How to Remove a Decal From a Motorcycle's Gas Tank

Written by karen boyd
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How to Remove a Decal From a Motorcycle's Gas Tank
Decals on motorcycle gas tanks come off relatively easily. (réservoir image by Jacques PALUT from

Some motorcycle manufacturers apparently believe that putting a sticker on the gas tank will prevent riders from doing irresponsible things on the bike. Whether or not the manufacturers' belief is correct, you may not like the look of the decals, and many riders prefer to remove them. Fortunately removal of decals from a motorcycle gas tank is not difficult, it just requires some patience to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging the paint while you remove the sticker.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Blow dryer
  • Adhesive dissolvent

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  1. 1

    Moisten the sticker and the area around it with an adhesive removal product. You can buy many products designed to remove adhesive goo. Read the label to make sure the product you choose will not damage your paint job. Let the product soak into the edges of the decal for several minutes. Rushing this step only adds frustration and can actually make the sticker removal take longer.

  2. 2

    Warm the sticker. Using a blow dryer, heat up the sticker and the surrounding area. You do not need to get the area too hot, since excessive heat can damage your paint job, but you do want the area warm enough to loosen the adhesive. As you complete the following steps, if you feel the area beginning to cool down, or if parts of the decal seem more difficult to remove, try adding a little more heat.

  3. 3

    Lift a corner of the decal. Working from one corner of the sticker gently and steadily lift up on it, separating the sticker from the gas tank. If the sticker starts to tear --- and adding more heat does not make it come up easily --- move to another corner and try removing the sticker from that side. If small amounts of sticker tear, you can clean it up later, but if large amounts of the sticker refuse to come loose, add a little more adhesive remover in those areas and repeat steps one and two before continuing to try to remove the decal.

  4. 4

    Once the sticker comes off, clean off any small areas that remain stuck with a little more residue remover. You can gently scrape at any remaining pieces with your fingernail, or with a soft edge silicon spatula. Wipe the area down with a soft rag once you have it clean.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use heat sources other than a blow dryer as long as there is no direct flame, and as long as you monitor the heat level carefully to avoid blistering your paint.
  • The same technique works to remove other stickers and decals from the motorcycle's painted surfaces.
  • Do Not use anything hard to scratch at the decal or try to remove it when it is cold. Trying to scrape a cold sticker off the gas tank will probably not work, and probably will damage the paint.

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