Why do the stickers bubble and peel off tank?

I got new stickers for my tank on my 650r last summer, and they are already bubbling and then the bubbles pop and there is a big tear. I ve seen this on other r's, anyone know why they do this, and how to stop it.

the fumes from the gas can escape through the tank but get traped under the stickers/decals. are you using just regular stickers or actual ones for a gas tank? the gas tank decals should be perferated to let the fumes out...

The plastic tanks let the fumes through like redswr said. Metal tanks don't.

even the decals with the holes in them will still come off. I left the decals off my clake tank an keep the ones on the shrouds. don't waist your money on the tank decals.

On my 83 xl600 the factory decals still look new on the metal tank.

I just bought some FX tank graphics for my Clarke tank...you saying it'll come off in the end? I was waiting until it gets warmer here to put them on for better adhesion. Of course, I can always but some additional epoxy on the back to make them stay on. Suggestions out there to improve adhesion?

They were the same stickers as stock, but this all makes sense fumes escaping through plastic. No more tank stickers i guess.


Hey guys I read an article somewhere that I believe it was Honda who just started coating their tanks to keep this from happening. I'm sure if you searched hard enough you may be able to find it and also maybe we can figure out what they use to seal the tanks. I will do some research later tonight because I know there are thousands of us out there who have run into this same problem!

It really sucks when you trick your bike out with nice decals an the gawd damn things fall off at the car wash. Let us know if you find anything out.


As others have stated, the reason that stickers come off plastic tanks is because plastic is porous by nature, where metal isn't. I prefer to run my Clarke tank naked :applause:

I wonder if waxing the tank with a high quality wax would seal it enough to keep stickers on it a little longer?? :cool:

I had some stickers on my XR400 that lasted about 1 year before they had yellowed and eventuall wouldn't stay on. The factory stickers on my '06 XR650R went after about 8 months. I bought a '01 CR500 last summer that has some perforated graphics on the tank from Factory Effex that seem to be holding up so far.

I was told to take the tank off, drain it, rinse it good with plenty of water, let it air out for a couple days, apply your graphics and let graphics set for a couple days before putting gas back in the tank. I tried this on a plastic tank a couple years ago and it seemed to work pretty good.

The Acerbis 6 gallon tank comes with a sticker that somehow stays on. All other stickers bubble and peel off. Don't know how they do it. It's very thick, not perforated.

Put helium in a rubber balloon and watch how fast it goes flat. The helium seeps out of the balloon much faster than air. This is the same concept as you can put helium in a dollar store Mylar balloon and it will last for months.

As for stickers, Baja Designs sent stickers with an order that didn't last 3 months (ironically they sent the stickers with the IMS 4.0) on the tank yet the XR's Only stickers I got with an order have lasted for a couple years.:busted: Funny, I would have to remove the XR's Only stickers with a putty knife if I wanted them off so it's obviously the adhesive. In both cases the tank was cleaned thoroughly with windex and iso-alcohol. The folks that sell the tank graphics (specific) should have this problem worked out but to me it's still a $65.00+ gamble.:applause:

edit: I hate to edit my posts but this a peeve of mine. I bought an FMF exhaust for a TT-R225 and adapted it to my TW200 with minimal modifications but to do this this mod the stock clamp covers the FMF logo so I called FMF and asked for another sticker so I could reposition it on the spark arrestor. Since it's a high temp sticker they wanted to charge me $6!! I told them to take a flying :cool: !! I'll be #@&* if I'm gonna pay them to advertise their product!:prof: It will remain covered by the clamp.

Sorry to be off topic, just venting.:crazy:

im guessing that painting the plastic tank would hAve the same effect???

im guessing that painting the plastic tank would hAve the same effect???

i would think so, painting plastic in general usually doesnt work too well unless you use a high quality automotive epoxy paint with a flexing agent.

well i have been searching all day and i have found a solution to the tank decal problem but it isnt what i originally wanted to do. i cannot find any kind of tank sealer that i trust to not come off and get into the fuel. the only solution i see is that you can buy sheets of tyvek that is similar to vinyl that comes with an adhesive backing. aparently someone got some of this and put it on his tank and after 3 months it is fine. im sure you could buy some of this tyvek sheeting and bring it to any sign or printing company and have them copy the design of your original tank decal onto the tyvek and print it out for just a few bucks. hope this helps :cool:

i also read about a guy having success with painting his gas tank, but it has only been a couple of months so it may eventually crack, but he said they used professional adhesive promotors used to paint automobiles so you guys might wanna try that before putting your decals on

My 96 xr4 and 97 xr6 both have the stock stickers. They are yellowing but they are stuck on there to the point it would be had to remove them. Wish the aftermarket co. knew Honda's secret.:cool:

One Industries graphics on my Drz have been on over a year, minor bubbling but perforations allow bubbles to escape, also seems if I don't leave the tank full the bubbles don't appear as fast, I'm happy with these graphics, they sure take a beating.

I think the motorccycle companys use machines to press the oem stickers to the tanks and fenders!

I bought xr 650r factory effex graphics and they worth the $ ,try to get graphics that they don't have white colours at the tank because they r getting yellow after a while!

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