- Assemble Headlight Bracket
- Attach Side Reflectors
- Attach New Chrome Edge Trim
- Remove OId Decals From Windscreen
- Remove Deep Scratches from Windscreen
- Attach Vetter Name Plate
- Attach Windscreen Foam Tape
- Attach Turn Signals
- Attach Fairing Bracket to Frame
- Repair Headlight Shell Plastic Cover
- Finished Result
I repaired and then painted and pinstriped the Windjammer II fairing. You can read about that work in this write-ups.
- 46 BMW R75/5 Repair Windjammer II Fairing, Strip Paint
- 51 BMW R75/5 Paint the Tank, Fenders, Fairing and Tail Light
- 51 BMW R75/5 Paint Pinstripes
Now I’m ready to reassemble the fairing. This involves assembling the headlight bracket and adjuster, attaching the reflectors, installing new chrome edge trim and attaching the name plate. I got the chrome edge trim and adhesive from Craig Vetter’s site and his on-line store.
Assemble Headlight Bracket
When I removed the headlight bracket, it looked like it had been attached with silicone seal. I sent a note to Carol Vetter asking if this was the case. I got a prompt reply from Craig that this is what he used.
I bought a new tube at my local Home Depot as I wanted to have a thick layer on the edge of the bracket. I didn’t need very much silicone seal, so you may be just fine with a much smaller tube. Cut the end off so the width of the nozzle is about as large at the edge of the bracket.
I used a single edge razor blade to remove the old silicone seal from the bracket and a drill bit to remove it from the holes around the rim.
The bracket has lobes on the perimeter that mache cutouts in the headlight shell of the fairing so it only goes one way.
I put a bead of silicone about 1/8 inch thick around the edge of the bracket and then pushed into the headlight shell firmly.
The silicone will extrude through the holes. This helps keep secure it and prevents it from rotating. I used some masking tape to keep the bracket firmly against the headligtht shell and let it dry overnight. I trimmed the really long extrusions with a razor after the silicone was hard leaving about 1/8 inch protruding through the holes.
I removed the adjusting screws. Each has a slot under the head that fits into a groove in the headlight adjuster plate.
A spring goes through a hole in the bottom of the headlight adjuster plate. It’s a strong spring, so I attached the plate to it before I screwed in the adjuster screws.
I pushed the adjuster plate and tilted it so I could get the slot in the adjusting screw into the slot in the adjusting plate and then started the screw into the treads in the backing plate.
Then I attached the headlight (note this is still the sealed beam headlight originally installed. I may upgrade to a halogen bulb and reflector when it burns out. 😉
The sealed beam headlight attaches to the headlight adjuster bracket with a chrome trim ring and screws.
The outer trim ring attaches at the bottom with a large wood screw.
Grover can see again 🙂
Attach Side Reflectors
These were orginally attached with “Gorilla Snot” but I decided to use Silicone Seal.
I pressed them firmly and used masking tape to hold them tight overnight.
Attach New Chrome Edge Trim
The trim is attached using Hotcha glue supllied in the kit that is a two part glue. The edge strips are coiled up and have taken a set.
They edge trim is a U channel that fits over the edge of the fairing.
I attach them starting along the long side section that is nearly straight. At the places where the fairing edge curves sharply, I use a heat gun to heat the edging so it is more pliable.
I hold the edging firmly on the fairing and let it cool. It takes a set the matches the edge of the fairing.
The fairing is made from a sandwich of two ABS plastic shells that are glued together with a spacer in between. On one side, it is too thick to allow the edging to sit down on the way on the edge. I use my Dremel tool and a drum sanding attachment and grind down the edge. I am very carefull as the newly painted surface of the fairing is close by and I don’t want the tool to skip and gouge my new paint job.
The chrome edging is a bit long and extends about 2 inches past the end of the edging.
