Safari Tank Wrap Experiment - Graphics Feedback Requested

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Narsisco Lopez, May 2, 2012.

  1. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    As some may know, I finally got my Safari tanks (after a LOT of bugging CJ, Ben, and the good people at Aqualine... I'm now probably known as, "Narsisco the PITA" :lol3 ).

    My brother (a 3M/Original Wraps employee and excellent graphics designer in his own right) did me a solid and was able to do a "test wrap" of my right side tank... testing various prepping/bonding agent methods in an attempt to get the vinyl to stick for "an extended amount of time" (more on that as the clock ticks).

    Anyway... not wanting my bike to look TOO much like I totally copied Geek (kinda hard when his new suspension makes my bike look like something Danny Devito would be comfy riding!), I'm in the process of designing a graphics/decal set to lay over the "carbon fiber" 3M vinyl. Here's my first mock-up...

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts, comments, reactions, suggestions?
    #1
  2. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Be careful, Geek is gonna be pissed off if you out carbon him :D

    I don't see how your going to keep them from bubbling since the gas fumes come through the tank....but who knows. Sometimes trying is half the fun :thumb
    #2
  3. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

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    That is OUTSTANDING !!!!! :clap makes me want a set now that theres a way to make the tanks look like

    they were not made in the basement of Dr Frankenstein's lab:lol3
    #3
  4. v8toilet

    v8toilet Nothing to see here.

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    Just a thought but if the graphics were perforated would that alleviate the bubbling?
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  5. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Yeah, I know... not saying we're some kinda evil geniuses, just giving it a try with some very thorough prepping and trying different bonding agents. What's cool about using the newer 3M vehicle vinyls is that even if they start to lift, some "squeegee persuasion" can be applied as it starts to happen to at least attempt to lay it back down. Probably won't work long-term, but oh well... it IS a fun experiment.

    This thread is really just about the decal design. :norton
    #5
  6. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Already ahead of you... and that's the next experiment if this one goes south in a big hurry. :evil We've already got some perfed scraps set aside to test... may just go ahead and try it on the left tank next week.
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  7. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Hold your horses there, Belstaff :lol3

    This is JUST a test... as stated above, the odds are not good that'll stick for any reasonable length of time. Since my brother is in the biz and gets scraps and odd and ends, it's a pretty affordable test for me to do. And, if I can get, say, 6 months out of a partial wrap like this, then I'd be happy. I just don't think it's viable for someone without a family member or friend in the wrap biz... it could get SPENDY fast if you've gotta replace it every 6 months or so. And, 6 months is more than likely overly optimistic. Just have to see what happens to this test wrap.
    #7
  8. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Sorry, wasn't trying to be negative, it looks kick ass.
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  9. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

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    WELL____ as long as it takes to have the aussies git-it--in -gear :lol3 your test results should be confirmed and a comitment could be made -----say a year or so :wink:
    #9
  10. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    nice

    someone has some mad skills.
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  11. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    My brother definitely has mad skills as a wrapper. I've just got some fairly decent Photoshop skills :lol3
    #11
  12. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

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    If you perforate the decals with a grid of small holes the decals may stick better.
    #12
  13. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Pretty courageous to experiment on a new set of expensive tanks. And all for our benefit. Very genuine of you. In my opinion, finding a way to give the SF tank the look of a better finish is what they need. And you've at least temporarily succeeded. I image everyone who owns a white, er, yellowish tank would jump at the idea. Maybe it will reduce the UV? Who knows. I can see CF wrap mission creeping it's way back to your side covers?

    Thanks for the encouraging insight and keep us posted on your progress.
    #13
  14. zeropoint

    zeropoint Been here awhile

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    Now that is a cool graphic!
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  15. japslap

    japslap Japslap

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    This may be a stupid question,but why is it that the makers of these aftermarket tanks,cant get the same finish that KTM do on the factory ones.ie why are they porous? iv never had anyone answer me that one,my buddy had a CCM which had a plastic tank,and the paint and decals just peeled right off.Im guessing that my orange 990 has the colour injected into the plastic,or is it that it has an inner container that holds the fuel and that is then bonded to the outer tank.Thing is say here in the UK i go to the petrol station and fill up one of the 5 litre plastic jerry cans with fuel and put it in the boot of the car,that does'nt leak or become porous,so wondering why the Aqualine tanks etc do.
    #15
  16. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    I obviously can't speak for Aqualine's engineers and designers, but I think they were going for durability and tank integrity first and foremost.

    And while I might be totally full of shit, I don't believe it's gas/petrol that's venting... my limited experience with plastics while working for a medical manufacturer as an engineer (WAY back in the 80s) leads me to think the fuel in the tanks is reacting chemically with the plastic and it's the plastic that's out-gassing. So, this "theory" says the tanks aren't "porous", just reactive. My home shop doesn't include a spectro analysis lab, so I can't prove it definitively :lol3

    Damn... Ball Labs is right up the road in Boulder and a brother of a close family friend is a lead scientist there; wonder if I can talk him into letting me roll my bike into their facilities for testing? :rofl
    #16
  17. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    Only one picture in this " graphics" thread......fail:lol3
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  18. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Just came up with the concept and mock-up last night. Gimme a few days to get the actual vinyl cut and applied... I work fast, but not THAT fast :lol3
    #18
  19. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    Waiting............:rofl
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  20. Platypus-3in1

    Platypus-3in1 Fluid Journey

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    That looks outstanding ... :thumb


    Your Words have Sparked An Idea: The chemical reactive gasses released behind paint and stickers separates the adhesive bond (causes bubbles) ... So then what about a bond that has no bond ... A wrap that allows those gasses to travel and escape on the back side of the tank.

    Looking at your tank (And it Looks Good) I wondered about this as an inexpensive solution. First wrap the tank front and back with packaging cling wrap ... Then wrap with automotive repair fiberglass sheets (they come in pretty good sizes and prices) ... Apply hardener and let cure.

    Now go to the back with an sharp blade and cut out some venting holes for the escaping gasses ... If the swelling of the tank is not strong enough to crack or break the fiberglass from the inside out ... This might be an inexpensive way to stop tank swelling and give a surface that can be wrapped with 3M or even painted ...

    I had originally thought about wrapping with carbon fiber or kevlar directly over the plastic tank but your vinyl wrap cling wrap got me to thinkin again ... I might try this one day ... Or maybe one of you guys will chime in and say something like ... Na, That Wont Work!
    #20