Fitting a new graphics kit to your dirt bike is a cheap and
easy way to transform a rough looking bike into a gleaming
showpiece that'll have your riding buddies drooling with
It's actually a lot easier to apply modern graphics kits than
it used to be, and if you follow the steps, take your time and
work carefully, you'll have no trouble getting a perfect result.
As the KX250 was looking a bit sorry for itself, with virtually
no graphics and a couple of damaged plastics, we
ordered a snazzy new Sikspak graphics kit, and a pair of
Acerbis side panels as well. While waiting for our order to
arrive, we stripped all the plastics off the bike and got to work preparing them for the facelift.
Step 1 : Removing old stickers/graphics : It's vitally important that all the old stickers and adhesives are removed
completely from your old plastics. A great way to do this is simply to heat the old graphics up with a heat gun if
you've got one, or a hairdryer if you don't. This should loosen up the glue enough that you can pull the old graphics
off quite easily. As you remove each sticker, use the sticky side of the sticker to dab any glue residue off the plastic
at the same time. If you find a stubborn bit, hit it with some more heat and dab it again until it's all gone.
Step 2 : Preparing the surface : Any scratches or faults on the plastics will show through the graphics, so you need
to make sure your plastics are nice and smooth. If they're cracked or badly damaged, you'll need to buy new ones,
but small defects are fairly easy to repair. Anywhere that will be covered by stickers can be sanded smooth with
some fine sandpaper (400-600 grit works well). Sanding the plastic will remove the gloss finish of the plastics
though, so make sure you only sand areas that will be covered by the new graphics.
Step 3 : Cleaning the plastics : Perfectly clean plastics are an absolute must for proper adhesion of the new
graphics. Thoroughly clean and degrease the plastics so that all traces of old glue, oil and dirt are removed and
you're almost ready to start applying the new kit.
Step 4 : Re-fit the plastics : While it's tempting to try and fit the new graphics on the bench, without the plastics fitted
to the bike, in reality it's much easier to align the stickers with the plastics attached to the bike. Also, some of the
plastics may have extra 'bends' in them when they're actually bolted into position, and you may find the sticker will
distort when you fit the plastics. The only plastics we routinely fit off the bike are the fork protectors. These don't
need to line up with any other sticker, nor do they distort when they're bolted on, and frankly it's much easier than
bending down so low, with the front wheel getting in the way. So go ahead and fit the plastics, but you may need to
leave the seat off, if your graphics wrap around underneath it.