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Old 10-27-2010, 09:22 PM   #1
klm4755 OP
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Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 575
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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Old 10-28-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: kansas Flint Hills
Oddometer: 562
As allways your projects are outstading, but you do reilize you will lose your bike and never find it now. bete.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:20 AM   #4
Zwei Kolben
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Mike's Sky Rancho
Oddometer: 5,451
The other option would be just to spend all that time riding it.
This is SPARTA!
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Across the pond.
Oddometer: 2,085
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.

I'd only waste my money if I didn`t spend it on all my bikes......
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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Location: northern california
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I love that you left the reflectors on the fork legs.
01 KLR650
00 GasGas XC250
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
klm4755 OP
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Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 575
Originally Posted by norcal-SAHD
I love that you left the reflectors on the fork legs.
I believe the reflectors are req'd by law.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
klm4755 OP
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Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 575
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.......
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
klm4755 OP
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Joined: Jun 2006
Oddometer: 575

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

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Old 10-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #10
a.k.a. Jake
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:11 PM   #11
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Canton, NC
Oddometer: 960
#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.
Current: 13 Ninja 300 Past: 12 KLR650, 09 Ninja 250, 98 VFR, 88 KLR650, 88 XT350, 07 ZX6R
A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves....Edward R. Murrow
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #12
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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Damn, you're quite the artist!!!
If I ever need a paintjob done I'll let you know!!!
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:17 PM   #13
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Location: puyallup wa
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I think you might have to much free time on your hands.
2000 KTM 640 enduro
1997 KTM 620 adventure
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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Sorry, after all that work it's kinda WTF?

Each their own.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:31 PM   #15
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Location: Pomona, Calif.
Oddometer: 3,081
That's crazy in a good way. You better go to a surplus store and buy a matching outfit. Ben
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