Frequently asked questions:
Fairings at top of this page, saddlebags afterwards and then sidecars
|How do I replace my headlight?|
|How do I install new Snap-Vents?|
We put up a little movie for you (Jan 30, 2009)
|Is there any way possible to determine what bike this bracket is for?|
|I recently bought a Windjammer V for my 1981 Suzuki 550T and the mounting bracket has this number on it, 150160102. Is there any way possible to determine what bike this bracket is for? Or do you know what bracket number I should look for?
Sorry, Bob. There is just no way for me to ID your bracket. Once they are out of the box, you gotta see them on the bike to know what they are.
|Where do I get a replacement Windjammer III headlight ring?|
|On Apr 17, 2011, Norm wrote: "I have a Windjammer III that I have owned for 34 years. Until very recently it was on my 1977 GS750 Suzuki. When I sold the bike I couldn't bring myself to part with the fairing. It is now mounted on one of my other bikes, a 1992 XV1100 Virago. But, somewhere along the thousands of miles of traveled road lies my headlight trim ring. Can I replace it?
Craig answers; Hi Norm: I have looked everywhere but that headlight ring is no longer available. I suggest that you watch EBAY and swap meets for a replacement. Windjammer 1, 2 and 3 all used the same ring.
Why are there the vent holes next to the turn signals on the Windjammer SS- 4 and 5?
They appear to be best for letting water and bugs into the interior of the fairing.
Craig answers: Actually, they were for letting the sound out when the owner had the optional horns mounted in there. Without the horns, the holes were blanked off with a tape membrane. No air... no bugs.
Pull the Lights out, out and tape off the holes with black duct tape and reinstall the lights. Check to be sure the lenses are secure. Some have been separating lately.
|How do I get new keys for my Vetter equipment? (Nov 2009)|
|"I'd like to get all new locks with the same key."
Craig answers: There are no keys. The numbers on the lock mean nothing.
Well, we have a problem here.
Here is what you do:
For locks that are locked: With a 3/16- 1/4" dia. drill bit, drill thru where your key goes.
This messes it all up so you can use a screw driver to turn the lock.
Take the old lock to any locksmith store and buy a replacement lock.
The new lever that comes with your lock will work fine for the tonneu and the saddlebag doors.
However... You will notice that the square cam at the bottom of the lock is larger than the original Vetter cam, so the Vetter lever will not work.
Here are my suggestions to replace the saddlebag locks. The locks we used "seem" to be made today. They look exactly the same. But the little square cam that holds the lever is much bigger now. The only way you are like to solve your problem is to take one of your lock assemblies to a locksmith and have him order as many as you need for all your locks - all with the same key. The fairing cover parts will go on easily as mentioned above. The saddlebag door and Tail trunk door will work also using the supplied lever.
The locks that hold the bag are the problem. They must have the square cam filed down to fit the original Vetter brass cam. The brass cam also will probably need to be drilled out a bit because they use a larger screw today.
This works. I have done it.
|Yes! You can use Hotcha to repair any ABS fairing!|
|I was asked about fixing a crotch-rocket fairing. If it is made of ABS - and as far as I know, all fairings are made of ABS - our Hotcha Repair Kit will allow you to fix it better, cheaper and stronger than "plastic welding", which I don't think is very strong.
If you show an interest in this, I will prepare a special "How to Fix it" PDF for you. Hotcha Repair Kit Scroll down the page.
Hotcha does not stick to the saddlebag bodies which are made of polyethelene, a different kind of plastic. Nothing sticks to polyethelene.
|What is the secret to getting the old edging off the fairing?|
I pry off the corner where it is close to the tank with a screw driver. Then grab the loose end with pliers and yank hard, 90 degrees from the fairing. It lets go.
|I see that my orange turn signal covers may be falling off soon. How do I fix this problem?|
|Seems as if the adhesive that held the Leading Edge Lights was good for 20 years or so. If you loose it, you'll have to go onto EBAY, type in Vetter and buy another one. The lights are the same for all years - left or right, of course . Replace the adhesive. It is the stuff body repair guys use to glue emblems on cars after they paint them. This is easy to fix.
One Vetter owner writes: "I have found that 3m 08155 quick fix adhesive works really well for re-glueing turn signal lenses in place."
|Where do I get the plugs for the wiring harness?|
|We have those now. They took a long time to find.|
|What kind of paint should I use?|
|The original factory paint was catalyzed urethane paint. It is very common today because of the plastic bumpers on cars. Check with your local auto paint people. Now, when you paint, you can replace the windshield foam tape.|
|Where do I get hardware to fit my bike?|
|EBAY is the only source for hardware that was actually produced by Vetter. Type in Vetter. Remember, the last year real Vetter hardware was made was around 1983.
