How to fit a graphics kit part 1
How to fit a graphics kit part 1
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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 envy.

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.
Continues on Page 2 (with a video tutorial too!