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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I have been using this forum I have noticed that carbon fiber seems to be frowned upon by some. I NEVER noticed this before coming to this forum though, so maybe some of you guys could fill me in on whats wrong with it?

As I understand it, CF is very strong and very lightweight (if not very heat resistant). It is a material that a lot high-end products are made of.

I personally think that the crosshatched pattern looks cool (moreso than plain plastic at least!). So if it makes some small difference in weight (esp. when replacing metal parts such as clutch covers), and looks cool (esp. when replacing plastic), whats the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's like asking what's wrong with a lime green leisure suit and white shoes...
 
G

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When I was thinking about getting a Monster, one came through my home town [a very rare occurence] and parked at the cafe where I was having lunch. I was going to go back and ask who was riding it and ask some questions...until I looked more closely at the bike.... it was black and everything possible had been carbon fibered...the guy had painted a skull and crossbones on the headlight and his license was "BADDUC." Somehow I just didn't think that he and I were going to see eye to eye on what we found appealing in Monsters . ::)

I'm sure he loves his Monster as I love mine...that's all that matters, but the carbon fiber thing didn't make a good impression on me, nor my wife who otherwise really likes the Monsters.

When she gets some more throttle time, I'm going to put her on mine and see if she likes it.... the possibilities are endless
 

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Another couple reasons for the anti-carbon fiber:

Unless the carbon fiber is made to use its structural strength versus weight very efficiently, it is no lighter than plastic.

Most of the CF pieces you see for bikes are cosmetic, so on a monster, just leave them off. Zero pounds is better than 0.1 pounds for a piece that is not needed.

mitt
 

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I guess I disagree with most of you!

I think carbon fiber is an ideal material for use on a motorcycle, since it is simultaneously strong and lightweight. Motorcycles benefit tremendously in terms of performance when their components are lightweight, particularly on components that are unsprung (e.g. fenders, chainguards, wheels).

Although no ONE component (except wheels) makes a huge difference BY ITSELF by saving a few ounces or pounds, when you add up a bunch of 0.5 to 1.0 lb savings, all olf a sudden you have a REALLY impressive handling bike.

Alex Ortner has taken this to the ultimate point with his various lightweight project bikes, and Strati has done an impressive job on his S4. Naturally, both of them have looked at ALL parts on their bikes, and many parts have nothing to do with CF, but CF is an IMPORTANT part of getting weight down on any weight reduction project bike.

To give you just one simple example: the stock fairing on my S4, including windscreen, weighs 1.2 lb. The DP carbon fiber fairing (on which even the "windscreen" portion is CF) weighs only 0.4 lb total, for a saving of 0.8 lb on this ONE part alone!

For a second example that COMBINES CF saving with other savings on one component, my Termi hi-mount exhaust system saved 14.3 lb!

For a third example, CF clutch cover saves 1.4 lb over the stock metal one!

Fourth example: replacing the chain adjustor plates on the end of the swingarm with the Ducati Corsa CF ones knocks off 0.5 lb all by itself!!

To give you the punchline: On my project S4, on which I have already knocked off 27.2 lb, and on whcih the ultimate PRACTICAL (but expensive) target is well over 55 lb weight reduction using only bolt-on parts, CF has something to do with over 32 lb of that reduction!

The obvious disadvantages (every material has some!) include:
- Very high cost
- Some people don't like the look (but then you can paint it if you like, and it will "look" like regular "plastic")

Some have also reported that it does not age gracefully, but then the cure to that one is also obvious: either keep it waxed (like you need to keep ANY plastic and metal parts waxed in ANY sunny climate), or paint it with an opaque or transparent color.

Sorry if this sounds like an obsession (it is), but it's because people get obsessed with improving certain aspects of things that we get better and better bikes as time goes on. I've owned over 30 bikes in my lifetime, and I view my current S4 as the most exciting one I've owned.

I dream of a 250 lb 100hp machine on which the mini-fairing is out of the line of sight while riding. Then, I can be "flying", 4 feet off the ground, and can change my cornering line by twitching . . .

Jim G
 

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Jim,

I just read your weight reduction post in mods section. I see you repeated your observation though that for CF $/lb ratio, the carbon fiber is very very expensive ~$1000/pound.

I don't have a problem using it where it "fits", but bikes that are CF showrooms could loose more weight by just loosing the expensive parts all together.

On one hand I am saying I don't like CF, but on the other I have a concept design for a CF hugger that I have not seen on the market yet.

mitt
 

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Current fashion. Ten years ago Ducati folks were using CF like Harley bubbas do chrome.
Now everyone is into billet bling.


Since I have been using this forum I have noticed that carbon fiber seems to be frowned upon by some. I NEVER noticed this before coming to this forum though, so maybe some of you guys could fill me in on whats wrong with it?

As I understand it, CF is very strong and very lightweight (if not very heat resistant). It is a material that a lot high-end products are made of.

I personally think that the crosshatched pattern looks cool (moreso than plain plastic at least!). So if it makes some small difference in weight (esp. when replacing metal parts such as clutch covers), and looks cool (esp. when replacing plastic), whats the problem?
 
G

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imho, carbon fiber is like chrome; nice in moderation.
i have some carbon fiber pieces on mine, but I am not going to go overboard.
 

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How is replacing something like a tank, fenders, etc., that are necessary functional pieces, with a lighter material like carbon a waste and/or like chrome?? That makes no sense to me...
 

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the only carbon i would every get would be the side covers under the seat. otherwise the only reason i dont go all out on carbon bits is the price, and maybe the look in close second. a small bit here or there doesnt hurt, but when its done all over i dont like it. take that bike of the month a couple months ago that had oodles of carbon fiber. some liked it, some didnt. i'm one of the ones that didnt
 

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I guess that I disagree with most of you on this point. It seems that most who have posted object to the use of carbon fiber for purely cosmetic purposes.

If your point is that you do not like the look of cf then I can accept that. We can't all like the same things.

However, the point most of you seem to be trying to make is that you just object to using it for the 'look' instead of for purely functional reasons. But, all of us do things to our monsters, and other vehicles as well, just for the look. Tailchops, nice paint, better looking mirrors etc. I don't see the use of cf for aesthetic purposes as being any different.

Others have pointed out that cf is not always the most effecient way to save weight. Only a tiny percentage of monster owners have a monster for purely race purposes. So unless you are one of them, then the weight argument doesn't mean much. The biggest weight saving for most of us would be to drop a few lbs from our bodies.

Anyway, some people think cf looks good on a monster. If so, go for it. Some people like the chromo tank, fancy paint, tailchops, whatever.

The monster isn't the most powerful, best handling, quickest, fastest, most comfortable or many other things. It is a piece of art. If you want to personalize your art then I don't think I have any right to object to how you go about it.


Just my slightly more than 2 cents worth.

Dirk
 

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That's a good point. Anyone who think carbon looks ugly needs to check out a Chromo tank. Those things are truly hideous...
 
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