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Monster Fairings Review: Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7 Bodywork Kit

Monster Fairings Review: Suzuki GSX-R1000

Monster Fairings Suzuki GSX-R1000-right-side-master
Suzuki GSX-R1000 Monster Fairings

It was time. The bodywork on my 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 was definitely showing the wear of thousands of hard miles, including more track days than I can remember.

OEM bodywork is of course, exceptionally well made, beautifully painted …and very expensive. During a basic online skirmish with an OEM discount retailer I rapidly came to the realization that replacing the GSX-R1000 bodywork was going to cost almost as much as the bike is worth. Fine if you’ve got a panel or two that need replacing, but the whole thing? No chance.

While asking various riding buddies about aftermarket Gixxer fairings, the name Monster Fairings came up more than once. I checked the company’s website, sent a request, and received a very articulate and polite same-day reply from “Henry, Fairing Consultant.”

Monster Fairings cover all four Japanese manufacturers plus Ducati, and its standard kits go back many years. Unless you’ve got something really obscure, your bike is likely covered and in stock. Monster Fairings’ standard kits are priced around $689, and for a Chinese manufactured bodywork set, that’s on the pricier side. However, don’t be fooled–all Chinese bodywork is not the same. The extra couple hundred bucks to go with Monster is well worth it.

The two major factors to take into consideration with Monster Fairings are: (1) the panels are all made from injection molded ABS—the same as OEM—and not from polycarbonate or other more brittle plastics; (2) as a part of the injection molding process, the tabs and mounting holes are an integral part of the molding and therefore very strong. The tabs and mounting holes are not glued on afterwards like many other Chinese manufacturers.

Monster Fairings Suzuki GSX-R1000 front-right-three-quarterThese points are very important! Fitting the fairing parts together is a somewhat complex process; there are surprisingly few bolts and fasteners, so each piece needs to integrate precisely with its neighbor for the fairing to work as a whole.

Many of the tabs key into slots on other fairing parts; there are also tabs that have a knobbed end that pushes into a rubber grommet on the frame and “clicks” into place. It is vital that these tabs and attachment points do not break off the fairing panel either during fitting or during use.  A fairing panel without attachment tabs is just a piece of nicely painted plastic–there’s enough strain on these various parts that epoxying the tabs back on rarely works well. It’s better to go for quality from the beginning.

Monster Fairings also use a high quality paint process that looks thick and enduring. Monster’s seven-stage paint process is finished off with three layers of clear coat, which provides resistance to chipping and wind blast.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that I ordered a custom paint job (an additional $45) for my K7 GSX-R1000. The quality is amazing, and Henry was very helpful in coordinating the paintwork. Essentially Monster Fairings can do pretty much anything you desire, even combining various ideas you may have from other paint schemes you like.

My paint is a direct rip-off of the 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki AMA Superbike graphic design, and I simply forwarded as many pictures as possible to Henry for them to copy. I asked to leave off a few of the sponsors’ stickers and any race numbers for a slightly cleaner look, but beyond that I wanted the design and colors replicated. When the bodywork arrived I was anxious to see how well Monster Fairings had done. I was amazed at how precisely Monster had matched the metallic sky blue in particular. I really couldn’t have asked for better.Monster Fairings Suzuki GSX-R1000 left-sde-close

The down side of ordering a custom paint job? It takes considerably longer to receive the finished product. Typically, in-stock bodywork departs China in one or two weeks, followed by an additional week of shipping throughout the USA.

If you order something in stock, the soonest you could receive it is around 2 weeks, but it could be as long as a month. As mentioned, adding custom paint can add almost as much time again–it took around two months from time of order to receiving my fairing kit.  I was much more concerned about quality and less about timeliness, so I wasn’t bothered. I simply mention this to give you an idea of the time it takes. Quality work takes time; I was happy to let the Monster Fairings team take as long as they needed.

Opening the box was a further indicator of Monster Fairings quality. Each piece was individually wrapped and carefully taped in shock absorbing foam; clearly the folk at the factory made enough effort with their work that they don’t want it beat up during shipping.

Monster Fairings Suzuki GSX-R1000 right-rear-three-quarter-lowThe bodywork kit also came with other parts that aren’t technically part of the fairing, and those included a windshield, the front oil/water radiator mesh cover, the plastic inner ducting (but not the air intake snorkels), the black carbon-look side strakes running from the tank to the seat, and a tank protector pad. The heat shielding inside the fairing by the exhaust headers was already properly glued in place.

