The Alcan Aluminum Fairing Chapter 2: Getting Serious
Carol Vetter with her #10 Alcan Fairing. It was time for a Corbin seat.
Mike Corbin's shop is in Hollister, about 50 miles from us. We asked if he would make a couple of Corbin seats for our Alaska-bound 650s. "C'mon over Friday" he replied. Mike came out to meet us*. By the time we got there at 10 AM, there were eight bikes ahead of us!

No matter, the Wizard's Cafe - Mike's 50s style restaurant - was right there and the food was really good! I suspect that Hollister locals sneak over there for lunch.

*Mike came out to meet everyone. He seems to enjoy his business.

Before we were finished with lunch, Carol was asked to come out and do a "Trial Sit" on her BMW. Then it was my turn. We had heard that Corbin seats would make a big difference.
These pictures say it all.
On our way home, I thought: "This trip to Alaska is going to be easy!"
Breaking News: Our ride to Alaska is scrubbed for 2010. We had planned the trip with our Brit buddies, John and Sonia. They were going to fly their Triumph over, ride up to Anchorage with us and fly home. The Iceland volcanic dust in the air is making flying uncertain. The BA strike is not helping either. Now we learn that John Young has been selected to ride in America's Iron Butt Challenge in June, 2011. We will try for Alaska again in 2013.
Alcan mileage report: Comparing Carol's BMW F650GS with my 2008 KLR650:

Sunday, May 23, we rode a 130 mile loop in Central California into some of the most awful winds we have ever experienced. Carol's bike is stock except for her Corbin seat. My KLR is now geared up 16-39 (from stock 15-43 ) 60 mph is now 3200 rpm. (was 4,000 rpm) The Alcan Fairing allows me to go thru the air with less power. I love the gearing*. I am not sure the BMW has the torque to pull higher gearing. It seems to be more of an RPM engine.

Carol and BMW: 56.55 mpg Craig and KLR: 58.72 mpg 65-70 mph... awful headwinds.

Not bad.

PS: We love our Corbin seats.

I also want to thank Wyman Winn of Solvang, a true KLR genius

*Wyman and son, Zak spent a day fixing and converting my KLR for the Alaskan trip. I left it up to Wyman to do what needed to be done. He installed a shorter rear shock, a Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Primary drive chain…X-ring type, Gripster tires, EagleMike fork brace, Ricor front fork valves, Thermo-Bob Radiator bypass with a hotter t-stat bringing the operating temps into the “normal” range of a constant 195°F rather than 130-165, EagleMike Balancer/torsion spring, magnetic drain plug. Wyman also encouraged me to rebore the cylinder and fit better rings to stop oil burning. So, now the engine is a bit bigger with more power ( just what I don't want) But I don't want to burn oil, either. I figure Wyman knows more about KLRs than I do.

The proof was the ride Sunday. It feels good. It burns less fuel. What more could I want? I am impressed at his work and was sorry that I had to be in Florida when this all took place.

Wyman can be contacted at:

I am designing the Alcan Fairing as a modern replacement for the Windjammer. As such, It is hard to know where this project should go. By now, you know that I favor lower hp, less fuel-burning vehicles. On Sidestand Up, March 26, an on-line radio program, I asked listeners for their opinions.
DC answered: "I want one for my '89 Honda Hawk GT"
I just grabbed the first side view of a Honda Hawk I could find on Goggle, scaled it to the size of my KLR and put the Alcan Fairing on via PhotoShop. The top had to be lowered and the lower portion trimmed for the shorter Honda. Depending upon your riding style, you may want to trim the windshield. That's it. I told you the Alcan would fit any bike. Below are DC's comments:
I want one for my 89 Honda Hawk GT (NT650 v-twin, aluminum frame, single sided swing arm). Similar bike in European markets (Revere, NTV650 and later Deauville) had larger fuel tank, steel frame and shaft drive on a regular swing arm. Same engine was used in several Honda models including the TransAlp. Have owned my Hawk for several years and currently have a small cafe style fairing.
- Prefer the Alcan in kit form to keep the price lower.
- Price, I thought $750 sounded high until I started pricing other options to buy new. Sounds like the going market price for the entire package including mounts. I bought my current cafe style fairing several years ago and second hand.
- Mounting kits should be available separately.
- Possibly have the option to buy the top "air bearing" section and its mountings separately.
Would want to buy/build/install top section first to use in the US Southeast (Atlanta, GA area) for warm fair weather and general riding.
- Would plan to buy the lower / front fixed sections later for longer trips or cooler / wetter weather.
- I also prefer designs based on function instead of style. Kind of hard to find such designs and probably harder to find a large market.
Side note: I am also a fan of Buckminster Fuller and aviation (fixed wing and rotary).

About your site:
I came to your website to look at the LVF (Last Vetter Fairing) and am still following its progress with interest. When I got to the part about the modification to make the moveable "air bearing" top section I got excited. I had noticed the Alcan several months ago and then finally put 2 and 2 together about the top section and I got really excited.
Why? While I would like to buy the Honda SH150i (newly available in the US this year), convert it to feet forward, and copy the basics of the LVF; my time commitments, realistic skill assessment and current budget limit me to working with what I already have (Hawk GT).

So I am really looking forward to updates on the Alcan while still following the LVF project.

