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replacing quarter fairing

what you'll need:
Time needed:
  • New quarter fairing
  • Epoxy or other uber-strong waterproof glue
  • #2 Philips screwdriver
  • 6mm hex wrench
  • 4mm hex wrench

Hopefully you're reading this out of curiosity, or because you're wondering how to remove your fairing to do some maintenance. If that's the case, your procedure will be much easier than what's described below. The tricky parts really only come in when you're replacing the entire fairing, since you have to make sure you either buy all the extra grommets or you're able to remove them off of the old fairing.

This bit of maintenance is actually pretty straight-forward -- I include it because before I replaced my fairing, I looked online for some overview of how to do it, and found nothing. Since my owner's manual covers the SV650, not the faired S-model, it was no help either. Luckily there were only a couple of surprises. ;)

removing the old fairing.
The first thing you'll need to do in order to remove the old fairing is to disconnect your turn signal. I'd originally written this write-up assuming that you'd have to remove the signal itself, so you'll notice that it's missing in the pictures. However, as Discerning Reader David reminded me:

"If you leave the turnsignal in place and just remove the fairing side piece, you can then undo the electrical connector, and remove the turnsignal once the fairing is off the bike. MUCH simpler than trying to fit wrenches, etc inside the still-fitted fairing."

So there you go.

The next step is really easy -- just remove all of the bolts which hold your fairing on. There are four 4mm hex bolts: one by the windscreen, two on the top of the side, and one in the rear. There's also one with a #2 Philips screw head for some reason; it's right up in front by the headlight. Put the bolts somewhere where you won't lose them. I lined mine up on a shelf in order of removal, so when it came time to reinstall them, I just went down the line and bolted them back into place.

Next, let's work on removing the mirror. There's a screw directly underneath the mirror that takes a #2 Philips screwdriver. When you remove it, a black plastic plate will come off, revealing two more hex bolts and a black rubber grommet that runs through the windscreen and fairing. Use your 6mm hex wrench to remove the bolts; getting the grommet out is a little tougher. If you grasp the windscreen and gently pull it away from the fairing, it'll eventually pop off the grommet -- that's good enough for now.

Once those bolts are out, you can just pull the mirror straight off. Put it somewhere where you won't accidentally scratch the mirrored part. Doesn't your bike look funny without a mirror?

Everything's unbolted now; you can remove the fairing. There's one more grommet on the side, connecting to the radiator. If you walk over to the side of your back, grab the fairing near the airhole and gently tug outwards, it'll pop out. From here, it's just a matter of pulling the fairing off. It's pretty tough and flexible plastic, so you don't need to handle it delicately, but you do want to be careful. It should just come off, so if you're tugging pretty hard with no result, there's probably still something attached. Stop and find it rather than continuing to pull.

Looks pretty silly without a side fairing, doesn't it? Check out all that dirt around the headlight. If you're like me, this is the point at which you compulsively run for the cleaner and paper towels. It's ok. Go clean the bike off; we'll wait.

installing the new fairing.
The fun part about installing the new fairing is locating all the little grommets that you'll need to move over to the new fairing. See, Suzuki (and, to be fair, most likely all manufacturers) wants you to spend all of your money. This means that when you call the dealer and ask for a "right hand fairing", that's exactly what you get. Not the grommets, not the mirror backing plate, nothing. Just the fairing. Yay! So, lay out your old fairing next to the new one, and look for bits on the old one that aren't on the new one. When you find one, remove it from the old one and put it in the same place on the new one. The grommets are a little tricky, but if you twist when you pull them, it's a little easier. The one exception here is the rubber grommet that goes into both the windscreen and the fairing -- it's the weird little rubber grommet with metal screw threads in it. Take that one out of the old fairing, but don't put it into the new one yet.

Finding the mirror bracket on the old fairing was a bit of a surprise for me. I won't print exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of "you've got to be kidding me". On the inside of the fairing, there's a little rubber strip where the mirror attaches -- it's glued on but will pull off pretty easily. On the outside, though, there's a similar rubber strip with a metal plate on top of it. I needed to shove a flathead screwdriver under it to pry it up.

Since those rubber parts were glued onto the old fairing, guess what we get to do? That's right, bust out your epoxy (or, if you're me, make an emergency trip to the electronics store for appropriate glue). Make sure that you've removed as much of the old glue as you can, and then use your epoxy to glue the rubber strips onto the new fairing. There isn't a lot of leeway around those bolt holes, so you'll really want to spend the extra seconds making sure that the holes in the rubber are lined up exactly with the bolt holes in the fairing. Also make sure that you give your glue enough time to dry before you continue on. You might even want to go make a snack or do something else for a half hour or so, just to make absolutely sure that your glue has set.

After you're sure the glue has set, go and find the two 6mm hex bolts that came out from underneath the mirror -- the ones that go into the rubber strips that you just glued in. It's much easier to put these bolts in now before you've reinstalled the fairing, since it helps to be able to line the bolts up with the holes in the rubber by eye. If the bolts won't push all the way in, the rubber strips probably aren't lined up correctly with the bolt holes in the fairing. You'll need to pull the strips off and re-glue them. Hopefully you did it right the first time.

OK, now let's reattach the fairing. You'll notice that there are some plastic tabs near the front of the new fairing, along the side that fits in next to the headlight. Slide those in first -- it'll be obvious where they fit in amongst the center fairing that's there. Once that's in, you can move around to the side (still holding the fairing) and press the side peg into the grommet near the radiator. Go ahead and give it a good push to make sure it goes in all the way.

Remember the weird little grommet with the screw threads in it? Go find it. Line up the windscreen with your new fairing, and shove the grommet into the hole. I found no possible human way to shove it all the way in through both layers of plastic -- just push and twist it in as much as you can, and don't worry too much about it past that. When you screw the mirror back on, it'll push the grommet in the rest of the way.

That's it, really! Now, just reattach the mirror and tighten up those two 6mm hex bolts underneath it, and then replace the black plastic plate and screw it back onto the fairing (you know, into the weird looking grommet). Reattach the five bolts that you'd removed earlier, and you're all done with the fairing.

Reattach your turn signals by whatever means necessary, and you're all done!