BMW Motorcycle Fairings Buying Guide

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BMW Motorcycle Fairings Buying Guide

Some people love to ride motorcycles for pleasure, while others for competition. The one thing that all motorcycle enthusiasts have in common is a need for speed. BMW has become synonymous with high performance, high quality bikes, making them one of the leading motorcycle manufacturers in the world. Many BMW motorcycle owners go the route of enhancing their engines to increase power and get better better mileage.

Another way to improve mileage and performance is to reduce the drag on the motorcycle by fitting motorcycle fairings. Fairings were originally designed for use on airplanes to streamline aircraft. Racing bikes in particular benefit from having fairings fitted to bodywork. Before buying BMW motorcycle fairings, riders should consider the different types of fairings available, the various materials used to manufacture fairings, and what fairings can be fitted on what makes and models of BMW motorcycles. eBay has thousands of listings for fairings for BMW bikes, as well as listings for a variety of motorcycle parts and accessories.

Types of Motorcycle Fairings

Motorcycle fairings are protective covers designed to fit over the frame and engine of a motorcycle. Owners generally have the option of changing out the front, rear, or both fairings. At its most basic, the function of fairings is to protect the inner workings of the bike from debris, as well as protect riders from hot engine parts and exhaust gases.

Fairings come standard with all motorcycle, and customers have the option of changing the look of the bike by fitting aftermarket fairings. There are several different types of fairings that BMW motorcycle riders can choose from. Customers are encouraged to consider all their options carefully to ensure that the fairing they purchase fit particular makes and models of motorcycles. The chart below lists the different types of fairings.

Style of Fairing

Description

Full Fairing

Full coverage includes the front and back of the motorcycle and this type of fairing provides protection to the chassis and engine in case of accident; minimises drag and functions as a windscreen

Half Fairing

Inexpensive option that acts as a windscreen but only covers part of the bike

Belly Pan Fairing

Added to quarter and half fairings to move airflow from the engine to reduce aerodynamic lift; sometimes mandatory on race tracks

Dolphin Fairing

Provides mudguards for front wheels

Quarter Fairing

Partial fairing that reaches from the headlight to the triple clamp; acts as a windscreen

The size of the fairing directly correlates to its overall performance. Smaller fairings are used by non-racers since drag is not a primary concern when it comes to enhancing city commuter motorcycles. Larger fairings are typically used by racers who need to minimise air drag.

BMW Motorcycles and Fairings 

At the height of World War I, BMW was a leading manufacturer of auto and aircraft engines. When the war ended, the Treaty of Versailles barred German companies from manufacturing aircraft engines. BMW had to focus its attention elsewhere. In the years that followed, BMW put its efforts into BMW Motorrad, which started BMW's long standing tradition of manufacturing quality motorcycles.

BMW continues to push the envelope in terms of design and performance, and today offers its customers a variety  of bikes to choose from. Though quality and performance are dominant in all of its motorcycles, BMW now caters to city commuter, a high performance racers, and every type of motorcycle rider in between. Riders who are interested in making their bikes faster, more efficient or simply want to change the look of their bikes can do so by modifying their motorcycle's fairings.

Motorcycle fairings are important to those riders who want to decrease drag while increasing speed and mileage. BMW tailors motorcycle fairings to different types of bikes and an individual rider's needs. For example, a person in the market for a touring bike is not as concerned with speed as someone who races. Therefore, the design of a touring bike does not prioritise aerodynamics and the fairing on the bike reflect this.

Factory vs. Custom BMW Fairings

Shoppers have the choice between factory and bespoke fairings for their BMW motorcycles. BMW dealerships and authorised distributors offer a selection of different types of fairings. Moreover, there are other aftermarket companies that make fairings to fit most BMW motorcycles. BMW fairings should always fit properly, and since the purpose of the part is to reduce drag, the last thing a rider wants is a ill-fitting part that actually increases drag. Therefore, before buying factory fairings, customers should make sure they are dealing with a reputable retailer.

The other option for adding new fairings is to opt for custom pieces. Custom BMW fairings are more often than not found on the racing bikes at racing circuit. Custom fairings are expensive, but those who claim they can feel the difference in their bikes' performance, attest to the price being worth it.

