The Evolution of the Motorcycle
The motorcycles of today look very different than the first motorcycles that began to appear on roads over a hundred years ago. The basic layout is usually the same, with a centrally mounted motor, placed in front of the rear wheel, which it drives, and behind the front wheel, which steers the bike, but almost everything else, including their appearance, has changed a lot over the past century.
All early motorcycles were a direct evolution of the bicycle, and many of the first motorcycles were just bicycles with motors attached. Even as motorcycles became a stand-alone product, they still featured many bicycle parts, including an exposed frame which made them both visually similar. But modern motorcycles look vastly different than current or historic bicycles, and this is due to the many advancements in technology over the years, including the increased use of motorcycle fairings.
What Are Motorcycle Fairings?
So what exactly is a motorcycle fairing? Well, the basic definition of a fairing is that it's the protective paneling that wraps around the frame of a bike, which means that a fairing can be a lot of different things that comes in many styles. As mentioned before, the first motorcycles used bicycle frames that did not feature bodywork or fairings. These early bikes were designed to travel on dirt roads and paths that had previously been used by horse-drawn buggies and wagons, so they weren't very fast by today's standards and offered little in the way of protection from the elements, but as roads began to improve and speeds began to increase, motorcycles began to change and fairings started to become a popular addition.
Fairings and bodywork started to find their way onto motorcycles for two significant reasons, with the first being aerodynamics. As roads improved, motorcycles became faster, and racing these bikes became a popular pastime. Race bikes were some of the first motorcycles to feature full fairings. These fairings weren't designed in wind tunnels, but were designed with maximum airflow in mind. Once aerodynamics became an exact science, designers and engineers began to develop fairings that allowed race and road bikes to cut through the wind with as little resistance as possible, and this not only led to faster speeds but also allowed for greater fuel economy.
The second big reason that fairings have become so popular on modern bikes is for an extremely important reason, safety. Early naked bikes offered little in the way of protection for the rider or the bike itself, but the addition of fairings allowed more protection from road debris and the outside elements that a rider might encounter. Just like helmets have evolved from leather caps to state-of-the-art protection devices, fairings have evolved over the years to provide protection for a bike's internals and its rider.
Types of Motorcycle Fairings
As motorcycle designs have evolved over the years, so have the styles and types of fairings that can be found on them. While having a naked motorcycle is still an option, most bikes found on the roads and racetracks of today will feature some kind of fairing, and these will differ depending on a bikes style and intended use.
Full Fairings – Full fairings are exactly what they sound like they should be, they are a large front mounted piece or pieces that cover the entire front end of the motorcycle. This includes the engine, frame, handlebars, and the area around the headlight and instrument cluster. A full fairing will cover the upper and lower parts of a motorcycle, but does not cover the entire bike. While full fairings take up more space and are bulkier than any other style, they also offer the most protection from road debris, airflow, and wind noise.
Half Fairings – Half fairings are partial fairings that only cover the upper portion of a motorcycle. These fairings focus on the area around a bike's windshield and headlight and help protect a rider's upper body from the elements and wind while on the road.
Quarter Fairings – Quarter fairings are minimal fairings that usually extend around a bikes headlight, and they focus on wind deflection around the handlebar and instrument cluster area. These style fairings offer some wind protection and are popular on café racer style bikes.
Belly Fairings – Belly fairings are located underneath a motorcycle. Instead of focusing on protecting a rider from foul weather and wind, belly fairing's primary focus is to protect a bike's motor and to improve aerodynamics which makes them a popular choice for street bikes and race bikes.
Functions and Benefits of Motorcycle Fairings
Aerodynamics played a big role in the development of fairings over the years, and it's still a big reason they are used today. Race bikes led the way in the development of quarter fairings and belly fairings, which were designed to take up a minimal amount of weight and space while allowing for optimal airflow around a bike and its rider.
Road bikes such as cruisers and baggers often utilize full fairings, and aerodynamics also play a role in their use. While these bikes are usually fast, their focus is not speed, but by reducing drag and increasing stability, aerodynamic fairings help improve fuel economy which is another benefit of increased aerodynamics.
Protection from wind is another benefit and function of motorcycle fairings. The first fairings found on road bikes were usually front fairings that acted as or attached to a bike's windshield. Protecting a rider's head and face has always been important, but back in the early days before full-faced helmets became an option, front fairings and windshields played a significant role in keeping the wind out of your face and ears.
These same fairings that protect a rider from the wind also play a big role in protecting a rider in general. Many riders love motorcycles because of their open-air feel and the freedom they provide, but this open experience also means that a rider will be subject to all sorts of weather conditions , insects and bugs, and road debris such as gravel and rocks that can all lead to injury or a miserable time if you are not well protected. It's this reason that most motorcycle manufacturers now offer fairings as standard equipment on many models.
While all of the above reasons are enough to make motorcycle fairings a must-have for many riders, fairings also allow a rider to make their bike an extension of their own personality. Motorcycles have long been popular because they are easy to modify and customize, and aftermarket fairings allow the owner of a bike the ability to enhance the visual appeal of their motorcycle. Everything from the shape and size, to the color and components contained in them are fully customizable, and it's rare to see a custom bike today that doesn't feature at least some sort of fairing.
Audio for Your Motorcycle Fairings
One of the most popular modifications for any motorcycle is installing a sound system or upgrading a bike's factory speakers with superior aftermarket parts, and a motorcycle's fairings often make the perfect place to house this equipment. Decades ago, it would have been impossible to imagine just how good a motorcycle's sound system could be, but thanks to advances in stereo equipment technology, listening to your favorite music in the highest quality is now possible.
Due to a bike's open-air nature, sound system components will be exposed to the elements such as wind and rain, and will also face prolonged exposure to sunlight and harmful UV rays, so any speakers or stereo equipment that you plan on installing on a motorcycle will need to be specifically made to handle these conditions. Fortunately, many top stereo equipment companies now produce marine-grade speakers and other components that are up to the task of facing the great outdoors.
When it comes to installing any equipment on a motorcycle, space is at a premium, and a motorcycle's front fairings are often used to house and protect a bike's instruments and electronic equipment, so it's the natural place to house speaker equipment as well. Brands like Fairing Factory, Dirty Bird Concepts, Voodoo Bikeworks, and other manufacturers are now producing high-quality motorcycle fairings that are made to house the best marine-grade speakers and audio equipment.
Shop Garage Bagger Stereo
If you are looking to upgrade your bike's fairings to handle top of the line audio equipment, or need to upgrade the speakers and equipment housed in your motorcycle's existing fairings, where is the best place to find these parts? Look no further than Garage Baggers Stereo.
Purchasing motorcycle parts and stereo equipment from overseas websites on the fringes of the internet can lead to cheaply made low-quality parts from disreputable manufacturers. The folks at Garage Bagger have decades of combined experience in motorcycle sound systems, and they carry all of the best brands when it comes to aftermarket motorcycle fairings built to house speakers and any marine-grade stereo component you can think of. If you are just looking to replace a few speakers or are building a completely custom bike, Garage Bagger has the parts you need to accomplish your goals. They are just a call or email away and will be happy to answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction to finish your project.
So head on over to https://garagebaggerstereo.com , order the best aftermarket fairings and motorcycle sound system equipment on the market, install them on your bike, and hit the road listening to your favorite music for many miles to come!