I purchased a viper red 2013 Can Am RT-S SE5 in October 2013 and even though it’s a motorcycle that stands out from almost any vehicle that’s around I still like the idea of something unique from the rest. I researched several different Can Am graphics early November and it seems most are made by a handful of companies with only a few distributors. The cost doesn’t vary much on these sites although ebay still had the cheapest overall price with shipping.
Cost and Quality of the Cam-Am Graphic Decal from Dark Side Studio Arts
Companies like Dark Side Studio Arts LLC make their own exclusive graphics for Can Am and other motorsport vehicles. I purchased my graphic “The Outlaw” from Dark Side Studios on Ebay for $108 total and it arrived fairly quick and they communicated well with me to make sure I received the correct color and style. The highlight colors on some graphic designs can be altered to personal choice as well as the background color. Most companies offered complete wraps from $500 to $700, but I only wanted a hood graphic which is usually an option for about $110 plus. Dark Side Studios didn’t have as many designs for the Can-Am RT RT-S as some sites, but I really liked the style of the ones available and they offered a little better price.
The quality of the graphics that arrived were really nice and thick and shipped in a round cylinder. The graphics did come with pretty detailed directions and they have a short video of one decal being applied on their website. I was told when I asked that they sold hundreds of these graphics, so I felt they should have a video of this decal being applied to a Can Am. I have applied some tints and small graphics in the past so I was familiar with the cleaning and soapy water application they describe, but without an example I didn’t get my main graphic in the exact spot it should have started. It turned out nice and I was able to stretch it almost where it needed to be.
Applying a Graphic Decal in Three Easy Steps
Choose a warm sunny day to apply or keep in a dry area until completely dried. Thoroughly cleaning the surface that the graphic will be applied to is one of the most important steps. Any dirt, oil or foreign material not cleaned off will either cause a spot to not adhere or form an indention/ bump under the graphic.
Scrub clean with a non abrasive cloth and warm/ hot soapy water. Then prep the surface with alcohol. They suggest Methyl Ethyl Alcohol, but I just used isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol that seems to work the same.
Next put a couple of drops of dawn in warm water and an good spray bottle and apply liberally to entire bike surface and the back of the graphic being careful to not get any dirt etc on the decal or clean surface (do not drop) as it’s difficult to remove small debris from the glue once stuck.
Finally, float the decal lining up your edges and use a soft squeegee to pull water out starting in the center of the hood/ decals. The main graphic on the hood should line up with the grooves on the bike almost completely. Watch my video to see where I was off at and avoid this mistake. It is a very thick vinyl so it can be worked pretty good with the heat gun without any damage.
Tip: When using the heat gun, continuously move it around the area to be worked on low heat at about five inches, don’t overheat as the vinyl will smoke and bubble very quickly if not careful. Then remove heat and push edges together up or down for small adjustments and over large creases.
Can-Am RTS SE5 Hood Graphic “The Outlaw” Application Video
Dark Side Studios Art Installation Video
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