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Old 10-24-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
Orangecicle OP
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: West Des Moines, IA
Oddometer: 2,062
Replacing KTM decals -- say goodbye to Mr. Bubbles!

So, I'm finally getting my KTM about where I want it.

Pelican case installed on the back -- check.
BlackDog Cycle Works sidestand relocator -- check.
New tires and brake pads -- check.
Bar risers -- check.

But, the KTM tank stickers just bug the heck out of me. The bike is wonderful, but it looks like it's a reject from a leper colony:



The time has come to attack this issue. I could buy the replacement decals from KTM, for a measly $220.00. I'm sorry KTM, but bite me.

I know that a thousand others must have done this before, but here's my solution. First, I had to track down some low-tack automotive tracing/masking paper -- like the stuff you see used in airbrush shops. I found what I was looking for at a local sign shop.

Step one -- take your wife's best holiday kitchen towel and wipe down the beast:



Step two -- carefully apply low-tack tracing paper:



Step three -- start smoothing and trimming the tracing paper so that you get it to lay on the surface cleanly without wrinkles:



Step -- er, 15, trace the outline:



This front bit is a little more tricky. The paper wants to wrinkle because of the the curve. I hope it won't be a problem going back on. Time will tell.






Next, remove said tracing paper:



. . . trying not to wrinkle it or allowing it to stick itself together. Your efforts are pretty much toast if you allow the sticky sides to stick together.



I couldn't think of a better way to transport the tracing back to the sign shop, so I just rolled the pieces back on the roll that it came on:



OK, back to the sign shop!



As I started talking to the guys at the shop, we kicked around different ideas of what to do. They could just cut new black pieces to replace the old vinyl. That would be fine. I do like the look of the stock bike. Then I noticed that the guys had large pieces of 3M Scotchlite. Hmmm. Should I?

Then the owner of the shop noted that they make road signs for the Department of Transportation, which just start out as high quality reflective material that they print on top of and then clear coat over. The print quality is exceptional, and the guy noted, "We can print anything on reflective material. We could print a picture of your daughter there if that's what you want." Hmmm. Maybe reflective black with a little "Ride the World" in reflective orange? Maybe flames shooting down the side of the bike? Hmmm. I'm gonna have to think about this.

More to come.
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