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Excellent job and a superb color match! Automotive refinishing is notoriously difficult to get an exact match. Even with the exact formula per the factory paint code, quite often you'd have to bring a body color piece (for car, it's usually the fuel filler door) to the jobber to tweak the tint just right. For pre-fabbed wrap, that is amazingly close.
 
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I've been in service trucks that had wraps and stickers for the last 30 years. If we compare his bike to mine, I promise his wrap is more durable than my paint. The decals and wraps sometimes didnt snap, like they were new, but they still looked ok, 10 years down the line. For most bikes, you would be protection the paint, so theres that. You peel to reveal your original paint.

Kawasakis candy green is pretty, but it's as thin as it could possibly be and not let you see the bare metal. It's not as thin as the frame and swingarm paint, but no substance known to humans is.

I don't see myself as being skilled enough to do this, but I want something that's elr like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I'm going to post some photos of the raw aftermarket plastics detailing the imperfections. Keep in mind that these are unfinished fairings and cost around $200-$300 less than a pre-painted set. Most of the edges are not rounded - they have mold marks and flashing. In some places you can see where they broke off unneeded plastic that I can only assume were in place for support during the injection mold process - they did not bother to smooth these out. There is even a groove in one of my parts that I assume something (a string?) got into the mold. I thought it was a crack at first, but the backside is perfectly fine. The previous photos make them look pristine white, but in fact they are covered in surface scratches and scrapes. They are not deep and do not a pose problem for me. Anyone prepping them for paint would be sanding and priming first anyway. Another benefit of wrapping is that unlike paint, minor surface imperfections do not transfer through. As long as the surface is smooth, sanding scratches disappear. So only light surface sanding will be needed to smooth the imperfections on most of the panel. All of the edges will need a bit more attention to get them rounded properly - but it isn't extensive and should only take a bit more time. Prepping properly is 75% of the job! I just wanted to be up front with what I'm working with in case someone follows in my footsteps and thinks these can be wrapped/painted out of the box - they can't be unless you don't care about the finish.

If you want to learn some techniques or just see how wrapping is done on a professional level, I recommend you watch Christian from CK Wraps videos on YouTube. I don't know him, but his videos are very informative and he tries to show you everything you need to be successful. The quality of his videos varies as he started out in someone else's shop before moving into his own with a nice bright studio for wrapping. He covers a lot of different subjects on his channel but this particular video goes over a lot in just a single viewing. It's over an hour, so if you are just curious check out his channel for shorter, more focused videos. But this one was the first one I came across and started me down this path: How to wrap video - CK Wraps
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Here is some of the mold flashing and plastic tear-out I was talking about. The flashing is on every piece to some degree. Most of it comes off with just a couple of passes with the sandpaper. The tear-outs are mainly in the cut-outs for headlamps, vent holes, etc. They are thicker and and require a bit more sanding to smooth out.

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I'm not really sure what happened on this lower piece of the cowling. This is not a repaired crack, but something that got into the mold and adhered to the cowling. It sanded off with some effort... who knows? And as you can see in the bottom photo, the cut-outs are not exactly perfect. They are easily shaped with a bit of sanding though and will look fine when finished.

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
And lastly, these two shots show the surface imperfections. The first one shows little plastic debris stuck to the surfaces, while the second shows the type of scratching/blemishes that are on all the pieces - not including the black trim pieces. The black trim is all in very good condition with no blemishes that I can see. Since the trim is already in its final form, they are nicely finished.

That said, these are still very good parts for the money. I would assume that if you paid the extra for the pre-finished fairings, these issues would not exist. Even so, I'm just knocking down the surfaces and flashing with 600 grit sandpaper and using 320 on the parts that need a bit of shaping. I'll be first to let you know if any surface irregularities appear after the wrap goes on, but I expect that it won't be an issue.

