Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Fairings Buying Guide

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Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Fairings Buying Guide

The legendary Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a motorcycle built on excellence, tradition and true American heritage. Harley-Davidson celebrates over a century in the business of building heavy-duty motorcycles primarily designed for cruising down the highways. Harley-Davidson is what legends are made of and songs are written about. Though during the daytime, they are white collar or blue collar workers, doctors, lawyers, or CEO’s, they cannot wait for the weekend to hit the road on one of these world-famous works of iron and chrome, with over 750 cc’s of power beneath them, bold and uncompromising with an air of the rebel spirit on display.

Harley-Davidson owners are a tight community of "hog" riders and they are well-known for unabashed care of their Harleys. Maintaining their bikes in top condition, many riders choose to buy a bike with motorcycle fairings or to add them after-market to their bikes to increase style and looks and to protect themselves and their machines. Fairings, or exterior panels, can be added to the front as well as of the motorcycle and a windshield may be part of the fairing. Consumers should research the history of their Harley to understand what kind of fairings are needed before purchasing anything. Searching local high street shops, dealers, and websites like eBay Motors are all relevant places to search.

History of Harley-Davidson

The historic Harley-Davidson company began in 1903 in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin machine shop when 22-year-old William S. Harley and his friend, Arthur Davidson, attached a small gasoline engine to a regular bicycle frame. They continued to improve their designs, eventually becoming the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. They were only one of two motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s and during both World Wars, Harley-Davidson supplied the military with thousands of bikes.

Harley-Davidson hit another big dip in the road when, in the 1970s and 80s, Japanese motorcycle makers like Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha flooded the market and drove down prices. Harley-Davidson responded by returning to their benchmark, classic, and retro-styling and American-loyal buyers returned. Harley-Davidson sells more than 30 different heavyweight bikes, many based on those time-honoured designs with cutting-edge technology and mechanics for the best ride possible.

Motorcycle Fairings

The term "fairing" began its use in the aircraft industry when used to describe the smooth airflow over an intersection of components where airflow was disrupted. This can produce a dangerous instability and the same is true of motorcycles. The first factory-installed full fairing was introduced in 1976 on a BMW bike and before long, fairings on sports and touring bikes became widely accepted. Modern Harley-Davidson fairings may have headlights, sound systems, auxiliary power outlets, bluetooth connections, and many other things included with the frame.

A motorcycle fairing is an exterior shell placed over the frame or body of a motorcycle. Motorcycle fairings add style and character to bikes and many riders like the sleek, unique appearance fairings give their bikes. More importantly, fairings reduce aerodynamic drag which improves fuel efficiency and prolongs engine life. Fairings also protect riders from wind-fatigue on long rides and wind-induced hypothermia in cold climates or inclement weather and for riders driving at high speeds. Fairings can also protect the engine and chassis in the event of an accident.

Materials for Motorcycle Fairings

Harley-Davidson motorcycle fairings are typically made from either one of three materials: ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic, fibreglass or carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer.

ABS plastic is either compression moulded plastic, which is the most common type, or injection moulded ABS plastic which provides a consistent thickness with fewer irregularities than compression moulds which can be inconsistent because of the method of heating and pressure used to form the plastic into the mould.

fibreglass is made from woven fibres called glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). The advantage of fibreglass versus ABS plastic is that it is lighter, more durable, and repairable.

Carbon-fibre reinforced polymer is the lightest and most expensive material used in motorcycle fairings.

Types of Motorcycle Fairings

Fairings for Harley-Davidson bikes are available in several different styles, colours and options, and allow the rider to customise his or her bike with a full or partial fairing shell.

Fairing Type

Notable Features

Full fairings

Large body add-ons that cover both the top and bottom sections of the bike

Provide popular streamlined high and functional windscreens and handlebar coverage and are designed to reduce drag and increase ridability

Provide the extra coverage to safeguard the engine and chassis in case of accident


Usually provide a windscreen and protection below the handlebars, perhaps as low as the cylinder block, but do not usually cover the sides of the crankcase or gear box

Many bikes sold with a half-fairing can be upgraded to a full-fairing with a manufacturer’s conversion kit.

Quarter fairings

Also known as bikini fairings, feature a windscreen and coverage extending only around the headlight to the triple clamp

A belly pan is often combined with the quarter and half fairings. It is installed below the engine and reduces aerodynamic lift as it diverts the air flow away from underneath the engine.

In addition to these basic types of fairings, there are several more customised types including the streamliner which is a full fairing covering the entire body of the motorcycle and the dolphin fairing which was named after the resemblance between it and the beak of a dolphin from the side view.

Comparing Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Fairings

Before deciding to buy a fairing for a Harley-Davidson bike, consumers need to thoroughly research the optional styles available and be sure that the one chosen is the correct fit for the bike. A Harley-Davidson bike should only have a fairing that is specifically designed for installation on a Harley-Davidson machine. Next, consumers should investigate the quality of the product because this varies quite a bit, particularly if the piece is used. Lastly, consider the type of material that is being used and if it is possible, potential buyers should take a test drive on a bike like with the fairing already installed.

Considerations when Purchasing Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Fairings

When purchasing a Harley-Davidson fairing, buyers should find out if it comes pre-drilled and what the kit contains. If the kit does not contain the mounting brackets, consumers must buy it separately. When possible, consumers should always use the mounting brackets supplied by Harley-Davidson for the Harley bike and only use an approved Harley kit.

Even many do-it-yourselfers want to have a qualified mechanic fit the fairing, either through a private source or through a dealer. This ensures that the fairing is fastened to the bike correctly and all parts are working correctly. Once the Harley-Davidson fairing is installed, all moving parts should be checked to make sure that there is ample clearance when turning the handlebars and manoeuvering the machine before taking the bike out on the road. The handlebars must have full clear movement and the throttle return in all positions of the handlebars. The clutch and brake levers should be free and clear to operate properly. Wiring must be rerouted safely so that they do not pull or chaff during operation.

How to Buy Harley-Davidson Fairings on eBay

When you have decided to buy a fairing for a Harley-Davidson bike, you can turn to eBay Motors. Begin by using the search feature on any eBay page. Try to use specific terms to get the best results. Or, you can simply to go eBay Motors and search for your type of motorcycle and then find the accessories available. Type in the year, make and model of your motorcycle and the specific terms for what you are looking for. You can find a great selection of fairings to choose from. Remember to be sure that your selection is compatible with your style of bike.

Signing up as an eBay member assists in keeping track of your purchases. When you have made the purchase, the seller ships the item to the address you specified after he or she receives payment. Look carefully at shipping costs and you may find a seller that offers free shipping, or a local seller where you can pick up the materials. Check out the seller’s feedback rating and be sure to ask questions before buying.


While a few purists still like to leave their Harley-Davidson motorcycles in their original state, a growing number of bikers are opting for the comfort, fuel economy and style of equipping their bikes with a full or partial fairing. They enjoy the sleek look and often customised painting that the Harley fairing offers, along with the increased protection they personally get while riding with a fairing and the added protection for their bike. They appreciate the guard that a fairing extends to the bike itself and the extras that fairings can provide. Buyers can select their options, colours, and equipment in a complete array of full fairings, half fairings, quarter fairings, streamliners or dolphin fairings. Fairings are available for specific models of Harley-Davidson motorcycles ensuring that the fit is just right and the appearance is in keeping with the original bike. Motorcycle Fairings are a great investment for any Harley-Davidson bike and can enhance your riding enjoyment.

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