Review: Britannia Composites XS Twin Fairing

Long before I planned this trip, I put on the Britannia Composites XS Twin fairing. I was not happy with the stock setup for wind protection and headlights. I had tried different bulbs and different windshields and was satisfied with none of what I tried. My hope was that this fairing would solve both problems.


Headlights
 ★★★★★ 


The XS Twin fairing uses projector style headlights, one each for low-beam and high-beam. With just hallogen bulbs in each this was a significant improvement over the stock setup. I later added an HID bulb in the low-beam, which has completely satisfied my need for better light. I opted not to put HID in the high beam so that I would have more flexibility for its use, and have been satisfied with that solution.


Wind Protection
 ★★★☆☆ 


The wind protection for the XS Twin fairing is a compromise. Flexible for multiple conditions but ideally suited to none. The windshield is adjustable in height. At its lowest height, wind hits me somewhere about the chin-bar on my helmet; this places it too high for a clean air-stream. At its highest height, wind hits me just above the helmet; this places turbulence right at the top of my helmet and so is too low for complete wind protection.

This is less than an ideal setup, however I wear ear plugs anyways so I can live with the noise, even if I am not delighted with the setup.

On the plus side, the ability to adjust the height of the windshield can be invaluable when riding through mud, rain or bugs. I prefer to rid with the windshield down (least noise in my helmet), but putting the windshield up provides far better protection of my visor which means I can see more easily.

Overall, however, I would prefer a non-adjustable windshield that provides better wind protection.

NOTE: I am 6’1″ tall with a 34″ inseam.


Usefulness
 ★★★★★ 


The large dash provided with the fairing is undeniably wonderful for the long-term traveler interested in adding farkles. Mounting my GPS on this fairing almost gives me a heads-up display. It provides lots of room to mount extra switches, meters, clocks, and power outlets. The extra light from the projector style headlights is wonderful at night.


Durability
 ★★☆☆☆ 


The major weakness of the fairing is its durability. The fiberglass construction is fantastic, however pieces of fiberglass are joined together with a rubber glue compound which tends to come apart under vibration from off-pavement riding. The headlights are attached to the fairing, not the frame, using this same rubber glue stuff and again comes off relatively easy with vibrations from lots of off-pavement riding.

Today I spent a large amount of time repairing and reinforcing the weak spots. I used a combination of E6000 glue to reattach the rubber to the fiberglass where it came apart, then used a fiberglass repair kit to provide a stronger join between the various pieces. My hope is that this will improve the construction sufficiently so that the low durability is no longer an issue.

The mounting mechanism is also not up to the task of holding this fairing on the bike. The OEM fairing bracket is reused, but it was never designed to hold this much weight. I’ve had to weld the fairing together once already. I’ve heard of failures from other people and would not be surprised if I need more welding help, or possibly even an entirely new bracket.

EDIT 2012/04/12: The fairing mounting bracket and dash have been replaced with something new and stronger. Read the details here. This does not change my review rating.


Overall Rating:
 ★★★¾☆ 


I have very mixed feelings about this fairing. I love the headlights and the dash, but the wind protection and low durability leave significant room for improvement. It would probably be far better suited to street riding than the hard off-road use I sometimes put it through. Yet neither of these problems is sufficient for me to want to switch back to the original fairing. I like my headlights and large dash far too much!

4 comments to Review: Britannia Composites XS Twin Fairing

  • Tyler

    Nice review, but…pics or it didn’t happen.

    • othalan

      I apologize for the lack of pictures in my reviews. I agree that pictures would be even more helpful, however adding good pictures is time consuming and of secondary importance to the words. I have somewhat limited time and interest in being in front of a computer while traveling the world, so I decided it was more important to get my thoughts written down than to take pictures. Pictures which would mostly just mirror what is at the web site I link to.

      I apologize for the inconvenience and hope you found the review helpful!

  • Elizabeth

    Just a thought… but it may be time for an update to the review based on your travels so far.

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