All fads are passing, that's what makes them a fad. Being that the fairing is coming up on 40 years in existence I don't consider it a fad, but it has become more popular as baggers have become fashionable. When I was much younger back in the 80's and early 90's, me and my buddies would never consider an FXRT, or Electra Glides for that matter, these were old man bikes. We were pretty much right because, with the exception of me, they all have baggers and they're old men.FXRT Fairings have been around since the 1983 model year.
Having said this, what does a "passing fad" mean?
Based on what I've seen on Ebay, the RWD website, JD Choppers website and the Big Bear website. They outwardly look similar but it's apparent they are not of the same quality. Some have pockets, some do not. Other little things as well but since I haven't seen one up close, I'm curious about them from people that have them.
Mine is an OEM fairing, which I lucked into via eBay about six years ago. Most used ones are pretty tired and many have cracks in various places. If I was in the market for one today I'd get an aftermarket one. Most of the vendors offer the mounting parts as well which was something I had to track down separately. The old style OEM turn signal lenses and housings are a challenge to find in decent shape and are pricey, which is another reason to go aftermarket so that you don't have the triangular/rectangular holes in the fairing to deal with.
I believe '92 was the last year for FXRT.Kevin at Big Bear doesn't manufacture anything. There are only a couple places that actually make these. Most are resellers. With or without pockets should not be considered an indicator of quality, but rather an option. I have two FXRP fairings from JDs in my garage right now. One was made two years ago, the other was shipped a few weeks ago. Both f them were almost perfect right out of the box.
But regardless. Here is something to think about. The newest oem harley units were made in '93 for the '94 model years and were made from thin ABS plastic. Would really suck to spend a couple grand on a paint job only to have an antique plastic part crack. I am going to go out on a limb and say that unless someone is doing a concours restoration, why use an antique and uber expensive part when all of the units from reputable sources have superior strength and are without hidden cracks or fractures. Seriously, seems almost a mute point. JD and RWD are well known and respected within the FXR community.