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cowboyona426

First time installing graphics- tips?

11 posts in this topic

I got my new shrouds, and I think I'm going to try installing graphics for the first time ever tomorrow. Does anyone have any helpful tips? I've heard that spraying the shroud/graphic with soapy water helps to line it up, and sometimes a hairdryer can help you work the graphic around corners... any other suggestions you may have that might save me from destroying my new graphics? :ride:

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I am good at graphics, first thing is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Any dirt or oils will screw your graphics up. I take a spray bottle and put soapy water in it, or windex, if I don't need it to stay wet for long. The blow dryer does help, or leave your bike in the sun for awhile for the plastics to warm a bit. I also use a hand squeegy to move the bubbles out. If you get a bubble you can't work out, take a razor blade and puncture the graphic, just a tiny hole though. Should be able to squeegy it then. Also, take your time...just like painting, take your time.

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If you get a bubble you can't work out, take a razor blade and puncture the graphic, just a tiny hole though.
DO NOT take a razor to your graphics. There should be no reason to do so.

What I found works great (by searching here on TT) is a mix of water, alcohol and soap. Spray the sticky side of the graphics and the plastic with plenty of the mix and set the graphic in place. Whie it's wet you'll be able to position it exactly. Then take the hair dryer to it, working from the center to the edges with a squeegee or credit card to work the bubbles out. If something isn't working well, as long as it's still wet you can pull it up and re-position it. You can even spray more of the soapy mix if needed. Once everything looks good, go over it with the hair dryer to make sure you dry all the soapy mix. Pay particular attention to the edges and press them in real good while heating with the hair dryer. :ride:

It's really not that hard.

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does using the soap and water take away from the stickyness of the new graphics, seems like it would

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Just use windex.

Nothing else. spray it on the graphix and the plastic....it makes a huge mess but allows you to properly center and place the stickers before they get sticky. Just keep squeegeing out the windex and the stickers will eventually stick and conform .

Keeping everyting warm/hot really helps.

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no, the soap wont mess the glue up, because once the soapy water dries the adhesive sticks like it should. it seems to me that the alcohol mix would deplete the glue. windex also works well on graphics and sliding tubes into rims w/o pinches

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Use the "TFB" solution: 1 cup water, 1/4 cup alcohol 3 drips dishwashing soap. spray shroud and graphics, and install! To help align , and work out wrinkles on your side panels, use a hair drier. That will also help dry the solution and start the curing process.

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Thanks for the tips everyone, I didn't get around to doing it today and I'm riding tomorrow, but maybe Sunday I'll get them on. You can count on pics when I'm done :ride: I went with One Industries Alpha graphics... got a smoking deal on Ebay :ride:

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water in a spray bottle, a hair dryer, and a credit card is what I have had great success with.

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TAKE YOUR TIME. do it from one end of the decal to the other then work the edges. i personally wouldnt use windex or soap and water. goto a local graphics store and ask for stripe or decal application fluid. lots of times they'll let you borrow a bottle if you know them, live close, and promise to bring it back asap. or they will sell you a small bottle of the stuff.

i have installed lots of custom stripes and decals, personal and profesional (work at a body shop). that is my .02 ski

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