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Here is everything you need to know about fitting a decal on a motorbike

About our decals

We offer great variety of decal sets (more than 2000). Some of them are small and consist only of several logos, like this Kawasaki ZX-10R set, for example, and others have more than 30 pieces and consist of some really big graphics, that cover almost half of the fairing. This Suzuki GSX-R 1100 set is a great example.

 

How to appky small decals

So obviously the applying process for these two sets will be completely different. Small die-cut logos in most cases are covered with transparent transfer tape. This tape will help you to transfer the decal from its background paper to the fairing where it belongs. After you apply the sticker, you remove the transfer tape and you’re ready. The reason for having this transfer tape on top of the decal is simple: for example the “Kawasaki” logo from the already mentioned ZX-10R set is die-cut. This means, that every letter is separated from the rest and is basically a single decal. So in this “Kawasaki” logo you basically have 8 separated decals. And to put them on your bike in the same order and place, that you have them on the background paper, you need to have transfer tape. The aim is that when you lift the transfer tape, all the letters will stay on the back of it. That way you will lift them all together and then put them on the bike in absolutely the same order as they should be. With this type of decals you don’t need any water or soap. You just need to push them from one side to the other with a Squeegee or a credit card, so there will be no air underneath the decal. Finally you remove the transfer tape and that’s it – job done.

 

How to apply large decals

In the other hand there are some big one-piece graphics, that are sometimes longer than 500mm. This type of decals don’t need any transfer tape on them. Firstly because they are made from only one piece and in that case the transfer tape will not have anything to hold in place and secondly because it will prevent the graphics from stretching. The fairings and panels of a motorcycle are always curvy. And to get a big decal to follow the curves of the panel you need to stretch it a little bit. So if you have transfer tape on top of such decal it will be much harder for you to stretch it. For stretching a decal the first thing you need is heat. It may come from a heat gun or a hair dryer, it doesn’t matter, the final result will be similar. The heat will make the vinyl weaker for a moment and in this exact moment you can stretch it just a little, so it can go around the curve of the panel. And when the vinyl cools down, it will get back to its original thickness.

 

The other thing you need when applying bigger decal is “soapy water”, which is basically water mixed with normal liquid soap for washing hands. You need to spray the soapy water on the panel and on the back of the decal in the same time. That way when you put the decal on the fairing, it will not stick. And that is exactly what you need at the beginning, because that will help you to put the decal on its exact place where it should be and that never happens on the first try. The decal needs some adjusting, so it can go on its exact place. So the soapy water will help you to slide the decal where it should be. When you succeed with that, you need to start removing the soapy water. For that purpose you will have a professional squeegee included in your package along with the decal set. When you start pushing the top of the decal with the squeegee, the soapy water underneath the decal will start to go to the edges and then out. After all of the water is out, the adhesive of the decal will start doing its job again and the decal will be finally placed. The soapy water also has another benefit: using it will avoid getting any air bubbles trapped underneath the decal. It is absolutely impossible to apply a big decal and not having air bubbles underneath without the help of soapy water. In some cases some drops of the soapy water itself can be trapped underneath the decal, but that can be easily resolved: The first solution is by just leaving it and waiting several weeks for the water to vaporize. Or if you have a very sharp model knife, you can cut a 2-3mm section of the vinyl just above the water bubble and then push the water out.

 

See our detailed YouTube explanation videos

We have created some detailed YouTube videos, that show the whole process of applying all types of decals – from the biggest and longest stripes of the ’07 Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade, that go through a lot of curves, to the little decals from the ’07 Yamaha YZF-R6 sticker set. Fitting stickers on a twisty motorcycle gas tank is also worth mentioning, that's why we also created a video for the tank graphics from this '09 Honda CBR 1000RR set. Watching these videos will definitely help you get an idea of what you should do to apply the decals, that you can buy from MOTO-STICKER.COM. However, if you don’t have experience with something like that and you bought a sticker set that includes big graphics, maybe you can go to a professional and leave the installation of the decals to him. Because watching the videos doesn’t definitely guarantee you, that you will succeed to apply your decals perfectly and the last thing we want is you to ruin your stickers and to be unsatisfied with your purchase from us.

 

Remember, that the first thing you need to do before starting to apply any decals is to clean the panels (or the surface, that you will use to apply the decal on). Every panel must be perfectly clean and also very good degreased. You also need to work on a normal room temperature. The bike should not be ridden before you start the installation of the decals (because when you ride your bike it gets hot). If you apply the decals on your motorcycle you should leave it for 24 hours before you use it again. For this period all the water should disappear and the adhesive of the decals will stick to the surface as it should.

 

Take your time, be patient and careful during the installation of your decals and your bike will look as good as new again, just as the bikes of our happy customers, that you can see in our GALLERY section.

 

How to apply stickers on a flat motorcycle fairing:

 

Fitting a large graphic on a twisty side fairing:

 

Fitting vinyl graphics on a motorcycle gas tank: