Repairing Cracked Motorcycle Plastics

As if tipping over your motorcycle in a parking lot didn’t make you feel stupid enough, learning the plastics damaged in the 0 mph crash will cost hundreds of dollars to replace will reaffirm your belief in an unjust world. While repairing the ABS plastic found on motorcycle fairings is straightforward, the plastic tends to break at the weakest point and if the point was weak when it was new, the fixed plastic will be a patch. Start by removing any stickers that cover the damaged plastic. A blow dryer will help loosen the glue.

Then, drill a small hole at the end of the crack to relieve pressure and stop the crack from spreading. Next we use a rotary tool to cut a V-notch 5 millimeter wide on the underside of the fairing to give more surface area for the adhesive to attach the two halves of the fairing. Notching on the underside of the fairing helps hide the repair. Next we use a degreaser like Simple Green to clean the plastic of any oil residue or chards of plastic. If the crack is small consider using a two-part plastic epoxy, like the one’s that resemble two hypodermic needles, to adhere the plastic together. For bigger cracks we will have to use a soldering iron and melt ABS plastic rods, like the kind sold at Harbor Freight, into the V notch we cut. The key is to get the soldering iron hot and feed but don’t force plastic rod into the soldering iron, working the plastic into the puddle. Take your time and work methodically to get melted plastic completely into the cut notch. If the crack is severe it will require bracing that can be made by cutting strips of plastic and adhering the plastic with epoxy across both sides of the crack.

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