What Are Motorcycle Fairings?

What Are Motorcycle Fairings?


Terminology is often thrown around in motorcycle communities. You may hear about a motorcycle rider dropping his bike and then commenting that his fairings are now smashed up. This then leaves you with the question running around your mind of “what are motorcycle fairings?“.

In this article we are going to explain what motorcycle fairings are, as well as show you the different types.


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Full Fairings


What Are Motorcycle Fairings

Motorcycle fairings are the plastic or fibreglass shells which surround part, or all, of the front half of a motorcycle. Motorcycle fairings offer protection to the rider from wind and rain, as well as also conceal some mechanical parts.

Motorcycle fairings can transform the look of a motorcycle completely, giving them a very sleek and aerodynamic look. It’s usually full fairing motorcycles that race in motorcycle races, as well as being the type of motorcycle that teenage boys drool over and parents fear.

While there are also many types of motorcycle fairings which are made specifically for race motorcycles, including those which compete for land speed records, in this article we will only focus on the different types of fairings which are commonly used for road legal motorcycles.


What Are The Types Of Motorcycle Fairings

The three main types of motorcycle fairings for road legal motorcycles:

  • Bikini Fairing
  • Half Fairing
  • Full Fairing


Bikini Fairing

The bikini fairing was a very popular design throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The bikini motorcycle fairing is often coupled with a windscreen and offers some wind protection to the motorcycle rider. It is called the bikini fairing because it covers the least amount of the motorcycle out of all the different types of motorcycle fairings.

what are motorcycle fairings - ducati 750ss desmo - www.MotorbikeLicense.com

Bikini Fairing - Ducati 750ss Desmo

Half Fairing

The half fairing is a popular design for those who wish to have protection from the wind and elements, yet do not like the look or feel of a motorcycle with full fairings. The half motorcycle fairing is very popular for dual-sport / dual-purpose motorcycles and often still allows room to customize the motorcycle with other equipment such as crash bars or a bash plate. These customizations are often not possible if you have a fully faired motorcycle.

The half motorcycle fairing will often have a windscreen and protection which extends to the gas tank, however the half fairing will not go as far as to cover much, if any, of the engine casing.

what are motorcycle fairings - half fairing - suzuki sv650 - www.MotorbikeLicense.com

Half Fairing - Suzuki SV650


Full Fairing

The full fairing motorcycle is an extremely popular design. These are the sorts of fairings that you will see most often in motorcycle racing, as well as on all of the super sport motorcycles such as the Yamaha R1 and Suzuki GSXR.

The full fairing offers the most aerodynamic look of all different fairings available on the market, as well as providing significant protection from the wind and elements.

what are motorcycle fairings - full fairing - yamaha r1 - www.MotorbikeLicense.com

Full Fairing - Yamaha R1



You should now be able to answer the question of “what are motorcycle fairings?”, as well as understand the differences between the three main types of motorcycle fairings that are available on the market today.


What are your thoughts on motorcycle fairings and how they affect the look of a motorcycle? Leave your comments in the section below.


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