Introduction: How to Debadge (remove Decals) From a Motorcycle.
I love the color of my motorcycle (Kawasaki Ninja 500r) but hate the maroon tribal-looking decals on the fairings. So I decided to remove them and here's how I did it.
*NOTE - this method works only on decals that are not "clear-coated" over. If your decals have been clear-coated over, do not use this method, it will not turn out pretty.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools.
You will need:
TOOLS for disassembling the fairings. Take a look at how the fairings are attached to the frame. My Ninja's fairings are screwed and bolted, so all I needed were wrenches and a screwdriver.
1 bottle of Goo Gone
1 Exacto-type razor (I used a spare that came with a box cutter)
And an old rag/towel or paper towels for clean up.
Step 2: Disassemble.
Get out your tools!
I only needed a couple of different sized wrenches and a Philipshead screwdriver to remove the rear fairings. *You may need more or different tools so make sure to check before you start!*
Unscrew and unbolt until the fairings can be removed. Take note of what screws, etc., go where so when you begin reassembling it won't be a guessing game.
Step 3: Gather Up Parts.
I chose to do my debadging inside b/c the weather here is rather chilly. So I gathered up my parts (fairings) and headed inside.
Get out your Goo Gone, razor, and hairdryer.
I set my fairing on a towel so as not to dirty up the counter too much.
Step 4: Removing Decals (debadging).
The method I've found most efficient, as well as the easiest, is to use a hairdryer like a heat gun. If you heat the decal at the point where you are pulling it away from the fairing, and gently pull the decal at the same time, the entire decal should pull off without tearing to bits.
*NOTE - Do not use an actual heat gun! It will fudge your paint and/or melt your fairing!*
If this does not work, use the Goo Gone to saturate the decal, then heat it at an edge. Use a razor to raise that edge up enough for you to pull it with your fingers. You will have to repeat this process several times, as the decal will tear into bits, so pray the other method works first.
Step 5: Remove Residue.
If the hairdryer method doesn't work, then you will probably have a lot of residue left from the decal's glue. This is where the GooGone comes in super handy. Saturate the sticky areas and leave them be for a couple of minutes. Then gently scrub the areas down with a rag or towel.
If the hairdryer method does work, then the fairing should be free of any residue, so pat yourself on the back b/c you saved yourself another 30 minutes of work. :)
Step 6: Before and After.
A look at what the fairing will look like before and after.
Step 7: Reassemble.
Since you've kept all your parts together and organized, reassembly should be a breeze! Once you get it all back together, take a good long look at your new motorcycle... ahhhhhh :) And you did it all yourself!