able to get
the windshield to me a week before departure.
BMW K 1200 LT Stock Windshield (L); Parabellum
Performance Touring Windshield (R)
Once I took it out of the box and compared
it to the stock BMW windscreen, it's obvious how
pronounced the curve on the Parabellum windshield is throughout its entire length.
The stock windshiled really flattens out at the top
claims that the flatness of the stock windshield is
causes the turbulence that can be felt when riding
behind it, and this results in significant air drag
Parabellum uses cast acrylic sheets of Lucite L to
make their windshields, and I found this one to be
optically perfect with no distortion anywhere except
at the very edges of the material, which is to be expected.
The stock windshield on
the BMW is attached with four Allen head
screws, which must be replaced with the four Phillips head screws
provided by Parabellum, along with eight slightly conical
steel washers that have a rubber washer attached to
one side, so installation was a snap.
Once I installed it, I noticed how much higher the
top center edge of the Parabellum windscreen was
compared to the stock BMW unit. Like a kid with a new toy I
could hardy wait to go to work the next day and see
how it performed.
I have a round trip commute of 100 miles, with the
morning half being mostly twisty back roads and the
afternoon 95% Interstate at high speeds. Some
of the trip takes me up over the mountains of
western Maryland, and the temperature and humidity
changes can be significant.
I had been
riding my “new” R1150GS (see
my report) every day recently, but I rode the LT
for a week prior to and after the Parabellum
windshield was installed so I could get a good idea
of the differences and to also record the fuel
consumption using both 'screens.
Good optical quality but at this height, I'm looking
through the windshield, rather than over it.
Once underway, with the
Parabellum windshield fully lowered, I
noticed that the top edge cut right through the center of
my vision. And as soon as I got above 30 MPH, I
experienced a strong “drumming” noise on my helmet, which
increased with road speed.
The noise could be eliminated
though by simply raising the windshield -- with the
windshield raised about halfway, it was dead silent and the air was very calm.
now I was stuck looking through it all of the time;
not exactly what I had in mind.
I rode with the
Parabellum for a week to evaluate it
under various conditions, and I also got my co-pilot’s
all-important feedback -- she was pleased with how
quiet it was back there with the windshield in the raised position.
I’m sorry to say, after using it for a week I
removed it just before our departure. I
decided that I could probablydeal with the top edge
lying right in the center
of my vision, but only if that position created no
“drumming” noise on my helmet was intolerable, which
made it necessary to raise the windshield up so that
I'm looking completely through it, a situation I did
I know a lot of riders
with a fixed-position windscreen on
their bikes who have no problem looking directly
through it, but I
have experienced many instances where, due to wild
temperature fluctuations during my ride, the windscreen
completely fogged over in a matter of seconds.
This makes it impossible to see the road ahead of me
-- and obviously dangerous situation.
By the way, the optional snap-out vents
on the Parabellum windshield worked fine.
However, I was unable to pull
them closed from the rider’s side, so unless you’ve
got long arms like I do, to close the vents you’re going to have to
pull to the side of the road and perhaps even get
off the bike so you can push them closed from the front.
My fuel consumption recordings over the 400 miles prior to
and after installation of the Parabellum showed no increase whatsoever;
I got a pretty consistent 41-42 MPG, regardless of
which windshield was fitted.
After returning from our trip, I contacted Parabellum
about my concerns and they offered to trim the
windshield to any length I’d like, but I wasn’t
convinced that this would really improve things, so
I returned it instead.
I had high hopes for the windshield from Parabellum; I was hoping for comfort, better protection and
maybe even a little better fuel mileage, but for me,
it just didn’t deliver what was promised.
BUT, if you don’t mind looking through a windscreen,
then one of their products may be an
Suggested Retail Price: Prices vary; the BMW K
1200 LT Performance Touring Windshield shown here starts at
a list price of $259.00.
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