I had removed my windshield previously for a day and found that once I got used to the wind hitting me directly that the ride wasn't bad. But since I only rode for an hour or so, I thought I would do a more thorough test to determine if it would be feasible to leave it off for the summer. So 4 days and 300 miles later, I thought I would share my observations.
First, let me say that the scooter looks SWEET with the screen removed! I think it fools the Sportbikers when they are coming toward me in the opposite lane as I got more waves with the shield off than I did with it on. In constrast, I actually had a group of Sportbikers pointing and laughing at me a few weeks back while at a stoplight, but that's a story for another day... With the screen off, the scoot definately looks lower, longer and quite sporty - a look that I like as you can tell by my avatar.
As for the ride with the shield removed, it's best when riding around town. The added wind keeps you cooler on warm days when the heat is rising up from the asphalt and the sun is beating down on you. I do wear a jacket and boots when I ride despite what the fake photo above shows, so I do get hot when in stop and go traffic. Most of my short trips in town were enjoyable even with the added wind pressure on my chest and face. It can be a little shocking the first time you ride into a strong head wind at speed as your body becomes a sail and you get pushed back quite a bit. But just like dealing with crosswinds when learning to ride, you adapt to the wind forces after experiencing it a few times and no longer think about it.
On longer trips, the experience is mixed. I found that when "touring" the back roads the ride was much like my short trips as long as I did not exceed an indicated 60mph. The wind noise was noticeably less than with the stock screen under these conditions and the buffeting on my head was gone. Of course, in its place was direct wind forces on your chest and head. But on calm days the forces are constant and not at all bothersome.
Now, when you get out on the highway or have to maintain speeds over an indicated 60mph things are very different. The ride can get stressful as you have to deal with a very strong wind pressure which is magnified when there are strong crosswinds or "dirty" air from large trucks or SUV's. I travelled for 20+ miles on an interstate highway with a posted speed limit of 70mph. I had to run the scoot at an indicated 85mph to keep from getting run over by the other traffic. This was NOT fun. I had to assume the sportbike position as shown in the photo above in order to ride it out. If I did not lower my head down between the mirrors, the wind forces ramping up the front were so strong that they tried to push my helmet up off of my head. And there was considerable buffeting pounding me in the arms, chest, and neck. All of this made the scooter feel like it was wobbling. Not a mechanical vibration, but more like the wind was rapidly pushing you from side to side. At the same speed, I don't experience this with the stock windshield in place.
So, for around town and riding less than 60mph, riding with no windshield is not bad. But on longer trips and/or at higher speeds, the ride is too stressful to be practical. In an effort to have the best of both worlds, I bought a summer shield from Cee Bailey's. Hopefully it will provide enough wind to keep cool, without creating havoc at higher speeds. I'll report back once the shield comes in.
I think I have Sportbike envy because I like riding in that uncomfortable looking position as shown above. But I really wouldn't want to give up the cargo space that the scooter provides! I would really like to have some footpegs back there so half my foot doesn't hang off the footboard. In the photo my feet are actually on the pillion foot rests. I don't actually ride like that, but I do prefer my feet all the way back as far as I can get them.
The scooter is actually at the end of my driveway on the sidestand. I photoshopped the stand out of the shot and then added motion blur to the background with a little rotational motion to the front wheel. It was a quick and dirty edit in the photo editor so it's a little rough around the edges. And my neighbors got a kick out of watching me mount the bike, hit the camera remote, and then act like I was going 100mph! I'm sure they tell everyone there is a real dork living next door!