Fairings? Enclosures? Lights?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Slidaulth, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Slidaulth

    Slidaulth New Member

    Okay, everything is kinda old on here. Lots of posts from before 2008, with regards to much of this and I see lots of short (3-4 responses) threads with no follow ups.

    I am interested in a few things.

    Newer information for light systems (preferably with turn signals and brake lights) that would run off either the white wire or a combination of the white wire, sidewall generator and a charging system to feed through a battery/line conditioner. There has to be something out there that would make a good system.

    Also, fairings. Is this even the word I am looking for. I am thinking how cool it would look to have some sort of plastics product that covers/conceals the motor (maybe adding a layer of sound dampening) without blocking all the locking options for the bike. Something for the main body of the bicycle, maybe even something that goes from front fork tube to rear derailers. Something designed to allow air flow into the engine for cooling and exhaust maybe with some added benefit of ducting the air more efficiently. Just some thoughts. Anyone else thinking about this, has a link to any specific photos in the gallery?

  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    There has been a whole lot of discussion of lights/power issues for MB's here. Perhaps the primary reason that relatively few threads go very long is the nature of the hobby - every build (nearly) is in some ways unique, and certainly every builder is. Thus, unlike modding cars or motorcycles produced in large numbers, instead we have literally thousands of prototype applications. Simply put, there is no one good answer, nor do I think it likely that such will ever appear.

    Face it - the reality of this forum is that we have hundreds of folks spread across nearly the entire planet, with extreme diversity of resources and legal codes to deal with, a range of skills from utter neophytes who aren't sure what a screwdriver is and how it works to professionals who could teach graduate level course in mechanical engineering (at least as applied to bicycles). There are NO set answers to almost any of the questions you might raise.

    As far as fairings go, they don't really get much discussion, because of one basic fact - they are a true pain in the arse to implement for prototype vehicles - and every one of these MB's is a prototype!
  3. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

  4. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    lights and fairings

    I have been using a double halogen forty watt headlight on my bicycle and plan to put it on my motorbike when I get it up and around. It uses nickel hydride batteries that I can set up to recharge over night. It will work for over two hours and give a very strong output. I think that if you choose to use the white wire you are in for some grief because you are taking power from the spark part of the system and you cant generate that much light from such a small output.(the new L.E.D.s might do it but I don't know.)

    As for a fairing I used to use one each year on my old "rain bike" It was made by a company called Zipper. It was supposed to lower my air drag, but I know that it kept my hands warm and dry and a good portion of my upper body in a lot better shape. It came with mounts for a dropped handle bar, so I will have to find another mount for my motor bicycle.
  5. bodged bikes

    bodged bikes New Member

    Fairings can be made using fiberglass cloth and resin cast over a foam form. Rigid building insulation is readily available in a variety of thicknesses and is an excellent form material. The foam dissolves in acetone and is easily removed from the fiberglass when finished. Here is a picture of one under construction.

    Attached Files:

  6. DougC

    DougC Guest

    I have seen the topic of turn signals for bicycles brought up on several different bicycle forums (mostly non-motorized) and the same conclusion reached each time was that there were no really good ones already made. You would need to make your own.

    There's a couple of very small & cheap bicycle turn-signal lights ($25) that turn up in Amazon searches but they're not particularly impressive. Many people particularly want something that is bright enough to work well in daylight--and there's nothing like that I've ever seen.

    Also some place made a bicycle brake light that worked kinda neat--it had a weighted pendulum-activated switch in it. So the force from stopping would cause the brake light to light up. On the other hand,,, it would not stay lit after you stopped..... only the ones that worked by hooking to a brake lever would do that, but they were a lot more complicated to install.
  7. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    The ebike builders are more into fairings than gassers. You might post a fairing thread in the electric subforum.
    I have seen simple mini fairings made from dirt motorcycle fenders. They drill holes in them for flashlights to shine through. Looks a little like headlights in a Ducati or Sachs Madass.
    I saw a full fairing made from sheet metal on an ebike site.
    Some members take the tank and seat from a small cafe racer and mount them on their motorbike. Cafe racers don't have full fairings, but look speedy with the small, fastback seat.
    Sounds like you can lay up fiberglass, hammer sheet metal or adapt something existing from another type of machine.
  8. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

  9. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    I got gifted a 25 or so year old set of blinkers, and the problem I have with them is this.

    They run off an 8 D-cell battery pack, and they're basically trailer lights, and if you know how trailer light bulbs plug in...

    The motor's vibrations are enough to make them look like I have a blown fuse when I hit the blinker, and half the time they don't even kick on.

    I'm thinking about using it's framework and replacing with LEDs soldered in, dunno how well that'll hold up though. Worth a shot!
  10. DougC

    DougC Guest

    The LEDs would work great, as far as I know. The main question I would have is if one rides in conditions where such a thing would be useful.

    I could see it if maybe you rode in big-city/urban traffic a lot, especially at night. Everywhere else I'd think just pointing with your hand on that side would be about as effective.
  11. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    The signals would look cool on a faired bike.
  12. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Well, all I do when it's daytime is bring one foot low to the ground and a ways away from the bike before I start to slow for a turn. Proper turn signals would be with the left hand, and if I'm turning, I'm clutching. Here in Idaho we don't need to signal on a bicycle if signalling would interfere with the operations of the bike. I ride rural and urban, and I especially like it for when I'm crossing 2 lanes from the bike lane into the turn lane.

    When it's "me time", I'm a night rider, it's a blast. The more lighty uppy and glowy reflective stuff that I can reasonably use the better.
  13. rjcullis

    rjcullis New Member


    I have used "ZZIPER FAIRINGS" in the past and they worked well for me. They have a web site that you can look at. I read an old scientific american write up on fairings and zzippers were included. They found that fairings started to work at 15 miles per hour. Just think of a head wind add a fairing and life is much easier.

  14. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Member

    I have 50's looking turns tail and stop lights from Naigra cycles, you can see them on my bike in my photo albums. I run a 12v system (Iswitched out the bulbs after trying 6v) 12v is way brighter. I use a 5 a/h 12v sealed lead acid battery zip tied under my seat. I lasts 2 hours before it starts to dim a little. It will recharge in about 4 hours and the bat is good for 1000 cycles. I think I can get more life/cycles out of it. I tried all sorts of things and voltage regulators etc. Any system I tried to run off the magneto just took to much juice for all the bulbs I needed. Thats why I switched to 12 and made a descrete system. I'm happy and boy is it bright. I only need maybe 30 min. worth in the morning for my 5 mile ride in the dark. I needed this system to get a plate and be street legal. check my bike picks.
  15. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    If you want brake lights, use a cable-pull brake lever with a brake light switch built in. I picked one up from eBay a few months ago for about $25 shipped. I installed it (as a clutch lever, actually) a week before I had to stop riding my bike (cracked frame).

    I use a double pull brake lever on the right hand, The lever I got is single pull, which is why I put it on the left (clutch) hand. I found one with a "parking brake" lock, which is essentially what standard MB clutch levers have.
  16. pucksterpete

    pucksterpete Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  17. rjcullis

    rjcullis New Member


    Those fairings look really good. I just don't have enough money to buy one so think I will make something on my own..Thanks, though...rj
  18. rjcullis

    rjcullis New Member

    I appreciated your information as i was going to try putting in a 6 volt system. Given your advice I think I will just go with a 12 volt. That'll make it easier to be street legal in British Columbia, Canada anyway...rj
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