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Vinyl Wrapping vs Painting - The Better Option for Motorcycle Fairing

Vinyl Wrapping vs Painting - The Better Option for Motorcycle Fairing

Motorcycle fairing is a shell placed over the motorcycle frame which plays an important role in improving the aerodynamics of a motorcycle. Its purpose is to allow motorcycles to reach a high speed in less time by reducing air drag and providing smooth airflow.

Various types of finishes can be applied to improve motorcycle fairings. Popular examples are vinyl wrapping and paint. This article discusses whether vinyl wrapping or paint is better for motorcycle fairings.

Vinyl Wrapping Paint
Application Quick Application - Requires a Few Days  Longer Application - Requires at Least Two Weeks
Pricing Cheaper - $700-$2000 Pricier - $1000-$5000
Pros Saves Money
Easy to Maintain
Increases Resale Value
Can be Removed Easily
Provides Protection
Changes the Look of the Motorcycle
Quick and Easy Installation
Offers Full Customization
Reduces Environmental Impact
Increases Custom Value
Clear Coat Creates a Smooth Shiny Surface
Cons Leaves Marks and Bubbles on Fairing if Installed Poorly
Shorter Lifespan if Not Maintained Properly
Takes Long Time to Install

1. Motorcycle Fairing Paint

If you choose to paint your motorcycle fairing, keep in mind that it is a difficult process that will require a lot of preparation. You’ll need to customize, repair, sand, and clean the motorcycle fairings before painting. Good preparation ensures the paint lasts a long time.

1.1 Application

You’ll need an air hose, paint guns, an air compressor, and a regulator to paint your motorcycle fairing. You can do the job yourself, but it is highly recommended to get a professional to ensure a high-quality, long-lasting finish.

Application Process

  • Remove the fairings by unscrewing all the bolts
  • Clean the fairings with warm water and dishwashing soap to wash off debris
  • Start sanding by using a 400 grit sandpaper and apply pressure while rubbing the sandpaper in circular motions
  • To get rid of residue after sanding, wipe a damp cloth over the surface
  • Apply primer coating on the entire fairing and let it dry completely
  • After the fairing fully dries, apply a thin layer of paint, let it air dry, and sand the surface again
  • Clean the surface, apply a second coating of paint, and clear the coat

If you prefer to paint the fairing yourself, be careful not to inhale harmful chemicals in paints since they can cause severe health issues.

1.2 Pricing

The price can vary depending on the type of paint used, the application process, the number of coats applied, the design, and the depth.

A DIY motorcycle fairing paint job costs around $100, regular paint job costs can be between $1000 to $1500, and custom paint jobs can range from $2000 to $5000.

1.3 Pros and Cons Of Painting Motorcycle Fairings


Custom Value

Fairings with paint can give your motorcycle a new look. A well-made custom fairing design can increase your motorcycle’s resale value. Your bike’s custom value may increase if the paint is nice, shiny, and doesn't have a specific theme.

Clear Coat

A clear coat creates a thin, shiny, smooth layer on the motorcycle fairing that protects it from scratches. No vinyl wrapping can produce a shine like a clear coat.



Painting motorcycle fairings is more expensive than vinyl wrapping since it requires applying several layers.

Manual Job

Being a manual job, there is a high risk of errors when applying paint. Any mistakes can result in the paint fading early or chipping away. You’ve to make sure that the painter is skilled at what he’s doing.

Take Long Time

Painting a motorcycle fairing can take up to two weeks to complete. You also have to wait for each layer to dry before moving on to the next step.

2. Motorcycle Fairing Vinyl Wrapping

Vinyl wraps are sheets of vinyl film that can change the color and look of motorcycle fairings. Vinyl wraps come in a variety of colors, designs, and patterns. You have to be highly skilled and precise when applying vinyl wrapping on fairings to get the desired results.

2.1 Application

Though you can apply a vinyl wrap by yourself at home, it’s recommended you ask an expert to help give your motorcycle fairing a neat and professional look. Applying vinyl wrap around the curves and contours of fairings is quite challenging. Having another pair of hands to help you apply vinyl wraps to fairings will ensure that there are no bubbles and the edges look clean.

Application Process

  • Decide on the design or graphics of the wrap and choose accordingly
  • Get your materials ready, vinyl wrapping doesn’t need more tools like painting. Gather a heat gun, isopropyl alcohol, lint-free cloth, tape, blade, and vinyl sheets
  • Disassemble the motorcycle fairing
  • After the fairing is removed, clean the surface using a mild cleaner, then wipe with isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth
  • Measure each fairing part separately and estimate the length of vinyl sheet you may need to apply for each of them
  • Then apply the sheet by removing the backing and stretching it over the fairing. Make sure to apply equal tension throughout the wrap
  • Carefully use a heat gun when applying wraps on curves and indentations

2.2 Pricing

The price of a vinyl warp can vary based on the design and pattern but tend to be more cost-effective than paints. Motorcycle vinyl wraps can cost from $700 to $2,000.

