Illumatek wants to light up your world with custom windshields

Publish Date: 
May 27, 2010

That custom ride looks great in the daylight, but what about when the sun goes down?

John Miller can fix that for you. His company, Illumatek, is recruiting dealers to sell his patented, custom, laser-etched illuminated windshields for motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles.

Illumatek offers a variety of designs, including military themes, cobras, wolves, skulls, tribal tattoo motifs, and a more feminine-leaning thorny rose vine border. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) embedded in clear acrylic give the designs an eerie glow, but don’t interfere with the rider’s sightline. Windshields start at less than $1,000.

Artist Blaine “The Blainiac” Heilman will create custom windshields from the customer’s graphics for a fee, then add that template to the shop’s offerings. If the customer really wants a one-off he or she can get it, but that will take an additional fee. Fees are calculated based on the intricacy of the graphics.

"We can do photo reproductions of kids, pets, girlfriends, anything you want," Miller told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Miller spent four years testing different types of acrylic and lights for his windshields, and another 18 months getting them approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. They make bikes more visible at night, though Illumatek’s web site cautions customers to check state and local regulations regarding riding with the windshield lit (it’s wired to an accessory switch).

Two Wisconsin dealerships already offer the windshields: Hal’s Harley in New Berlin, and Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson in Thiensville.

Posted by Holly Wagner