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What's the go with carbon fibre???

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Peaches, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Hi Guys,

    Newbie question here, but what’s the go with carbon fibre fairings? I saw a couple of bikes that had them and all I thought was “what’s the big deal?â€

    Shock horror – I even thought that the normal/standard fairings looked better than their CF counterparts!

    Is it because they’re lighter than your average plastic(?) fairing so it’s great for the track that they’re so expensive? Are they tougher? I’ve also seen ‘crashed’ CF fairings before and they had a plasticy white substance underneath them – horrid I thought.

    Some of the people I’ve spoken with revere the stuff as if they were haute couture. I know I’m missing something here, but… what is it?


  2. Carbon fibre has the best strength/weight ratio of any material currently known/readily available to civilians. It therefore means parts can be made much thinner and lighter than plastic and still be just as strong if not stronger. Weight for weight it's around 100 times stronger than plastic, and about 2-3 times the strength of fibreglass.
    It's expensive because of the cost of the process required to make it.
    Of course the fact that race bikes/cars use it has also made it popular with those wanting their vehicle to look like a race bike/car, even to the extent of using fake carbon fibre which offers absolutely no real benefits. It's usually just an ultra-thin layer of carbon-fibre over the top of normal plastic/fibreglass - which may be the white material you saw underneath.
  3. :shock:

    O I C. So there's even "fake" carbon fibre about? Geez... ok.

    Another dumb question, but would having CF minimise the damage done to your fairings if it crashed then? I know jd you said that it's stronger, so would that mean it's more damage (cosmetic or otherwise) resistant?

  4. Properly made CF fairings would hold up better in a crash relative to plain plastic fairings. The problem is that even minor damage will wreck the 'look' that most people buy CF for. CF patches and stuff just wouldn't look so cool :cool: :eek: . At least a basic plastic fairing can be repaired and repainted and look as good as new if the initial damage wasn't too great.

    From what I know a lot of the aftermarket CF bits for bikes are just CF with fibreglass or kevlar on the back, i.e. the CF is just for looks, not strength.
  5. CF and ArghArghs is a match made in heaven.

    Go for it Peaches!
  6. No it won't. Carbon fibre or any other fibre reinforced plastic wil tear and expose fibres, and rub through very easily whereas an ABS fairing will just crack and be easily repaired if you have all teh bits.

    Regards, Andrew.
  7. Proper CF is a lot stronger in terms of tension (ie being pulled apart) - it's why F1 cars can run such spindly little suspension arms without them snapping on the first corner. However it is extremely weak and brittle (ie shatters) if forces are applied from the wrong direction.
    All depends on how the fibres are woven/arranged and what forces are applied, but certainly there could be situations where CF is more likely to break.
  8. Righty-o... so it all boils down to "race looks" and how you inted top ride/crash your bike.

    Hmmmm. Thanks for that guys, most helpful. Did a google search and I couldn't come up with much (was prob looking for the wrong thing).

  9. carbon fibre parts, on street bikes, are almost purely for "look at me" reasons.
    a CF exhaust saves a bit of weight, but so does leaving your mobile phone at home...or only half filling your tank with fuel.
    i reckon it looks shit anyway :)
  10. *whisper* As do I....
  11. Its great at covering scratches ;)
  12. CF Pipes also cool faster so you are less likely to burn yourself on your exhaust (Probably the only practical application on a street bike)
    Personally I love the look, but the rice image puts me off a little
  13. In street use, I believe It's colloquial term is wog chrome. :LOL:
  14. Oh, it gets worse... Quite a few laptop brands offer carbon-fibre "lids" (the laptop's LCD screen housing) despite that being one of the applications CF does horribly at, and where "boring" lightweight metals and proper engineering plastics excel.

    You end up with an expensive, bling-looking laptop screen that flexes and wobbles around like tissue paper. Meh!

    Some things, fibreglass and CF just don't work for.
  15. Err, that's kind of, like, um, almost exactly what I said if you read the two sentences after the one you quoted.
  16. Errr, um, you said it holds up better, it does not. You are wrong.
    I have worked with composites, have you?

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. This ought to get interesting :grin: typhoon versus the aerospace engineer

  18. :WStupid:
  19. And Plus you can add like 20kw's for every Carbon part you add!
  20. <_<



    I take it CF are only accessories and as such will offer little protection to the bike if it crashes? I don’t intend to get them – too bloody expensive and I love Peaches the way she is – but it’s still good to know for one day when I upgrade.