Tutorials and FAQ

First of all – what is it made of?

Your wrap graphics will be printed on 3M IJ180c vinyl, an industry leader in wrap film for vehicles and watercraft. It is a highly conformable, 2 mil cast opaque white vinyl with a removable gray Controltac™ (slideable) adhesive, and 10-year outdoor durability! The Comply™ adhesive has air release channels for fast and easy, bubble-free graphic installations. Our current printer of choice is the HP Latex360 which produces sharp, consistent, and eco-friendly output in 6 colors at 1200 dpi! In a visual, side-by-side comparison between Latex, Solvent ink, and UV ink, our eyeballs said Latex was the clear winner for its superior edge sharpness, color intensity, and dense blacks – combined with its practically unlimited stretching powers, we deem it the best, current tech for these wraps. 

All Vicwrapz prints are laminated in your choice of 3M 8518 (Gloss clear), or 3M 8520 (Matte clear) depending on whether your bike’s factory finish is shiny or suede. You’ll be asked at checkout to choose your gloss preference.

How long does it take?

We strive to process all orders within 24 hours unless we’re at a biking event or such. Processing means that a file will be generated and sent to the printer for output.  After that the production process will fluctuate a little depending on the printer’s current volume and things like holidays and weekends, but in general, printing and shipping should be a 7 to 10 day process. Orders will ship UPS Ground from the Boston area which is typically 2 to 4 days to the continental US.

Application photo-essay gallery

Application video

Gloss vs Matte video

Care and Maintenance of your wrapped graphics….

These wraps are not fragile. They’re designed to hold up in commercial applications with the worst treatment for a solid five years before showing signs of abuse. Thankfully most of us do not treat our bikes like fleet vehicles, meaning, we can expect to more than double or triple that lifespan with minimal effort.

The two best things you can do for your new wrap is keep it CLEAN and keep it PROTECTED. The longer that grime, pollutants, bug guts and bird poop stay on your paint or printed graphics the more damage they can do. Hand washing with mild, PH neutral detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth is great but not always necessary. Wiping with an approved instant detailer is often sufficient. The cleaner must be wet, non-abrasive, without strong solvents, petroleum distillates or silicones, and have a pH value between 3 and 11. That means NO Armor All, no oil based cleaners, kitchen & bathroom cleaners, oven cleaner, no engine degreaser, or solvents other than isopropyl alcohol.

Spot cleaning – use mild soapy water or isopropyl rubbing alcohol to spot clean isolated stains. Rinse area with cool water after cleaning. Avoid wiping the wrap when it’s hot as the vinyl will be in a softened state – get it in the shade or cool it with some water first to avoid marring, distorting or wrinkling the material.

Catch bird droppings, insects, tree sap and other difficult stains as soon as possible – letting them sit for too long will make them harder to remove and may permanently damage the wrap. Soak the affected area for a few minutes with warm, soapy water to loosen the contaminants. Rinse completely and dry with a microfiber cloth. For stubborn contaminants where warm soapy water isn’t enough, use the mildest cleaner that will do the job. Things to try include isopropyl alcohol as mentioned above, a citrus based adhesive remover like Goo-Gone, or a water-based bug and tar remover. Always test these solutions on a small area that’s not easily noticeable to ensure the cleaner will not harm the wrap. Do not use harsh solvents or oil based cleaning products!

Wipe off fuel spills immediately, then hand wash the effected area. Letting the spill stay on the wrap too long can degrade the vinyl. A quick wipe with a wet paper towel at a gas station will clean the fuel affected area decently enough until you can get home to do a more thorough job.

Besides dirt, the other most harmful factor that will degrade your wrap is baking it in the blazing sun. Most people that care enough for their ride to decorate it with fancy graphics are also careful enough to cover it or garage it when not in use. That is a huge step, but when you’re out riding, the simple act of parking in the shade whenever practical could add years to your wrap.