2.3 Pros and Cons Of Vinyl Wrapping Fairings


Saves Money

The vinyl wrapping motorcycle fairings cost far less than painting. Depending on the color, painting technique, and paint quality, a custom motorbike fairing paint job might cost anywhere from $3,000 and $5,000. Depending on the design and quantity of elements, exotic paint treatments might potentially rise to $15,000 or more. Professionally fitted vinyl wraps cost between $700 and $2,000 and have a life expectancy of up to five years depending on how well they are taken care of.

Easy Maintenance

Vinyl care is simple compared to maintaining the paint job on your motorcycle fairing. Cleaning, repainting, polishing, and buffing are all necessary steps in the painting process.

You only need warm water, soap, and a soft brush to maintain vinyl film. Though the vinyl wrap can be quickly washed, it's crucial to maintain your vehicle on a regular basis. The quality of the vinyl wrap will deteriorate if not properly maintained.

Never use a pressure washer to clean your bike since it might cause the vinyl to peel off. You can also maintain vinyl wrap fairing by:

  • Keep your motorbike out of the sun, rain, and other weather conditions.
  • Put your motorcycle in a suitable storage location
  • Clean the wrap using a mild solution

Increase Resale Value

Applying vinyl film can maintain or increase your motorcycle's value. The motorcycle wrap protects the paint below, keeping the bike in superb condition. You may remove the wrap to see the original paintwork or leave it on depending on if and who you sell your ride to.

Vinyl has the benefit of being easy to install and take off. When you sell your bike, some people might want to make their own additions to your bike's original design, while others could like to keep your changes.

Safe Removal

Vinyl wraps are easy to take off without damaging the bike's paint job. This makes them convenient if you become bored with the wrap and wish to change your motorcycle’s look.

Vinyl wraps may be made to be either temporary or permanent depending on your preferences. Both installation and removal are easy. For instance, you might decide to choose a new color or design or choose a distinctive look when the seasons or shows you enter change. Vinyl is easy and quick to put, but the paint is permanent. The vinyl may be removed without harming the motorcycle's finish whenever you're ready for a graphics, logo, color, or design change.


Vinyl wrapping can help protect your motorcycle fairing from scratches, chipping, deterioration, and damage due to sunlight or rain.

Change Your Motorcycle’s Look

You might have wanted a unique appearance for your motorbike when you bought it, or perhaps a color that wasn't offered in factory paint. Vinyl wraps allow you to customize your motorcycle with a unique design that reflects your riding style and helps you stand out amongst the crowd. You can remove and switch between vinyl wraps if you wish to give your motorcycle a new color or pattern.

You can remove the wrap when you're ready for a change, then pick a new color or pattern. You may alter the appearance of your motorbike with custom motorcycle fairing wraps.

Quick and Easy Installation

After the fairing has been cleaned and dried, you can easily apply the vinyl wrap in any location with enough space, such as a garage, yard, or shop. Usually, the entire procedure may be finished in the same amount of time as the paint preparation. Contrary to paint, vinyl doesn't need any specialized chemical and solvent protection equipment.

Reduce Environmental Impact

Vinyl wraps are environmentally friendly since they only require heat to be applied and can be cleaned with water and soap

Offers Full Customization

Vinyl wraps provide you with the maximum extent of customization, whether you like daily cruising or going on adventures. Wraps provide you with budget control as well due to the degree and type of customization you may select. You only buy what you really need.

Whatever you want, you can color block your motorbike for a distinctive look, use single colors, digitally printed graphics, images, logos, or any combination of these.

Vinyl is the ideal method to express your personality because the appearance of your bike tells a lot about who you are and what you enjoy.


Poor Setup

If a vinyl wrap is not applied correctly, it could result in the following:

  • Leave scuff marks on your motorcycle's finish
  • Leave the edges of the fairing rough
  • Risk of water becoming trapped inside and corroding the bodywork and paint

Shorter Lifespan

If not properly cared for, vinyl wraps can become worn off in one to two years. Depending on the manufacturer, vinyl has an average lifespan of 5 to 10 years. However, the actual lifespan varies depending on how often the vinyl wrap is exposed to the environment.

3. Conclusion - Choose the Right Option

Vinyl wrapping and paint are used to improve the protective features and cosmetic looks of motorcycle fairings. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For those who want to keep it simple, a paint job is recommended. Those who want a more personalized design can choose vinyl wrapping.

Most people prefer using vinyl wraps for motorcycle fairings as it offers more customization options, are less expensive, require less maintenance, increase resale value, can be easily installed and removed, and can entirely change your motorcycle’s look. Viking Bags has many aftermarket parts available that not only improve the overall look, but also add additional safety, such as crash bars, fairings, and sissy bars.

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