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Home Made Fairing Extenders

After seeing interest recently in the forum about fairing extenders, I got the idea to try making my own. The following is an explanation of what I did. I’m pretty pleased with the results and it cost me $6.11 in hardware. If I hadn’t already had the scrap Lexan on hand from previous windshield-making exploits, it may have cost another $7 to $10.

I started by eyeballing the fairing and determining how wide and long I thought the extenders should be. I settled on 2 ½” wide and about 15” long. Next, I made the four brackets from ¾” by 1/8” aluminum bar stock from the home center ($2.79 for a 36” piece). I cut the four of them to a length of 2 ¾”. I then put about a 40 degree bend in them ¾” from the ends using my bench vise and a pair of visegrips.

The brackets then went to the bike, where I determined where to drill the holes in the brackets. The attachment of the extenders is done with two of the existing fairing screws – the aftmost screw at the top of the middle fairing panel, and the top footwing screw. I removed those two screws and lined up the brackets with the long portion extending out away from the fairing and marked where to drill one ¼” hole in each bracket on the short portion. The short portion of the bracket should lay nicely in the molded-in flat part of the fairing where the screw heads call home. I also drilled a 5/32” hole at the end of the long portion of the brackets, where the extenders will be mounted to the brackets. I then went ahead and temporarily mounted the brackets.

With posterboard, I started mocking up the shape of the extenders. I cut out a piece of posterboard 15" by 2 ½” and laid it on the brackets at about the position it would be mounted in. I had to rough-in the inner edge of the extender to match the gentle curve of the fairing panel. Also, about the top 3” of the extender had to have a slight wedge cut out of the inner edge, so that it could continue straight up where the fairing edge starts to turn towards the fairing pocket/dash/mirror area.

Once I was happy with the fit of the posterboard mock-up, it became a template to trace onto the 1/8” Lexan (brand name for polycarbonate) sheet. The Lexan was then cut using a band saw (a jigsaw or scroll saw could also be used if that's what you have available). Lexan cuts about as easy as a soft, thin wood.

I sanded the edges of the freshly cut extenders and took them to the bike to test fit them and to mark where to drill the holes for attaching them to the brackets. The inner edge of the extenders should lay in right along a raised molded ridge on the edge of the fairing, just below the rubber trim strip that attaches to the edge of the fairing. You may need to loosen the brackets to allow the extenders to seat in along that ridge. Once everything is lined up the way you want it, mark where to drill the 5/32” holes in the extenders.

I’ve found that the easiest way to drill through Lexan is to secure it on top of a sacrificial piece of wood. Drill through the material until you see wood shavings being produced. The wood backing seems to keep the material under control. I used to just try drilling through the Lexan over the edge of my bench, but when the drill bit made it all the way through, the Lexan would suddenly jump up the bit, out of control and would often crack, ruining the piece. That could drive a grown man to tears if you just ruined a piece that was about to be a windshield.

This is the fun part. I peeled the protective sheeting off of both sides of my extenders, took them to the bike and mounted them to the brackets with 4mm by 12mm phillips head screws and a washer and nut on the back side. Once again, you may want the brackets to be loosened so that every thing can line up easily. Once the extenders are mounted to the brackets, you can tighten the brackets and every thing should bed down nicely.

The great thing about these is that they use existing fairing screws and they can be taken off and put back on in just seconds, and can be stowed in a saddle bag or maybe even under the seat, haven’t looked at that possibility yet. I don't think they look too bad for a homemade job and I really feel they will lower my temperature comfort threshold by at least another 10 degrees.

These are rigidly mounted extenders, but eventually I’d like to come up with a way to possibly hinge the trailing edge of them, so that they will allow airflow in to the rider, similar to the Big-K accessory air wings. I have the whole winter to think about that, and I may just decide to not worry about it and just remove them when it gets too warm. Or I could just make another rigid set that is bracketed so as to direct air to the rider.

Article By: Mike Trask

Updated January 2005 

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