Polyester tubs

An Avon wheelhouse
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Polyester tubs, also nostalgic

Polyester tubs were the greatest friends of motorcyclists since the 1960s. For the broad introduction of the polyester, there were of course already beaten lines out of aluminum. But they were all beaten according to traditional methods by seasoned professionals.

That approach was of course disastrous for mass production

The result was fiberglass reinforced polyester. You only had to make a mold once, and then you could produce polyester tubs and windshields almost endlessly. In that process you were also completely free in the design of your product and if you approached it a bit smartly, then as a manufacturer you could get started with just one model cockpit and some universal - or almost universal - add-on stuff.

In the beginning

And in the beginning engine countries England and Italy were naturally pioneers in this area. The English were perhaps forced to do so because of the weather conditions that prevail there, the Italians simply because they saw a chance to make things more beautiful. But the Germans and Americans also saw trade in wind protection. And of course in the Netherlands we had E Glass. Other early players were Avon, Bates, Craven, Gläser, Habermann, Labritzke, Luftmeister, Heinrich, Pop Dreyer, Hannigan, (Vetters) Windjammer and Wixom. In our eyes, the design of most of those parts is now wonderfully outdated to the point.

In the seventies, the cockpit and windshield maker was at its highest by third parties. BMW was the first manufacturer to assemble a factory with the R100RS, a full shell specially designed for that machine. That was and 1976. After that time, Windjammer and Avon continued to do reasonable business. But the factories supplied more and more machines with tubs, right from the catalog.

Speed ​​or protection

Generally, tubs were intended to generate more streamline and wind protection. For touring motorcycles, a large windshield with window was sufficient in most cases. This type of windshield was mounted on the front fork. At the time, craziness such as wind tunnels was not yet done and the streamline was determined emotionally. The fact that such a large piece of polyester on the front fork was quite a wind catcher ensured that machines that were so rigged up often became wind sensitive.

Moreover, such a screen gives an extra load on the front suspension and damping. Therefore, when mounting a windshield, make sure that the steering head and wheel bearings are in order and try how much better the case drives with a slightly thicker front fork oil (and / or a steering damper)

Full tubs were and are not mounted on the front fork, but on the frame. That does not detract from the possible crosswind sensitivity, but does wonders for stability. And the streamline / wind protection of course.


'Old tubwork is fairly scarce. At old-timer fairs we actually only see them in Hardenberg. On E-bay and Craigs list and under we also find them more and more 'old' polyester tubs rarely. The pricing is then as in 'for very little' or very expensive. When purchasing, note the completeness of the fasteners. The absence of a (good) window is a thing. If such a diamond is three-dimensional arched, it is difficult to copy one.

But when a classic motorcycle is provided with appropriate protection against the elements, it is more than an emotional addition to the whole.

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  1. Hello, I have a r75-5 glaser fairing (ex police) the glass and reflector is broken and I am looking for a replacement. Lamp part is from hella 1A9 001 159-05 would you know how and where I can find something like this?
    Yours faithfully,

    Sip Jan Hettema

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