Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Fairing Years

An article in issue 299 of The Gun reminds us of the fairings that were offered for Royal Enfields, primarily between 1958 and 1966. It appears that it was the first production bike in the UK to be offered with fairings. Of course, there was the Airflow,

Credit: Wikimedia

We have covered "The motor-bike that cheats the wind", and David Blasco at has also written about this and the testing at Bristol Aircraft wind tunnel, where Concorde would be later developed, and the rather disappointing results.

I was less aware of the Sportsflow,

Credit: Flickr.

Here is a description of each of them from a Royal Enfield advertisement,
Apparently the Airflow even had a glove box. A lot of claims were made that appear to have been exaggerations, like the one that it provided protection like a helmet in case of a crash (!).  Having missed out on the scooter craze, it was thought that the fairings combined the best of motorcycles and scooters, or so claimed Major Smith in the Daily Mail. Somehow the public seems to have been unconvinced, not the least by the fact that the Airflow added 20% to the cost of a Crusader, for instance. It was offered on the Bullet and the Meteor twin.

Then there is the Avon Speedflow, available for the 1960s Conti GT, and still available today, for instance, in British Bike Bits for 525 Pounds,

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