An Introduction To Removing Decals

If you're a new motorbike owner, then you probably went to town on your bike, decorating it with the excitement and fervour of a new father.

But if you're like most people, maybe you've grown out of those 3D chrome triple-skull- red-eye side decals, or perhaps you're regretting how you gave in to your (now ex) girlfriend's wishes to lay on those pink neon wheel rim decal reflective stickers on your Kawasaki ER6n.

Then you also probably realised just how difficult removing them for good can be. The good news is, there are ways to remove vinyl decals without of damaging your precious baby.

1. Quick and easy commercial products
Car and bike product companies such as RapidTac and even good old Turtle Wax have developed products that claim to remove stickers completely in just minutes. Some products require minimal “wash-off” effort while others still need you to aid the removal with a small knife or plastic card.

While these should work well on glass, be mindful of the chemicals used if you're planning to work on paint or metal as these could corrode your material and end up causing you more headaches.

2. Don't trust products?
Removing old decals are probably the worst, as these have been baked under the sun and rain for countless years, transforming the material and adhesive into gook that chemical removal products cannot foresee.

A lot of people have found ways that work after trial and error so that people like you can learn from their previous heartbreaks. 

However, this guy relates his experience removing decals on slideshare and advises caution when following videos like some of the ones on YouTube:

“When eliminating decals, do not scratch the stickers or use any sharp object like knife or fork. Some folks suggest using a hair dryer or high temperature gun to remove decals, but you should be really cautious as high temperatures can cause hideous adhesive stains which stick to the floor of the vehicle.”

Most people swear by citrus degreasers and eucalyptus oil to breakdown tough glue. Use clean cotton cloths and be prepared for slow gains. A lot of patience is required! You don't want to give up and end up scratching away dead decals in a rage or you'll end up damaging your paint job or chrome linings.

Remember, just like tattoos, nothing is permanent. With careful techniques and a lot of patience, you can remove any type of stickers, leaving your machine looking brand new.