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175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i got my bike all sorted out and ready for the summer and just so happened to break the windscreen and front right upper fairing. Great timing i know.i said in another thread once that these plastics arent brittle. I take that statement back, they are very brittle. Had the bike parked downhill in first gear. Instinctively i grabbed the clutch upon approach which caused the bike to roll so i grabbed for the brake and snapped the fairing.

So my questions are:
would it he difficult to make this repair? I have little experience in bodywork.

What product would i use to repair it?

I wont be able to buy new plastic until at least the end of the summer as it costs around 125 dollars plus like 25 shipping then ill have to paint it to match and buy a new windscreen. So, should i just ride out the summer with it broken?

Any advice appreciated


57 Posts
Epoxy will stick to it. Don't use polyester fiberglass resin. You can fix that with one of those dual syringe epoxy things. Use vaseline on the part you don't want to get glue on, like the paint that shows outside. Plan it out so it can be clamped somehow so you don't have to hold it until the glue sets. Once you mix the epoxy you then just put it into the jig or clamps you have ready. You'll end up with a line on that windscreen. I'd separate the two for the job unless it helps hold it in the clamp. It'll be ok from a distance. Perhaps you could spray that screen black to hide the crack. Once you get it to stick in place I'd put some glass cloth on the inside of the fairing to reinforce it. More glue isn't stronger a backing material is. Next time I'm faced with such a repair I'm going to try the method DaveC has found.

175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Found this on an adventure rider forum seems like the best way to repair abs plastic:

A friend dropped his 2009 KLR and damaged his fairing. When I saw how he had "fixed it" with Duct Tape and JB Weld I was horrified.

He said he could not find out how to repair it properly anywhere online so I wrote an article...I hope you find it useful.


Repairing and Working with ABS Plastics
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a common thermoplastic (melts when heated) used to make light, rigid, molded products.
Personally, I find ABS to be one of the easiest plastics to work with as it is easy to build small structures with. eg. I built a mini dashboard for my KLR650 which houses my Voltmeter, Ammeter, 12 Volt outlet and two blinker repeaters and is fitted just behind the windshield.
ABS is easy to mold and bond together to create a strong and easily painted structure.
Sheets of ABS (usually grey in color) can be obtained from Hobby Stores at up to 1/8th inch thick.
If you want thicker sheets it is easy to bond layers together using Acetone as the solvent.
PS. In these days of re-cycling, manufacturers have to mark what plastic was used on the inside of the molding. This makes it much easier to identify the plastic type and how best to repair it.
In the case of the fairing on the newer KLR 650s, Kawasaki used ABS instead of the Polypropylene they used previously. Polypropylene tends to be far more durable for off-road motorcycle plastic parts.
ABS is easier to paint and to mold but cracks and shatters relatively easily which means that a fairly minor dropping of your newer KLR means an expensive replacement. Good for Kawasaki, not good for the KLRer.

Repairing ABS:
You will need:
Fine small paint brush
Small glass screw top container full of Acetone
Fine sandpaper 320 grit approx.
Small container for ABS Slurry (if required)
½ inch Scotch Tape
WARNING: ACETONE IS EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE – Keep away from flames and always work in a well ventilated area. It also removes the oils from your skin. Protect yourself appropriately.

It is important, if you drop your bike, to gather all of the pieces of broken plastic, as the broken pieces are easier to put together than trying to accurately cut new pieces to insert and to match the thickness of the original material.
So, as I mentioned earlier, Acetone is the solvent we will be using. Acetone dissolves the ABS and creates a strong bond.
Carefully piece together the broken fairing. I mean REALLY CAREFULLY !!!!
Carefully, clean all parts with a mild degreaser. I have found DAWN washing up detergent is a great de-greaser and is cheap.
Carefully inspect the fairing and find all of the cracks.
The goal is to align the parts so that there is no gap or step where the pieces meet. This is vitally important for a really good end result. You can use Scotch Tape to hold difficult pieces together.
Generally, I repair the cracks first and then add the loose pieces into the larger repaired structure.
However, always make sure that you can get the pieces to fit if you glue the cracked parts first.
Once you have the parts carefully aligned, and working from the inside, carefully apply the Acetone with the fine wooden handled brush to the inside of the crack and by capillary action the water thin Acetone will flow into the close fitting crack. Only apply small amounts of Acetone as a little goes a long way down a crack. The brush holds just enough without flooding the crack.
After 1-2 minutes the join will be handleable.
Work along all cracks until the main structure is solid.
Next add the pieces that were broken off in the same way. Carefully align each piece and bond with Acetone from behind.
Why do I suggest bonding from behind? Acetone will damage the painted surfaces if applied directly to paint. Working from behind means that any damage to the paint on the inside can easily be covered with a couple of coats of paint (flat black for example)
If you did a good job, then the only visible evidence of the damage will be hair line cracks in the surface paint.

More dramatic repairs:
If the cracks you have are not close fitting you will have to make a “Slurry” of ABS dissolved in Acetone.
To make a slurry, take tiny pieces of ABS and dissolve them into Acetone. I usually use the Polypropylene cap from a Paint “Rattle” Can which holds just enough in the inner part of the cap. Note; it takes a while to dissolve the ABS in Acetone so be patient.
Apply Scotch Tape or Electricians Tape to the underside of the open crack to stop the slurry from falling through. The resulting “Soup’ can be painted into the cracks and built up layer by layer to fill the crack. Allow at least an hour between layers to allow the acetone to evaporate away before applying the next layer.
If there are major pieces missing, you will have to buy ABS sheet from a Model Hobby Store. Sometimes they have to order it in. Alternatively, you local Display Sign Company may have some.
You will have to cut (and mold) the sheet plastic to fit in the areas where the original plastic is missing.
It really does not matter what color ABS sheet you get is as you will have to re-paint the fairing after.
You can use a little Bondo to smooth out any minor mismatch. Don’t forget to roughen the ABS surface and to degrease prior to applying the Bondo. (Always roughen and degrease to remove finger oils and mold release agents)
Kinda makes you wish you had picked up all the broken pieces..huh?
Well guys I hope that helps avoid the costly expense of replacing the fairing.

Making Custom Parts:
ABS is extremely easy to work with and using solvents is easier than heat welding.
It is great to make things like mini-dashboards and switch mounts etc.
There ya go, now you know!!

2,265 Posts
Yes that's what I do. Be aware that the "glued" area will merge so that little lips will form. Depending on the amount of acetone.

Given the broken part is very exposed I would advise to reinforce the abs by gluing some abs plate at the back. It has to be formed to have the exact same shape and the cockpit must be locally sanded to remove the paint.

Personally I would forget about repairing the screen and try to find a used one.


175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No proble steve i always like to help and post updates.

So i gave the sprint a good fix while the fairings are attatched. I did it exactly as explained in thw video. I used a 5 dollar box of legos for ABS material. It worked VERY good and will be my go-to method of repairing any ABS plastis. As an ametuer in body work this was very easy even for me to do. Next winer i plan on removing the plastics and repairing all of them and repainting. This is when i will fill any imperfections with ABS filler and sand it down.

Good luck if your repairing ABS plastic and dont be afriad to try it because im here to tell you it is very do-able for the ametuer.
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