Carbon Fibre Viynl

Another Sunday morning and another project for the Diva.

The 2 intake tubes of the GSXR have been looking shabby for a while now. Parking the bike in the sun, some spilled brake fluid during maintenance and scratches have made them dull and ugly. I have been meaning to do something about them and initially thought of spray painting them black. Matt black or glossy black would probably look boring while the carbon fibre look puts some interest into the rest of the black in the cowl area of the bike nicely.

Air intakes left
The left intake before applying the viynl.
Air intakes right
The right air intake looked worse than the left one. Also notice the fuse box and relay holder that makes wrapping it more difficult.

After sometime, I was remembered the carbon fibre vinyl wrap. Some car enthusiasts here like to wrap external parts of their cars in carbon fibre vinyl. I see bonnets, spoilers and even wing mirrors wrapped up with this thing. Frankly I think it looks ugly and contrary to what their owners believe, I don’t think they make cars any faster LOL!

Anyway, I like the original look of my bike and decided that the carbon fibre vinyl wrap would go nicely for the 2 intake tubes. Ebay helped me find a big sheet for a princely sum of SGD$7. Sent from China, the sheet took one and a half months to arrive. Man…that sure took a while.

Viynl and Squeegee
The carbon fibre viynl sheet and squeege.

This was the first time that I ever used the vinyl wrap and the shape of the intakes did not look easy to work with. I read up on line before hand and bought a plastic squeegee and borrowed my mum’s hair dryer. I saw people in videos using heat guns on the vinyl, but I think that was probably overkill. My mum’s humble hair dryer softened the vinyl with a few seconds of hot air. This allows the vinyl to stretch to conform to the shape of the object. The other good thing about this sheet is that it allows one to remove and stick the sheet again.

After cleaning the surface of the air intakes, I started applying the carbon fibre vinyl sheets. I started with the left one as it looks slightly easier without the fusebox, relay holder. After 30 minutes of pulling, sticking, heating and cutting, the job was completed! It was not as difficult as I feared. The material is amateur friendly and I’ll say, much easier than sticking the protective sheet onto your mobile phone.

Of course, there were bubbles and creases there and there, but I managed to get most of them out. For $7 and 1 hour, I’m mighty pleased with the results. Give it a try if you are wondering.

Final Right
The right one completed!
Creases Left
Just don’t look too closely! Amateur work, but at least that portion is hidden when fitted onto the bike.
Left Fitted
Left done and fitted. Much prettier!
Right Fitted
Right done! Nice!

Oh the other thing I discovered was that the 2 intakes may well be real carbon fibre (at least the top part). Someone at a motorcycle shop pointed out that they were carbon fibre and I thought he was just pulling my leg. However, I had to repair a small crack near the side where the intakes connect to the frame and looking closely, I saw fibre strands coming from the cracked portion. Hmm…makes me wonder if the guy was right after all. Anyone knows?

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