Old 14th May 2013, 10:23 PM #1
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HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Howdy

So did this ages ago, and just wanting to get it written down in case I need to do it again and thought some of ye might find it interesting

Firstly, Im no expert, but think it came out pretty well. Main reason for doing this, is my zx6 didnt come with any decals on the tail, and wanted to get it looking factory.. but then oem ones were hideously expensive (30 bills a pop).. actually, now I look at it, all the other white ones are kinda yellowing.. fuck it, lets change em all.. and feck the factory idea, lets go black for a lark

so anyways, on with the show


You need:

Decals - of course. I got mine, following recommendation from juicer2006, from Rumen at http://moto-sticker.com/web/ - silly cheap, but forget how much exactly.. < 25e for a complete set, and yer man is a gent.
Hairdryer or heatgun - to get the old fellas off.
Mildly soapy water - just need a drop or two of washing up liquid.
Spatula or squeegy type yoke - to get all the water out from underneath once positioned nicely. Soft so it wont tear the vinyl, but strong enough that it'll still work (needed more force here then I thought you would). Picture later on in the thread of what I used - and I ended up using the very short (stonger) edge, due to amount of force required.
Isopropyl alcohol - surface prep. Bought this in Boots (iirc).
Cutting compound + cloth - decals under small amount of clearcoat, use this to cut it back and take the edge off.
Masking tape
Permanent marker - TEST and make sure the isopropyl alcohol will remove it..
Towel
Clear and clean area!


Okie, so after a trial and error session, this is how I got a factory decal, replaced in exactly (pretty much) the same position, with a new decal


Fairing off - can be done on the bike, but definitely easier (and probably cleaner) to take off and do on kitchen table. Make sure herself is out:




Can kinda see its a bit yellow, picture doesnt show it up very well, but tis bad enough:




New decal - size is perfect:




Masking tape down, aligned to the bottom and one side - for use as reference:




Close up of alignment - important if you want the new one in the same place:




Since masking tape is going to come off instantly when you clean with isopropyl.. this is where the marker comes in (again test it will come off with isopropyl - with a bit of a rub):




Close up:




Masking tape removed. The marker lines will help us align new masking tape once the decal is removed:




The missus' hairdryer out (not for near long enough) and got to picking. Later decals came off far (FAR!) easier, once I wasn't so shy with the hairdryer:




Om nom nom:




Bang and the decal is gone. Can see the clearcoat lines here..:




Crack out the t-cut, or whatever:




Rub down to remove the clearcoat tide mark:




Tidy (pre-wipe down with isopropyl):




Erm, no going back...




Knew those poncy Christmas present coffee cups would be good for something - one with water and isopropyl (bout 10% iso), t'other jsut water and a couple of drops of fairy:




Isopropyl. Give the surface a good clean down with the 'water + this stuff' mix. Smells nice :) Any shit stuck under the decals, aint going anywhere with out said decal, so cleaner the better! Dont take the marker marks off..!




And using the marker to align - we replace the masking tape:




Masking tape reapplied:




Decal time! Wet the back of the decal liberally with the water and washing liquid mix:




Peel the opaque backing paper off the decal as shown (backing paper bent back on itself, and slowly removed) - DON'T lift the letters off the seethrough guide backing. The letters are separate, and independent, and its only the plastic backing keeping the spacing and alignment once this paper is removed..!




continued..
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:23 PM #2
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Loose!




Wet the destination surface liberally again with the washing liquid water, and slide the decal into position - the masking tape pays for itself here:




Missing a picture here - but with the seethrough plastic still on - start squeeging the water out from under the decals. Need quite a bit of force here. If the decal shifts, reposition and go again. Clear plastic staying on for the moment! As you squish out the water, you'll actually see it come out from the edges. Keep going till no more comes out (oo matron)


