Installation guide

Instructions for easy application of bike decals and jersey prints.
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So you have your shiny new graphics but are not 100% sure on the best way to apply them. Just follow the instructions below and remember: it is not a race, save the racing for the track. The more time you spend now applying your graphics correctly, the better they will look and the longer they will last.

Bike Decal Installation

Step 01

Cleaning & degreasing the plastics

While cleaning and degreasing might not be the most fun part of the process, it is perhaps the most important one. If you fail to clean and degrease the plastics properly, the lifespan of your graphics will drastically decrease or, worse, the decals might come off. Since you don’t want this, it is important that you follow along and take your time doing this.

We always advise to apply graphics to new plastics. If you do not have new plastics, first make sure that your old or used plastics are clean. Remove any dirt and grease, even on the areas where you won’t be applying the graphics. There is nothing worse than sand getting under your graphics, and you will feel really silly if it happens because you skimped out on the cleaning.

After you clean your plastics, the most important step comes: degreasing. New plastics also need degreasing. We recommend using our KOARSEfx plastic prep and cleaner. A good quality brake cleaner, IPA, thinners, contact cleaner or alcohol wipes can also be used. Start by getting a few clothes that won’t leave any fibres behind, and spray a good amount of brake cleaner on them, soaking them. The more, the better.

Make sure you thoroughly scrub every inch of the surface, especially the edges and recessed areas. While doing this, you might notice that the plastics become dull. The duller the plastic, the better it is. Take your time doing this and really put some effort into it. If you forget a spot where stress in the decal might occur, it will lift, and this decreases the lifespan.

Step 02

Applying the decals

Now comes the fun part. Start with something easy, like a front number plate for instance. These are mostly flat and will be a good exercise before you start with the more difficult parts.

Grab your decal and, without removing the backing paper, check if it is the correct one. Also see if you can align it. Knowing how it goes on will help you once the adhesive is exposed. We recommend removing a small 2-3cm wide strip of the backing paper through the center, as shown in the illustration below. All our decals come with a cut in the backing paper to aid in this process. This also makes it easier to reposition the graphics if needed.

Installation guide

When applying the graphics, always make sure you start in the middle and work your way outward to remove any air. If you push the air to the inside, you can trap it, and you would have to peel the decal off to remove it or puncture holes to let the air escape.

When applying the decal, try to avoid using heat in the beginning. Only when the decal becomes too stiff or when it has to fold over an edge should you start using heat. Heat will activate the adhesive, softening it and will remove the air channels that are in the glue. This means that the air won’t be able to escape anymore. Thus, you will get more and bigger air bubbles.

When applying the decal, use a lot of pressure with your thumb and/or a squeegee. The harder you press, the better it will stick to your plastics. Pressing hard on the decal also removes the air channels that are present in the glue, causing more glue to stick to the surface.

Step 03

Post heating

If everything went right, your decals should be applied pretty neatly. The last step is to make sure that they stay on. To increase the lifespan of the decals use a heat gun or hairdryer to post heat the edges and areas where there might be stress in the decal. The heat will activate the glue. With some vinyls you would have to heat it to 100 degrees celsius, but that won’t be necessary with these decals. Just make sure to heat the edges and to press them down firmly.

Step 04


Before you bring your bike to the track to show off your new graphics, wait at least 24 hours to do so. If possible, make it 48 hours. The adhesive is not yet at its maximum strength as this takes time. The bond between the plastic and the glue will get stronger over time. Make sure that your bike is stored in a somewhat neutral environment in normal temperatures to let it cure.

After 24 to 48 hours, the decals will also have shrunk a little bit. This is normal, but it can cause the decal to lift in some areas, especially on the edges and on high stress places. Make sure to press these down again and heat them up a bit. If you do this correctly, the decal won’t come off anymore and should sit pretty for a long time. Do not forget this step. If you go riding and dirt gets under the decal, you will never be able to get it to stick properly and this will greatly reduce the lifespan of the decals.

Feeding versus bridging

Bridging is the wrong way of applying graphics, especially when it comes to motocross vinyl and laminates. Since it’s a calendered polymeric vinyl it does not have the same capabilities as a cast vinyl. It can’t stretch as much and has a lot of memory, meaning that it wants to go back to its original shape: flat.

Bridging happens when you apply the vinyl directly over a recess and then force it in. With this method you are stretching and expanding the vinyl to take on its final shape. When it starts to shrink, it wants to go back to its original shape. The adhesive can’t handle the stress and the decal lifts.

Picture of Installation guide- How not to install your graphics

Feeding is the correct way. This means that you already put some effort into conforming the vinyl to the shape, rather than bridging it and forcing it in. Since you are feeding it in, there is little to no stress in the decal and it won’t lift. It is a bit more difficult to apply this way, but it will increase the lifespan and the quality significantly. The less stress there is in the vinyl, the better it is.

Picture of Installation guide- How to install your graphics

A lot of times when you see graphics applied on a dirtbike you will be able to spot a few areas where it has lifted. This is largely due to incorrect application of the graphics. Don’t make the same mistake, and invest time in doing it right. Someone who does not have much experience applying graphics may assume that their graphics have the same properties of cast vinyls (used mostly for car wraps) and will not be aware of stress and shrinkage related to this media.

Remember- If you look good you ride good.

Installation guide

If the recessed areas on this fender were bridged, it would have failed within a couple of days or after one day of riding on a warm day.

Jersey Print Install

Heat Press

We recommend using a professional heat press to install your custom Jersey decals.

Transfer Settings

15 seconds at 135°C(275°F)
Medium pressure (3-4 bar)
Peel Hot or Cold

Iron On

We Don’t recommend using a house hold iron but if you don’t have access to a heat press, you can follow the guide lines below.

Ensure Jersey is clean before Installation.

Remove the thick plastic backing from your custom jersey print. The jersey print is supposed to remain fixed to the sticky clear cover which is known as the transfer tape.

NOTE: If you have ordered a one color die cut decal you wont have to remove the plastic backing just position the decal so the plastic sheet side face’s you.

Position your print on the top in the desired location, you will be looking at it through the clear transfer tape.


Place backing paper / Kevlar sheet or greaseproof paper over print. Turn your iron to full heat, using hard even pressure move the iron evenly over the whole print. You will see the print start to settle into the jersey material once properly heated.
Remove backing paper and slowly peel away transfer tape. Look for any areas that have not been applied properly. Put backing paper back on and reapply heat.