Thanks to the now overbearing dreaded ‘Health and Safety’ regulations, free with every purchase of a new motorcycle comes a lovely WARNING label stuck right in the middle of your beautiful shiny fuel-tank. As I’m sure anyone who has tried to remove one of these labels will know, they are in fact one of the toughest substances on earth, in fact I’m pretty sure that if they made motorcycle riding gear out of Health and Safety labels, you would quite comfortably survive a good 10 second skid down the road after an off at pretty much any speed. These things are nigh-on indestructible!
So how do we go about removing one, save stripping the paint off your tank? You can’t ask the dealers to do it for you as they are forbidden from doing so by the bike manufacturers. However the solution is pretty straight forward, if a little time consuming.
Before you attempt this It is probably a good idea to make sure your fuel tank is closed and locked, as I’m pretty sure electric heating elements and fuel don’t mix very well… Likewise I’d ensure there is no fuel residue on or around the tank. Simply get a hairdryer and heat it up by directing the hot air toward the label. You may find that the edge of the sticker will start to peel away by itself. Use a fingernail to gently pry the label away from the tank, being sure to alternate between peeling and heating. Try not to pull the label away from the tank, as the protective top layer will probably separate leaving you with a harder job (this happened to me my first time). After that it is just a case of patients and heating and peeling. Eventually the label will come away.
Once you’ve finally got the label off you will be left with a horrible sticky residue on the tank. You can simply use your favorite bike cleaning product to remove it, or most other non-abrasive cleaners. In my case I used a light application of Ambersil Amberclens which removes sticky substances really well.
Once all the glue has been removed you can buff and polish the paintwork to restore the finish.
And that’s it! Go forth and enjoy your new warning label free bike, safe in the knowledge that it said something about being safe that you really probably should have read but just can’t remember now. If only there was a label somewhere that had that information on it… Damn…