Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

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NGneer
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Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by NGneer » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:33 pm

This is actually a post about repairing fairings, but the reason for the repairs and how I learnt to do them goes way back, so grab a coffee and strap in, because it is a bit of an epic…….. :popcorn:


A long long time a go in a galaxy far far away…….(or about Feb 2006 in Lincolnshire) I bought my first NC30. She had some non OEM fibreglass fairings on at the time (I was completely unaware of this - and wouldn’t have cared anyway) but also had a very nicely done Blade-esque paint scheme.
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Well a mixture of tired suspension, loose gravel and to be honest, a lack of knowledge and riding skill saw me take an unplanned diversion through a Lincolnshire hedge not too long afterwards. Dohh! :scare:
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Anyway this was the catalyst for me to really get beneath the skin of the bike and get to know it properly - as I repaired it. A mate of mine from Lincoln (any of the old boys remember Billy Bilboa?) also had an NC30 which he had previously slid down the road due to rain/leaves etc. He had just bought replacement fairings for his bike, you could still get them back then, so I had his damaged OEM ones off him and set about repairing them. This was my first foray into fairing repair and my first encounter using something called “Plastex”, but more about that later. Anyway with the engine serviced, brakes overhauled, suspension upgraded and a bespoke paint job on my now repaired OEM fairings, I was back on the road with my “Rothmans 1.0”
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Only a few weeks after finishing the bike I was on my way to visit some friends when a kid on a mountain bike shot out from behind some garages and straight across the road. I managed to grab a fistful of front brake so I didn’t hit him so hard, but he still rode into me taking us both off :down: . Thankfully nobody was really hurt but I trashed the L/H side fairings and scuffed a few other areas in the process. Thankfully his parents agreed to pay for the required repairs so I ordered new OEM fairings (still available back then) and gave them to the same paint shop who had done the original paint job and before long I was back on the road with Rothmans 2.0 (The damaged fairings will make a reappearance later on)
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I was fortunate to have access to a composite repairs facility at work so took my crash damaged fairings to them to see if they could patch them together at all. Whilst a bit rough in places the guys there managed to cobble them back into some sort of shape which meant I now had a spare set it seemed really quite rude not to venture onto the track and so I joined a number of the 400GB brethren at Cadwell Park for my first ever Track Day. Suffice to say I loved it and with Cadwell park only about 30 minutes away, I then did several more over the next year or so.
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Having done a few more , and slowly growing in confidence (and lean angle) I was getting worried about potentially dropping and damaging my pride and joy beyond the level of just the ‘Track Day fairings”. To cut a long story short I decided to get a second NC30, which only cost me about £1000 back then, with the plan to have it road legal but primarily as a track toy.
This was the bike I bought and trust me the photo is VERY complimentary. It was quite rough and needed a lot of work.
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I set about rebuilding the brakes, suspension fitting a new exhaust etc etc and she was coming along nicely..
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The plan was always not to invest too much time/money/emotion into it so I would be happier to throw it around on the track. As you can see the plan was going well until another forum member offered my a set of the Chinese fairings but with a tank to match. It was too good an offer to say no….then I might have got I got a bit carried away, as I am a little prone to do, and before I knew it, bike number 2 had ended up becoming another “nice” bike as well instead of the planed ‘rough and ready track toy. (Original Rothmans on the right and Chinese one on the left)
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Thankfully this did still leave me with the repaired fairings from my original bike to use for track days, if not the actually Track day bike that was planned.