Materials for Motorcycle Fairings 

BMW Motorcycle fairings come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and another important factor to consider is the materials. There are three main materials used for motorcycle fairings, and they are ranked as light, lighter, and lightest. ABS plastic is the most popular and least expensive option. This material comes standard on most motorcycles because this type of plastic is durable, heat resistant, and lightweight. ABS fairings are made by one of two processes, each referring to how the plastic is formed in the mould. With injection moulds, a liquid form of ABS plastic is injected into the mould. With a compression mould, the ABS plastic is pushed into a shape. Injected ABS fairings are considered better because the shape tends to hold for longer.

Fibreglass fairings, also called PVC, is considered more lightweight than ABS plastic. This material can be coated with a protective sealant. However, it is not as heat resistant as ABS plastic. Fortunately, it is easier to repair. Fibreglass fairings are very common at racetracks.

The lightest of the three materials used for BMW motorcycle fairings is carbon fibre. Carbon fibre fairings are considered to be the premier option and is favoured by serious racers, especially those who can afford their high cost.

The  chart below summarises the pros and cons of each material used in the manufacture of motorcycle fairings.

Material

Advantages

Disadvantages

ABS Plastic

Lightweight, heat resistant, and inexpensive

Compression moulds may not hold shape well

Fibreglass

Lighter than ABS plastic; easy to repair

Not as heat resistant as ABS plastic; becomes brittle when exposed to heat

Carbon Fibre

Most lightweight of the three material

The most expensive option

Casual riders and commuters do not require anything more sophisticated than ABS plastic fairings. The type of material used for the fairing only affects the speed and drag when milliseconds count.

Installing Motorcycle Fairings

When it comes to installing BMW motorcycle fairings, buyers are faced with the decision of DIY or professional installation. If a rider is interested in a custom frame, he or she should ask the seller if installation is included in the price of the fairings before finalising the purchase. If a customer buys factory fairings, then installation is quite straightforward. Because factory-made BMW fairings are designed to fit particular makes and models of BMW bikes, installation is easy. Installing factory fairings only requires a few essential hand tools.

Low quality fairings may not fit properly, and it is often better to let a professional install them. It might be the case the screw holes are not perfectly aligned, or the plastic is not shaped to exact specifications. Though it may cost the buyer more money to hire a someone to install the fairings, there is likely to be fewer headaches in the long run if a professional attaches the fairings.

How to Find BMW Motorcycle Fairings on eBay

If you are looking for BMW motorcycle fairings on eBay, you need to have some crucial information on hand to find the right fairings to fit your bike. Buyers should know the make and model of the motorcycle they are buying fairings for. You can enter a generic search query like 'BMW motorcycle fairings' in the search bar to see all the current listings. However using a generic search query means you have to sort through potentially hundreds of listings. To help narrow the field of options, use descriptive keywords to hone the results. For example you could include the series number: 'BMW motorcycle fairings R series'. For more helpful hints, be sure to check out eBay's Search Tips page.

Top-Rated Sellers

One way to ensure that you come away with high quality BMW motorcycle fairings is to only do business with an eBay seller that can boast a long standing reputation of excellence. eBay closely monitors sellers, and those who consistently deliver quality products and customer service are awarded the top-rated seller status. Look for the designating icon next to the seller's username. The seller's feedback score and comments from previous buyers can be found on the seller's profile page.

Conclusion

Whether shoppers are looking to change the look of their machines or promote performance efficiency by reducing drag, BMW motorcycle owners have a variety of options when it comes to fairings. Factory fairings are less expensive than bespoke fairings, and it is ultimately up to the buyers to determine how much they can afford to spend on fairings. BMW and other aftermarket companies provide customers with an assortment of fairings to choose from.

Those more interested in how the fairings affect performance should pay close attention to the weight of the materials used in the manufacture of fairings. Larger fairings may help with drag, but the weight may also make the bike heavier. Therefore, if the fairings are being purchased for racing, then riders should choose something lighter than ABS plastic fairings. Fibreglass is lighter, but prone to material failure when exposed to heat. Carbon fibre fairings are considered top of the line, and consequently, these fairings are the most expensive option. BMW motorcycle fairings are available through licensed distributors, online marketplaces such as eBay, and local specialty shops.

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