Custom Motorcycle Graphics Options

If you want to personalize your bike, there is no better way than adding custom graphics. Whether you want to go for something classic like flames or a design from your club or other modern design, there are many different ways to actually apply the graphics to your motorcycle, which you can either do yourself, or you can request the services of a professional who can make sure the design is applied perfectly in the best spot. Which method of application you choose will depend on your budget, how extensive the graphic is, and whether or not you want a professional to do the application.

motorcycle hydrographics

 

This is a great way to apply a graphic or pattern across a large piece of your bike. The pattern is printed on a film, which is then floated and dissolved on the surface of a tub of water. The piece is then submerged in the water, picking up the decal as it goes, wrapping cleanly and evenly onto the piece. This is one of the best ways to adhere a pattern even to an oddly shaped piece of the bike, or a piece with lots of curves or divots. It does not work well, on the other hand, for designs that need very precise placement.

 

While you can apply decals yourself, if you are wary about placing them correctly or adhering them properly, you can always find a body shop who will gladly place them for you. Your decals can be of just about anything, from club logos to flames. You can even design your own decals and have them printed and applied at your local shop.

motorcycle wraps

 

If you want to completely transform the appearance of your bike, a motorcycle wrap may be just what you are looking for. A motorcycle wrap covers most of or all of the bike in a pattern. Websites like bikeskinz.com have hundreds of different designs in every single color, so you can find something that matches your personality and style. From skulls, to camo, to dragons, and the ability to buy a set that precisely matches your make and model of bike. These wraps are applied by you—but don’t worry, there are plenty of instructions and you can get a new panel if one gets damaged.

 

A custom paint job is probably the easiest way to overhaul your motorcycle. In the hands of a professional painter, you can have any color and any design you could imagine, and unlike decals and wraps, a paint job is durable, even through harsh weather and extended rides. Finding the right painter might take some time, as you do not want to hand your motorcycle over to someone unskilled. When you do find the right painter, however, you will have the most unique bike on the road!

What is the Process Behind Hydrographics?

Hydrographics is the process of transferring a print image onto an object in water. It sounds simple, but there’s a little more involved than just that. There are probably some things in your home that have been decorated using hydrographics and you just don’t know it yet. Chances are you’ll go to search them out to get a better look at them once you find out just what all goes into hydrographics.

Hydrographics

Pretty much any three-dimensional object can be decorated with hydrographics. When an object has been picked to be decorated, the first step in the hydrographics process is to decide on the image that you want transferred. The image could be pretty much anything you want, but popular images are camo, marble designs, and wood grains.

Once you’ve decided on the image you want, the next step is to prepare the object for the transfer. To do this, the object is thoroughly cleaned and then a substance like a primer is put onto the object, which gives it a nice coating for the image to adhere to. Sometimes an object is painted beforehand in a base color, such as green to go with a camo design.

When that step is complete the image you chose is printed onto a special film that is water soluble and then it is placed into a vat containing water. That printed image is then sprayed down with a special chemical that causes the film to dissolve. The image then just floats on the surface of the water.

The object is then placed into the vat of water on top of the image and as the object is lowered into the water, the image kind of wraps around the object to fit it like a glove. When the object is removed from the water, it is covered in your chosen image.

The object needs to be rinsed off and set aside to dry before a coat of urethane is applied to the object. This will protect the object from becoming damaged by anything like the sun rays or certain chemicals. The object must set aside to dry once again and then the last step is to sand and then polish the object until it shines. Now that the hydrographics process is complete, the image is permanently attached to the object and is extremely durable.

The whole process is really quite interesting and the final results are amazing. The design ideas you can choose from are endless, but if you can’t quite decide on a ready-made image, you or someone else can design the image you want for you. You’d be surprised to hear how large some objects are that go through this process. Sometimes the items have to be dipped in the water multiple times in order to completely transfer the image. This is where it gets tricky because they have to match up the seams as perfectly as possible. But when the job is well done, you can’t even see the seams.

The History of Military Motorcycles in the US Armed Forces

When most of us think about military vehicles, the first thing that comes to mind is not the motorcycle. Motorcycles are more commonly associated with counter-culture, while tanks and all-terrain vehicles are the images that crop up when we consider military transportation. And, let’s be honest, a motorcycle doesn’t exactly look like the most tactically sound vehicle. It provides no armor, no shielding against enemy fire.

Military Motorcycles

Despite this, motorcycles have played an important role in the U.S. military for one reason and one reason alone: they are fast. When the need for speed and agility overcame the need for protection, motorcycles were called into play. You already have to be pretty tough to ride a motorcycle, but to ride one in a war zone? You have to be tough as nails. The history of the motorcycle in the U.S. Military begins in the Mexican revolution. Soldiers sent by the U.S. were equipped with high-speed Harley-Davidsons to get them in and out of sticky situations. It wasn’t until the first world war, however, that motorcycles really became a standard in the American military.

World War I

 Though entrenched in Europe, the U.S. military deployed more than 150,000 motorcycles along enemy lines, used for conveying supplies back and forth from the rear to the front lines. Often, military motorcycles were used to transport extra rations and ammo from distant supply lines to those soldiers who were struggling in the trenches. The most important task given to the motorcycle, however, was reconnaissance and delivering messages. As the fastest and most agile vehicle on the front, the motorcycle was the most practical way to get a message from point A to point B, enabling the rider to get around all of the dangers of the battlefield with enough speed to avoid being shot.

World War II

 World War II saw even more motorcycles, being used primarily, again, by messengers and to convey supplies from bases to units in the field. More than 90,000 Harley-Davidsons were built just for the war, with even better specs that the civilian vehicle. For a while, the German motorcycles were outperforming the home-grown versions, but the BMW models were soon captured and their technology used to rev up the U.S.’s motorcycle. By the end of the war, Harley-Davidson had a bike that was nearly impervious dust, could ford deep water, and was still fast enough and smooth enough to get any soldier out of the worst situation.

Post-War

 After the Second World War, motorcycles largely fell out of vogue in the military, as other, more protective vehicles became faster and more maneuverable (though, most still cannot compare with the agility of a motorcycle). The motorcycle saw little action during the rest of the century. It has, however, found some notoriety again, on Iraqi and Afghani soil, where their speed makes them perfect for patrol. Though a motorcycle goes against all of the traditional military dogma, as it lacks armor and stealth, it is still well-loved among those who know how to utilize this vehicle for its tactical strengths.