Anyway not long afterwards I was separated from my bikes for a number of years due to working abroad and as such I just spent my time slowly gathering trick bits for a long planed build once I was able to get back to my bikes. This build saw me overhaul my original Rothmans bike transforming it into my Honda Britain (Full build thread here -viewtopic.php?f=62&t=54015) :grin:
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This left me with my new Honda Britain and a Rothmans (now wearing the OEM fairings with bespoke paint job) and my original fairings and Chinese Rothmans as a couple of sets of track day fairings - sweet.
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I should have been happy enough at this point but still wanted to do more Track Days and whilst I had the spare fairings - I was still worried about damaging something more substantial on either of my “nice” bikes if I were to bin it on the track. Due to that, and not having any other projects lined up at that time, a couple of years ago I took a punt and picked up NC30 number 3 as a non runner for just under £800
This is how the bike looked when I picked it up.
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Thankfully it just needed the carbs sorting out to get it running and I then just kept the best bits from the original bike or swopped things over if I had “better” stuff laying around in my spares stash (full thread here if you are interested viewtopic.php?f=62&t=54526).
A home rattle can paint job and finally I had my “rough and ready” (but road legal) Track Day bike..
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The bike has done me proud and has seen track action at Cadwell Park, Circuit Zolder in Belgium and also hooning around the local National Park

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So there I am now with my three bikes all working well and apart from tinkering with some Classic British bikes not much on my ‘to do list’.
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I was tidying up my Man Cave and moving my collection of damaged fairings around yet again when I decided that maybe it was time to see what I could actually do with all the bits I had acquired or just hoarded over the years. Some of the fairings had come from my original Rothmans accident (told you they would come back later), some came with the third bike when I bought it and other had just been acquired along the way.
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However it very quickly became clear that I could potentially put together a full set of (repaired) OEM fairings. This seemed like a fun project and would potentially give me the option to “posh up” the track day bike at some point in the future if I decided I wanted to. :idea:

As such project Fairing repair was initiated, which is really the main reason for the thread….
Last edited by NGneer on Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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NGneer
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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by NGneer » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:37 pm

Having repaired some of the fairings for my original Rothmans bike I had come across “Plastex” before and knew from that experience that if done right the repairs using it are really good. A bit of searching on the Internet and it appears that it is either called Plastex or Plastech. Not sure if one is the US version and one European or if they are actually 2 different firms, however they are effectively the same stuff. It is basically an acrylic resin powder and an activating liquid. You also get a reusable folding bar that you can use to re-cast missing lugs etc.

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You can sprinkle the powder onto the crack and then add the liquid, which is what I did to start with but this is messy and uses too much of your precious product. Actually spending some time to learn the technique of dropping a few drops of the liquid into the powder and then lifting a ball of powder/liquid onto the repair area is well worth it. it is neater, much more controlled and you can build bigger repairs up layer on layer. There are loads of videos on You Tube but if you Google “Plastech - Ultimate Motorcycle Plastic Repair Kit - How To Use” you will find the ‘Men and Motors’ review. Whilst his accent is a bit annoying at least it is not a Yeee Hawww ‘Merican.

Plastex will bond to just about anything, but obviously is much better bonding to a prepared/keyed surface. For an example I will show the repair on a ‘simple’ crack.

Voila the L/H mid fairing from my original Rothmans (more about the lower later).
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Not only had this cracked, it had cracked along a previous plastic weld / hot wire repair.
So first things first sand it back to help key the surface but also so you can actually see what you are working with.

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As you can see I also removed the shitty repair from the rear of the panel and rubbed that down as I would be repairing this from both sides for maximum strength. Then what you want to do is open up the crack so you have more surface area for the Plastex to bond to IE grind the crack into a “V” profile. My weapon of choice for this is a Dremmel with a conical grinding bit…

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Using this (or something similar) grind along the crack like so…

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Then fill the crack using either technique. I was still applying powder then liquid at this point as I hadn’t perfected the alternative method. Having done so I would recommend the “picking up balls of powder” technique ….but both work.

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Now you need to have a bit of patience. The adverts will tell you maybe 20-30 minutes drying time but the longer you can leave it (particularly for larger repairs) the better. As I had a lot to repair I could do a repair and then leave it for hours, or even overnight, whilst I was working on other panels. This was great as it was then properly dry when I got back to it. When you do you can give it a bit of a rub down and see where you are at. If it doesn’t fully ‘fill’ the crack, just give it another application to build it up until it is just slightly proud. Allow it to dry properly and then just sand it back flush - job done.

