Howe Windkutter and Vetter


Kynan C.

Admin
Country flag
Curious about the Kutter Fairing I poked around to see what I could find. I ran across this early Kutter Fairing ad, I was surprised to see the fairing was titled Windkutter Mark IV. Talk about a direct ripoff of the Windjammer III. I mean blatant!

This is an add for the Windkutter. Even the font is very close to the Windjammer font.
Howe-Windkutter-fairing-ad.png

So, digging even deeper in the bowels of the internet I found a book titled "Break Free" by a fellow named Robert McCusker. He was a marketing person back in the day and he worked with Carl Howe the founder and operator of Howe Fairing Company. His part was to rebrand and promote the Howe product line. Robert wrote a couple page blurb about his time working with Carl. See below.
howe-kutter-fairing-Robert-McCusker-Author-01.png
howe-kutter-fairing-Robert-McCusker-Author-02.png
It's sad the fellow died, it sounded like he went through some crap in the end.

After reading that segment, I wrote an email to Craig and asked about Carl Howe. Craig's reply below.

"One day Howe called and said that If I will give him my dealer list for something he wanted to make for my Windjammer, he would not copy the Windjammer. I told him to take a hike or something like that. He actually Xeroxed our instructions and sent them out as his. We threatened to sue. He ceased and desisted."
--Craig Vetter

So, there you go! That's what I found, and oh yeah.. The Prince Purple Rain motorcycle had a Kutter Fairing on it. Question is, why did they use a Kutter in the movie and not the more popular Windjammer??

If anybody else has more Kutter / Vetter history feel free to add to the thread.
 

Alan 63

Learning the Ropes
Curious about the Kutter Fairing I poked around to see what I could find. I ran across this early Kutter Fairing ad, I was surprised to see the fairing was titled Windkutter Mark IV. Talk about a direct ripoff of the Windjammer III. I mean blatant!

This is an add for the Windkutter. Even the font is very close to the Windjammer font.
View attachment 910

So, digging even deeper in the bowels of the internet I found a book titled "Break Free" by a fellow named Robert McCusker. He was a marketing person back in the day and he worked with Carl Howe the founder and operator of Howe Fairing Company. His part was to rebrand and promote the Howe product line. Robert wrote a couple page blurb about his time working with Carl. See below.
It's sad the fellow died, it sounded like he went through some crap in the end.

After reading that segment, I wrote an email to Craig and asked about Carl Howe. Craig's reply below.

"One day Howe called and said that If I will give him my dealer list for something he wanted to make for my Windjammer, he would not copy the Windjammer. I told him to take a hike or something like that. He actually Xeroxed our instructions and sent them out as his. We threatened to sue. He ceased and desisted."
--Craig Vetter

So, there you go! That's what I found, and oh yeah.. The Prince Purple Rain motorcycle had a Kutter Fairing on it. Question is, why did they use a Kutter in the movie and not the more popular Windjammer??

If anybody else has more Kutter / Vetter history feel free to add to the thread.
I'm certain there were many companies that likely made moulds of vetter products and sold as their own
 

Kynan C.

Admin
Country flag
There were, you are absolutely correct. Craig mentioned one time how many he found in an email conversation we had, I will have to look back.
 

Dave Ireland

Vetter Aficionado
Country flag
Same this side of the Pond - many copies, as the cost of the originals included some swingeing import taxes, so were out of reach for a lot of riders. I wondered if CV had licensed production to some of these, but from reading his response to Howe, I now don't think so.
One of the most well-known here was the Pantera, which took the Vetter shape and added their own quirks and peculiarities to it - resulting in something that worked well enough, but not well on some bikes.
The situation is changed now - there are plenty of decent used genuine original Vetters on the market here for low prices, and those who are into classic bikes and period accessories can pick one up for low money. The handy thing, of course, is that many of the Real McCoy have survived the decades quite well, only needing a rub-down and re-paint and a new windshield (and not even that, in many cases).
 

Kynan C.

Admin
Country flag
Same this side of the Pond - many copies, as the cost of the originals included some swingeing import taxes, so were out of reach for a lot of riders. I wondered if CV had licensed production to some of these, but from reading his response to Howe, I now don't think so.
One of the most well-known here was the Pantera, which took the Vetter shape and added their own quirks and peculiarities to it - resulting in something that worked well enough, but not well on some bikes.
The situation is changed now - there are plenty of decent used genuine original Vetters on the market here for low prices, and those who are into classic bikes and period accessories can pick one up for low money. The handy thing, of course, is that many of the Real McCoy have survived the decades quite well, only needing a rub-down and re-paint and a new windshield (and not even that, in many cases).

There is a member by the tag of Saxonplace who has a Pantera fairing. He is from the UK. Here is his post on the Pantera

http://www.vetterowners.com/threads/pantera-laser-fairing-made-in-the-uk.744/

So many copies!
 

Seth Matthews

Vetter Aficionado
This was a very interesting read, I've heard of windjammers all along, but never the Windkutter. I believe my grandfather even had a windjammer Goldwing back when I was a kid.

i'm curious. Do we know of anyone that makes some other fairings still? Other than those damn harley batwing look alikes I mean.
 

