Motorcycle Fairing Repair
In summer 2011 I convinced a couple friends to buy motorcycles with me. Shortly afterwards, *some* of us became a little overzealous on a ride in the north Georgia mountains, and had to perform some cosmetic repairs to our bikes (no injuries). The quotes I got from local body shop folks were $400+, so I decided to learn how to do it myself. This page shows images from two projects. First was my bike, which fell on the right side and rashed up the lower right fairing. Later I helped my friend with his, which went over forwards and cracked up the front fairing.
In no particular order, here's what I learned:
- Two-wheeled vehicles are only dynamically stable!
- Motorcycle fairings are made out of ABS plastic. This is easy to fix and mold using two products. For minor work, ABS cement is probably sufficient. For more serious repairs, I had good luck with PlastiFix. This stuff may seem intimidating to use if you're not used to plastic and fiberglass work (it involves using a syringe), but gives fantastic results!
- Matching motorcycle paint is a huge pain. My bike is a "candy" color (code YC2), which is a tri-tone paint, and impossible to get at a Sherman-Williams type paint supplier. I had a choice between colorrite.com, which wanted like 70 bucks for a single can, and a trying to get custom matched paint at a local body shop. I chose the latter route since I was in a DIY mood, and actually bought a gigantic air compressor, before I realized it wasn't gigantic enough (you needed 15+ CFM to get a decent job). Ended up taking the paint I bought to another shop to have it put in cans, and did the rattle job you can see below. Not great, but better than where I started. I now have a much more respect for prep and paint work!
- There's nothing like having the right tool for the job. I bought a Dremel for my project, and it proved invaluable for grinding away the back face of Mano's fairing for the fiberglass patch we put on.
- All in all, motorcycle riding can be dangerous. Even if you go into it with a safe and mature attitude, things can go easily wrong when you're learning. We're lucky the lesson we learned came at such a low price, and I still love the feeling you get when you lean into a turn and twist the throttle :)
This is a video of my rattle-can job on the fairing I busted up on a little wipeout, in between when I got my bike and when i learned self control.
This is a clip of Mano dremeling away some inside plastic on the front fairing of his R6, so we could lay some fiberglass.