Brand New Skins

Two years ago, when we rebuilt Marv’s bike, we could tell the cheap aftermarket fairings we were putting on had problems, but we made them work. As cowl sets go, they were inexpensive. They looked OK for a while, but we never realized how quickly they would deteriorate. Finally, they had to be replaced, We spent a couple of days installing a brand new set of O.E.M. fairings on Marv’s bike, and here are some before and after photos, and a video of the process.


Marv’s new O.E.M. cowls arrived a few weeks ago.


Two big boxes with a new set of cowls, and a gas tank.



Marv arrived on Monday afternoon.


You can see he’s very excited.


Aftermarket cowls: You can see the poor fit where the tank closeout cowl meets the gas tank, and the texture flaws in the air intake closeout panels.


The tail fairing is cracked near the brake light. This may be damage caused by his system for securing his tail-bag, but the Chinese aftermarket cowls are a lot thinner and weaker than the O.E.M. cowls. They weren’t made of the same material either.



His lower cowl was held to the upper cowl with zip-ties because the nut holes on the cheap aftermarket Chinese cowls had broken out.


The photos of the old cowls don’t really do their injustice justice.



The cowls on the right side melted. They were secured with zip-ties and improvised fasteners. His lower right cowl is gone, lost in a peg-breaking incident on a ride a few weeks ago. It wasn’t worth retrieving.

In Process

The new cowls went on easily, and the fit was superb.


Almost finished.



Does it look done?


While we were at it, we decided he needed a new rear tire too. The one he had on was down to the wear bars. Marv is getting the nuts broken loose.

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Just about ready to roll it off the lift and reverse the direction to lift it back up for a tire change.








When we finished we talked about finding a way to mount his tail bag without putting stress to the tail fairings and fracturing them. We finally came up with a home-spun remedy that would get him home, and a design we could build on to make a more aesthetically pleasing system.


Proud of the newly engineered luggage provisions.


Some pieces of oak reclaimed from when he remodeled his kitchen. The wood had been in my garage for a few years, and was finally repurposed. I’ll bet no one would have guessed how it would ultimately come to be used.



Backing out of the garage, and getting the first raindrops on the new skins.



Wait a moment while I snap a quick picture.

The first stop was to get a tank of gas, and then he was on his way home with his renewed and refreshed motorcycle.



7 thoughts on “Brand New Skins

  1. Pingback: Brand New Skins | John Triggiani

  2. Well done! Too bad the Chinese skins were too flimsy and poor fitting ………. to make you have to do the job again with OEMs.

  3. I recognize those handsome men. One is my dad and the other is his brother from another mother. Good times!

    • What do you mean awaiting moderation? That’s a pretty innocuous message, don’t you think???? Wish I could press that button on some of the nasty stuff I see on Facebook. 🙂

  4. Nice work! I love the homespun remedy using repurposed wood from your kitchen remodel. That’s why you have to save stuff 🙂

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