Safari Tank Wrap Day

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

  1. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    FWIW, I have had the 3M stuff on the outside of my car for about 3 years here in Colorado without a single issue. :freaky Snow, sun, ice, rain, still looks like the day I out it on.
    #41
  2. Johnf3

    Johnf3 Long timer

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    Right, I would expect that. Your car body panels aren't plastic and aren't filled with gas. Well. they may be plastic,
    #42
  3. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    My comment was in reply to the guy saying the 3M stuff was not intended for outdoor use. :deal. Just pointing out that I've had the stuff in use outdoors for years with success.


    I don't have any fuel tanks wrapped but the parts wrapped are plastic.
    #43
  4. ColoSean

    ColoSean Yard-sale Expert

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    I've seen this bike in person, and the wrap looks good! The original poster did a great job and it looks sharp. If it passes all of the tests, I'll def have to look into this as an option! I hate the bubbles in my tank. :cry
    #44
  5. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Muchos gracias, amigo! I'll keep you posted as the test progresses. I hate bubbles on/in my tank, too :wink:
    #45
  6. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I've seen city metro buses wrapped with advertising, and they seem to use a perforated wrap material to continue the graphic over the windows.

    Could this perforated wrap material be used on a poly tank and prevent the bubbles altogether?
    #46
  7. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    The perforated material has about 50% of the material removed, so yes, you reduce the chances for bubbles, but you don't prevent them 100% as there's still the opportunity for out-gassing right under the places where there's still material.

    As an update, I'm seeing more bubbles here and there... seems to happen more on warmer days. I've been cutting tiny slots and pushing the vinyl back down... this definitely works, to an extent (meaning the vinyl stays on the tank where it was previously-lifted), but I can see it can turn into a regular chore while the out-gassing is active. I'm still waiting on the 3M chemists we spoke with to reply and see if they offer up any additional solutions.

    I'm keeping my eye on the German LC8 forum where the gentleman just used <a href="http://www.jpcycles.com/product/720-469" target="_new">Kreem</a> to seal his Safari tanks, then painted them...

    <a href="http://forum.lc8.info/viewtopic.php?t=20176&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30&sid=8c95083629c1abc6779fea48c58f3fd5" target="_new">forum.lc8.info</a>

    [​IMG]

    Gonna keep an eye on this thread to see if he reports peeling or if the paint job remains stable. If it stays stable, I just might consider Kreeming my tanks over this winter (gonna need some projects to keep me out of trouble anyway!)
    #47
  8. Johnf3

    Johnf3 Long timer

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    Kreem is designed for metal tanks, but it might work on plastic. You are gunna need a 55 gallon drum for Safari tanks.:D

    Be careful if you do it. Plently of horror stories out there involving Kreem. Once it starts coming loose from the inside of the tanks, it will absolutely cause havoc with your fuel system. I'd say there are many better choices out there if you go the liquid lining route.
    #48
  9. Jerm

    Jerm Soul Adventurer

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    ...I'd have to agree that it's going to bubble up again due to the plastic surface which is not smooth if you look at it under magnification. The porous-type surface along with the fact that fuel vapor is also 'leaching' though the plastic (not noticeable, but it is) will cause the bubbles to reappear.
    I'm not chiming in to discourage the idea or to be negative, I just have about 15 years in wide format printing and have been through several 'wrap' clinics over the years myself.
    The application was done skillfully imo, but I think the other forces will continue to work against you.
    It'd be great if the test is successful and I'm wrong because I have some cool ideas for graphics and would love to do this to mine.

    Keep us posted!
    #49
  10. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    After doing quite a bit of research trying to find the best way to color an IMS (polyethylene) tank on my DRZ the consensus of plastic and paint experts, motorcycle hobbyist experimenters, and others trying to color this plastic is that there isn't anything that will make a long lasting bond to this particular material. I probably read a hundred different articles, as I kept searching for the "holy grail" for the best way to do this. Turns out the best way is to dye it during the manufacturing process.

    The material is porous.

    It is fuel gasses coming through.

    The only way to get the material colored is to heat it to near 200 degrees while soaking in a caustic (not RIT household) dye solution, with the risk of deforming the shape.

