What to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Fairing

Motorcycles are becoming more popular. During the last decade there has been a significant increase in the number of global motorcycle sales and registrations. At the same time there has been a shift in the demographics of motorcycle users and increased focus on motorcycle safety issues.

If you ride a sport bike, then undoubtedly your motorcycle design incorporates a fairing that covers the frame and/or engine. The purpose of a motorcycle fairing is to reduce drag, protect the frame and engine, and protect the rider.

The Benefits of Reducing Drag

Motorcycle fairings reduce drag by improving the bike’s aerodynamics. This can improve handling, performance and fuel efficiency. Drag is an aerodynamic force that opposes the motorcycle’s motion on the road. Reducing the amount of friction can lower the amount of power required to maintain a specific speed as compared to a bike that does not have a fairing. Increasing the power input required reduces fuel efficiency and also reduces the amount of power consumption over time. This can stretch the life of the engine and associated parts. And, it may also reduce the amount of repair that is required over time.

Rider Protection

Another benefit of motorcycle fairings is that they can deflect bugs and rocks from hitting the rider. An interesting effect is related to what is called the laminar boundary layer, which creates a buffer between the surface of the fairing and the wind passing over it. If you’ve ever seen a bug fly up and over the windshield of your car, it is riding this boundary layer. So, a motorcycle fairing can help keep lightweight debris off your bike, and perhaps off of you.

Fairings can also help protect the rider and the bike during accidents or falls. Of course, you shouldn’t rely on it to protect you or the bike too much (especially in high impact conditions).

Aftermarket and OEM Motorcycle Fairings

OEM is an acronym that stands for original equipment manufacturer. Typically, an OEM is a company that makes a part or subassembly that is marketed and sold by another company, usually as a component of the second company’s product. OEMs are usually the main source for the manufacturer. When you have your car or bike services at the dealer, they usually use OEM parts. Once of the drawbacks of OEM parts is the cost, which can be as great as 60-70% more than aftermarket parts.

Aftermarket parts are any parts that are not sourced from the car’s manufacturer. For example, if Motovader.com makes motorcycle fairings that are used on Ducati motorcycles then Motovader.com is the aftermarket seller. A number of companies make parts designed to function the same, or in some cases even better than the original. It’s estimated that 80% of auto and motorcycle repair shops use aftermarket parts. If the parts are direct replacement parts, they generally will not void your auto or motorcycle’s warranty. The advantages of aftermarket parts, like motorcycles fairings, is that they are generally less expensive, quality can be equivalent and sometimes better than OEM parts, more variety and better availability.

Some aftermarket fairings are very inexpensive, but as the saying goes “you get what you pay for”. Motorcycle fairings that are sold at a very low price often do not fit quite right. Because of this, buyers of aftermarket fairings will want to find a source that has an excellent return policy and stands behind its products 100 percent, like motovader.com.

Motorcycle Fairing Types

Full fairings

Full fairings utilize a design that shields the lower and upper portions of your motorcycle and are very common with sport bikes. This type of motorcycle fairing improves the aerodynamics of your motorcycle, thereby reducing drag (see the discussion above regarding drag). The windshield is typically used for aesthetic purposes, unless the rider is in a ‘tucked’ position against the tank, usually at high speeds. When riding in a tucked position, the windshield (as well as the overall shape of the fairing) can help improve the aerodynamics by directing airflow over the rider’s helmet and body. Besides from protecting the rider, this model is great for protecting your chassis and engine. Motorcycle fairings are also designed to absorb an impact. With a full fairing installed on your motorcycle, the first thing to impact the ground will be the fairing. And in many cases, it will protect the engine and bike frame from being damaged.

Half fairings

On the other hand, the half fairing covers the area between the handlebars to the surface of cylinder block. It is designed to protect the upper region leaving the lower section exposed. Although these designs are not designed to cover the gear box or crankcase, some of them have aftermarket kits that can modify the half faring to become a full fairing. Furthermore, their popularity has led many manufacturers to begin producing full ABS fairings conversion kits.

Quarter fairings

The quarter fairing; also known as bikini or café fairing extends to cover the area around a motorcycle’s headlamp. It is attached to the triple clamp. Its purpose is to deflect air flow and protect the rider’s chest and head.