Graphic Installation Tips

Posted by Troy on Nov 22nd 2023

Installing Dirt Bike Graphics:

Things to Remember Before Installing:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly. Do not touch adhesive.
  2. Allow a day for the decals to fully conform before riding.
  3. If a difficult spot lifts up, you can reheat that area and apply pressure.
  4. If it lifts and you ride, that spot will most likely never tack down if it gets dirty.
  5. Six-pack installs might look great when installing, but results could vary depending on your tolerance.
  6. Keep in mind these techniques work well for us and are just suggestions to help if needed.

Suggested Installation Items:

  • Bike stand (whatever works to keep your bike stable).
  • Adhesive remover (we recommend Rapid Remover, followed by Rapid Prep; both can be purchased online).
  • Microfiber cloth (pick your favorite colors; there’s a bunch).
  • 4-inch squeegee with a felt edge.
  • X-acto style cutting tool (a razor knife could work as well; make sure it’s a fresh blade).
  • Masking Tape.
  • Application Fluid if needed (we use Rapid Tac).
  • Heat Gun or Hair Dryer (we prefer a heat gun, but the safer method is a hair dryer)

1: Clean the Area:

  • Begin by cleaning the area where the MX graphic will be applied.
  • New plastics need to be cleaned as well as they are usually shipped with a light protective coating that will make the decals harder to adhere.
  • If removing decals, make sure to thoroughly remove any adhesive residue using the adhesive remover cleaners.
  • Any scratched plastics should be replaced.
  • After using the adhesive remover, wash plastics thoroughly and let them dry completely.

2: Peel and Position:

  • Align the decal to the plastic piece you are installing and tape it to the plastics to ensure the proper placement.
  • Eyeball everything to get an idea of the best placement before proceeding.
  • Once you have the proper position, remove either a small portion of the decal's backing paper or, if you are an experienced installer, remove the complete backing from the decal.
  • No need to keep the decal taped any more either.

3: Applying:

  • Dry method:
  • Position the graphic in the desired location and gently apply pressure to adhere it to the surface.
  • We recommend starting from one side and working across or from the middle and going outwards to each side for best results.
  • Heating the graphic will help it conform to any curved areas of the plastics and mold into any sections needed.
  • Make sure not to overheat or stretch the decal past its limits. Heating chrome prints could alter the print if overheated.
  • Wet method:
  • Same as the dry method except apply the application fluid to the decals before applying.
  • This gives you the ability to move the decal around on the plastic to get the perfect alignment easier.
  • But the liquid must be completely removed after the decal is in the correct spot with the squeegee.
  • This also takes longer to fully adhere, so the process takes much more time.

4: Remove the Bubbles:

  • Use a soft cloth or a felt-tip squeegee to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles during application.
  • If a bubble is tough to remove, you can always pop it with a sewing needle the next day, but try to remove all bubbles with the squeegee first.
  • Heat can help with this as well.

5: Take a Picture to Admire:

  • Nothing better than seeing those fresh pics online of the new look.
  • Make sure to tag Step Up MX, and we will try to share as well.