The finishing touch on any trackbike is the bodywork. After all the suspension work and parts upgrades, a fresh set of lightweight fiberglass bodywork is a canvas for your custom paint and a billboard for your favorite brands. Unfortunately, aftermarket bodywork is usually a royal pain in the backside to mount. I’ve cursed at many a fairing during 11th-hour installs, struggling to align panels that I naively assumed would slip together in minutes.
So you can image the dread I was feeling when, having unloaded the truck at Thunderhill Raceway, my paddock space contained a naked Yamaha YZF-R3 project bike and an enormous cardboard box of bubble-wrapped Carbonin track bodywork. I was pretty sure I was in for a frustrating morning.
I’d never recommend arriving at the track so unprepared, but it happens. Thankfully, Carbonin bodywork, which is made is Slovenia and sold here in the US through hustlehardracing.com, takes a number of steps to make installation quicker and easier than anything I’ve experienced before. For starters, the mounting holes are all pre-drilled, which is a rare, time-saving feature. On top of that, corresponding mounting holes actually line up, which is about as rare as blindly reaching into your toolbox and pulling out the exact size socket you need.
Speaking of sockets, if you have hex bits, you’ll be able to slap the Carbonin panels on even quicker. The kit comes with quick-turn hex-head Dzus fasteners, allowing you to remove or install the bellypan in moments. You’ll need to retain a few stock bodywork bolts to mount the side panels, and the kit uses the stock windscreen and well nuts. The fairing-stay holes are not pre-drilled since Carbonin doesn’t know which of the many aftermarket setups you might be using, but lucky for me I had my drill, drill bits, Dremel tool, and rattail file on hand already. Truth be told I was anticipating a much more involved installation process. The only big holdup was having to make openings in the side fairings for my T-Rex Racing crash sliders.
If you’re in the market for R3 bodywork, there really aren’t that many options out there, and the more affordable kits retain the stock seat, which is knee-achingly low for track riding. The Carbonin kit boosts the seat height 1.75 inches, and when I slid the assembly on the rear subframe the bolt holes aligned perfectly. Oh glorious day. I really dig the neoprene seat setup on the Carbonin stuff too. It’s nice and firm, which is good for getting feedback from the chassis.
The tank cover is a separate piece on the R3 and took some flexing to fit into place, but once it had slid home it mated with the surrounding panels neatly. Bending most bodywork is nerve racking since you’re waiting for the brittle resin to spiderweb or the gel coat or primer to crack, but the Carbonin stuff is surprisingly flexible.
Turns out Carbonin isn’t using general-purpose boat-hull fiberglass and resin to build its bodywork. It has got its own special blend of “Avio” (aviation) fiberglass, with carbon-fiber reinforcing around the mounting holes. The Avio fabric is said to use finer strands and a tighter weave for a thinner, stronger, and more flexible fabric, while the epoxy resin is similarly strong and resilient. The stuff really does flex easily and feels thin and light, and the exterior surface is finished with a white gel coat that’s ready to be scuffed and painted or used as is.
Normally I would have allotted myself an entire afternoon or evening to install a full set of bodywork, but I got the Carbonin stuff slapped on in about an hour. It helped that I already had all the stock stuff removed, but what helped the most was the snug fit, pre-drilled mounting holes, and Dzus mounting hardware that come with every Carbonin bodywork kit.
Verdict: Carbonin Avio Fiber Bodywork
|Summary:||Well made from lightweight, flexible materials. Easy to install and looks great.|
|Contact:||Hustle Hard Racing|