Carbon fiber protection doesn't replace anything, it merely adds another layer of protection for your machine in the event of a crash. Carbon fiber replacement parts are interchangeable with stock items, the main advantage being their lighter weight – although this is only around 10 percent over fiberglass.
Carbon fiber is used mainly to save weight. The lighter your machine is, the quicker it will accelerate, it's as simple as that. Replacing various parts of your bodywork with carbon items shaves weight from your machine. Often we're only talking about a few hundred grams, but big weight gains can be had if you replace a whole fairing, for example. But carbon fiber engine and frame protection can save you money and hassle too. Carbon's strength, combined with Kevlar's abrasion resistance, makes it good for protecting frames, and saves cracked engine covers. If you're racing, you may soon ask for engine protectors to save time clearing up spills from cracked cases. Carbon fiber quality varies massively – and much of this is down to how it's prepared. According to a local car-body manufacturer, expensive autoclaved carbon fiber isn't necessary on motorcycles. This is for more structural objects, such as F1 monocoques, and airplanes... Pre-preg carbon fiber uses a different method, with the resin already in the sheets. This method is clean, as you simply lay the sheets into a mold, heat it, vacuum it to pull the sheets into the mold's corners, then stick it in the oven.
Wet lay-up is the cheapest, and messiest, although good results can still be gained. The biggest difference is found in the resins used to bind the sheets together. Epoxy is what you should look for – tap it and it should have a nice ring to it, a ring that you don't get with a polyester resin. If you think prices are high, blame it on the big aircraft manufacturers. The wings for new super-jumbo's are sapping the world's resources.... Still you can find enough materials in Thailand to have some weekend fun...Tag: Carbon-FiberParts