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Okay... I had fun this past weekend sanding and painting... NOT! But I got all the parts pre-painted - yes I was lazy and did not mask very well. But I was following up with 800 grit before wrapping and the black made it easier to know that I had sanded the whole surface! I decided to tackle the headlight cowl first because I like to do the hard parts first so I can learn things the hard way... lol.

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I needed to mount the part back on the bike because I didn't want the bottom half of the wrap to start picking up debris from a table. I also thought the headlight support would make it more rigid and stable when pulling and stretching the wrap. The number of curves really made this a tricky part to attempt to wrap in a single piece. Again... this took hours to work into shape.

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
After I worked it down to the the top of the headlights, I removed it from the bike and put it on a worktop to finish around the lights and work on the chin. This top picture reminds me of the Predator for some reason...:sneaky: Working the wrap into recesses like the lamp holes can produce issues... as you will see in the following post.

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
One of the issues I had was that I forgot to allow for enough excess material when shrinking the wrap into a recess. I cut it too close to the edge and when I heated it to lock it in, instead of pulling tight into the corner, it shrank right around the edge exposing the cowl edge. :mad: Additionally, 3M wrap is known for creating "glue lines". It happens when the adhesive sticks to the surface and starts to bond, but is then pulled up by the installer to reposition or remove air bubbles or wrinkles. A very thin line of adhesive remains behind and can be seen through the wrap once it has been positioned again and smoothed over. They can be avoided on large panels - like car hoods and trunks using various techniques that usually require 2 people. But they nearly impossible to avoid when having to pull and move multiple times to work a piece with over 25 angle changes. Generally, in the light of day, you won't see the glue lines even up close. But at the right angle they show up.

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I'm taking a styling cue from the Z1000 of the same vintage and having green edges with a black center on the headlight cowl. On a side note: This metallic black is similar to the Kawasaki black, but is actually darker when viewed side by side. The Kawi color pulls a little more blue than this wrap. Knifeless tape is some awesome stuff! Makes cutting super straight lines easy once you learn the trick to get it started! Second pic shows the cut line down from the top to the corner of the headlamp opening.

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Knifeless tape was also used at the bottom for a nice straight transition from green to black. I need to work on how much overlap I have at these transitions. Once I get that down, my inlays and overlays will look even better. Tossed in a pic of the other side... but its much the same!

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Both of the corners of the headlight had exposed white cowling showing. I'm sure I will re-wrap this part one day, but I decided to just work through the issues I had and finish the piece - for both the learning experience and practice... and to be sure I have enough material to finish the rest of the bike! I just made a template with masking tape and cut two small pieces of black to inlay into the inside area to cover my mistake. Sorry for the blurry photo of the inlay piece... As you will see in the photos of the part outside, if I never point it out, no one will ever notice.

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
All these angles focused right where the two lenses meet was a real challenge, but I think it came out fairly well considering that I have never wrapped anything with such intense detail. And I did it with a single piece (yeah, yeah, except where I over shrank it - but it would have been a single piece save that!). But you can hardly see the mistake once the light obscures it.

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that none of the detail lines lift after a few days. I was super careful to make sure there was no tension when I laid those angles in. But I'm a beginner and we'll see how it goes. I'll show you if any of it fails once it has had a few heat/cool cycles. The sun really keeps the glue lines from showing as they get lost in the metallic reflection. It's another thing that I am probably overreacting to because I'm a little OCD about doing perfect work... I can't wait to get this bike finished and get some "glamour" shots of her around town!

You may notice some of my hand painted urban graphics on the tank in the second photo... detailed shots of that coming once I finish it.

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Just kidding, Those "graphics" are just the reflection of the peak of my house on tank! :p :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
One last teaser photo until I get some parts wrapped... I scored a front fender from a 2018 ZX6R to add a little more style to the front! Not sure if I'll wrap it Black on Green or Green on Black... ;)

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I'll probably never do a project like this but kudo's to @Black Sheep for taking the time to detail what he's doing and picturing it for us. What a fantastic DIY project and great result. Nice work sir!
 
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