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Old 05-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
Narsisco Lopez OP
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Safari Tank Wrap Day

As some may know, my brother and I have been doing some experimenting with "sustainable" vinyl wrapping of my new black Safari tanks... with "sustainable" in this particular instance referring to making the vinyl SUSTAIN its adhesive properties and STAY PUT on these slippery damned tanks!

The first experiment, Safari Tank Wrap Experiment - Graphics Feedback Requested went very well,.. stayed put for more than 800 miles; no lifting, no bubbling, no nothing. So, we decided to pull off the first experimental piece and wrap both tanks using a method a few 3M big brains suggested.

The photos below show today's process...



Yes, that's a MAP torch and, yes, he's pre-heating the tank (and yes... we have a fully-charged fire extinguisher standing by )



Primer being applied



Placing the vinyl



Squeegee work



Fire is your friend when professionally-wrapping anything



Doing a proper wrap job is 100% proper technique







Right side done



Laying out the vinyl on the left side



More heat to help stretch the vinyl into place



A good squeegee technique is critical





Gretchen playing "watch" dog and keeping us company



Extra primer on the top leading edge



Right side done



Another shot of the completed left side



So, both tanks took him approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Next step: he'll cut my custom logos this week. Here's the Photoshopped mock-up of the design I came up with...



More photos and commentary when we apply the new graphics.
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Narsisco Lopez screwed with this post 05-19-2012 at 04:53 PM
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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Love your work.

Let me be the first to say that looks AWESOME! You now know your in a 'Long term testing' phase and you have to keep reporting back on it's progress with updates
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TcRulz View Post
Let me be the first to say that looks AWESOME! You now know your in a 'Long term testing' phase and you have to keep reporting back on it's progress with updates
Thanks very much!

To be completely honest... 1 month and 800 miles is a pretty short-term test. I'll consider "long-term" at least 1 full riding season. Let's see how it looks when I get back from this August's Dalton Highway trip
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Why the MAP torch vs a heat gun?
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by xdbx View Post
Why the MAP torch vs a heat gun?
I believe it's all personal preference for the installer. My brother said he likes MAP for its instant, directed heat. He's been using it so long, he knows exactly how to control it.

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Originally Posted by BaronVonDarrin View Post
Is this something I could have done at a graphics shop?
Yes... by a qualified, 3M-certified installer. But be warned: all 3M-certified installers are not equal in their overall experience and skill level. Obviously, the more wraps and more diverse kinds of wraps (many different vehicles, vehicle types, wrap material, etc.) the installer has done, the better he/she should be. But, my brother told me he's re-wrapped projects done by 3M-certified wrappers that made him scratch his head and mutter, "WTF???"

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Originally Posted by Alleycatdad View Post
Dude.

This pic makes me want to puke. I can't even get race numbers on right, and that's a LOT of vinyl. Your fella is one talented guy!

Looks great. I'm skeptical about the longevity on the tank, but it sure looks good so far!

Steve
I'll pass on your compliments to my brother

Your skepticism is understandable and evidence of a healthy mind

Hopefully, you'll understand my skepticism about all the various talk on this forum about it NOT being able to stay put long-term. I never thought it was fuel that was out-gassing through the plastic (my professional experience with plastics for a big manufacturer back in the 80s made me doubtful) and the 3M chemist my brother spoke with corroborated that doubt. If ANY out-gassing is happening, it's more than likely coming from the component parts of the plastic itself.

The consensus seems to be it all comes down to proper prep, proper selection of the material, and proper installation. But, as I've said before, I might be eating a lot of crow and taking my fair share of shit if this vinyl doesn't stay put. Time will make the case. Let's see what happens over this riding season.

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Originally Posted by syzygy9 View Post
Knowing absolutely nothing about vinyl wrap (but about to get a pair of safari tanks fitted) I was wondering why you didn't take the tanks off to wrap them?
He did his "test wrap" of the right side tank while it was brand-new and off the tank. He didn't like the lack of leverage and preferred to do the "real wrap" with the tanks on the bike. There's a lot of re-lifting, pulling, and stretching that goes on and it's nice to have the surface you're wrapping NOT wanna move around with the vinyl
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Narsisco Lopez screwed with this post 05-21-2012 at 06:05 AM
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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I would guess there are other colors available right? How bout an orange vinyl to match the stock color as a base to then apply whatever logos and such one wanted?
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #7
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I would guess there are other colors available right? How bout an orange vinyl to match the stock color as a base to then apply whatever logos and such one wanted?

Yep... there are a HUGE number of colors, textures, gloss/matte finishes. Your imagination is the only limitation (ok... your wallet contents is a significant limiting factor )
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Very courageous experimenting...

Can't believe doing this to new Safari Tanks. Many here to be thankful for your inquisitions. Wrap your side covers and tail section with all that extra cf vinyl. Your concept looks fantastic... I hope it sticks. I could foresee a variety of colors added to all Safari tanks... Imagine wrapping complete bike including yellowish SF tanks rally blue with RedBull team logos...
Deadly 99 could now easily change team colors with the seasons..
Love it...
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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David: your brother is an artist

I look forward to having him wrap my Sprinter's hood in carbon after we get back from Dinosaur

After the first question (which is will it bubble over time ) the other main question is how well will it hold up when you toss 'er in the pickies
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:02 AM   #10
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I see this bubble was still there as the job progressed. Did he get it out at the end?
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Geek View Post
After the first question (which is will it bubble over time )
We'll see what happens over this season. He had a very long conversation with a lead 3M chemist when they visited last week. They discussed the various issues and she was confident it all came down to proper initial prep and proper installation. Again... time will tell. She asked to see photos over the next few months.

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the other main question is how well will it hold up when you toss 'er in the pickies
Yeah, that's the biggie, ain't it? Might have to have a set of crash bars modded to fit these beasts!

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I see this bubble was still there as the job progressed. Did he get it out at the end?
That isn't a bubble, it's an imperfection in the Safari tank (and these tanks have many )... big enough that we PROBABLY should have sanded it off. We'll knock it down on the next wrap
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narsisco Lopez View Post

That isn't a bubble, it's an imperfection in the Safari tank (and these tanks have many )... big enough that we PROBABLY should have sanded it off. We'll knock it down on the next wrap
Shame you did not spot it before :(

The tanks look stunning. It must take great skill to handle the wrap so you stretch it only where required.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:21 PM   #13
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Is this something I could have done at a graphics shop?
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:00 AM   #14
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It looks great.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:33 AM   #15
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Looks sweet! I am very interested in how these turn out for my own guilty reasons.

Good Job
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