One of the biggest mistakes of my business career was that I did not provide any real way to identify my mounting hardware or the lowers. Now it haunts us. The only way to know for sure that what you found is going to fit is to have seen it on the bike you want to put it on.
Here is a tip: At the Barber's Vintage Days in 2006, I spoke Rocky Roll who said that he had piles of NOS (New old stock) Vetter mounting hardware. His phone: 810-742-5420
Tell him I sent you.
|What guidelines can you give me so I can make my own hardware?|
|If I were you, I'd begin with an existing piece of hardware. Specifically, start with the top plate. Here are some Mounting Guidelines.|
|How do I drill the holes for Snap Vents in a windshield that does not have holes?|
|You can drill your own vent holes but you must be very careful. I have personally destroyed several prototype windshields by not being careful enough. Since the windshield is already formed and not flat, it is more tricky. I suggest that you take the windshield off and clamp it tightly onto the platten of your drill press. Sandwich it tightly between two pieces of plywood.
The best way to cut the holes is with a 3 1/4” metal cutting saw having 6 teeth per inch or finer. Buy a new one, if possible. Use a slow speed of 3-400 RPM. They stock them at Orchard. I f you can, cut half way thru one side and then cut the rest of the way through from the other side.
Snap your vents in and go have fun. They always look cool.
See the "How to install Snap Vents" movie.
|What is the difference between the Windjammer and Vindicator?|
|Not much, actually. They came out of the same molds! The Windjammer had Leading Edge Lights, those pretty, built in lights. The Vindicator did not. The Vindicator needed to have the motorcycle's turnsignals mounted on the fairing bracket so, Vindicators came with tabs to remount the turn signals.|
|How do I identify the hardware to fit my bike?|
|This will always be tricky. The best way is to be absolutely sure is to see it on the bike before you buy it. In the later years, say 1975 on, the name of the bike was stamped into the bracket on the most popular models. But sometimes only a series of numbers was stamped there which are meaningless as far as identifying the bike it was made for. Often nothing was there. These reprints from Vetter catalogs might help.|
|How do I identify the correct "Lower" for my Vetter fairing?|
All Lowers were formed in the same mold. They were cut differently and bonded together in different angles to fit the particular bike. Simple then but all so confusing today. Sometimes there is a lable inside identifying them by "Type" Go to the "Lowers" Comments for more. Otherwise, like the mounting brackets, you gotta see the Lowers on the bike to know what they were made for.
All Windjammers and Vindicators came pre-drilled for Lowers. The holes were covered with plastic plugs. To install Lowers, you need a "Lowers Mounting Kit"
|Where do I get replacement tonneau covers for my Windjammer?|
|I would very much appreciate if you would mention that I am making replacement tonneau covers. The web site is
Report back to me and I will post your comments
|Will Windjammer mounting hardware work with Quicksilver fairings?|
|Where do I get a Windjammer today?|
I own a 1978 Hondamatic 750cc that has a Windjammer fairing I would like to find an other replacement fairing as mine was damaged when the bike fell and cracked the left side front mounting screw by cracking the fairing. Can you tell me where I can find a new or very good used fairing ?
My answer: There are lots of Windjammers around. Shipping is the big expense. I'd watch Craig's List in your area because you can just drive over and pick one up.
You probably have a Windjammer SS, right? That would be "period correct" but any Windjammer will fit.
|Why are there two different radio housings: Cycle Sound and Vetter Sound?|
|Here is the Cycle Sound story: Fred Hoese, a dear friend, who now makes "LeatherLyke" saddlebags, invented and manufactured the Cycle Sound back in 1975. Vetter Corp. sold his Cycle Sound kit as an accessory. When I sold the company, the new owner simply copied Fred's design and called it Vetter Sound. All very embarrassing to me. Fred's Cycle Sound is the only legit unit as far as I am concerned.|
|Chrome Turn signal trim: have a 1982 Honda gl1100 and Im looking for new chrome stickers for around my front blinkers. Can you help?
