Tips on applying grahics

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#1
I am replacing my grahpics on my GasGas and would like some tip from the pro's...

What is the best way to prep the plastic??

Will I need a neat gun??

Any info will help....

Thanks

Rick (SHORT 10 And A Wake Up):D
 
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#2
Rick,

I'm no pro, but I did get some great advice from a sign guy who does primarily die cut graphics. Using his method, I just completed my first graphics job on my son's bike. It came out great, and was surprisingly easy to do.

I usually clean my plastic with a small amount of mildly abrasive go-jo on a damp rag. After cleaning, wipe the plastic down with rubbing alchohol. Dry fit the graphic, using masking tape to hold it in place, and use a grease pencil to mark about 1/8" from the edge at several locations. An index mark (just a small line drawn from the graphic to the plastic) helps align the rotation if the graphic is fairly large.

Fill a quart sprayer 3/4 full of warm water, add a drop of dish detergent, and shake lightly. Warm the graphic with a heat gun or hair dryer. Spray a fine mist of the soap/water solution on the plastic. Peel half the backing off and align the other half of the graphic. Working from the middle with a squeegee (I used a small spreader made for body filler, get the rubber ones if you can find them), apply the graphic to the tank squeezing out air bubbles as you go. Check the alignment often, as it is possible to slide the graphic around somewhat before it is fully applied. If you're as slow as me, you'll need to re-wet the tank before applying the second half. Peel the backing off the other side, and squeegee on.

I needed a heat gun to get the graphic to flow into all the nooks and crannies on the radiator shrouds. I got a bit carried away and melted a small corner of the graphic, so be careful.

That was it. Including prep time and admiring the finished product over a beer, it took about two hours for everything. Hope this helps.

Jeff
 
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#3
Any soapy water method that allows positioning the graphics is fine. Also clean the plastic with contact cleaner before starting. I use a hair drier and a stiff sponge to smooth out any bubbles, and remove as much water from under the graphic as possible. I then let it sit for a day before riding with it.

Did you get the OEM GG or the Throttlle Jockey graphics ? I'm coming due for a seat cover and may do the whole package, just wan't to know what you think of the TJ stuff. I like the simple, clean look.

Glenn
'00 GasGas XC250
 
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#4
dirtnuts,

thanks for the tips. I'll be knee deep in grahics this weekend...

GleenP,

My seat cover is in really good shape, so I went w/OEM...... I would have bought the TJ if I needed a seat cover........ I'd like to find a solid black gripper seat cover....

Rick (SHORT 10 And a wake up:D)
 

WoodsRider

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#5
I usually wait until I'm selling the bike before installing new graphics. That way I don't ruin them. :D
 
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#6
Woods,

I managed to crack both radaitor shrounds.....thank goodness for zipties..... If it was not for having to replace the shrouds it would not be replacing the graphics.....

Rick.....Shorter by the minute......
 

WoodsRider

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#7
WR - Have you noticed the Hebo plastic seems to be a little more brittle that say UFO, Acerbis or stock Japanese plastic? My headlight bezel shattered when I hit a tree last month. Both Offroadr and another friend of mine who owns a '99 200 have replaced several fenders, shrouds and headlight bezels too.
 
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#8
I heard Windex is good too. I'll try that next time.

I think the shrouds are the one piece of plastic bodywork thats Hebo/GasGas specific. If you run radiator guards, to keep them from flexing back and pulling from the radiator grommets, run a zip tie through the top hole in the front of the shroud, around the top and through the radiator guard. This helps a lot where brush can otherwise catch and rip the shroud off.

Glenn
'00 GasGas XC250