Removing Stickers From TBR7 Motorcycle Plastics.

Since the Unboxing(Click for the Unboxing Post) of my new TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle, I was not a fan of the dirt bike decal graphics, so I removed the TBR7’s Decals.

TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport motorcycle out of box with stickers already installed.

This action is often called ‘de-badging’ and is viewed differently by the dirt bike community.

The TBR7 Motorcycle Decals Removal Controversy

Some feel this is dishonoring the proud heritage of the TBR7 motorcycle by removing all references to the manufacturer, TaoTao. Some TBR7 owners feel the fun in owning a Chinese motorcycle is showing you are offbeat and advertising it. To hide the fact it’s a Chinese bike is shameful and should be called out by other Chinese motorcycle owners.

Some TBR7 motorcycle owners to it since the decals are the first things on the bike to wear with age. The ends curl up, and reattaching them can be problematic. Other owners remove them to show the bike’s color or to repaint the body panels.

For me, the decals looked dumb. From the shape of the bike, the lack of power, and weird weed-whacker engine noise, no one should not recognize the motorcycle as a TBR7, or sometimes a Hawk 250.

How Do I Remove Stickers Without Damaging The Motorcycle Plastics?

So, how do you remove stickers without damaging the bike’s plastics?

Motor stickers on the TBR7 plastic body parts.

Carefully is my immediate answer. The plastics on my TBR7 motorcycle are thin, and I can only figure the plastics are already brittle, and any aggressive removal work will damage their surfaces.

My Motorcycle Decal Removal Concerns:

First, my motorcycle’s decals look like clear plastic decals with print on them. So no paper or paint.

Second, these are new bike decals, so the edges are not pealed up yet. I am not removing pealing old stickers from my bike, and this TBR7 motorcycle is brand new.

Third, they are factory installed. These decals were designed and applied by TaoTao to my TBR7.  

How is this a concern? I question the quality of the motorcycle decals, and these stickers could resist being removed or torn at any moment, preventing one clean removal of the decals.

Fourth, these bikes’ plastic fairings are made by TaoTao. This concerns me because I am concerned about the quality of motorcycle plastics. Will a heat gun quickly melt the plastic fairings?

With my concerns recognized, it was time to remove the stickers.

Steps I Took To Remove Stickers From Motorcycle Plastic?

1.- I warmed up the whole motorcycle.

I wanted both the motorcycle plastics and clear decals, warm and pliable. It was cold outside, so I couldn’t work outdoors. Therefore the motorcycle was moved into the garage. 

FAQ: Motorcycle Garage Safety Rules.

Sadly I don’t have a heated garage, but it’s warmer inside it than outside. Once the motorcycle was warmer, I moved on.

2.- Positioned Myself And The TBR7 Motorcycle For Comfort.

I wasn’t going to work hunched over the bike and rushed this job, so I got my equipment and a chair.

3.- Attempted ‘cold’ decal removal.

Some stickers weren’t applied very well. Meaning I could see air bubbles under the clear decals, so there were points of NO contact. I used my fingernail and attempted to remove the decals in one pull.

4.- Attempted “warm/hot” decal removal.

The adhesive was too good in areas where the ‘cold’ pull method didn’t work, and I applied heat.

I did NOT use a heat gun! The motorcycle plastics seemed too flimsy for me, so I wasn’t going to chance to bubble or melt the plastic fairings.  

Instead, I used a hairdryer. The hairdryer seemed safer than a shop heat gun, even at max heat.

So, patience, my young Padawan. I used gentile heat and pealing to work off the decals slowly.

Initially, I was concerned about removing the adhesive with the decal, but most of the time, the adhesive stayed on the bike, and I had just patiently pulled off the decals.

5.- Removed The Remaining Decal Adhesive.

I was impressed with the adhesive that TaoTao used on my TBR7, and it resisted the initial attempts to remove it.

  • I first reused the graphic decals sticky sides to try and use a ‘wax hair removal method of removing residual adhesive. I reapplied the decal off the residue and pulled it quickly. No luck. I had to move on.
  • Then I use glass cleaner. This process was dumb since I also used paper towels. I just made the residual sticker adhesive wet and fuzzy. Dumb.

What did work for me was both WD-40 & Goo Gone.

I recalled WD-40 had multiple uses, and one was quickly removing old stickers or decals and didn’t damage surfaces even if it was toy-like plastic.

So I tried WD-40 first, and it worked well, but then I recalled I had a small bottle of Goo Gone from another project.

Goo Gone was easier to control. Rather than spraying it on a towel or the surface, it poured out and didn’t splatter everywhere. I could have continued using WD-40, but Goo Gone seemed more suited for the adhesive removal step.

6.- Clean The Motorcycle Plastic Surfaces Of Glue.

Both WD-40 and Goo Gone seemed to leave an oily residue on the bike’s plastic fairings. So I gave the plastics a good wipe down with some glass cleaner and towels.  

Ta-Da! I successfully removed the stickers from the plastics, all without destroying the bike’s plastics. I’m clumsy at times, well, lots of times, and I had my doubts. 😀

What Was The Strongest Glue Remover I Used?

I feel in hindsight; that Goo Gone did the best at removing the residual sticker adhesive from the bike’s plastic fairings. The plastics required minimal “elbow grease” and saved me time. I used a lot of Goo Gone, so a decent sized bottle would be great.

Author’s Notice: This page contains affiliate links, for which I may earn a commission by their use. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.

My Bike's Decal Adhesive Remover I used in the end.
My Bike’s decal adhesive remover I used most. With clean paper towels.

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Don’t know if the other colors, green and blue , as bad as my white plastic, but any adhesive left behind turns black and look dirty. The Goo Gone product worked well for me.

My Tao Tao TBR7 is white, or at least the plastic body parts are white. I am thinking about getting some spray paint and changing the color. One suggestion I am thinking about, keeping it white but decorate it with Hello Kitty stickers. That would be out of this world. However, we do know the favorite color of most motorcyclists, Black. I am leaning towards painting all the plastic parts black to match the tank and seat. If you have suggestions, comment below. I would love to hear what color you think my TBR7 should become.


Click To See My Recommended
TBR7 Upgrades

Sticker Removal From My Motorcycle Post Update:

I’ve had some questions about how my experience with removing the stickers from my TBR7 motorcycle can apply to other dirt bikes. They are valid questions, and with what I learned about protecting the bike’s plastics while de-badging, my steps could be used on a better-built dirt bike. So added a more generic post later, and here it is:

How To Remove Stickers From Dirt Bike Plastics

No stickers on my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport motorcycle, job done.
Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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