MRA X-Creen Review for Farkle My Ride
by Mark DT
The MRA X-Creen is a unique spoiler that can be attached on to the top of your windscreen by either a drill-on or clamp-on assembly, and is used to help move the incoming airflow up and above your helmet. It is a universal fitting air flow deflector so while I performed my test with a Triumph Tiger 1050, it should work well with any motorcycle provided the top shield dimensions are wide enough.
When I purchased my Tiger 1050 this past spring they included two windscreens. The “original” screen which is fairly short, and a “Triumph Touring” wind screen. The original windscreen that comes from the factory is good-looking and deflects air up to but not clearing my shoulders. It was relatively turbulence free, however, I wanted less airflow and associated helmet noise. After the first few tanks of gas were used it was time to give the “Triumph Touring” windscreen a try.
The Triumph touring screen was both higher and wider. As soon as it was installed I put it to a test with a nice two-day tour of the Olympic Mountains in neighbouring Washington State, USA. The results were mixed. The body fatigue was definitely reduced as the new screen seemed to push the air above my shoulders and around my body better than before. However, turbulence on the helmet became worse as the higher touring screen was now getting turbulent flow right onto my helmet somewhere between the visor and my forehead where before my helmet was getting clean undisturbed air as the other screen was much shorter.
Neither one of these options were particularly appealing. I spent some time over at the excellent Triumph Tigers owners forum and searched through their archives. It seems windscreen dissatisfaction was a common complaint among owners.One windscreen that seemed to be very popular with some owners came from MadStad Engineering. They re-bracketed the entire windscreen so that it lifts off the fairing a little higher. This would get a little more airflow below the screen and result in a more laminar flow as it exits the top resulting in less turbulence. Some of the users of the forum were clearly converts. I haven’t tested this screen yet, although I may in the future. While this screen is likely near perfect in function, I found both the price and its appearance not to my tastes so I kept searching. In my research I found the best price on Madstad windshields was on eBay.
I had heard good things about a German company called MRA. Thanks to rain days and google research I found myself looking at the MRA X-Creen. It was a little different from all the others in that you kept your original windscreen and added a multi adjustable spoiler to the top of your screen using either screw tight clamps which required no drilling, or using a drill through permanent mount to your existing windscreen It also seemed to do what the well-regarded MadStad screen did which was get the airflow streaming under the screen partially to reduce turbulence. It allows the user to adjust both the distance the screen protrudes forward as well as blade angle.
So what do the adjustment changes look like? Below is a simple video from YouTube showing the range of motion of a MRA X-Creen.
Installation was a pain in the butt primary because of instructions that resembled something from Ikea. In this day and age of YouTube, Google Translate, and digital photography it is simply amazing that a company will spend thousands of dollars researching and engineering a great product, and then spend so little time making sure that the accompanying instructions are simple and concise. However, despite the poorly written instructions, I did get it all put together in roughly an hour. At last it was time to start road testing.
I ended up going on several loops of a mix of freeway and urban riding, making adjustments after each loop. The first thing I noticed was that the helmet turbulence and associated noise were reduced immediately. After each loop I would stop and get off to make adjustments like the video shows above.
I found it quite easy to either make it really quiet with relatively still air to just about the top of my helmet, or make the air stream right onto my Shoei helmet’s face shield. The clamps are heavy and place a load on the top of your original windscreen.
If you have a thin plastic screen that is tall or oversized, I am not sure if the clamp on method would be ideal. Other riders have drilled their screen and used a permanent attachment for this reason. The Triumph Touring screen is heavy built and seems to accept the load without issues. I have yet to drill the screen and make this blade permanently part of this screen so my comments can only reflect the “clamp on” method of use.
Overall, I am really pleased with the MRA X-Creen. It doesn’t detract from the looks of the bike, it greatly reduces helmet noise and turbulence, plus it is reasonably priced. The nice thing about the MRA X-Creen “clamp on” versus the drill and bolt on method is that if the screen doesn’t work for you, you can always sell it again second hand on Craigslist or Ebay and will likely recover most of your costs. For me this made it relatively risk free to try out.
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