The fairings are one of the fundamental parts of motorcycles because they represent the aerodynamic part of any vehicle. They are a sort of bodywork, those metal parts that cover – partially or totally, depending on the model – the motorcycles.
The motorcycle fairings are easy to assemble: they apply to the frame and cover it. Plus, they allow a very rapid air exchange and protect the pilot from every inconvenience and atmospheric agent on the road.
The fairing, therefore, carries out both a protective mission of the mechanical components of the motorcycle and, of course, the mission of keeping the pilot safe and sound.
And not only that: the desire to make the vehicle a personal, intimate and unique space is growing among motor enthusiasts. In fact, the customization of this part is very much followed by them for the changes in the aesthetic and performance sense. That’s why the choice of material that can allow us to work and choose what kind of vehicle we want is essential.
Here is a guide on which materials to choose for your fairing, focusing on ABS and Carbon.
Let’s start from the material
There are three main materials of motorcycle fairings:
- ABS (Acrilonitrile Butadiene Stirene) is the most used material by motorcycle manufacturers as regards fairings, so it goes without saying that as far as aesthetics are concerned, the result is better. The ABS fairing is manufactured by injecting the material into a mold, therefore assembling the parts is easier and often the purchased parts already have the mounting holes. It is not easy to repair due to its structure, which also makes it expensive to maintain. This is why this material is used especially for the sidewalls and fenders;
- Fiberglass is a very delicate material which however has many qualities. It is simply repairable and even the assembly does not involve complex mechanisms. This is why fiberglass is used especially for track fairings. The price is also very advantageous;
- Carbon was not used much so far for fairings as it is a very expensive material. For this reason it was mainly used for competitive sports races given the quality of the material. Still, given its strength and lightness, the carbon fairings are of the highest quality and many motorcyclists and enthusiasts are approaching the Carbon fairings for this very reason, along with the chance to personalize the vehicle and make it more sporty, similar to racing ones or simply in line with their personal
In this article, then, we will point out the main differences between ABS fairings and Carbon fairings for motorcycles.
The ABS fairings: hardness and good impact resistance
We have just said that among the main features of the ABS fairings there are hardness and good impact resistance. But the benefits didn’t stop there. In particular, ABS fairings are:
- the unique choice for a definitely better aesthetic result: a great compromise if you’re not exactly the type – or don’t have time – to mess around in the garage;
- recommended for those riders who wish to renew their motorcycle or who need to replace a mudguard or side panel or other component;
- easy to paint when the surface is well prepared: it is imperative to degrease to remove the mold release wax used during manufacture;
- made for various modifications to the polymer to improve hardness, impact resistance and heat resistance.
Obviously, anyone who rides a motorcycle with ABS fairings knows that customizations are very complicated, as it is difficult to get a good look because traces of ‘large undulations’ on large surfaces. In addition, they are composed of often non-recyclable products and solvents.
Furthermore, the ABS fairings are heavy, as they are made in a very thick solid part, mainly due to the weight of the VF and the fillers present in the resin.
The Carbon fairings: quality, lightness and customization
As we have seen in the previous paragraphs, both fiberglass and carbon fiber are composite materials, i.e. formed by bundles of fibers stretched in different directions held together by a resin.
While Carbon is the most expensive due to the particular manufacturing process – carbon hull is treated in detail, made with precision, with a very high aesthetic impact – a Carbon fairing has the advantage of being more rigid and also very light and resistant.
Having said that, here are the main advantages of choosing a Carbon fairing for your motorcycle:
- extreme mechanical resistance;
- low density;
- resistance to thermal changes;
- very high thermal insulation;
- fireproof effect;
Furthermore, this is one of the main factors of choice for those looking for original motorcycle fairings. There are many e-commerce sites where you can buy fairings and customize them with custom paint and graphics, one of which is vulturbike.com, an online shop specializing in the sale of stickers, original fairings, carbon fairings and original accessories for motorcycles.
As regards the main disadvantages of choosing the Carbon material, these are connected to the expense to be incurred and also to the attention to the details of the personalization:
- you have to choose carefully the color/finish of the carbon, to be the same as the purchased ones (color of the same finish – unvarnished as your fairings – varnished);
- the direction of the fibers changes from one part to another, so the final rendering is a very painstaking and precise work;
- the maintenance can be very expensive.
Moreover, Carbon fairings are ideal for lovers of speed and performance, and the perfect choice for those who love to race on the track. In sporting competitions, in fact, carbon fairings have contributed to reach new speed records.
In addition, even if you are an expert and have been working with these materials for years, always pay attention to knowing how to distinguish a carbon fairing from ‘carbon like’ models. In addition to being well built, in fact, many of these latest models can be very faithful to the original material and turn out to be so.