Safari Tank Wrap Day

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Narsisco Lopez, May 19, 2012.

  1. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    As some may know, my brother and I have been doing some experimenting with "sustainable" vinyl wrapping of my new black Safari tanks... with "sustainable" in this particular instance referring to making the vinyl SUSTAIN its adhesive properties and STAY PUT on these slippery damned tanks! :D

    The first experiment, Safari Tank Wrap Experiment - Graphics Feedback Requested went very well,.. stayed put for more than 800 miles; no lifting, no bubbling, no nothing. So, we decided to pull off the first experimental piece and wrap both tanks using a method a few 3M big brains suggested.

    The photos below show today's process...

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    Yes, that's a MAP torch and, yes, he's pre-heating the tank (and yes... we have a fully-charged fire extinguisher standing by :D )

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    Primer being applied

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    Placing the vinyl

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    Squeegee work

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    Fire is your friend when professionally-wrapping anything

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    Doing a proper wrap job is 100% proper technique

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    Right side done

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    Laying out the vinyl on the left side

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    More heat to help stretch the vinyl into place

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    A good squeegee technique is critical

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    Gretchen playing "watch" dog and keeping us company

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    Extra primer on the top leading edge

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    Right side done

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    Another shot of the completed left side

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    So, both tanks took him approximately 2 1/2 hours.

    Next step: he'll cut my custom logos this week. Here's the Photoshopped mock-up of the design I came up with...

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    More photos and commentary when we apply the new graphics.
    #1
  2. TcRulz

    TcRulz Been here awhile

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    Let me be the first to say that looks AWESOME! You now know your in a 'Long term testing' phase and you have to keep reporting back on it's progress with updates:deal
    #2
  3. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Thanks very much! :freaky

    To be completely honest... 1 month and 800 miles is a pretty short-term test. I'll consider "long-term" at least 1 full riding season. Let's see how it looks when I get back from this August's Dalton Highway trip :D
    #3
  4. xdbx

    xdbx Motorcycle Connoisseur

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    Why the MAP torch vs a heat gun?
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  5. Alti Tude

    Alti Tude Been here awhile

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    I would guess there are other colors available right? How bout an orange vinyl to match the stock color as a base to then apply whatever logos and such one wanted?
    #5
  6. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Yep... there are a HUGE number of colors, textures, gloss/matte finishes. Your imagination is the only limitation (ok... your wallet contents is a significant limiting factor :lol3 )
    #6
  7. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Can't believe doing this to new Safari Tanks. Many here to be thankful for your inquisitions. Wrap your side covers and tail section with all that extra cf vinyl. Your concept looks fantastic... I hope it sticks. I could foresee a variety of colors added to all Safari tanks... Imagine wrapping complete bike including yellowish SF tanks rally blue with RedBull team logos...
    Deadly 99 could now easily change team colors with the seasons..
    Love it...
    #7
  8. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    David: your brother is an artist :bow

    I look forward to having him wrap my Sprinter's hood in carbon after we get back from Dinosaur :freaky

    After the first question (which is will it bubble over time :lurk) the other main question is how well will it hold up when you toss 'er in the pickies :D
    #8
  9. Peanuts

    Peanuts Long timer

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    I see this bubble was still there as the job progressed. Did he get it out at the end?
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Todd34

    Todd34 Toubab

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    It looks great.:thumb
    #10
  11. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    We'll see what happens over this season. He had a very long conversation with a lead 3M chemist when they visited last week. They discussed the various issues and she was confident it all came down to proper initial prep and proper installation. Again... time will tell. She asked to see photos over the next few months.

    Yeah, that's the biggie, ain't it? Might have to have a set of crash bars modded to fit these beasts! :deal

    That isn't a bubble, it's an imperfection in the Safari tank (and these tanks have many )... big enough that we PROBABLY should have sanded it off. We'll knock it down on the next wrap :lol3
    #11
  12. liftedlimo

    liftedlimo PNW Stump Jumper

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    Looks sweet! I am very interested in how these turn out for my own guilty reasons.

    Good Job:clap:freaky
    #12
  13. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

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    Awesome- can't wait to see the final outcome!

    Hope it sticks well -
    #13
  14. Peanuts

    Peanuts Long timer

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    Shame you did not spot it before :(

    The tanks look stunning. It must take great skill to handle the wrap so you stretch it only where required.
    #14
  15. BaronVonDarrin

    BaronVonDarrin Been here awhile

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    Is this something I could have done at a graphics shop?
    #15
  16. Alleycatdad

    Alleycatdad Unbunch yer panties!

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    Dude.

    This pic makes me want to puke. I can't even get race numbers on right, and that's a LOT of vinyl. Your fella is one talented guy!

    Looks great. I'm sceptical about the longevity on the tank, but it sure looks good so far!

    Steve
    #16
  17. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    I believe it's all personal preference for the installer. My brother said he likes MAP for its instant, directed heat. He's been using it so long, he knows exactly how to control it.

    Yes... by a qualified, 3M-certified installer. But be warned: all 3M-certified installers are not equal in their overall experience and skill level. Obviously, the more wraps and more diverse kinds of wraps (many different vehicles, vehicle types, wrap material, etc.) the installer has done, the better he/she should be. But, my brother told me he's re-wrapped projects done by 3M-certified wrappers that made him scratch his head and mutter, "WTF???"

    I'll pass on your compliments to my brother :thumb

    Your skepticism is understandable and evidence of a healthy mind :evil

    Hopefully, you'll understand my skepticism about all the various talk on this forum about it NOT being able to stay put long-term. I never thought it was fuel that was out-gassing through the plastic (my professional experience with plastics for a big manufacturer back in the 80s made me doubtful) and the 3M chemist my brother spoke with corroborated that doubt. If ANY out-gassing is happening, it's more than likely coming from the component parts of the plastic itself.

    The consensus seems to be it all comes down to proper prep, proper selection of the material, and proper installation. But, as I've said before, I might be eating a lot of crow and taking my fair share of shit if this vinyl doesn't stay put. Time will make the case. Let's see what happens over this riding season.

    He did his "test wrap" of the right side tank while it was brand-new and off the tank. He didn't like the lack of leverage and preferred to do the "real wrap" with the tanks on the bike. There's a lot of re-lifting, pulling, and stretching that goes on and it's nice to have the surface you're wrapping NOT wanna move around with the vinyl :D
    #17
  18. syzygy9

    syzygy9 Been here awhile

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    Knowing absolutely nothing about vinyl wrap (but about to get a pair of safari tanks fitted) I was wondering why you didn't take the tanks off to wrap them?
    #18
  19. kanur

    kanur cu new er

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    Very Nice :ricky
    #19
  20. Terence FFM

    Terence FFM prof. cat-herder

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    I gotta say, I like your logo better than the new one from KTM too.
    #20