LSTD Mob Cappo
Join Date: Aug 2006
Attack does not (and won't, at least this last year) make 1000rr bodywork.
This is an article I wrote for SVRider.com a few years ago:
My race bodywork guide
I see this come up every once in a while, so I figured I would throw some of my opinions/ perceptions out there. I have been painting and repairing race bodywork for a little over 5 years now, and have seen just about every make, model and brand out there. There are some that I haven't, but the most popular brands I have covered many times over.
Starting off with some definitions:
Durability- how well the product "holds up" after extended use without deforming or breaking simply from riding and transporting the bike. Also can refer to how well it stands up to minor collisions or slow low-side crashes.
"Crashability"- how well the bodywork holds up during/ after a crash. "Excellent" crashability would be bodywork that stays in one piece or has limited tears after a major get-off. This equates to how easy a set of bodywork is to repair after a crash. Less broken or missing pieces = less time to repair, which = less money spent on repair work.
Flexibility- the fine line that makes bodywork flexible, without cracking or breaking. You don't want too much flexibility because then it wobbles and flexes while riding, but enough to have "give" during minor collisions or crashes. Corners of bodywork should never be flexible, and for this definition, we'll only speak of parts that aren't corners. If the corners are flexible, go get your money back!
Finish- refers to the quality of the product as delivered. Poor finish = lots of sanding, some bodywork, some cracks in the gel coat, bubbles between the fiberglass and gel coat, etc
Fit- Simply, how well the bodywork kit fits on to the bike without modifications or extra brackets. Also refers to how well the bodywork fits as compared to the OEM plastic set.
Starting off with "the best":
In no particular order, these 3 are the best in all the above categories. I am leaving price differences until the end, because sometimes, that is the real determining factor in what you purchase anyway:
Attack Performance, Armour Bodies and Sharkskinz all are "excellent" in all of the above categories. As I have mentioned in previous threads, the Attack Performance are the only ones that are delivered "ready to paint". The others require some prep and sealing prior to painting. That is the one thing that separates these three, otherwise, it's a toss-up between the three in the above categories.
The brand "OPP" is supposed to belong in this group, I hear. I have not painted a set, nor have I repaired a set, so I am only going by feedback I have gotten from a couple of friends- they also supplied the bodywork for team EMGO Suzuki a couple of years ago (they may still).
Multitech- If you can find it, buy it! It belongs in the above group, but it's not being manufactured any more. If you can find some of this stuff that has not been repair into oblivion, I would it up. The '01-'03 GSXR bodywork they made was very good for the SV. A little wide, but not too bad.
Catalyst Composites, Beasley Fiberglass, Cheetah and GP Composites (Morse Racing). Different companies, but the same issues. Durability is good, but both are too flexible. Fit is also good, but not *as good* as the above three. Catalyst sometimes goes in the complete opposite direction, and they end up too brittle or stiff. Finish is good, both come primered and sanded pretty well. Crashability in both could be better, but is "good enough" by most people's standards. Certainly not bottom of the line equipment, but could be better.
Hotbodies- Not sure what happened to them over the past year and a half or so. The stuff they are making now is horrid! The new stuff is thin, brittle, fits terribly, finish is just *ok*, crashability is terrible (but not the worst, believe it or not), and durability is bad (but not the worst). They are slowly making their bodywork "the worst of the best" by pricing the bodywork close to the high-end guys, while the quality is on par with the Ebay guys.
Airtech-Streamlining- Good fit, OK finish, durability is bad, but not the worst, quality is OK, crashability is the WORST. The tendency of this bodywork to actually shatter upon impact, makes it terrible in my eyes. There is (most of the time) little chance of repairing this stuff without missing several pieces. Some people get lucky with it, and the crash keeps most parts together, but not most people.
