ABS Fairings is the leading manufacturer of a variety of motorcycle fairings and parts. We specialize in custom made aftermarket fairings for motorcycles like Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and even Harley Davidson. Our compelte fairing kits include everything you need to drastically change the look of your bike. Whether you want an OEM style look or something wild, we'd love to work with you on your project.
Although they are relatively popular, many people are surprisingly unfamiliar with the term. Motorcycle fairings (aka Bodywork) are defined as a shell which can be placed over the frame of a motorcycle, usually with the intention to reduce the amount of air resistance while protecting the rider from various hazards, such as cold wind.
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Modern fairings are mostly composed of one of three different materials. The most common material is Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, which is a strong, flexible plastic with a noticeably light weight. ABS is often found on sport bikes and it is not very common on the racing circuit. Another common material is fiberglass, which is made from woven fibers, and is most often used on the race track because of its light weight and durability. Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer is an increasingly common material used in fairings, because it is significantly lighter than both fiberglass and ABS—but it is significantly more expensive and is usually only employed by riders with the means to employ it on professional circuits.
A brief history of motorcycle fairings
It's not exactly known when personal, customized motorcycle fairings first came into use. Before the 1970s, fairings were usually custom-made by riders, mechanics or bike designers--one of the most well-known fairings is the NSU Dolphin II full fairing which set a record in 1956. In 1976, the very first full fairing was factory installed. Early fairings, at least up until the 1970s, were often large, sometimes increasing the frontal area of the motorcycle by as much as one or two feet.
Modern fairings, on the other hand, are significantly smaller and are usually integrated into the bike's design. At most, a modern fairing will add to the frontal area of the motorcycle by about 5%--if that.
Most common types of motorcycle fairings:
A dustbin fairing is a single piece fairing which covers the front half of the motorcycle. The dustbin fairing somewhat resembles the nose of an aircraft, which has earned it the nickname torpedo fairing. A dustbin fairing significantly reduces the air drag from the front. Dustbin fairings were especially popular in the 1940s and 1950s, although some racing circuits today ban this type of fairing.
A full fairing is a fairing which covers both the upper and lower areas of the motorcycle, without leaving the lower section of the motorcycle open or exposed. A full fairing is used to reduce overall air drag; generally, riders must be in a lower position while using a full fairing, otherwise their bodies will act as a buffet to the air, which slows the bike down.
A half fairing is a fairing that only covers half of the motorcycle area. Most half fairings have windscreens and extend to the area below the handlebars, without covering the sides of the motorcycle's crankcase. Half fairings are especially popular among riders who want to install their own fairings, as they often come as “at-home kits.”