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Old 10-27-2010, 09:22 PM   #1
klm4755 OP
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 577
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..........
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