"How To"
Apply 3M Protective Film 
On The Road Star
Fuel Tank
By Jeff Wood, Owner of Midnight Thunder

If you click on pictures they will enlarge....

Below are the scans Jeff has provided,
he also has stated that the
2000 might have a different
Pinstripe layout than the 99' does
These are for the 1999' Road Star
You might have to modify these for
a 2000 model

Check and make sure the patterns
fit your pinstripe theme before you
start cutting your 3M Film

Left-side pattern

Right- side pattern

Top-left pattern

Top-right pattern


Grumpy (CYCLEBOB) 
has done the patterns in greyscale and
resized them for those who would like them
they are posted below.


The Film is
Available at the following Web Page

Left-side & sized
Top-left & sized

Right-side & sized
Top-right & sized

One thing I discovered while doing this job is that the pin striping pattern on the motorcycle tank varies slightly from side to side and probably from bike to bike. In other words, humans must have 
done them.

My patterns are set up for my bike and the left side pattern is slightly different from the right side, so everyone should check their own bikes against my patterns before using my patterns as an absolute guide.

The 3M kit includes 
     1 square foot of film, 
     1 pint of premixed isopropyl alcohol/water mixture, 
     1 spray can of adhesive and wax remover, 
     1 squeegee w/smooth cover to prevent scratches and some special wiping cloths.

 The kit, can be purchased through http://www.autosupermart.com at a very reasonable price.

Important Points:

1.  When cutting the patterns always cut inside the line.  Don't leave any of the line showing or the
     pattern won't fit properly.

2.  As a shortcut, tape the pattern to the 3M film using masking tape, making sure that you align the
     pattern so that all 3 patterns will fit on the one sheet of film.  Using this method you can cut the
     pattern and the film at the same time.
3.  Use very sharp scissors and cut very carefully.
4.  Check and make sure that the patterns fit within the pin striping.  They might need to be re-cut
     according to the striping on each bike.
5.  Remove seat.
6.  Use the wax and glue removal spray that comes with the kit to clean off the tank in the areas
     where the film will be applied.
7.  Pour the isopropyl alcohol solution in a spray bottle.
8.  Place plastic trash bags or other form of plastic sheet under the gas tank on both sides to fully
     protect the engine and chrome from the alcohol.
9.  Very carefully, doing one piece at a time, peel the backing off of the film.  With the alcohol
     spray, spray the adhesive side of the film liberally and then spray the area of the tank where the
     film is being applied.  I would suggest doing the top piece first, as it is the hardest and the
     alcohol runoff might affect the side panel adhesion.
10.  After spraying both surfaces, film and tank, quickly align the film as close to the center of the
       rear lip of the tank. 
      There is a mark on the top pattern where the center of the lip is at.
      Place the film on the tank and slide it into place using the tank lip as the guide.
      Time is of the essence because the alcohol will rapidly evaporate.
      I estimate that within 30 seconds the film will no longer slide around so it is critical to 
      move quickly.
11.   Using the squeegee that is provided with the kit, start at the center and start working the film
        outward in all directions. 
        Do one edge at a time, as this is the hardest part of the job. 
        When you get to the curves on the side of the tank the film will initially buckle. 
        Keep working it gently outward and down with the squeegee and the buckles will work 
        themselves out and disappear. 
        Keep a close eye on this area and make certain that the film is firmly adhered to the tank. 
        If a bubble appears try to work it out towards the nearest edge. 
        If the bubble won't move take a pin and prick it and work the liquid solution out through the
        After doing the curve on one side, the film should come right up to the upper pinstripe
        and around the rear curve of the outermost pinstripe at the rear of the tank. 
       In my opinion the film should not overlap the pinstripe because there is a ridge at the 
        pinstripe and the film might not adhere properly. 
       That is why I designed the pattern to abut, but not overlap the pinstripe. 
       When finished with the first tank edge go to the other side. 
       You might have to carefully lift the film that has not yet been squeeched and spray 
       more alcohol under it. 
       The alcohol will dilute the glue on the film and the squeegee will work the glue out 
       along with the alcohol. 
       This makes for a very clear finish.

12.  Using the same process, peel the backing off the side pattern film, spray it and the side of the
        tank with alcohol and apply the film. 
        Slide it into place and work it flat with the squeegee. 
       Keep a close check for bubbles and try to work them out quickly. 
       Wipe all excess fluid up with the special cloth provided in the kit. 
       Do one side at a time and then wait for about 30 minutes before replacing your seat.
       I let the bike sit for a couple of hours in my garage before taking it out for a ride. 
       It takes a few hours for the film to cure and I noticed that after it cured it had shrunk 
       slightly which removed some slight
       imperfections on the surface of the film.  By the following day it was thoroughly 
       cured and looked really good.
       For a novice with no decal application experience I would highly recommend 
       that they buy 2 square feet of the film and practice on a smooth curved metal
       surface other than the bike, until they get the process down pat. 
       The whole job, from beginning to end took about 2 hours and that included
       designing, making and cutting the patterns.

       Good Luck!!!
       Jeff Wood