How to apply clear vinyl sheet???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bigtrailie, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. bigtrailie

    bigtrailie Pursuing happiness

    Feb 11, 2005
    Jackson, MI
    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....
  2. 74C5

    74C5 Long timer

    Aug 7, 2008
    El Dorado Hills, CA
    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.
  3. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

    Jul 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    few drops of dish soap of water in a spray bottle

    you probably want to keep the parts above freezing for a few days......
  4. YukonTracker

    YukonTracker Ride your Way

    Jul 30, 2008
    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.
  5. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Nov 20, 2009
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    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.:cry:cry:cry Just a warning, I don't think that applies to Honda plastics. Certainly wouldn't to my old XR.:clap
  6. Bounder

    Bounder ExternallyDisplaced

    Mar 2, 2011
    West Cork, Ireland
    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.
  7. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

    Apr 2, 2009
    Prince George, BC
    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.