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Old 02-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
bigtrailie OP
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How to apply clear vinyl sheet???

I am planning to mount a giant loop mojave bag to my xr650r. I know from past experience that a saddle bag will grind sand and silt into the plastic and leave the white side covers looking not-so-white afterwards.

I was hoping to add a layer of clear protective vinyl sheet to the white side panels - but I have no experience with the stuff. I can bring the side panels indoors assuming that the vinyl will adhere better at room temp (I have to keep my beer in the fridge to prevent freezing -- very cold garage). But if they are mounted on the bike, I have a planted, fixed surface to work with, rather than a loose piece of plastic bodywork.

Looking for suggestions....
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #2
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The 3M stuff goes on by applying a dilute soap solution to the part and the film. Position and then stretch and squeegee until all the bubbles and creases are out. Note that on some complex geometries, you may need to cut a V in the film because you can't make it go in the "unshrink" direction.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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few drops of dish soap of water in a spray bottle

you probably want to keep the parts above freezing for a few days......
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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on a 16oz water spray bottle use 1-2 drops of liquid dish soap. Have a squeegee (or credit card type of device). Cut vinyl to size. Clean surface with windex type cleaner. Spray water on surface and sticky side of vinyl. Place in position and use squeegee stroking air out from centre to edge. Applying at room temp of surface is best. After application lightly heat surface with hair dryer to activate glue.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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Get the right squeegee. Should be available where you buy the film and makes all the difference in applying.Too hard such as credit cards may damage the plastic film as you try to squeeze the bubbles out. Too soft and you can't get them out. Helps sliding the squeegee if you keep the outside of the film lightly lubed with water and a drop of dish soap.

Surface prep is important, may be waxes or sillycones on the surface. You may want to prewash with Naphta/Coleman gas to remove that then finish with alcohols such as Methyl Hydrate or Isopropyl.

Also, I understand you can reposition but one of my friends had big problems with that. Lightly rock chipped BMW water based paint, just enough of the fluid got onto the water based primer that when he tried to remove and reposition some of the paint lifted. Just a warning, I don't think that applies to Honda plastics. Certainly wouldn't to my old XR.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:44 AM   #6
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You can get ski top tape, its very thick clear tape that is used to protect skis, comes in 5" wide strips.
Heating it with a hairdryer will help form it and make the adhesive very sticky.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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Another tip - When you mix up your soap/water solution, use HOT water. That will help soften the vinyl and make it more pliable, while reducing the amount of heat you'll have to apply with a heat gun, freeing up both hands to work the vinyl and squeegee.
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