Pit-Ek- This is the they sell on Ebay. It is thin, brittle, fits terribly, quality is poor, finish is OK at best. Also shatters upon impact. Sometimes it is thick and brittle, but I have not found the quality to be impressive at all. Good stuff for the occasional track day participant.
Godfather- If you see this for sale, don't buy it unless it's cheap and in "like new" condition. There is nothing much good to say about this product. They used to make decent stuff that was on par with Hotbodies, and cheaper- but about 1.5 years ago, they sent their production to Mexico, and made enemies of all their customers by selling them pure junk. The older Godfather stuff was pretty good, but it went away. This would be OK stuff for the occasional track day participant.
Now for price$$$
(most expensive to least, prices found on their web sites, sets including fender) Prices are retail + shipping.
Armour Bodies: $799
GP Composites: $790
Attack Performance: $765 (No SV, '04/5 GSXR 600/750 kits)
Catylyst Composites: $760
Opp: $680 (No SV, '04/5 GSXR 600/750 kits)
Beasley Fiberglass: $672 (No SV, only '01/3 GSXR 600/750 kits)
Airtech-Streamlining: $495 (their race SV kits are an "aquired" taste...)
Pit-Ek: $370 shipped off Ebay (no web site found)
Now, you have to decide if you want to spend money for all the good things about the more expensive bodywork, or, if you want to save the money and hope that you won't find out about the bad things about each. Notice too that some of the more expensive bodywork on the list, does not share the same good qualities as it's similarly priced competitors.
There are some things that the more expensive sets offer, that the less expensive do not. You can bet though, that once you cross the threshold of $700 retail and below, you will definitely begin to sacrifice quality.
The most cost effective way I have found to get on to the track with good bodywork, is to buy USED. Most of the time, the guys selling the bodywork will have it repaired somewhat, and most of the time, you can get it with a decent paint job on it.
Most important question to ask when buying used is- "How many times has it been repaired?", followed by "Who did the repairs?". Multiple repairs mean that they are getting rid of the bodywork because it is "done". If a car bodyshop did the repairs, you can bet that they used copious amounts of Bond-O on it.
Please feel free to comment on this thread to keep it at the top, PM or email me for any questions or if you have information to ad to it.
Here is my second gen with '04/5 GSXR 600/750 bodywork project:
Here is the first gen with the same bodywork as the second gen project:
I am posting this in hopes of helping those with questions, or are concerned about how to spend their money wisely. The cheaper bodywork can work perfectly well for the occasional track day participant, but probably not very well for the full-time club racer.
I am not trying to bash any one product, but show the shortcomings and strengths of the products that are out there. This is also from my personal experience, but is backed up by many years of repairing all of the above brands, as well as painting them when they arrive "new". Take it for what it's worth, personal perspective and experience, then, do some more research by talking to others!
Patrick can get you a great deal on Hotbodies if you want it. Personally, as above, I would avoid
Hotbodies, Pit-Ek, Godfather, E-Racing, and anything you can buy in Ebay that isn't specifically the above "good" brands.
Some people have had good results with those cheaper brands, and certainly, if your finances won't allow a more expensive, better brand, you should get the cheaper stuff.
Now, on to the good news!!!
I have a new vendor of bodywork that is cheap, fits like OEM, and is constructed EXACTLY like the Attack/ Sharkskinz, for half the price! Retail is $500 + shipping (I can get it cheaper). The brand is "Cycleskinz". The only
negative is that it requires more sanding and primer where as the Attack doesn't. Of course, that is on the painter, and the amount of priming/ sanding that has to be done well outweighs the cost difference. I have ordered 4 sets of this bodywork lately, and have a set of '05 GSXR bodywork in stock right now. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks to get it in after you order.
If you buy the cheaper stuff (Pit-Ek, Godfather, E-Racing) just remember that it is disposable, usually doesn't fit well (sometimes people get lucky), and will break easily requiring more repairs when crashed.
The better stuff may cost more, but in the long run, it will save you money (and time) in repairs.