    I read of those who tried:
    flame treating the plastic,
    various automotive plastic primers,
    sanding rough,
    sanding smooth,
    extreme cleaning measures,
    coating the inside prior to painting with a variety of sealants,
    soaking in hot tap water with dye, etc.
    and each met with disappointment in the long term.

    Nothing seems to stick to this stuff for long. Especially with fuel in it.

    One article I read touting "success" in restoration of a Can-Am tank on a vintage bike. On the painted tank, between each use he recommended draining all fuel from the tank, filling with water, draining, and drying (very practical, huh?), else the paint will begin to separate from the tank. Some success that was.

    The perforated graphics on motocross bikes seem to have the most longevity on this plastic. At least when the bubbles appear they will eventually expand out to hit a hole, collapse and re-adhere.

    That is why I was asking about that type of wrap. I think it would have the best chance, but I'd prefer someone else proving the theory on an ADV. :wink:
    #50
  11. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Like I said above, I ain't doing shit until I see what happens to this guy's tank...

    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. hattah79

    hattah79 .

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    The bubbles Are they only showing themselves on Safari tanks that are wrapped or
    Is the same problem happening on the standard KTM tanks that are wrapped
    #52
  13. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    Standard tank should be fine. Different material and painted.

    My stock tanks are covered in clear bra and it's been fine.
    #53
  14. AdventureDave

    AdventureDave MMMMM Bundy!

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    #54
  15. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Interesting idea... I think someone mentioned a similar idea somewhere else in the OC section.
    #55
  16. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    [​IMG]

    It is with (sorta) sad heart (and about as much humility as my motorcyclist's ego will allow) that I pronounce the full wrap experiment on my black Safari tanks... A FAIL.

    Making slits in and pushing air out of the vinyl was becoming a daily chore...one which I quickly got sick of. So, I just got finished stripping the vinyl off the tanks.

    For all you that are interested and gave feedback you might be interested in knowing that as I was pulling off the vinyl, I could smell gasoline VERY STRONGLY... it would waft up in my face as I was lifting the vinyl. As much as I HATE admitting I was wrong, it IS actually fuel that's venting right through the plastic. All those naysayers feel free to say, "NAH NAH NA-NA NAH!" :D

    Anyway, I've gotta give credit to my brother's installation... his prep wasn't wasted because this stuff was STUCK DOWN HARD. The vinyl grudgingly came up and in pieces... leaving behind a LOT of adhesive. Had it not been for the bubbling, this wrap would have stuck on for an indefinite amount of time. I had to use 3M adhesive cleaner and a squeegie to remove the left-over adhesive. Cleaned up fairly-easily and then I washed the tanks with hot, soapy water and rinsed.

    My brother's already planning a perforated test, but I think we'll hold off on it till after I get back from the big Alaska/Dalton Highway ride at the end of July.

    In the meantime, I just couldn't let my bike look like "Geek Jr.", so...

    [​IMG]

    Tossed on a couple of the left-over KTM vinyls I had from when my brother did a cut job for the alternate logo.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When bubbles appear under these, I can just pull 'em off and reapply new ones. (Nice to have a brother who can make a shitload of these from scraps!). Worst-case scenario: he can print my custom "990 Adventure" logo out of perforated vinyl and I can just lay it down on the tanks without doing a full wrap.

    I'm a stubborn SOB, so am not giving up on the idea of a custom look for these tanks. But, I'm also "smaht" enough not to throw good money after bad... like I said above, I'm gonna wait to see how that German guy's painted tanks hold up with the Kreem sealer. As someone mentioned above, it would suck to have the liner/sealer come loose on the inside of the tank... talk about a freaking big mess to have to clean up!
    #56
  17. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Thanks for the full follow up. This was a valuable exercise and probably saved alot of others in ill fated work. I still feel it was incredibly gutsy on your part and am sure you'll find the perfect end goal for a tank design... so much so that others will follow in step.
    #57
  18. liftedlimo

    liftedlimo PNW Stump Jumper

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    Thanks for the follow up.
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  19. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    :freaky Better to have tried it and failed than to have quit before even starting because of the rumors that it couldn't be done:clap
    #59
  20. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    I would like to try the Perf'd stuff on mine. I miss my All Black Katoom.
    #60