Moving onto recasting missing bits of plastic…

The nosecone that I had to work with had seen better days. It was missing a piece near the L/H mirror mount and also the central mounting hole was errrr…missing.

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Using the moulding bar that comes with the kit, I took a cast of the missing elements from some of the other ‘complete’ fairings I have…
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Then you key the adjoining surface a bit (done after the photo was taken) fix the mould to the fairing to be repaired and start to build up your repair. I would say patience it key here and I probably went back 3 or 4 times to build these up to a full repair.

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Allow to dry and carefully remove the mould.

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Once they have had chance to properly dry, sand to shape and if needs be add another drop or two of Plastex to fill in any voids or low areas, let dry and sand again.

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Moving onto larger areas or combined repairs…..

The side fairings that came with the third bike were actually OEM but the mids had been drilled to ty-wrap into a non OEM nosecone and the lowers had been cut, presumably for R&G style crash bungs.

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To fix these I once again keyed the surrounding surface and then made trough template out of aluminium tape.

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Again over several applications with time to dry in-between (more patience needed for bigger repairs) I then just built up the missing plastic area.

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once it is dry, remove the tape and sand to shape (Note also addition of a re-cast lug at the top of the panel)

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And what I personally think was my pièce de résistance - my Rothmans L/H lower fairing. After I was knocked of my Rothmans 1.0 this is what my L/H lower looked like …

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It was broken, had parts detached, parts missing and even looked like it had been fibreglass patched at some point in its past. Well I was on bit of a roll by this point and love a challenge so decided to give it go. This was going to have to be a multi phase approach trying to get the panel more and more stable with each step until I was able to tackle the more challenging / missing areas. As such I started by fixing some of the more major cracks to try and give the panel a bit more rigidity.
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Having done that I could then move onto the more fragile areas
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and start re-casting the missing area and re-fixing the lugs that had snapped off.
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Well I won’t pretend it was a quick job, but after a few days of applying Plastex, letting it dry, sanding…..and repeat, I was rewarded with a complete L/H lower that is absolutely solid and, though it is had to tell from a picture, is now smooth enough to take paint.
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Various other cracks were repaired, lower fairing joining tabs at the bottom and other lugs all re-cast and from my pile of (now repaired) fairings I selected the best bits to make up a full fairing set.

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About this time I got in touch with Alex and did a deal involving some of my spare bits in exchange for some paintwork and so it was that earlier this year on one of my trips back to the UK I dropped several boxes of goodies off with him along with the Track Day bike now wearing the repaired patchwork OEM fairing set.

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Well Alex did indeed weave his magic and my ‘rough and ready’ Track Day bike, or probably more importantly the pile of broken fairings that were cluttering up my garage, have now become “The Castrol”.

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So this one now sits alongside the other two and I am trying hard not to start doing to much other stuff to it, so I can just put its Track Day clothes back on when needed and go hooning around the track again. But i know what I am like and I know I have a Yamamoto exhaust and some freshly powder coated brackets in the Man Cave etc etc etc….. :whistle:

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Hope to see some of you guys at a track somewhere next year :pray:

:rocks:

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by Suzuki416 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:08 pm

Awesome jobs, also another lover of plastex - built up headlight mounts for one of the RVF's. I basically did the same concept after I got my 1st RVF. Had to then get a 2nd - the earlier model year, then as those were so nice I then needed another one to ride around on - :whistle:

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by cbr400rrn » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:53 pm

Yet another user of plastex but mine was labelled Plastech and purchased from a bloke in the UK who was selling up, this was many many years ago (still got the stuff although the liquid has slightly distorted the shape of original plastic bottle.)

