Tech Tips

Removing Those Stubborn Factory Stickers from Your Bike!

Written by  January 31, 2008

Since I recently purchased a new motorcycle, I thought I would give you some helpful tips on the removal of those pesky stickers manufacturers stick on our pride and joys.
The old fashioned method for removing factory stickers by using heat works well for this process. Hair dryers can be used to gently soften the adhesive epoxy so they can be removed quite easily. When using heat to soften and remove the sticker in question, make sure not to overheat and bubble the paint! You will want to work the hairdryer back and forth across the sticker two to three inches from the surface, and please keep in mind that hair dryers are not heat guns.
Most of the time, these info stickers have clear coat that is built into the label. When heat is applied, it is the first part that comes off and can be removed when you see it is loose. Don’t worry; this is not the whole sticker. You have more work ahead of you because you still have the main layer to remove. Continue to add more heat until you can safely lift a corner of the sticker and it will come off the paint in one piece! My suggestion is to take your time and be patient because too much heat on a paint job may weaken the chemistry of the paint compounds.
Most newer model bikes have warning stickers and general information on them. Some have octane ratings, which are located right under the fuel cap. That looks really cheap in my opinion, but it is required by the manufacturers because of federal regulation laws. After the stickers have been removed, there are several cleaners that work well; but one that I have found to remove the sticky residue from paint is WD40, and it’s cheap! Simply spray the surface and rub out the goop with a micro fiber towel, which will clean the surface to a nice luster.
Stickers do have a purpose, so I want to stress that having them on the motorcycle is there for your benefit, so, make sure you are aware of what the stickers say, and are comfortable with removing them. Once the outer layer of clear has been removed, there is no turning back. And, one other reminder is that some of the tank stickers are under the clear coat and they can only be removed by sanding them off!
Tackling this process is a very safe and inexpensive way to enhance the look of your motorcycle. So, while your bike is in storage or just sitting in your garage eagerly awaiting the 2008 riding season, try this tip. Remember, be gentle with heat and it should go like clockwork.
B-safe out there!
Dave Miller