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What is a Motorcycle Fairing? A Simple Guide

You’ve probably been curious as to what a motorcycle fairing is. That answer is actually quite simple:

Motorcycle fairings are hard panels (typically fibreglass, aluminium and hard plastic) that are fitted to the front of motorcycles to increase their aerodynamics and provide more comfort to the rider. By deflecting the wind, riders face less resistance through the wind which allows the motorcycle to accelerate faster and reach higher top speeds. Likewise, fairings can reduce the helmet noise and overall discomfort that comes with riding a motorcycle.

If you’ve ever felt like this heavy force is trying to push your off your motorcycle when riding at highway speeds, then installing a fairing could be just the ticket you need to more comfortable riding. Many riders of various motorcycles get these installed and are glad that they made the investment.

Motorcycle Fairings at a Glance

The use of motorcycle fairings aren’t new, but more and more riders today are choosing to use these to have greater comfort on the roads. Just like the advancements in motorcycle technology, helmet technology and overall ergonomics, fairings have come a long way in these past decades.

These sometimes are added by the factory before shipping as a stock item. At other times, they may be added by the dealer in a particular area to increase sales. For dealers in cold climates, they may add fairings to increase sales since riders are likely going to need these installed regardless.

Many motorcycle fairings are available aftermarket both by the manufacturer and by 3rd parties. Various styles are available as well as building materials. It’s important that you double-check your model year when ordering as attachment points can change as can sizing and specifications.

Types of Motorcycle Fairings

Did you know that there are various types of motorcycle fairings. At a glance:

  • Quarter fairings. These are very small and generally, they just cover the area around the headlight. It’s most common to see these with stock-standard motorcycles.
  • Half fairings. This will have a windscreen that still allows some airflow to reach the rider’s helmet, but does provide some comfort to the user.
  • Full fairings. This is a full-sized windscreen and airflow channels which is the best shot at deflecting the wind for the rider. There is additional weight generated by adding these fairings but additionally, more comfort and stability at speed.
  • Oversized fairings. Kawasaki created the Concours which is absolutely oversize with its fairings but allowed a cruiser-like feel for what is actually a sports bike.
  • Wheel fairings. Have you seen fairings on dirt bike tyres? These are typically to stop dirt and debris from reaching the rider, as opposed to aerodynamic advantages.

These fairings are integral to most motorcycles these days. That said – this has given rise to the ‘naked’ line of motorcycles which are simply raw and real, without ‘all that plastic stuff’ attached.

Inherit Benefits

So outside the comfort and aerodynamic advantages, what does having a fairing really help do for the rider? Well, there are some benefits that aren’t so obvious.

Motorcycle fairings help riders by:

  1. Deflecting cold air which allows riders to stay focused on the road ahead.
  2. Enhances the cockpit area so riders can attach devices such as phones, a GPS or even a navigational guidebook. This is why you see Dakar riders with big fairings, as they need the space to fit more gear.
  3. Enhances the look and resale value of your motorcycle. Let’s admit it – most bikes with fairings look way better.
  4. Allowing riders to create an individualized riding experience. Most riders are unique creatures and by fitting a fairing, they’re able to create a custom experience that will last for years to come.

Generally, the motorcycles that don’t come from the factory with fairings are dirt bikes, naked motorcycles, cafe racers and scooters.

Would we recommend one? Absolutely. They are expensive as typically they are one-off designs or have a short production run. You may have to source these from other countries, especially if you have an older motorcycle and just broke your fairing.

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Can You Ride a Dirt Bike in the Rain?

Riding a dirt bike in the rain sounds like a scary thought. Is it possible? Can you do it safely or will the engine seize up?

Generally speaking, dirt bikes can be ridden in the rain without any impact on the engine or electrics. The electronic sensors and wiring are well sealed by most manufacturers such as KTM, Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki so dirt bike riders can feel safe and rely on their motorcycle to keep going, even in muddy conditions.

We should remember that in Australia, many people do creek crossings in their motorcycles with their bikes typically starting up first-try after being submerged deep in water.

Riding Dirt Bikes in the Rain

One of the main dangers, or at least concerns for the rider, is slipping. Dirt bike tires are designed for grip on gnarly rocks and sandy tracks which are dry. When things get wet, then the track gets quite interesting.

Additionally, riding a dirt bike on the road when it’s raining can be quite dangerous. With oil on the bitumen, riders with dirt-orientated tyres may feel a sense of aquaplaning and loss of traction when on the tracks.

