A Guide to Motorcycle Batwing Fairings
by Alex M • December 21, 2020
Safety, comfort, and style; just a few of the check boxes to fill in a motorcyclists pursuit of achieving the perfect ride. Throughout the years, the batwing fairing has become a tried and tested addition to a motorcycle. With affordable aftermarket batwing fairings now being compatible with nearly 100 different motorcycle models, we’re here to answer the questions on the minds of many riders; what will a batwing fairing do for my ride, and how do I choose the right one?
Advantages of a Batwing Fairing
- Rider Protection
Due to the shape and large dimensions of a batwing fairing, the wind and weather protection provided is far superior than that of a windshield or naked motorcycle. This includes better protection on the riders helmet, chest, arms, shoulders, and hands against the wind, rain, and cold. Noisy wind buffeting will notably decrease to preserve rider and passenger stamina, and the taxing effects of the elements on a rider will be reduced. Greater protection is also offered against road debris like rocks and trash. These advantages may allow for riders and passengers to further enjoy high mileage rides even on days when the weather is particularly cold, rainy, or windy.
2. Audio Systems
Due to the additional ride silence, wide dimensions, and the general placement of a batwing fairing on a motorcycle, an audio system is an ideal integration into a batwing fairing to allow riders to achieve an optimal motorcycle audio and riding experience.
The typical speaker configuration varies between two, or four water resistant speakers with each speaker measuring between 5.25 inches, 6.5 inches, or 6x9 inches. The general options for a stereo on a batwing fairing range between single DIN stereos (classic style CD stereos), double DIN stereos (touch screen and GPS stereos), and waterproof marine stereos. Stereos which are not water resistant typically include a closeable radio splash cover to protect the radio from the elements.
Batwing fairings are sold with audio systems pre-installed to allow for a simple integration onto a motorcycle or with pre-drilled holes to allow for the integration of an audio system of the riders choosing. Batwing fairings are also available with storage units or single panel constructions rather than audio systems for those uninterested in adding audio to their rides.
The cosmetic appearance of a batwing fairing on a motorcycle is a coveted look sought after by many in the pursuit of achieving the ultimate aesthetic appeal of a motorcycle. Batwing fairings are offered in three main designs; the smooth look, the vented look, and the contoured look.
The smooth look features a smooth front finish on the batwing fairing to give a clean appearance. The vented look features a non-functional vent on the front of the batwing fairing to give off a more sophisticated appearance. And the contoured look features a ribbed pattern on the front of the batwing fairing for an aggressive, modern appearance.
The construction of a batwing fairing is built to be sturdy and lightweight. This ensures additional protection for the rider without compromising the handling of the motorcycle. A batwing fairing construction will typically consist of either fiberglass or ABS plastic, and while both materials will look the same cosmetically, there are a few key differences worth noting. A fiberglass construction generally boasts a longer service life and is more easily repaired in the event of damage. ABS plastic is generally lighter in weight and lower in cost.
The finish and workmanship of both constructions tend to be equally comparable thanks to CNC technology, but because of the molding process of an ABS plastic construction, plastic batwing fairings can be produced in one piece rather than the two piece paneled construction of a hand-laid fiberglass batwing fairing. A one piece ABS construction will remove the need of a rubber mold, which typically runs between the two panels of a fiberglass batwing fairing. The rubber mold will tend to deteriorate over time and will require a replacement throughout the life of the fiberglass batwing fairing, while an ABS batwing fairing will eliminate that issue. The differences between the two constructions will not affect the general style, comfort, or protection of the batwing fairing, but motorcycle handling will generally be superior with the ABS batwing fairing because of its lighter weight.
Batwing fairings also offer a variety of add-ons for additional utility: curvy windshields, wind deflectors, tri-pouches, windshield trims, rear view mirrors, and quick-detachable locking mounting hardware. These add-ons will provide further advantages such as additional wind protection, storage room, style upgrades, and overall convenience.
- Curvy windshields are built with an outward curve on the upper half of the windshield to deflect wind away from the rider to ensure less wind buffeting, especially at higher speeds.
- Wind deflectors are installed on the underside of the batwing fairing to help deflect wind away from the riders legs. Wind deflectors are sold as a fixed version, or an adjustable version to control the flow of wind.
- Tri Pouches add extra storage to batwing fairings for additional room to stash belongings.
- Windshield trims are a cosmetic addition to add more styling to batwing fairings.
- Rear view mirrors are integrated into the batwing fairing to serve as a more sleek mirror compared to the original rear view mirrors on motorcycles.
Quick-detachable locking mounting hardware is available for fairings produced for motorcycles which include OEM quick-detachable windshield docking posts like roadkings and softail models.
6. Choosing the right Batwing Fairing
Overall, choosing the right batwing fairing begins with a riders understanding of the available fairing options and selecting their preferred audio, styling, and construction. By being informed of the available options and the pros and cons of each option, a riders selection of a batwing fairing will be facilitated. However, selecting the appropriate batwing fairing is ultimately dependent on a rider's taste and preferences. At Accessories International, we understand the importance of selecting the appropriate batwing fairing depending on the kind of rider you are. Feel free to contact us for assistance with any questions or concerns to ensure the selection of the best batwing fairing for you.