If your graphics come in with premask or application tape on the surface you’ll want to remove it immediately after application. Premask tape left on the graphic after application can aggressively adhere to the graphic when exposed to sunlight, making it difficult to remove.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there any designs in the works for the top of the tank? I happen to have a really ugly scratch near my fuel filler cap….
These wraps can definitely help conceal some blemishes but they’re not recommended for the top of a tank simply because it’s a horizontal surface facing up to the sun, an extremely harsh exposure. We specifically excluded tank-top and bag-top placements from our designs because, when facing the sky, the lifespan of these digital prints is cut in half and we wouldn’t want to create a scenario where people would begin to complain of premature failure or have jobs running around out there looking noticeably dull or faded from being left on too long. Would it work? absolutely, and if you keep your bike covered most of the time, it would last many years but would still eventually need replacing much sooner than its vertical counterpart a few inches away. For someone that left their ride outside year round, noticeable fatigue could occur in as little as 2 years on the horizontal tank top vs 8 or more years for the bike’s more vertical surfaces. On the other hand, if your bike is regularly kept under cover or ridden seasonally as much of the country is forced to do, then even a horizontal placement would probably hold up very well, it’s up to your environment and how you treat your ride. But the final answer is still no on us adding designs for horizontal placements, too many unknown variables and we’d rather avoid the potential fallout.

Are these for steel frame bikes as well or Cross Bikes only?
Steel frame bikes are something we would definitely add in the future, even though those bikes have a lot less area to decorate, and the surfaces tend to be curvier, which could pose a problem for our do-it-yourself formula. We have to make sure all designs can be applied by the bike owner and any surface with a compound curve could quickly become too much of a challenge. But we will definitely explore those bikes once things get settled. We’ll call that ‘Phase II”, which will eventually encompass other manufacturers as well (yes, Harley, Indian, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha etc, if it’s a bagger we want to wrap it!).

What about cleaning bug guts, etc., off the surface of a wrap, recommended cleaners, pressure when using microfiber cloths, that sort of thing?
There are some precautions but they’re all common sense. The first rule is basically, anything that you wouldn’t do to your paint, don’t do to these. Plus there are a couple things that you might do to your paint that wouldn’t work so well on a laminated graphic. For instance, don’t attempt to wet sand it and machine buff (although hand polishing with a very fine clearcoat swirl-remover is perfectly safe). And don’t go over these with hard waxes. Even though there is nothing inherently wrong with past-waxing the vinyl, what you don’t want to end up with is a lot of white wax caked into the edges that would be hard to clean off. A soft, non-residue wax or simple detail spray is usually sufficient. They don’t really need any special protection, especially not armorall, which can dry vinyl over time, although we would trust products like 303 Aerospace Protectant (for matte wraps) and Chemical Guys Wrap Detailer (for gloss wraps).

Will there be anything coming for the 13′ Antifreeze green XC’s that already have the black flames? Maybe something to take place of, or go over them?
We have focused our designs for single-color factory paint jobs for two reasons. For one, the 2-tone and graphic paint jobs are already custom, so we didn’t suppose people would want to hide them, but they also cover a lot of area which would have to be concealed entirely by the new print – an application that would likely be too technically challenging for the do-it-yourselfer to install because of all the compound curves. You’d need more of a full panel real-wrap whereas VicWraps are pseudo-wraps, covering just to the edge of the design and rarely wrapping around a curve or corner.

Do you have plans for covering for the trim bits such as the saddlebag hinge covers and headlight bezel?
We had not thought of making pieces to cover trim parts like hinges and headlight bezels but it’s a great idea! The only problem with those 2 specific locations is they’re technically difficult to wrap because of all the compound curves involved…not exactly a do-it-yourself prospect.

Would you consider a cutout for the Victory badge on the gas tank?
Only one of the current Victory designs (Carbon) would necessitate removing the tank badge and if you’re dead set on retaining the badge, it could be removed before wrapping and replaced over the top of the graphic – OR – if you didn’t want to mess with it,  just uncheck that part of the design while configuring. That’s the beauty of this system, the designs will work with as many or as few pieces as you wish to use. Case in point is this CC Tour which only uses bags, sidecovers, fairing and fender – no tank or trunk – yet it still looks complete and coordinated.

Any plans for the chin, front fairing top, tank top or saddlebag lid wraps?
Chin Fairing and all “top” surfaces are locations we purposely avoided as poor locations for vinyl graphics. The chin fairing is too pebbly a texture to get good adhesion, plus it get’s a lot of abuse down there from stone chips and such. As for the top of the fairing, gas tank or saddlebag lids, any horizontal surface that faces the direct sun is going to get half the service life of the same print on a vertical surface. For someone who leaves their bike outdoors year-round that figure is more like 1/4 or as little as 2 years before showing visible wear and needing replacement. On the flip side, if you are someone who regularly covers their bike or only rides seasonally, the life expectancy on a vertical surface is well over 10 years.

Thanks for reading –

If you have suggestions for a question to add to this column please drop us an email. info@vicwrapz.co