PRODUCT EVALUATION: SPIKE HARD-COATED VENTING WINDSHIELD
By John Bumgarner
If you live in an area that has four seasons, chances are you are in the market for a windshield for your UTV. A windshield truly improves life when it is cold, and it is magic when you have light rain or snow. For exploring in northeastern Nevada, a $429.95 Spike Powersports hard coated venting front windshield is a great upgrade. It will extend your riding season into the chilly winter months and help keep the trail litter out of your face. Manufactured from quarter-inch, hard-coated and scratch-resistant polycarbonate with a tinted, sliding vent to allow airflow into the cab. Precision cut from a single sheet of hard-coated polycarbonate plastic, it is bent to match perfectly with your Maverick’s front cage opening.
Spike’s no-tool mounting system makes for an easy install and removal. Opening the front vent helps reduce the negative pressure behind the windshield, which helps reduce dust inside the cab. We mounted our Spike windshield on a Can-Am Maverick Sport. After previously using a half windshield with less than stellar results, we had high hopes for this full windshield. Opening the box we found a sheet of polycarbonate plastic with double-sided protective sheets. We were happy to find the windshield fit perfectly when pre-fitting to the front of the roll cage. Even with our aluminum roof, there were no fit issues.
The hardest part about the mounting process was installing the perimeter rubber gasket, which has an extremely tight fit. Once the gasket is installed, the windshield fit tight enough to make us think we could get away without using the mounting brackets. Once the simple mounting brackets were installed, there was no doubt the windshield was wind- and watertight. Turning the two large knobs on the sliding vent cover made it easy to open or close the vent.
Out on the trail the windshield protected us from the wind blast as expected. On a particularly cold day, we found ourselves actually shedding layers of clothing because of the still-air pocket inside the cab. Riding with the vent open didn’t seem to have a huge effect on airflow inside the cab. We can attest to the seal quality around the edge of the windshield after dropping into a deep water hole on a fast-flowing stream crossing. The nose of our Maverick dove into the stream, causing a wave of water to slam into the windshield and over our roof. Not a single drop of water made it inside the car, keeping us pleasantly dry. The optical clarity of the windshield is very good. Only a full glass windshield will be clearer, but only slightly. The thick polycarbonate plastic had no perceivable flex while riding down the trail.
The only real issue we had with the Spike hard coated venting windshield is common among all full-coverage windshields—dust inside the cab. As speeds increase, the negative pressure inside the cab increases, causing dust to be sucked in. The vent is supposed to reduce this negative pressure, though we feel it could have been larger to allow more fresh air inside the cab. This is really only an issue in dry, dusty conditions. As with any plastic windscreen, static causes dust to stick and obscure visibility. Using a quality plastic cleaner and a microfiber cloth kept our windshield clean without scratching. Even after six months of trail use there aren’t any visible scratches. The tool-less mounting system is a breeze to use and fit perfectly on our Maverick’s roll cage.
Overall, we give the Spike hard coated venting windshield high marks for clarity, quality and ease of use with the tool-less mounting brackets. For more information, go to www.spikepowersports.com.