After I test fit the edging I am ready to attach it with the Hotcha glue. The instructions say I have 5-7 minutes of working time and there is no need rush. However, it’s 90 F today. And I find out I have about 3 mins or so before it starts to set. You need to work fast on a hot day, or wait for a cooler day to glue the edging on.
NOTE: The Hotcha glue is very sticky. Wear gloves and eye protection when working with it. If you get any where you don’t want it, immediately use some Acetone to remove it.
The Hotcha is mixed 2:1 so I measure about 8 inches of adhesive and 4 inches of activator on a piece of cardboard. I use a popscicle stick to mix to mix the two parts together.
The kit includes some brushes that are used for applying solder flux. I paint the glue inside the U Channel being careful not to get onto the outside edges.
When I do get some on the outside edges, I use a little acetone on a blue shop towel to quickly whipe it off. I paint some on the edge of the fairing getting a good bit on the sharp curved areas. And, as I already noted, it started to set up in about 3 minutes or so, so I had to work quickly to attach the trim to the fairing.
As soon as I got the trim firmly pressed down on the edge of the fairing I looked underneath to be sure it was all the way down on the edge, particularly around the sharp radius corners. I used masking tape to keep it firmly pushed onto the edge and let the side set for about 20 minutes so it was good and hard.
Here’s the fairing with the new chrome edging installed.
I trim the edges of the edging using a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel so it’s flush with the end of the fairing.
The chrome is applied to a flexible plastic substrate. I use a new single edge razor blade and carefull peel the chome off and flatten the plastic at the top edge of the fairing where the windscreen will go. I don’t want to remove too much of the soft plastic, but enough to get a flat surface for the fairing to rest on.
I fill in the gap between the fairing edge and the chrome edging at the top of the fairing with a little more Hotcha glue and tape it down with masking tape. This keeps the top edge tightly attached.
Remove OId Decals From Windscreen
The fairing has the original windscreen. There are old decals and some bad scratches in it. I use a brand new single edge razor blade and gently peel up an edge of a decal.
I use lighter fluid to disolve the glue. I swert some on the exposed edge of the decal, let it soak in for 15 seconds or so and then peel back the decal until it gets hard to peel. I repeat the lighter fluid application until I get the decal off.
On some decals, there is glue still stuck to the windscreen. I use some lighter fluid on a blue shop towel and try to rub it off exposing new towel so I don’t smear the glue. On the stubborn glue, I soak it with lighter fluid and very gently scrap it up into a ball with a new single edge razor blade.
Remove Deep Scratches from Windscreen
I found Novus polish recommended for removing deep scratche in headlight plastic lenses and boat windscreens. I got some at my local The Container Store.
There are three grades of polish, with #3 being the one for removing deep scratches. I apply a couple drops on the scratch and then use a clean lint free towel and rub across the scratch rather than along it keeping the polish wet. When it about dry, I wipe it off with another clean lint free cloth and buff.
When the scratch is gone, I use #2 the same way. When I get all the scratches out with #3 and #2, I use #1 to polish the whole screen. It took about 2 hours to get all the deep scratches out of the windscreen.
Attach Vetter Name Plate
The name plate was attached with a double stick tape that I removed. I use Silicone Seal to reattach it and masking tape to keep it tight against the slight curve in the nose of the fairing.
Attach Windscreen Foam Tape
I bought replacement windsreen foam tape. It comes in two sections that meet in the middle. I attach one piece and then attach the second keeping the backing tape on the end near the middle. I over lay that on the first piece and with a sharp single edge razor blade, cut the second piece and a bit of the first with a single cut. With the razor blade, I gently remove the small end from the first piece of edging, remove the backing tape from the end of the second piece and stick it down. This makes the edge line up well.
I use the nylon bolts that mount the windscreen and poke them through the foam tape from the inside of the faring to get new holes in the tape.
Attach Turn Signals
The turn signals use a hollow bolt so the wires can pass through to the stock BMW turn signals. A ground wire washer takes the ground to the fairing wiring harness. A rubber gasket goes next to the fairing and a steel washer goes between the ground washer and the gasket.