Once you've done as much as possible with the plastic on... slowly slowly remove the clear plastic. Like as for the opaque stuff, have it folded right back on itself, and pull it super carefully away. If an edge of the decal sticks to the clear, you can free it with a pin/needle/hobby knife. Cant stress enough - be very carefull removing, as you can tear the decal easy enough. Dont leave the 'dot' of an eye behind or anything. Once the plastic is removed, you're counting on the decal staying put from now on to keep alignment - they wont move though if you've done the previous step well enough:




Again missing picture. Carefully removing the water from under the individual letters. Take your time, and be careful. Get it all out (you should be able to see the water under the decal, and again, see it come out). The edges are delicate - dont squeegee towards the center of the letter, always away - so the sharper edges dont lift or buckle:


All water out..! And surface dried lightly with a towel:




Marker marks removed with some more isopropyl (keep it away from the decal!):




Whatcha think Trixie?




Scene missing (doing all the others :) )

...


Final decal pic - bike is still a work in progress, but dead happy with the black on silver theme now:




Bit convoluted with the tape and marker malarky, but think it worked out well. Again, no expert, and could be better ways, but just what I did


Last edited by kal; 14th May 2013 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:31 PM #3
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Great job some good tips there
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Old 14th May 2013, 10:57 PM #4
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Great piece of work there! I wonder how it's done when doing a re-spray. I suppose you'd have to do some serious measuring.

The bike looks well.
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Old 14th May 2013, 11:06 PM #5
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

good stuff, back to its oem look,
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Old 14th May 2013, 11:08 PM #6
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Deadly post & well done
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Old 14th May 2013, 11:12 PM #7
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

thanks

yea, Im not sure re the respraying. tbh, you could probably get away with ballparking it as close as possible, and it would look 90-95%..

guess just have to make it uniform, which can be tricky with the shape of the tank, or pieces being too smooth for reference points etc..

oh, sorta in that vein, heres a few pics of the tail. It was blankety blank when I started, so no reference at all. Ball park job (just pics online to guide), but good enough for my eyes!


initial guide, to get it uniform - most important bit methinks. Used bolt holes etc as reference to get it square:




made mark on tape where it first hit the flat (first reference), and then measured distance down to lower mark - to again, make it uniform on otherside:




could do with an overhead shot of both sides here, but came out as even as I found possible

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Old 14th May 2013, 11:21 PM #8
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Juicer also linked me to this lad, my old 954 was missing the stripes on the side fairings, but I ended up changing them all except tank decals
Really good quality too
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Old 14th May 2013, 11:35 PM #9
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

im gonna have to get on to this lad for commision .. LOL
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Old 14th May 2013, 11:46 PM #10
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Great how to dude!

Sticky!

Last edited by Hogkiller; 14th May 2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 15th May 2013, 12:46 AM #11
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Thanks for this. I'll be replacing some decals on my own bike soon and this will definitely come in handy.
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Old 15th May 2013, 07:12 AM #12
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Very good job and great tips
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Old 15th May 2013, 07:19 AM #13
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

bookmarked good job and some nice tips, patience is the name of the game
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Old 15th May 2013, 08:05 AM #14
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

That's a top job....bit of effort putting that together.

Fair play to ya..
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Old 15th May 2013, 08:33 AM #15
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

good job, fair play to you
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Old 15th May 2013, 09:02 AM #16
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

Originally Posted by Hogkiller
Great how to dude!

Sticky!
Agreed....
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Old 15th May 2013, 11:14 AM #17
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

cool thanks :)

I guess the only thing about vinyls vs decals, is they arent as durable - directly exposed to the elements, I think they rate them at 3-5 years life (could be very wrong here). Also little bit worried about lifting one off cleaning it etc.

So am going to look into getting a coat of clearcoat put over em - which will make them just as good and durable as decals
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Old 15th May 2013, 11:39 AM #18
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Re: HowTo: Apply Decals (picture heavy)

I'll be stickerising a resprayed bike over the next coupla weeks,
(it's taking longer than I hoped,cant find the time)
I'll let ye know how I get on but not anticipating any major woes.
Mostly the decals line up with existing lines on the bodywork.
Not really looking forward to doing it,looking forward to seeing it done though
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