This tutorial is also valid for other graphic kits and other types of motorcycles.
Have you ever put a graphic kit? Why not try ? By remaining calm, taking time, and following some rules and advices, yes, it is possible, yes for all! :-)
For all the details, see the text tutorial below, but you can also watch this short video summary:
Tips before buying:
- Choose a graphic kit of quality, with a vinyl neither too fine nor too big
- Prefer kits with small parts (easier to install)
- Ask people who bought and put the kit
- As always when reading reviews, filter the “always disgruntled detractors” with the “objective people who want to help you” (focus on the comments that bring you concrete information :-) )
- We advise you to take a look at the site www.motoproworks.com, this team has quality products, they are attentive to the needs and they offer a good service. What more can you ask for?
- We remind you that we have a partnership with MotoProWorks. We can give you a discount on their products. Just send us a small email.
Tips before installing:
- Choose a day when you have absolutely nothing planned :-)
- Choose a time when you are zen before you start ;-)
- Choose a day when the temperature is warm, neither too hot nor too cold. Ideal temperature between 15 and 25 ° C.
- Take the time to read the instructions provided
- Sort the pieces according to the 1st side of the bike and the order in which you will put the kit.
- Pure alcohol, propanol or brake cleaner / degreaser
- Protective glove for the product above
- Clean rags
- Masking adhesive tape
- Cutting knife style Stanley
- Rubber spatula
1st phase: the existing one
- Make the choice if you let the decoration in place or not ?
- Let the decoration
- Avantage :
- When you remove the decoration kit, you will find a completely original motorcycle
- Often, the original deco kit has a fairly large surface unevenness. This will be seen very often if you put the kit over
- Avantage :
- Remove the original decoration
- Attention, this depends strongly on your bike. Some decorations are simply stickers placed on the paint (KTM Duke 790 for example). Others are stickers placed and then a layer of varnish is added, which requires to sanding unevenness (example: KTM Superduke 1290 R). In the second case, either you keep the existing decoration, or you condemn the piece to a permanent deco kit. Everything will depend on the significant unevenness or not on the surfaces. Then it’s up to you to make your choice :-)
- No unevenness on the kit, clean work
- If you remove the kit, the bike is left without any decoration.
- Let the decoration
To remove the original decoration
- Use a hair dryer to peel off the sticker. This will save you from having too much glue remaining on the surface.
- Do not heat too much, just enough so that the glue stays on the sticker and not on your bike.
- If a little glue remains, clean with pure alcohol or equivalent.
2nd phase: cleaning
The bike must be extremely clean.
- If possible, leave it in your garage but do not leave it outside if there is a lot of wind. Dust is the enemy of the kit :-)
- Once the motorcycle is completely cleaned, let it dry well. It must be without stains, without grease, without dust. So does the result of your work once completed.
- Then clean the part to be sticked (one by one) carefully with pure alcohol or equivalent. Let it dry (but it’s fast)
3rd phase: the installation
Order of installation
- Start with small simple pieces and flat surfaces, it will give you an interesting experience before starting more complex pieces or on less flat surfaces. A curved surface is much more difficult. Alignment as collage is more difficult, folds and bubbles appear faster.
For installation in general
- There are 2 techniques :
- Working on the eye, after locating and direct placement
- Present the sticker, memorize the alignments and distances to landmarks.
- If you do not have a mark, stick a piece of masking tape on the surface
- Position the sticker with masking tape.
- Present the sticker and position it with masking tape. Then remove a small part of the sticker, remove the protective paper on the back on one end and put this part, then continue to the other end.
- Working on the eye, after locating and direct placement
- We advise using both techniques :
- Installation to the eye for simple parts and flat surfaces
- Use adhesive only for complex parts or surfaces
Positioning / alignment
- Whichever technique you use, always locate and align with the edges of the surface and with the parts already sticked. Its very important. Memorize all the places that are easy to spot, choose the most important point and start from there.
- Watch out for coins with a narrow part. A narrow part is easier to install but it moves easier and alignment is more difficult to achieve.