This is where accidents are likely to happen and around other traffic which can be stressful. Therefore, we couldn’t recommend riding in the rain on highways and suburban areas. Simply pull over like other motorcycles do and wait for the bad weather to pass before continuing on.

Riding and Racing

Dirt bike races aren’t typically cancelled simply if it starts raining. While it’s more slippery, it also makes for great entertainment for the spectators!

If you’re in the backcountry and get caught in a storm, then we wouldn’t be too worried. Most dirt bike riders don’t forecast the weather and simply ride rail, hail or shine!

Some things we can recommend dirt bike riders for wet weather riding:

  • Water-proof Enduro Jacket. This is popular with adventure riders and there isn’t any reason why a dirt bike rider couldn’t wear one of these for the day. They often come with additional padding and a hydration pack.
  • Goretex Boots. These are typically water-proof (with the exception of creek crossings) to help your feet stay dry. It’s the worst feeling when you get water in your boots, so invest in a set of these.
  • Water-proof Gloves. Trust us – get some of these! They will stop you from feeling the ‘slosh’ feeling when moving your fingers around leading to more confidence behind the handlebars.
  • Full-face Helmet. Leave the MX helmet at home and take a road bike helmet instead which can seal up your face from the impending wind and rain. Open-face dirt bike helmets with goggles simply let too much water in and your shirt will be soaked in no time.
  • Waterproof Enduro Pants. If you really want to nail it with your gear, get a set of these. They are heavier and certainly more expensive than dirt bike trousers, but certainly worth the price.

Now – keep in mind that just about everything will get muddy and dirty during this process. This is especially disheartening when you have brand new gear that you’ve been trying to keep clean. Even your road-bike helmet is going to need a cleanout…but at least you had fun out there on the trails!

Going forward

Don’t let some drops outside stop you from a fun day out there on the tracks. Remember: many others will be huddled up at home so you’ll have many of these riding destinations to yourselves.

If people can ride their dirt bikes in snow, then riding in the rain shouldn’t be any trouble at all. Get yourself out there!

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How Many Dirt Bikes Fit Inside a Van? [A Basic Guide]

Many dirt bike riders like to transport their dirt bikes inside a van as it’s more secure during the journey.

The question remains though: How many dirt bikes can you really fit inside there?

It depends on the size of your van and the size of your dirt bikes, but generally speaking, you can fit 3 to 4 dirt bikes inside a van while standing upright. You’ll need to offset the handlebars with one trail bike in the centre facing rearwards to fit all bikes in properly.

You’ll certainly not be able to position your dirt bikes sideways in a van unless you’ve got a few children’s dirt bikes. Because these are shorter, it’s just easier to fit.

Why Have Dirt Bikes Inside a Van

There are various reasons why you’d want to use a van to haul your dirt bikes to the MX track or local riding trails.

Benefits include:

  1. Better security. No one can see your dirt bikes in transit and can’t follow you back home to see where your dirt bikes are kept.
  2. Waterproof. No water rusting away your handlebars or getting your seat wet.
  3. Load safety. Have you heard the horror stories of people whose dirt bikes fell off their trailer? It happens and it’s never pretty. Because your dirt bikes are loaded in a van – if the tie-down straps break, then the dirt bikes aren’t really going anywhere and if it’s packed tight, it’s very likely they will stay upright.
  4. A place to sleep. Going on a dirt bike adventure weekend? By having a van, it gives you a great place to sleep where you’ll only need an inflatable mattress and a sleeping bag. Neat!
  5. No registration or insurance for a trailer. Because you’re carting your dirt bikes inside the van, you won’t need a trailer to register or insure, or even have the risk of having that stolen too. Let’s not forget the eliminated risk of trailer-sway!

Certainly, they will cost more than a trailer and you’ll need more space to park a van. Some don’t fit inside of apartment garages so they are best suited to those who live in houses and have more use for the van than just carting around their dirt bikes.

How to Fit Dirt Bikes Properly

When loading your van with your dirt bikes, aim to ‘interlock’ your motorcycles effectively. The 1st and 3rd bike should go in forwards and the 2nd one go in rearwards.

Always place forward-facing dirt bikes in first and remove the rear-facing dirt bike first. It’s best to have the rear-facing dirt bike as the smallest one such as a women’s or kids dirt bike. You’ll also need to remember to keep space for a van loading ramp. You can buy these relatively easily through Amazon and eBay, or even your local dirt bike shop.

