How to Keep Decals from Bubbling

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How to Keep Decals from Bubbling

Post by 4Strokes » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:57 pm

Topic: Gas Tank Decals (bubbling)
Author: goofour
Posted: 08/29/2005 3:33:06 PM

How do you keep decals from getting bubbles under then on a gas tank? I cleaned the tank with lacquer thinner, installed them on a warm day and squeezed out all the air but a couple day's later they look like crap. What am I doing wrong?

Reply by 4StroKen on 08/30/2005 4:19:32 PM
Nothing, it's the plastic "gassing". Mine did the same on my new tank. I was told by someone to wait a few months until the plastic gets done gassing. Its been a few months but I haven't tried yet again.

Reply by Goose on 08/30/2005 7:42:03 PM
sorry to say but it will always be like this, unless you have a newer bike with a shroud around the gas tank. the older bikes have the decals right on the tank and the gas vapors that seep through the plastic bubble up the stickers. the same thing happened to me and my bike was 3 years old and the tank was as clean as can be and it was a good warm day. within a month my tank stickers were bubbled, needless to say i was quite disappointed. that's the problem with the plastic tank with no shroud.

Reply by 4StroKen on 08/31/2005 12:18:20 PM
Glad to know that. I guess I'll leave 'em off save some monies.

Reply by goofour on 08/31/2005 5:05:54 PM
I found FX sells a graphics kit with "special gas tank adhesive" I didn't want to sell out the $68 bucks so I tried some Auto Zone skull stickers with barb wire tape. Has anyone tried the FX kits?

Reply by Hardcharger on 08/31/2005 5:33:46 PM
Originally posted by goofour
How do you keep decals from getting bubbles under them on a gas tank? I cleaned the tank with lacquer thinner, installed them on a warm day and squeezed out all the air but a couple day's later they look like crap. What am I doing wrong?
Nothing. You need the perforated stickers to allow the (never ending) off-gassing from the porous plastic tanks to escape. Or you can try poking your own holes in non-perforated stickers. I'm still thinking of trying that at least once with some less expensive stickers.

Reply by Goose on 08/31/2005 5:53:40 PM
Good idea. I have excess sticker borders or scraps (where the stickers punch out of) so i'll just cut a piece of it and perforate it and put it on my tank. i'll let you know how it goes.

Reply by Zeniac on 09/01/2005 7:57:30 PM
I just purchased a set of perforated Factory FX tank graphics for the XR on eBay for $32 delivered, which I will be placing on a Clarke 4.8 gallon tank recently purchased. The graphics are for an XR600R.

Reply by Goose on 09/02/2005 09:00:20 AM
Ya my graphics were factory FX as well but they just said Honda or XR, so pretty much for any bike. they weren't perforated though so good luck to you, and let us know how they work out.

Reply by roadcam on 09/08/2005 08:54:55 AM
The sewing section in WalMart, etc. will have a little tool for dressmakers to draw their patterns. It's just a handle on a little toothed wheel. I figure you could roll it across your stickers to make the tiny little pores for breathing. (no, I don't sew!)

Reply by Goose on 09/08/2005 3:25:05 PM
its called a tracing wheel (i can sew) anyways the problem is, is that when you poke. it makes a dent inwards so you get a little raised piece where ever a hole is when you put the sticker on.

Reply by 4StroKen on 09/08/2005 4:07:38 PM
How about perforating it from the back side?

Reply by Clipity on 09/09/2005 10:57:53 AM
How about using a leather punch on the smallest punch?

Reply by Goose on 09/09/2005 2:48:31 PM
Ya ken your probably right. how many holes are in a perforated sticker in say a square inch? because i still think that a home made perforated sticker wont work because anywhere there isn't a hole the gas will build up.

Reply by goofour on 09/11/2005 07:38:18 AM
The barb wire tape I used on my tank is only 1/2 inch wide and it bubbled everywhere. I am guessing that you would need holes every 1/8 to 1/4 of a inch.

Reply by Goose on 09/11/2005 10:19:40 AM
ya and the more holes you have the worse it looks. its best just to have perforated stickers or nothing at all because it will end up that way anyways

Reply by BubbaXR400 on 11/23/2005 1:23:43 PM
Good to know. I bought my bike used from a Honda dealer and it had brand new stickers that looked like my 2 yr old daughter put them on. The guys there had no clue, so they ordered me a new set of factory graphics. What about emptying the tank and letting the stickers cure for a few days with the cap off?

Reply by Goose on 11/23/2005 2:57:35 PM
Doesn't matter, because as soon as there's gas in it the vapors will come through the pores in the tank, save yourself the disappointment. there is no solution. I think that's why the crf's or any of the newer bikes have the decals on the shrouds.

Reply by BubbaXR400 on 11/24/2005 5:19:08 PM
Ok then. Where do you recommend finding a good set of decals? I tried Ebay and checked XRs Only but didn't find much.

Reply by Goose on 11/26/2005 11:56:01 AM
you could look at your dealer, they can order them in for you if you cant find them on the net or in the store.

Reply by rkuckkahn on 11/28/2005 3:15:21 PM
I don't understand why they don't poke pin holes in all decals. They don't make a pin hole poker thingy though. Honestly I did a long slow hole poking exercise on tank decals for my kids 230. Got some graph paper and with the decal still on the paper backing poked a pin in every 1/2 inch square. He did one, I did the other, nice little father/son bonding. It worked ok, and if a bubble does form, they're small and can be worked out of a nearby hole.

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Re: How to Keep Decals from Bubbling

Post by martineluther » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:36 am

Paste it smoothly. Or hire an expert.

Motocross Decals

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