Veteran street bike riders know that it’s not “if” you’re going to fall off your bike, it’s “when.” This can be very expensive with broken or cracked bodywork and fairings. Replacement bodywork is very expensive, making DIY fix-it jobs much more attractive. There are several effective techniques. Which one you use depends on whether you have a plastic or fiberglass fairing. It also depends on whether you have a crack, small hole or major damage.
Epoxy can be a good choice on plastic or ABS fairings with cracks in them. There are multiple epoxies that will work, such as 2020 SMC Hardset Epoxy. The epoxy creates heat, which melts the plastic and actually welds it back together. If you have a small “V” knife or chisel, you can cut a very shallow relief along the crack for the epoxy to settle into, rather than building up on top of the plastic.
Plastic welding is another ABS technique. Where epoxies create a chemical weld, special heat tools or even wood-burning tools can melt a crack back together. The heated tip of the tool follows the crack on the inside and outside, melting the plastic and letting it fuse back together as it cools. Fairing repair kits and ABS welding sticks are also available. The welding sticks make it possible to fill very small holes and severe cracks.
If you have a large hole in your fairing but don’t have the broken pieces to weld back into place, fiberglass is your answer. Many aftermarket and road-racing fairings are made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass cloth is placed over the hole and fiberglass resin/hardener mix is applied. Fiberglass cloth can be applied to roughly approximate the original shape of the fairing, before finish work begins.
Polyester Resin or Auto Body Filler is used to restore the cosmetics of the fairing after any of these repair. Excess fiberglass, epoxy or plastic is sanded or filed down. A thin coat of body filler is applied and allowed to dry. It can then be sanded to replicate the original fairing form, before repainting it.
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