Dave Ireland

Vetter Aficionado
Country flag
Are these vetters or knock offs?
Wixom stands on their own as a fairing maker. The actual copiers were so blatant that OE Vetter screens, lowers and mounting brackets would fit their products. As CV mentions on his site, some makers simply told their customers to go buy a genuine Vetter mounting bracket or lowers if they needed them, as they perhaps didn't make them for a particular bike. That takes a lot of cheek.
The Pantera II fairing I have will, I'm fairly sure, take a Vetter screen - I'm also reasonably certain it will sit on the Vetter bracket already on the bike, and I have a pair of lowers I suspect are from a Pantera, that might or might not be original Vetters.
It all got very murky - which is why I wondered if CV had actually licenced production to a couple of European makers for this market.
The copy fairing makers could argue that Vetter had established a de-facto standard series of fittings and all they were doing was making fairings to fit that standard, insofar as making it easier to obtain replacements for screens, brackets and lowers in a touring market. There is some merit in that, but it's mostly self-justifying BS, imo. :)

Given the worse communications back then, he (Vetter) was probably unaware just how many Vetter copies were being sold in other markets and how much business he was losing. Otoh, most ot the copy purchasers wouldn't have paid the full price for a Vetter on their local market anyway, so meh.
These days, he'd be all over their asses, suing the crap out of them, I've no doubt.
 

Kynan C.

Admin
Country flag
Are these vetters or knock offs?

Thats particular model was post Windjammer, and you can see influence in the lines, and follows the same idea of having one fairing that fits all bikes. That fairing you will see on just about every post CHiPS cop bike. Very popular.

Quote from Craig Vetter's Website
"Fairings were around long before Vetter:
I did not invent the motorcycle fairing. Three brands were known to us in the 60s. The English "Avon" and "Butler" brands were "dolphin-style", frame-mounted fairings. They were neat looking but not suitable to the American riding style of sitting upright with high, wide handlebars. The American brand best known was Wixom made by Dean and Stan Wixom.
Wixom fairings were handlebar-mounted and were made for the American riding stance and were popular on BMWs. The current Harley "Batwing" fairing is a derivative.

My first fairing, the Series 1000 was like an English fairing made wider for American handlebars. My design was also much simpler. Mine was the first fairing that was not "more trouble than it was worth". In addition, I was able to figure out how to make and market it."
 

Michael Lesko

Grasshopper
Country flag
Curious about the Kutter Fairing I poked around to see what I could find. I ran across this early Kutter Fairing ad, I was surprised to see the fairing was titled Windkutter Mark IV. Talk about a direct ripoff of the Windjammer III. I mean blatant!

This is an add for the Windkutter. Even the font is very close to the Windjammer font.
View attachment 910

So, digging even deeper in the bowels of the internet I found a book titled "Break Free" by a fellow named Robert McCusker. He was a marketing person back in the day and he worked with Carl Howe the founder and operator of Howe Fairing Company. His part was to rebrand and promote the Howe product line. Robert wrote a couple page blurb about his time working with Carl. See below.
It's sad the fellow died, it sounded like he went through some crap in the end.

After reading that segment, I wrote an email to Craig and asked about Carl Howe. Craig's reply below.

"One day Howe called and said that If I will give him my dealer list for something he wanted to make for my Windjammer, he would not copy the Windjammer. I told him to take a hike or something like that. He actually Xeroxed our instructions and sent them out as his. We threatened to sue. He ceased and desisted."
--Craig Vetter

So, there you go! That's what I found, and oh yeah.. The Prince Purple Rain motorcycle had a Kutter Fairing on it. Question is, why did they use a Kutter in the movie and not the more popular Windjammer??

If anybody else has more Kutter / Vetter history feel free to add to the thread.
I have a Prince and The Revolution tribute band and I'm in the middle of building a replica Purple Rain bike for our shows. I can't believe it but just a few weeks ago I found a Craigslist listing from a farmer who also sold motorcycle parts at shows, anyway it was a BRAND NEW Howe Kutter fairing from 1975! I could not believe it, and only $125 for it! It's exactly the white fairing that is pictured in the photo in the ad above.

So I have the fairing now - georgous - but the only thing is the rubber edging on the fairing only has a thin strip of chrome/mylar (whatever) on it and the rest is black. Prince's bike had full chrome around it which was typical for a WindKutter fairing.... I'm guessing this earlier version didn't add the full chrome/mylar (whatever) yet. This one below is a replica bike and uses a windjammer (and doesn't wrap the edging all the way around the fairing but, you get the idea...

chrome.jpg

So I'm completely out of money buying parts for this thing and the only trim I could find is this one but the one I would need is $189!!

1630470894511.png


I know these guys don't make this trim themselves, I'm sure they buy it and I've seen "slightly similar" types of edging on the web for $4 a yard! I guess what I'm saying is I need this edging or something really similar but no way I'm paying $189 plus shipping for it. Anyone have any idea on anywhere else I can get this trim? It's hard to search for it because everytime you do a million car chrome door edge guard ads come up - you know that really thin stuff. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Alan F.

Vetter Aficionado
Country flag
I don't have the info you need, but please post any links to your band's info or videos here.
 
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