Vetter back with comments: This is probably another vote for a kit where you get all the parts formed. You would have to trim the lower aluminum "Main Frame" sides to fit the Honda. I never figured out how to make truly universay, fit anything mounting brackets so a rider like DC will have to start with the same basic components (in the kit) that I would begin with and make his own mounting brackets. How many people would want an Alcan Fairing on a 1989 Honda Hawk, anyway?

The good news is that it will fit.

Gary suggested a KTM. It would be better for you to send me a side shot of your bike if you want to see what an Alcan fairing would look like on it.
Alcan on a KTM 990. Whatcha think?

Well, imagine it in orange and black

Alcan on Larry's Yamaha V-Star 650
Jeff says: "I like the Alcan fairing on the cruiser..looks sharp, very ultra modern."

Kevin has an 1100 V-Star. He writes: "I like the possibilities! My older body likes the cruiser feel but I HATE the buffeting and how it wants to steer the bike on it's own. This looks to address the issues while giving some great protection from the elements. I would certainly like to see how the pricing and overall fit (pics around the bike - V-Star) looks. I do believe there is a market for this type of solution. After getting into the cruiser style bike I found (unfortunately too late) the numerous postings on the very problems I am looking to solve. Is this going to become a real possibility soon? I am a definite interested party. Without solutions such as this I may either end up with a convertible or going back to more traditional touring style bikes with the full fairing."

PhotoShopped on Carol's Sportster

You can tell it is PhotoShopped. There is no shadow under the fairing.

On a V-Strom
Read this interesting note from Doug, a KZ1300 owner:

Hi Doug:  Thanks for this thoughtful letter.

The bad news is that we are not ready to send you a kit for anything.  Yet. Soon maybe. But I have specific answers for your questions below, in the body of your letter:
I like the Alcan Fairing.  Personally I think it has a very strange design and look to it, not ugly, just different plus I love the fact it is 2 pieces with the bottom stationary and the top rotates with the handle bars!  Very Nice!!  

What you are looking at is "basic" - translated "pure" design.  No paint, no polish, no decals, no striping... no eyewash. However, the big pieces are right. Certainly, it is the best "traditional touring fairing" ever designed.

I am interested in one for one or two of my own projects.  I have spent the past hour or two reading over your web site and its various links and never realized how much history Vetter really has in the Motorcycle world!  I restored a 76 Goldwing last year and it had the Vetter Fairing and Bates hard bags on it.  The bike is now Black with Candy Apple Red Scallops on it.  Looks Cool but the ride I did from Indiana to Virginia and back only averaged 32 MPG.  I was expecting better than that.  I have a buyer for that bike and I am now working on a 84 Kawasaki Voyager 1300.  It is the fuel injected 6-cyl Engine and again I am looking at 34 MPG.  

I am sure that a basic Alcan fairing will fit your bike.  It will fit any bike from my CT110 to a Boss Hoss because it is designed to be person sized. We are all the same size, no matter what bike we ride, right?  If you were here in Carmel, CA, I would suggest that you ride over and we could fit your bike up over the better part of a week.  It would be fun.

If you expect it to do much for your mileage, you will probably be disappointed.  It takes about 15-20 horsepower to push you down the road at 65 mph.  Your bike has, what 125 hp?  Does it runs efficiently at the 20 hp range?  As near as I can tell, you are still making 40 horsepower at 3,000 rpm.  I'd guess that you'd have to slow your engine down to, what... 1200-1,800 RPM to be in the 20 hp range?  Will it run that slow?  Can you fit gears into it to slow it down to 1,500 rpm at 65 mph?

Really, I can see no logical argument for any motorcycle needing more than 20 horsepower.  Horsepower is where our imported fuel is going.  It is making us poor and them rich.  You have probably noticed that hardly anybody shares this view with me.

The Alcan would give you maximum rider protection and wind penetration. It is also one tough fairing... extremely rugged and won't crack when you tip over.

I have this bike torn down for some safety mods and I found out the original fairing is shattered on the right side.  Originally I thought I would do OEM style repairs but now I am thinking of either doing something very custom with it or going with the Alcan fairing.  Is it available in kit form at this time?  I live in central Indiana and it is very cold with lots of snow outside.  However in a few months it will be riding season again and I would like to have this bike ready to go by end of March!  Please Email me and let me know if you believe the Alcan will fit my Voyager.  If not, could you tell me how you designed the 2 piece part of that fairing, I would like to try that on a custom application for this bike!  If all goes well - perhaps I could join your ride to Alaska this year!!!
By the Way - I LOVE the Retro Scooter! I would like to build one of those next year after I finish my current projects.  can you share with me your personal thoughts on what year and type & style bike I should get to build a retro scooter like that?

Thank You,

Same Alcan Fairing parts. Just cut a little differently. Pretty amazing, huh?
Let explain my situation. I do not want to build another giant company. But I am willing to produce this fairing in kit form. The big question is:

Do you want this fairing?

Are any of you kit builders?

This page posted April 10, 2010

Updated Nov 5, 2011

Introduction to the Alcan Fairing

Jan. 14, 2010

Chapter 1: What, Why and When?

Feb 17, 2010

Chapter 2: Getting serious

Aprl 10, 2010

Chapter 3: Combining the Alcan with the Vetter Streamliner

Nov 5, 2010