It’s also common for riders to throw their riding gear underneath their dirt bikes. This is a wise idea, but remember that you may have a minor undetected oil leak which could make your clothing smell pretty bad, so instead try and stack your gear higher. Some vans have places up high where you can hook stuff on like a gear bag.

Disadvantages of Dirt Bikes in Vans

While there are many advantages to having dirt bikes in vans, we must think about some disadvantages. These include:

  • The capital outlay. Vans aren’t cheap and you’ll need to invest in a decent van with low milage to make the most of out it.
  • They aren’t well suited towards apartment living and city life given their large size.
  • It’s hard to tie down your dirt bikes with limited space. At least in the back of a pickup or trailer, you’ll be able to walk around where as a van is more difficult, unless you buy a van with dual side doors.
  • Only 2 to 3 seats. If you’re into family trips with your dirt bikes, then it’s hard to find a 5-seater van that also has space for dirt bikes.

That said – their advantages do outweight the downsides in most cases. It really depends on how often you’re heading a far enough distance away from home. The occasional trip? Just buy a trailer. Camping every weekend? Get yourself a van so you can spend more time riding and less time worrying about your dirt bikes in transit.

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🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)

Why Are Dirt Bike Riders Often So Rude?

You wouldn’t be the first person who thinks that dirt bike riders are rude to the general public. Encountering these guys on the trail can be frustrating.

We should know – we’re a dirt bike brand. There are essentially two types of riders:

  1. Those that do the right thing. ✌️ They’re respectful, honest and a joy to be around. They’ll ride calmly past others including horse riders and cyclists, while not revving their motorcycle in the carpark or garage.
  2. Those that do the wrong thing. 😩 You’ll see these guys (or girls) popping wheelies down the street, being chased by police and yelling profanities. It’s these people that you (and indeed, us) have a real gripe with.

Maybe you recently came across the later in your travels. Today, let’s examine why they can be rude and what you can do about it.

Rude dirt bike riders

Most commonly, rude dirt bike riders often ride unregistered dirt bikes. These are typically 2-stroke which are very loud and annoying, leading often to phone calls to local authorities.

These riders have a real disdain for the police and give almost no respect to those who are doing the right thing. You’ll find them riding illegally on trails and certainly won’t be wearing their protective gear, apart from (if you’re lucky) a helmet and gloves.

Rude dirt bike riders

They are rude because they are outlaws. They believe they are above the system and such dirt bike riders often are between 18 and 30. It’s after this age that they begin to quieten down and relax, but will still have a real distain for those who are law-abiding citizens.

You could equate such riders to some bikie gangs, only this is the offroad variety. Think Mad Max. These riders aren’t trying to win friends yet simply show off their rage and anger.

It’s important that you don’t react with such anger to these riders given their aggression and behavior. Some of them have suffered greatly in their youth due to disorderly hourseholds and weren’t given the tools and resources to have a more fulfilling life.

Instead, allow them to move on as ignorance won’t make them spark up even further.

The honest riders

The general public shouldn’t paint all riders with the same brush. There are many dirt bike riders that do the right thing, as well as many adventure motorcycle riders too. This includes people young and old.

They’ll leave places as they find them. Signs are real and if dirt bikes are banned, they’ll respect this. You’ll also see these honest riders wearing their gear, paired with licences and registration.

When encountering dirt bike police, these types of riders won’t run because they know they aren’t doing anything wrong. They simply want to enjoy their sport and freedom, yet will work within the confines of the law.

Respect is a big thing for these types of riders and it’s certainly a two-way street. If you talk to them, they’ll respond in friendliness and be willing to hear your side of the equation.

It’s these honest riders that should be applauded as they are victims of the same brush. When riding spots are closed down by local authorities, it’s these riders who know that ‘the other side’ has spoiled it for everyone.

Such riders fight to keep tracks opened up. This includes motorcross tracks and local forests.

Final thoughts

The rude dirt bike riders are typically found on motorcross tracks, but such places is where you’ll also find riders who are genuinely friendly and helpful too. You can’t paint everyone here with the same brush either.

Generally speaking, it’s those who are attempting ‘party tricks’ in public parks, reserves and even children’s playgrounds that give everyone a bad name. Not all dirt bike riders are rude. In fact, it’s only a small minority which aren’t Frontaer’s customers.

Consider that many do the right thing and will give respect to those who are open and willing to have a chat.

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👉 39 Most Common Dirt Bike Terms (How Many Do You Really Know?)

🔥 21 Awesome Dirt Bike Riding Tips ('Cause We Want You Safe Out There!)

🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)