Use of soapy water / detergent or not?
The use of soapy water or detergent can facilitate installation. This allows you to reposition (in a limited way) the part you are installing. This technique is not really recommended, but can help, especially on certain complex parts. It will also depend on the kit you install, the brand, the type of vinyl used, and especially the glue used. Ask your supplier!
And there are 3 important elements to consider:
1. Use the most neutral soap possible, detergents sometimes have a very different composition.
2. The doses: it is important not to use too much soap in the mixture. This could reduce the action of the glue pre-laid on the vinyl. And your kit would last less, or even not at all, if the dosage is really too excessive.
3. It is also very important to carefully remove all the water under the vinyl to ensure lasting adhesion. Use a spatula and slide it onto the vinyl, pressing evenly, and pushing the water toward the ends of the piece.
We asked Motoproworks the question. They don’t really recommend this use, but don’t recommend it either. Many of their customers have put their Motoproworks kit with soapy water or detergent for some or all of the parts, and it works very well. The points listed above must be taken into account, especially respect the doses, and remove the water well under the vinyl. For the doses, Motoproworks recommends 1 drop of liquid soap for 1 liter of water.
Install in small pieces
- Choose the beginning of your piece according to the alignment with the other pieces, but also with respect to the shape. Start preferably with the widest side and end with the narrowest part.
- Always put the sticker in part. Remove the protective paper on the back on a small part and put this part.Push well on the sticker, and stick this part smoothing with a finger or with the spatula avoiding bubbles. Unfold an additional piece of the protective paper, fold it so that it does not interfere with the pose. Tear or cut the back paper if it is annoying.
- Press the sticker well for good adhesion. Especially on the edges.
- Avoid removing the sticker when you have already install a part. Remove the sticker will deform it and it will also stick less the 2nd time.
- Use the spatula for places that are difficult to reach or to press in the folds.
How to avoid bubbles
- At most your surface is clean, at least you will have bubbles
- Do not go too fast for the installation and press well with your finger or a spatula as you go. Proceed with small surfaces.
- Do not force on the sticker, do not deform it, otherwise, the bubbles will be inevitable.
- If bubbles have appeared, react immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to eliminate them. Proceed as follows :
- Use a cutter knife style Stanley to make a small notch in the sticker. If the notch lets in the air, it’s good. The goal is to remove the air between the sticker and the surface by pushing the bubble from the outside to the notch with the finger or with a rubber spatula.
Rims: sticker on the inside of the rim
- If you stick stickers on the inside of the rim, leave + – 2 cms free on the outside of the rim for the area of the balancing weights. Remember that the area may be completely different at the next tire change.
- The diameter of the rim is very often different in the center than on the sides, which gives an installation surface that is not flat. If possible, make successive cuts on the laying surface to catch the conicity of the surface. This will allow you to have the sticker aligned to the rim. If the sticker has letters, this is even more important: make a notch preferably between each letter.
Rims: rim stripes
- Place the stripes as much as possible inside the rim. The outside of the rim must remain free. This will prevent you from destroying the stripes at the next tire change.
- Be very careful about the alignment at the end of the stripe. The last 5 cms are more difficult to position correctly. He is harder to hold and he is mainly going one way or the other.
- The rim stripes are always cut into several pieces to facilitate installation. Depending on the temperature, the stripes may lengthen more or less during installation. Often, the edges are cut longer and should be cut a little to each piece. Do not cut them too short, otherwise, you may end up with the last piece too short :-)
And this is the final result :
Feel free to send us your advice and experiences. The goal is to improve this tutorial based on your feedback. Participate!
And do not hesitate to share this tutorial with all your friends who would be interested in a graphic kit.
We remind you that we have a partnership with MotoProWorks. We can give you a discount on their products. Just send us a small email or fill out the form below.
Thanks to MotoProWorks for the service and advice: www.motoproworks.com
Here a picture of a kit Motoproworks placed on a KTM Superduke 1290 R.
Thanks to Thomas, one of our readers who benefited a nice discount thanks to us !