Extreme Makeover – KTM Style
Do you want a factory bike without all the hard work of actually learning how to ride fast? Unfortunately, not many of us will ever get the opportunity to ride a factory bike, but with a bit of work, we can make our bikes at least look the part.
Do you want a factory bike without all the hard work of actually learning to ride fast? Unfortunately, not many of us will ever get the opportunity to ride a factory bike, but with a bit of work, we can make our bikes at least look the part.
Our long term KTM 450 EXC was beginning to look a bit shabby after 70 hours of hard work. The original stickers and plastics were worn from crashes and just from general wear and tear. So, time for a bit of sprucing up.
One Industries are the market leader in dirt bike sticker kits and as luck would have it, KTM Australia had a close out special running on 2006 Team Motorex KTM kits so we cashed in. $100AUD saw a full kit complete with gripper seat cover delivered to our door. Not bad considering the list price is over $400! Sometimes it pays to wait.
Like any finishing product, good results rely on good preparation. Some of our plastics were pretty badly scratched up, so we took to them with a fine sand paper to smooth them up. Old stickers were removed, the surfaces then cleaned thoroughly with metholated spirits, sprayed with some clean water and left to dry.
Grab yourself an old spray bottle from under the sink and fill it with fresh water. Set the nozzle to mist and give one of the panels a thin spray. Peel the backing from the sticker and give the sticky side a misty spray too. This gives you more than one chance if you stuff it up, which you will.
Place the sticker on the panel making sure any bolt holes and edges are lined up then use a squeegee to push the water out of the edges. If you don't have a real squeegee, use an old credit type card with a clean rag wrapped around it. Push all the water and air bubbles out from under the sticker and make sure the edges are all firmly stuck.
It's not a hard job at all, but it is very time consuming and if you rush it, you will get a crap result. So be patient, whack some music on, have a few beers and make sure you do it right.
I must admit, when it came to the seat cover, my first thought was to take it to a motor trimmer and get them to do it, but the instructions supplied sounded pretty easy so I had a crack at it myself. Apart from running out of staples half way through the job, it is pretty straight forward and quite easy to get a good result.
The final product is a 2500km old KTM that looks almost as fresh as when we took delivery of it 12 months ago and in some respects, actually looks better. For $100, you can't go wrong.