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Compression Molding vs Injection

What is the difference between injection molding and compression molding?

1. Fitment Injection molds

Injection molding creates precise fitment because of the tight tolerances used when building the injection molds. Injection molds are identical to OEM molds because all measurements were taken from an OEM fairings by laser and transferred to computer. Then the computer machines the molds perfectly. There is no fitment problems when installing injection molded pieces.

Compression Molds

Compression molds, are often referred to as "Handcrafted Compression Molds" do not have the tight tolerances that an injection mold does. Compression mold technology is an older technology. This does not mean the product will look any different once installed, in fact after installation is complete you would be hard pressed to know which one was an injection molded fairing and which one was a compression molded fairing. Many motorcycle shops prefer compression molding because of the superior strength and handcrafted pieces. Compression molded fairings require more patience to install and often times the fairing must be modified in order to fit your frame properly. Holes may need to be elongated or tabs moved or altered. What this means to the average motorcycle enthusiast is that installing a compression mold is more time consuming and probably should not be attempted by someone who does not have some mechanical ability, or who has limited patience.

2. Material

The Injection molded material is much harder and can be susceptible to cracking during shipment. Most OEM fairings are made of injection molded ABS and this is the same material used by aftermarket fairing suppliers. Handcrafted compression molding's material is considered superior because damage due to cracking is very rare. The material is more malleable and has more flexibility.

3. Amount of time to construct compression vs injection molded fairings.

The time to manufacturer and deliver a compression molded fairing is the same as an injection molded fairing.

4. Why don't the manufacturers make injection molded fairings for all aftermarket motorcycles.
The cost for injection molds for a motorcycle are very expensive so manufacturers will only make the molds for motorcycles that many people own. For many of the more expensive models of Ducati and BMW or older motorcycles that are no longer made manufacturers will not invest in making injection molds because there are enough sales to justify the expenditure.

5. So what is the difference in manufacturing a compression molded fairing VS. an injection molded fairing.
When a fairing is made by injection molding all fasteners, holes and cut-outs are completed during the primary phase. When the ABS fairing comes out of the injection mold it is complete. With compression molded fairing the fasteners are installed and the holes are drilled by workers in secondary operations. Because of the human interaction you do not always get the same precise placement of the fasteners or drilled holes.

6. What is the most common problem with compression molded pieces.
The most common complaint is that the installer of the fairing kit must contend with is aligning the pieces correctly. Elongating holes to get proper fitment is the number one issue. Other issues can include moving the fasteners and re-gluing them in the correct location or drilling holes. Most kits bolt up without any problems although approx 10-15 % of the kits will have some issue that the installer must correct.

So Which is right for you?

We always ship injection molded fairings if they are available. The main reason is they are easier to put together. That being said injection molds are expensive and are not available for all motorcycles. Your only choice may be a compression molded fairing. Don't be afraid to purchase a compression molded fairing unless you just have no mechanical ability in which case you probably should have a motorcycle shop install whatever fairing kit you purchase. The feedback we receive is pretty consistent in that the fairings look great but the installation takes more time than the client expected.

Bottom line, Compression fairings do not fit as good and they can be a real bear to install but if it is the only game in town your only other choice is to spend 6 times more for factory fairings.

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