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Old 07-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #1
One Lung Wonder OP
Joined: Jul 2013
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How To Get Those Damned Stickers Off?

I bought my cruiser 3 years ago and because I am an old fart I never really thought much about all the stickers that festoon modern machinery. JFC - they are all over the place!

The wife started picking away at one of them and now it looks worse than it did before. One of the visiting tards recommended brake fluid to get them off...but that may take the paint off my tank as well.

Will a heat gun do it do ya think?
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by OldRoadToad View Post
A friend who despises these stickers uses a heat gun and then cleans the residue off with (I believe) rubbing alcohol.

Good luck.

The Toad
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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You have to get under the whole sticker not just the clear top piece otherwise it leaves the paper stuck to the tank. Once you get the hang of it you won't believe how easy it is.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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A heat gun or a hairdryer & goo-gone work very well. If the bike has seen much sun, the paint will be darker under the sticker.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by deadzed View Post
If you don't have a heat gun, a hairdryer & goo-gone work very well. If the bike has seen much sun, the paint will be darker under the sticker.
plus one to all of that. better to get the stickers off as early as possible. heat gun could go bad, hair drier is safer. I've used goof off, I assume goo gone is similar.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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Extreme care must be used with a heat gun, better to use a hair dryer, or even park in direct sunlight. You just want to soften the adhesive.

The best tool for peeling the stickers is to take an old wooden Popsicle stick, cut the end square, and bevel to a 45* chisel point with a file. You've just created a mechanical finger nail that peels stickers with ease.

The absolutely best solvent for the adhesive residue is kerosene. It doesn't hurt the paint at all, and is also perfect for removing tar spots anywhere on the bike. If you don't have any, a citrus based solvent like "Goo Gone" does very well. WD40 works in a pinch, and once again won't touch the paint. Clean up after with soapy water.

'06 Triumph Scrambler Trans-Labrador veteran
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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No harm to paint? Check.
Takes stickers off? Check.
Doesn't cost a fortune or take forever? Check.
What's it called? Simple Green.

Even those "we're gonna tow yer ass" stickers come right off. Get a paper towel wet with it, set the towel on the sticker, and wait about five minutes. Pick at it and the sticker should mostly come right off. Don't let the stuff dry, though, and wipe with plenty of water after. Unlike Goo Gone, Simple Green doesn't attack plastic. It does, however, have a thing for aluminum, so rinse well.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Everything's been covered pretty well already so I'll just add, NEVER EVER let brake fluid come in contact with paint, let alone use it as a cleaning fluid. Any of the other suggestions will be safe. As stated above, a hair dryer is safer than a heat gun. Heat guns are used to remove paint so it's all too easy to get your paint too hot and bubble it. A hair dryer won't really get hot enough to damage the paint even if you try so it's a lot safer to use and will still get the adhesive soft enough to allow the decals to be peeled off.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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DON'T use brake fluid (other than as a paint remover) and DON'T use a heat gun. It will blister the paint almost immediately. I use a hair dryer, lots of WD-40, and my fingernail. The hair dryer softens the adhesive, the WD-40 helps lubricate things so the paint doesn't get scratched, helps dissolve the adhesive, and prevents parts of the sticker you already got loose from resticking. It will be harder after 3 years, and if the paint has faded at all, there will be newer paint underneath the stickers, which will be noticeable. Best time to remove stickers is when the bike is new.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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Rubber wheel

Auto body shops sell a rubber wheel that attaches to a drill motor, it will take the sticker/adhesive right off- No fuss, no muss
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:09 AM   #11
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Take it to a detail shop and use your wife's credit card on it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:29 AM   #12
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car wash
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:39 AM   #13
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I have done this a number of times. I prefer a blow dryer. You can use a heat gun, but they get hot enough to harm the paint. Heat it up for a minute until it softens, then it will peel right up. Goof off or even rubbing alcohol will take the remaining glue off.

Use heat guns with EXTREME caution.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:45 AM   #14
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A rag dipped in gasoline works awesome to get the goo off after the hairdryer does it's work.

Way better than googone.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:28 AM   #15
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