Finding a fairing that doesn't detract from the spirit of the Hawk GT can be a challenge. In the six years that I have owned my Hawk, I have been trying to find that fairing - well, on and off anyway. I have contemplated several options and even made and installed my own RC30 fairing kit. After one summer of use, I decided that it still was not what I was looking for and removed it. I continued my search for a fairing more suited to the compact size of the Hawk. Then in 1995 at the International Motorcycle Show in Birmingham, England, I found the fairing that I had been looking for...or did I?
The fairing that caught my attention was a new design by Powerbronze - The Venom. Powerbronze is a U.K. based manufacturer of fairings, cowlings, and screens. The Venom is a street fighter style nose fairing manufactured from high impact plastic. It is fork mounted and incorporates integral twin headlights with a lightly tinted lens cover. Fixing kit, trim, and internal dash are also supplied.
On receipt of my Venom fairing, I found the body to be of very good quality. The exterior is polished to a highly reflective gloss black. (The fairing is also available in bright red, white or carbon look.) The main mounting bracket, which attaches the integral twin headlight assembly to the fairing body and also incorporates the main mounting points, is also of good quality although made from "heavy" steel. The fixing hardware is also made of steel. I would have preferred the weight savings of aluminum although Powerbronze claims the kit only weighs two kilograms.
Installation of the Venom was not as straightforward as it could have been. Other than headlight wiring diagram (color code), no other useful instructions were provided, i.e., reversing of the stock headlamp mounting plates is required to give necessary clearance between fairing and fender. I wouldn't expect specific mounting instructions on most universal fit fairings, but Powerbronze do ask what bike you are fitting it to when ordering, and the Hawk/Bros is in their application list. Also my initial fixing kit contained the wrong size P-clamps for the Hawk's 41mm fork tubes. A quick call to Powerbronze had a second pair in the post, but upon receipt I found two different sized clamps. Another call to Powerbronze finally remedied this problem. Their customer service was very polite and apologetic and the final pair received were of nicely polished stainless steel. The other brackets provided in the fixing kit were of little use and I ended up fabricating my own aluminum brackets to connect the P-clamps to the main assembly. It's also worth noting that the main mounting bracket blocks easy access to the fuse box. I don't think that this is a serious problem since in the six year's that I've owned my Hawk I haven't needed to open the fuse box. Installation of the fairing body required some trimming, but this was due to my racing style clip-ons and not an oversight by Powerbronze. The high impact plastic was very easy to work with. By using a Dremel tool and patience, you can't tell that the fairing has been modified.
What's it like on the road? In the past six weeks I've put over 2,500 miles on my bike, including some track time. The finish has held up brilliantly showing no nicks or cracks. Wind is deflected to about shoulder height in a normal riding position, but getting into a racer's crouch provides respectable wind protection. The supplied twin 35w/35w halogen lights lack sufficient power for high speed riding at night. This should be easy enough to rectify by installation of a relay and higher wattage bulbs. (I used this technique on my RC30 fairing with 55w/100w bulbs without any difficulty.) The only other criticisms that I have of the Venom are that when washing the bike, water gets behind the tinted lens cover which requires removal to avoid water spotting, and the lens cover has begun to leave rub marks where it contacts the fairing.
Does the Venom's appearance go with the graceful yet aggressive lines of the Hawk GT? I think so; I will even go as far as saying that I think it adds to the Hawk's unique style. With the above deficiencies, is it worth the £175 price? That's up to you.
|Powerbronze now has a website at www.powerbronze.co.uk.|
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