Off Camber: The Call Of Carbon Fiber

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By Evans Brasfield

Carbon fiber, it’s light, it’s sexy, and it looks fast standing still. However, unless you’re a pro racer at the top of your game, no one could ever call it necessary. So, let’s just admit it, carbon fiber bodywork on sporting street bikes is the equivalent of chrome on a cruiser. While we can extoll its high-tech construction and light weight, we install it for pure vanity. Yeah, shaving an ounce of unsprung weight off of the front fender is always good, but can you or I feel the difference? Not likely. (An argument can be made for carbon fiber wheels, but other issues need to be considered for them on the street.)

Shop for the HF Carbon parts here

The vast majority of my previous aftermarket bodywork experience comes from fitting lightweight fiberglass racing skins. Installing them involved bending and clipping body panels in place followed by careful measuring, marking, and drilling the requisite holes. Other than that, it was swapping out OEM body panels that I’d inadvertently modified (thanks gravity), and they always fit perfectly – like they’d come from the factory.

Replacing the rear hugger and the back half of my front fender provided my gateway into carbon fiber. All those expensive European sporty-bikes had them. So, why shouldn’t my KTM? Thus began my research. In the end, I had almost a half-dozen vendor websites from all over the world saved in my bookmarks, but I settled on HF Carbon in Germany primarily because the company offers carbon fiber with a matte finish. As much as I like the look of carbon fiber, I think its glossy finish can be a bit showy.

Begone pedestrian ABS plastic!

When the fender and hugger arrived, the construction was solid (not the thin, flimsy carbon fiber I’ve …read more

Source:: Off Camber: The Call Of Carbon Fiber

      

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