The nut inside the faring tightens the stalk to the outside of the fairing. The stalk has a cast nut at the base so I can put a wrench on it to keep the stalk from turing while I tighten the nut
The wire passes through the stalk and inside the turn signal housing.
It attaches to the push terminal connected to the center of the bulb.
The lens is marked with “TOP” and attaches to the turn signal housing with two long machine screws.
The final a turn signal assembly.
Attach Fairing Bracket to Frame
A problem with the Windjammer fairing mounting bracket is the part that mounts to the frame downtubes scratches the paint. Here is what they did to the frame tubes.
I want to avoid this problem. I decide to try some plastice edge strips that are available at garden shops who sell steel grass edging strips. This stuff is tough. I can walk on top of the sharp steel edging and it doesn’t cut through this plastic.
I cut it a bit longer than the lower bracket. It takes two piece per lower bracket. I notch one piece to go around the tubes that support the flat mounting bracket the fairing sits on.
Here they are attached to the lower bracket.
I attach them to the lower bracket using a little Gorilla Snot so they stay on the bracket when I mount it to the frame.
The upper mount goes across the down tubes and has a backing plate and two long bolts with a plastic washer and lock nuts to hold it in place.
I mount the bracket at the top first and then use stainless steel hose clamps to mount the lower brackets to the down tube. To prevent the hose clamp from scratching the frame, I cut a small section out of a bycycle inner tube and put it under the hose clamp. Then I use my cordless drill and a bolt socket that fits the screw head of the hose clamp and tight it down. Then I filled in any gaps at between the plastic gasket and the lower braket with some black sililcone seal.
The bracket is solid as a rock.
Repair Headlight Shell Plastic Cover
The headlight reflector and buld are not used with the Windjammer. A plastic cover comes with the fairing to cover block off the headlight shell so water doesn’t get inside and damage all the wiring inside the headlight shell. This cover has a hole in it.
To repair this, I use a piece of bycycle inner tube and some Gorilla Snot to stick it to the plastic cap. I slice open the piece of tube so I can flatten it and then attach it with Gorilla Snot.
I use electrical tape to attach the cap and run this twice around the headlight shell. This also serves as my “emergency” electical tape stash. When I had to make an emergency repair by the side of the road and needed some tape, I cut some of this tape off. 🙂
I mount the fairing on the bracket using four new bolts, nuts and washers. Then I use the nylon bolts and nuts to attach the windscreen.
Here is the bike with the Windjammer attached.
Brook: Outstanding rebuild of the Vetter fairing. I like how you kept it original. I hope your documentary on the rebuild is followed by other Vetter owners to keep these fairings in service. They are a definite period piece for this vintage bike and look the part. Sad that these fairings became out of fashion and so many were lost. I have an intact Windjammer II hanging in the barn that came off my R60/6. Might put it back on someday after seeing your work. They are highly functional and increase fuel mileage, top end speed, and rider comfort. Good safety item also in deflecting road debris, birds, etc. And handy storage areas too. The only regret I can see is the unfortunate name. The Vetter “consumer research division” could have picked a more marketable name rather than Windjammer, [maybe Slipstream II]! Then again, those dang hippies created Hippo Hands that featured “dog lips,” seriously, very innovative, functional designers. You have to love what Craig did in streamlining the nerdly Honda Helix platform. And his hypermileage contests.
Thanks for the kind words. I agree that Craig Vetter’s Windjammer defined an era of big bike touring in the 70’s. This particular fairing is an early unit in the series and I suspect the original owner of the bike had it added either at the time of sale or soon thereafter.
I rode in the winter in Denver, CO and had a buddy who did the same. He had the Hippo Hands and on really cold rides, I was envious 🙂
Thanks for dropping by and if you decide to get that old jammer refreshed, I hope this project will help you with the details.
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