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Shark Nose VS Batwing Fairing

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Old 05-30-2012, 02:22 PM
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Question Shark Nose VS Batwing Fairing

Let's really get into this....

It's obviously a matter of personal preference in the long run. However, I would like to offer my opinion's and get other people's opinion's of the pro's and con's of each fairing design. I think it would be nice to get opinion's from those people who have ridden both a fair number of miles.

I've put I don't know how many thousands of miles on Batwing bikes starting in '07. Lot's. I've recently put 5,500 miles on my Road Glide.

1) The main feature that everyone states about the Shark Nose is that it's better in the wind. Such as out on the interstate. I have to say that I have found that not to be the case. Maybe it's the type of wind I usually ride in around here. It moves around and comes at you from different angles. I've been caught out in very windy/gusty conditions this spring many times while riding my Road Glide. I felt like I was being moved around quite a bit more than I ever was on my Batwing fairing bikes. I've put some thought into it and am wondering if the larger side profile of the Shark Nose catches more wind? Kind of like a mini barn-door effect? It really seems to push me even though it's attached to the frame. Maybe even more so because it's attached to the frame? In any case, I consider this "myth" busted. In my opinion and experience, the Shark Nose fairing is worse in windy conditions than the Batwing fairing. By the way, I've also never had the sensation that the Batwing fairing was pushing the steering around like some have commented on.

2) The windscreen and fairing in general on the Shark is a lot further away from the rider. I've ridden in the rain a few times on the Road Glide and get much more water on me by far than I did riding behind a Batwing fairing. Both had lowers. With the Batwing, I seem to be able to tuck behind it for more protection during really heavy rain.

3) At first I thought low-speed maneuvering was harder with the Shark. I seemed to be able to make tighter U-turns and was more able to "throw" the Batwing bike around at slow speeds. I'm going to reserve my final judgement on this because I'm getting a little better feel for the Shark. A lot of people make the assumption that because the fairing is attached to the steering on the Batwing, it makes it harder to slow-speed maneuver. I don't find that at all. The Shark fairing sits pretty far out in front and high up. I think it actually increases the center of gravity in such a way as to make it feel more "top heavy".

Of course, my Road Glide is a gorgeous bike and rides and handles fantastic in most conditions. It's a blast to ride. It's just that for me, I'll be going back to a Batwing for my next ride.

Have at it boys...
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:59 PM
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interesting insights


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Old 05-30-2012, 03:02 PM
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I prefer the batwing for many of the above reasons

I did a long ride S to N through the fields of Saskatchewan on a SE RG, and the prevailing W wind made for an all day lean which really got my shoulders and neck cricked up.

Rain- oh, I got rained at.

I like tucking into the fairing on my batwings

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:13 PM
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:18 PM
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you are totally wrong and full of BS , I rode a Batwing for 10 years , if I rode 3 hours above 75 mph I'd get off the bike and the hairs on my arm were numb from buffeting , and I was tired from being pushed all over the highway , at 65mph and below it was fine , on the Road Glide I can run 85mph for 5 hours , get off the bike no issues , I was going down interstate in a heavy crosswind a few weeks back and came up on 4 Batwings running about 65mph getting pushed all over the road , I rode past them running 80mph with 1 hand on my bars my bike was so stable , the only advantage the Batwing has on the Road Glide is rain , on a Batwing you can tuck in behind the fairing and run through a rain shower and come out reasonably dry , on a Road Glide you better get your rain gear on
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the insight. I have never rode a "shark nose" but have ridden many miles on Goldwings. I like my Ultra Classic and really dont pay at lot of attention to the turbulance. I accept the fact that I am riding a motorcycle and expect to deal with the wind.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:31 PM
jacobharley3 jacobharley3 is offline
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I get to ride both set up every single day. I have to say that we are going to disagree by far.
The batwing fairing being bolted to the forks/steering most definetely, 110%, with out a doubt effects the handling of the bike negatively. Here some ex.
1. Weight on steering / slow speed control. Ex. If you have a drive way that has a small dip or lip between the street and the diveway pull into with 1 hand on your handlebar on your road glide. Next do it on the street glide. Then have your friend help you pick the street glide up off of the ground. Upon compression of the forks the weight of the fairing will cause your steering to turn.
2. High Speed / Wind : The Shark nose fairing does cut through the wind like a hot knife through butter. It is much more stable and the bike itself handles way better. I think this is where there is some confussion. The Road Glide may not offer more wind / water protection to the ride, but the bike itself handles better. It absorbs forces of nature through the entire frame of the bike where as The Batwing absorbs through the steering point of the bike. Extreme EX., I had a buddy hit a deer in Ohio at 75mph on his road glide. It destroyed his entire left side of the fairing and he pulled over after coming to a stop, never crashing. Now this is rare, but would never happen with that batwing. The force would have caused the steering to turn drastically causing a crash.
3. Are you telling me that all of moto gp is wrong?? Watch a race. These are the fastest, best handling motorcycles on the planet. And not 1 of the bikes in an entire field, will have a fairing mounted to the handlebars.

I've got more, but I have to get back to work. PS... I love this debate
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by hojones View Post
Thanks for the insight. I have never rode a "shark nose" but have ridden many miles on Goldwings. I like my Ultra Classic and really dont pay at lot of attention to the turbulance. I accept the fact that I am riding a motorcycle and expect to deal with the wind.
I agree. It's not the turbulence that I'm talking about. Or the wind. That's all part of riding. I'm talking about being pushed towards another lane of traffic.

Maybe it's all the bridges we have around here. Ton's of creeks, rivers, and of course the Chesapeake Bay. I ride across the Chesapeake Bay bridge very often. On a lot of the bridges, the wind can shift direction constantly. And a few times I really had to pay a lot of attention to keep in my lane. I never had to do that on my Batwing bikes.

tj316 - I have no idea why you took this to a personal level. But maybe you're the one that's full of BS?
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:40 PM
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and from what I have felt the with the shark nose being frame mounted as opposed to the fork mounted batwing The shark nosed RG seemed more maneuverable and stable.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:40 PM
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As the OP said, in the long run it's personal preference and my preference was the Bat Wing. That said, I ain't going to argue that the Shark Nose has any shortcomings compared to the Bat Wing (we're not going to discuss aesthetics, those too are a personal preference, haha). I will however be happy to amuse myself with the banter that is sure to happen here ........ Annnnnnnnd, in this corner !!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:40 PM

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