No. I remember somebody actually sold these... JC Whitney, I think.
|What happened to the Vetter Fairing Company?|
|I started my fairing business in 1966. I sold the company to my banker in 1978. He put it into bankruptcy in 1983. Bell (Helmets) acquired the assets. Bell produced fairings thru 1987. As far as I know, Bell does not supply any parts for old Vetter products.|
|What were Rooster, Windstar and Sting fairings?|
|These were fairings made after I sold the company, so I know nothing about them.|
|Who made the Luftmeister?|
|Butler and Smith copied the Windjammer without my permission and called it the Luftmeister. Vetter windshields do not fit exactly.|
Vetter Saddlebags and Tail Trunks
|Where do I get replacement lights for my Vetter TailTrunk?|
|One Vetter owner reports the following: Optronics part #MCL-57RK. It is a 3-piece kit consisting of a light, pigtail assembly, and rubber grommet. Purchased at Advance Auto for $11.88 each. One hole in the trunk is left unmodified, so that you can see the silver line marked out to show where plastic needs to be trimmed away. Note that it is not quite the diameter of the two side slots. The hole needs to be enlarged to 3 inches in diameter, which is approximately the diameter between the outsides of the top and bottom rivet holes. A Dremel rotary tool with an appropriate bit, used carefully, does a decent job (move counter-clockwise around the hole to minimize kickback and tool wander). Connect the white wire ("hot") of the light pigtail to the green wire of the trunk harness, and the black wire ("ground") to the black wire of the trunk harness. These lights are especially great for bikes with a low-amp charging system, as the LED lights draw VERY little current. In fact, once you turn the power off they go out slowly as the charge bleeds off the electrolytic capacitors built into each light unit. They are also waterproof.|
|Are Vetter saddlebags all the same?|
|All saddlebags were the same.* The doors were all the same too, except they were painted to match the popular bikes. The hardware was made specifically for each year, make and model. Just like each hardware for Windjammers was unique.
The TailTrunks were all the same. Tail Trunks could be mounted on the Vetter racks or virtually anybodies rack. All TailTrunks were mounted on Bunkees, rubber isolators. Kits are available here.
*Well, not exactly. A batch of special saddlebags were produced with a notch removed from the inside front to clear fanned-out exhaust pipes some bikes had. You can see a set on the Yamaha XS1100 . The Yamaha did not need these modified bags because the pipes are not in the way. The notch decidedly reduced the interior volume
For reference, right below the Yamaha is a standard set of Vetter Bags on a GL.
Fixing cracked saddlebags: I have a set of Kawasaki Vetter bags and a trunk off an '82 KZ1100A2. One of the hard saddlebags has a crack on the inside of the bag, near the mounting plate. I am trying to determine the makeup of the plastic so I can formulate a repair plan. Can you tell me what type of plastic that is? ABS/Polycarbonate versus PVC, for example? I sure appreciate it! Thank you so much! Tom
Craig answers: The bag bodies were roto-molded polyethylene. Nothing sticks to it. You have 2 options:
Fix it by Pop riviting a metal plate onto the inside to hold it together
Find another bag on Craig's list or EBAY and swap it out.
|Saddlebag mounting piece: Is there a source for the plastic insert that goes into the round part on the leading edge of the saddlebag bracket?
These were special parts we made. You will have to find a junk set of bags from Craig's List or EBAY and rob the part you want.
Will Vetter Luggage hold modern-day full face helmets?
A Vetter collector says: Craig, I wanted to let you know that my modern full face helmet size XXL fits in your TailTrunk. Carol just shipped new bunkees to me. I can't wait to complete the Vetter look with my fairing and side bags. I'll have to send in a picture when it get it all together.
Vetter Terraplane Sidecar
|Where do I get info on the Terraplane sidecar?|
|The new owner produced a Terraplane Sidecar but it incorporated little more than the name Terraplane from my design. I made about four prototypes between 1973-5 and abandoned the project. The new owner of Vetter ressurected the name Terraplane and made about a thousand or so of his design, as near as I can tell.
Therefore, I know nothing about it. There is a Terraplane owners website:
Terraplane windshields are available from:
Who is this "other Craig Vetter" who writes for Playboy?
The Craig Vetter in the greenish shirt writes stories and books about stuff I don't know much about. We have stayed in touch with each other since 1970 when we discovered we existed.
The picture, right, was taken , in the summer of 2005 in Chicago where the "Other Craig Vetter". lives. He is Liberal. I am Conservative. We have a great time together.
|There is another Craig Vetter! That is me, in the black shirt, 2005, the "Real Craig". The guy in the greenish shirt is the "Other Craig"|
|Now that I am writing too, the way you can tell us apart is I write about motorcycles and design. The "Other Craig" writes about camping and rock climbing and stuff like that.|
This Page Updated Dec 16, 2011