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klm4755 10-27-2010 09:22 PM

Digital Desert camouflage the KLR650 step-by-step walk thru
Enclosed is a step by step walk thru outlining a project to digital desert camouflage a KLR650. I have seen several camo style bikes. The USMC adopted the KLR650 as it's primary motorcycle. The USMC version is shown below:

I start all projects with a review of the components to be removed and modified
There are multiple techniques to apply camouflage.
1. Paint
2. Vinyl graphic decal
I attempted to paint the bike one part/section at a time. I started with a mirror and front brake hub. To paint digital desert graphic the process is as follows:
1. Remove and mask component
2. Degrease and clean with alcohol
3. skuff part with 220 grit sandpaper metallic, 400 grit for plastic part
4. Primer 2x coats for metallic part, no primer for plastic part
5. Paint with light color first Krylon fusion khaki 2-3 coats
6. get female type digital template decal sticker (from e-bay)
mask the item roto hub shown
adding stickers to mirror
paint with next darker color, mirror shown
krylon darker flat camouflage color
decals after usage, they are reusable....At this point I realized this is not going to work...The process is too time consuming and the results are marginal....So on to plan B
I ordered couple digital desert sheets from, they are shown below next to real digital desert camo
3M material
peal back and apply like a sticker, still not really happy with the pattern. So, on to a plan C
I ordered some double sided carpet tape from Lowes, Mildew resistant, very sticky....about the same as high quality duct tape
added a small swatch to the hood of my CRV....Held up well over 8 months thru 6 washes, lots of various weather
I ordered 10 yards of 100% nylon digital desert camouflage for $20 from e-bay. I ended up using about 70% of the material. I also ended up using about 6 rolls of carpet take, About 70% of the visable bike is covered in the camo cloth, 25% is painted in either Khaki (Krylon fusion ultra flat camouflage) or sand color for the high temp parts. About 5% is not pained, wheels, valve stems and such
Apply the double sided tape to the camo cloth, Use a heat gun to wick the adhesive into the nylon fibers, I also used a roller (shown later) to press the tape up against the fabric.
peal back tape protection layer with Exacto knife
I ended up consuming about 100 blades Exacto blade # 11 works best
peal back layer
lay part on top and keep creases to minimum, unfortunatly one the tape touches the part, it is very difficult to re-position
work thru, in this case, a part of the front fender
like so, full coverage
use Exacto to trim excess
trim out all holes
use heat gun to drape cloth and tape to form tight to contour
finished part
use soldering iron to cauterize the trim lines
after soldering iron to edge, keeps from fraying the ends
fork brace parts completed
headlight guard covered
headlight guard after trim
turn signal
let tape connect, not lap over
trim back with scissors
trim edge
finished turn signal, part paint part camo
turn signal attached to headlight guard
dissemble dash
mask dask
ready for paint
couple of coats
fork brace
skid plate
for fork guard, the tape does not stick, so I'll use a 3M adhesive spray for rubber
stretch out the rubber fork guard and apply the cloth with adhesive, allow to dry, the cloth adheres very well
paint other parts
prep front faring
front faring
back side of faring
front forks
wrap around fabric
contact ends together
trim ends
small seam exposed
front end
running lights and fender
dash area
finished front area
checking swatches on bike.....
To be continued..........

Yooper_Bob 10-28-2010 07:37 AM

WOW!! :eek1

bete 10-28-2010 07:59 AM

As allways your projects are outstading, but you do reilize you will lose your bike and never find it now. :rofl bete.

SCQTT 10-28-2010 08:20 AM

The other option would be just to spend all that time riding it. :D

Tarka 10-28-2010 09:10 AM

That`s a hell of a lot of work,but it looks awesome.

All that trouble to make others think their digital cameras are faulty. :D

carburated 10-28-2010 09:32 AM

I love that you left the reflectors on the fork legs. :lol3

klm4755 10-28-2010 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by norcal-SAHD
I love that you left the reflectors on the fork legs. :lol3

I believe the reflectors are req'd by law.

klm4755 10-28-2010 05:54 PM

The fuel tank removed from the bike
drain the fuel
remove the fuel cap, mark the major direction of up/down as the camo patter should be aligned vertically and horizontally.
gross cut the size needed. I'll use 3x sections to envelop the tank
start on side
trim edges as you go
side view 1st layer
added protector back on sticky layer, don't want to press down yet, will form a seam at the tank crease
add additional top layer, match the exposed layers together
allow to contact
press together
trim flash
paint exhaust guard and tank guards
clean, scuff (with 220 grit sand paper), prime engine and exhaust with high temp primer
paint engine with high temp stove paint, sand color
paint carb, and exhaust
close-up of paint on engine exhaust
standoff view of progress
camo the tank guard bags, I used a 3M adhesive
finished left bag
need to mount the bag here
size the mounting panel needed
trim as needed
de-burr edges
good fit
quick check fit...A-ok
interior bag bracket, tap 4 mm hole to support mounting bracket
fits like so..
Camo the mounting panel
both sides
trim flash
attach mounting plate on bike, with heavy duty cable ties
bolt bags to bike mounting panel
Tank faring
engine paint job
paint steel horn...notice the high pressure line. I separated the actual horn from the air source
the air horn mounted here
front view
high temp paint used sand color
fuse box shown
front view
top of tank installed
front view with lights on
progress so far
side view
To be continued.......

klm4755 10-28-2010 06:31 PM
side panel
trim edges
edge sample
side panel on bike and overall progress
Rear parts off for paint prep
sanded rear foot pegs
painted parts
painted exhaust
rear wheel cleaned, sanded, masked, ready for primer
rear wheel after paint
remove masking on rear wheel
painted wheel
rear brake line covered
finished rear brake system
primer swing arm
misc parts painted
rear rack, I seemed to get better at keeping the fabric applied without creases as I went
underside view
looks good
set-up for panniers
just flip on material, best to use a single piece
flip again
camo pannier lock
pannier lock before and after
pannier cables...lower line = 12v line to power phone, ipod and heated clothes, upper line to control heated gloves and jacket
inside pannier
swing arm view
back view pannier lock, turn signals, plate frame, extended fender, and rack shown
right side view
underside view
seat...draped with 3x sections
Right side pannier
front view
left side view
left side pannier, knobs control heated gloves and jacket
front offset view
dash view
left side view
ready to ride...notice I have a 2" drop kit

space 10-28-2010 06:42 PM



doogiepooch 10-28-2010 07:11 PM

#1 - I like it, took bawlz and imagination to do that to your bike.
#2 - I'm curious to see what it looks like after a few months in rain, mud, road debris, chain grease etc. But the patch on your car still looked good so maybe it will look like new also.
#3 - How do you like your windsheild addition? I've been thinking about ordering that thing.

schattat 10-28-2010 07:35 PM

Damn, you're quite the artist!!! :thumb
If I ever need a paintjob done I'll let you know!!! :freaky

scrminbanshee 10-28-2010 08:17 PM

I think you might have to much free time on your hands.

pluric 10-28-2010 09:49 PM

Sorry, after all that work it's kinda WTF?

Each their own.

Ben99r1 10-28-2010 10:31 PM

That's crazy in a good way. You better go to a surplus store and buy a matching outfit. Ben

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