Bloody good write up, bloody good job on your bikes as well.
Now then who is this Alex chap and which bit is paint on the Castrol bike and which are decals.
Last edited by cbr400rrn on Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by Foxy400 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:19 am

Well thank you for that most interesting account of fairing repair, it really was inspiring. You make it sound pretty straightforward but I bet it isn't; as you say, patience is the key.
I destroyed or badly damaged all but one of the panels on my NC35 around 7 years ago up on the Cat'n'Fiddle road. After repairing the bike mechanically I fitted Tyga bodywork and set about hunting down replacement OEM panels. I now have a complete, professionally repainted, OEM fairing although the bike still wears the Tyga gear. I kept some of the least damaged sections from the crash, including the headlight section. I've also picked up a few other panels over the years, with relatively minor damage (DK always seem to have a surfeit of lowers for some reason). As we slide into winter and with this bloody virus still making life difficult, I'm very tempted to give repairing a go.
There is one drawback to fixing broken panels. I couldn't leave them repaired but unfinished so I would need to pay someone to spray them!

I have a question about the work you showed. You rub down the decals but why don't you remove them first? Or are they lacquered over, which would explain it?

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by NGneer » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:26 pm

Foxy400 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:19 am
Well thank you for that most interesting account of fairing repair, it really was inspiring. You make it sound pretty straightforward but I bet it isn't; as you say, patience is the key.
I destroyed or badly damaged all but one of the panels on my NC35 around 7 years ago up on the Cat'n'Fiddle road. After repairing the bike mechanically I fitted Tyga bodywork and set about hunting down replacement OEM panels. I now have a complete, professionally repainted, OEM fairing although the bike still wears the Tyga gear. I kept some of the least damaged sections from the crash, including the headlight section. I've also picked up a few other panels over the years, with relatively minor damage (DK always seem to have a surfeit of lowers for some reason). As we slide into winter and with this bloody virus still making life difficult, I'm very tempted to give repairing a go.
There is one drawback to fixing broken panels. I couldn't leave them repaired but unfinished so I would need to pay someone to spray them!

I have a question about the work you showed. You rub down the decals but why don't you remove them first? Or are they lacquered over, which would explain it?
Foxy, if your fairings are already damaged.....there is not a lot to loose in trying, and it really isn’t that hard if you have a bit of hand skills. As for the decals, yup - everything was lacquered over so once repaired everything got a full rub down :grin:

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by NGneer » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:27 am

cbr400rrn wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:53 pm
Yet another user of plastic but mine was labelled Plastech and purchased from a bloke in the UK who was selling up, this was many many years ago (still got the stuff although the liquid has slightly distorted the shape of original plastic bottle.)

Bloody good write up, bloody good job on your bikes as well.
Now then who is this Alex chap and which bit is paint on the Castrol bike and which are decals.
Hello mate. The Alex in question is Alex Fletcher-Aleixos, of the JPS NC30 fame, who owns Body Beautiful Cars Ltd ( http://www.bodybeautifulcarsltd.com/). Most of mine is decal set from The Image Works with some colour matched paintwork on the tank and the nose cone where the decal fit was not 100% :peace:

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by Foxy400 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:40 pm

I dug out one of the damaged side panels and almost all of the broken pieces are there so I'm going to give it a go. Any particular reason why you chose black rather than white or clear?

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by cbr400rrn » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:24 pm

Do you mean the colour of the plastex? If so I was told black is stronger but the white looks better cosmetically (This was a ten years ago.) There wasn't a clear one when i did mine and just looking on the plastex site they now have all the colours of the rainbow.

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Re: Bikes, more bikes ....... and fairing repairs

Post by NGneer » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:13 am

Foxy400 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:40 pm
I dug out one of the damaged side panels and almost all of the broken pieces are there so I'm going to give it a go. Any particular reason why you chose black rather than white or clear?
Foxy, no reason at all. As the repairs were all going to be painted over it didn’t matter to me what colour they were :grin:


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