The items not included with the bodywork are all the various and different sized Allen-head bolts, nylon push rivets, and rubber grommets that attach the pieces to each other and to the bike.

There are several bolt kits available on eBay, including Pro-Bolt, which have an incredible range of high quality fasteners in various metals with commensurate pricing. I also purchased a box of generic nylon push rivets of different sizes; make sure you get plenty of smaller sizes to come close to the OEM sizes. When you take the old bodywork off, in theory a lot of the fasteners will still be usable. But in practice I found that most of the nylon push rivets break and/or are unusable again. Best to start with new–the box I purchased was $20 and well worth it.

Fortunately, I had an experienced buddy to help–fitting the bodywork is no easy task. This is simply the nature of the fairing design and no fault of Monster Fairings; their panels fit together nicely, and the aforementioned tabs that needed to slot together did so perfectly. Due to Suzuki’s design, there is definitely some twisting and mild bending that takes place. Keying some of those tabs together produces a loud snap that sounds like it could be the tab breaking off; that causes an anxious moment or two, I can tell you. Yet not a single tab broke, and each panel is properly held in place. So once again I can say I am pleased with Monster Fairings’ use of tough and somewhat flexible ABS plastic and integrated tabs–nothing broke or got damaged in the fitting process.Monster Fairings Suzuki GSX-R1000 tail-above

Essentially, several parts need to be pre-assembled before being attached to the GSX-R. For example, in the case of the K7 Gixxer Thou, the tail light assembly, rear turn signals, and rear seat latch all need to be installed and the rear section assembled, before it all goes on to the bike. It took us…um…several times to put the darn thing on before realizing we’d forgotten something. We’d then have to take the rear fairing off a few times and put it back on before we finally got it right. I was relieved we were working with injection molded ABS with tough tabs instead of cheap brittle panels, which wouldn’t have stood up to the multiple attempts. You will also need a drill handy to clean out some of the holes as paint build up can reduce the hole sizes.

The entire fitting process took us around five hours to complete, and once done, the bike looks breathtaking. The bodywork is well fitted and the paint is thick and well clear-coated. To say I’m delighted is an understatement; the bike looks new again, and even stands up to close inspection. Kudos and thanks to Monster Fairings for an exemplary product, at an unbelievable price.

Monster Fairings Review: Suzuki GSX-R1000 Fast Facts:

Monster Fairings Review: Suzuki GSX-R1000

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  • Matthew Patacca

    How do you like the “Superbike” bar kit you have installed on the bike? I have always considered putting one on my 929 but haven’t pulled the trigger.

    • @Matthew Patacca : In a nutshell: love it. I do quite a lot of track days and so Heli-bars would be a bit better for those times as I have to focus on keeping weight on the front with the handlebars fitted. But standard clip-ons are just too much hard work on track days and impossible on street rides where we typically do 250-mile days through the mountains. I’m an old fart I’m afraid LOL.
      You have to be a bit careful though because (surprisingly to me) it changes the balance of the bike big time, and my first ride after the conversion I lost the front several times which was scary as hell, and on corner exits when I picked up the throttle the bike would run wide. When I checked the front tire it had almost no wear on it and clearly wasn’t even getting much heat in it. So I dropped the front triple clamps by 8mm (that was the max I could go before the fork tops hit the bars), and I cranked up the rear ride height (I have an Ohlins TTX shock) by 12mm. Both those measurements are pretty dramatic and you can see the change in the bike’s stance when it’s on the side stand. But it totally fixed the handling and the bike is now super planted at the front and turns like a dream; the handling is neutral and very intuitive especially running my favorite Dunlop Q3s. Bottom line is I would heartily recommend you do it, but make sure you lower the front and/or raise the rear ride height to allow for the change in weight distribution. BTW: This wasn’t a kit. It’s a top clamp made by a buddy of mine who owns a CNC machine, and Buell handlebars of all things.
      Cheers ~Arthur C

      • Matthew Patacca

        I have the original shock so I won’t be able to do ride height, but maybe I should be looking into one since the original has 75k miles on it. I have done multiple 1,000+ mile days and I have the helibars which do a surprisingly good job, but nothing compares to upright seating. I have heard complaints about the front end getting light causing even more wheelies than normal but nothing about poor handling. Definitely something to take note of before finding out the hard way.

        • For sure. Of course we all ride differently and expect different things from bikes so ‘your results may vary’. I’m sure if you’re reasonable you won’t have a major problem, however if you do get another shock and raise the rear you will notice the difference positively for sure. Good luck and let us know how you get on! ~AC