How to Cut a Motorcycle Fairing

Although the process sounds intimidating, cutting a motorcycle's fairing is usually done to accommodate a pair of race-style frame sliders, which provide extra protection for the motorcycle's sensitive frame and motor. These frame sliders mount directly to the frame's motor mounts. Unfortunately, the motor mounts are usually hidden directly beneath the motorcycle's side fairings, requiring that you cut a hole in the fairings to allow the frame sliders to protrude. Cutting this hole does take some preparation, but it's a job that's well within the reach of most motorcycle riders.

Remove the side fairings from the motorcycle, using an Allen wrench to unscrew the fairings' bolts.

Unscrew the engine mount bolt from one side of the motorcycle, using a socket wrench. Install the frame slider's bolt loosely on the motor mount, using a socket wrench.

Place a wad of putty as close as possible to the position of the motor mount on the inside of the fairing. Hold the fairing alongside the motorcycle and press the head of the frame slider bolt into the putty. Remove the fairing.

Drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole in the centre of the indentation left in the putty by the frame slider bolt, using an electric drill.

Hold the fairing against the motorcycle again to test the position of the pilot hole in relation to the frame slider bolt. Drill another 1/8-inch pilot hole if needed.

Remove the putty from the fairing. Cut a 1-1/2-inch hole in the fairing with a hole saw, using the pilot hole as a marker.

Install the frame slider on the motor mount, using a socket wrench to tighten the frame slider bolt. Install the side fairing over the frame slider and onto the motorcycle. Tighten the fairing's bolts, using an Allen wrench.

Repeat on the remaining side fairing.


Double check your measurements before drilling into the fairing to avoid an expensive mistake.

Things You'll Need

  • Allen wrench set
  • Socket wrench
  • Frame slider kit
  • Putty
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Electric drill
  • 1-1/2-inch hole saw
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About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.