Tell Me All About Your Custom Panel Graphics

:art: — Has anyone attempted to design custom graphics for their panels? My wife is a graphic designer and she’s looking to create a custom scene that covers the three panels of our GFC camper. We’re thinking it will be two (maybe three) tone and we’re hoping to keep things pretty clean looking.

Ideally, we want to find a place that accepts a vector file and will print the with a resilient paint — we’re not sure if that exists. I’ve seen some GFC-branded vehicles with nice looking paint jobs on the panels, so I’m assuming something like this is possible!

Looking for insight, images, and experience on the topic!

I thought a mountain profile or the large compass design would be nice. I have black panels and they get so hot not sure anything would stay on.

@jadmt — Yah, we’re thinking of putting some of the Sierra Nevada range on ours. The compass in the mountains is a nice thought!

I have black panels and they get so hot not sure anything would stay on.

Yep. Our initial thinking was to try and use vinyl (like you would on a window), but I think there’s no way that it wouldn’t peel off.

I feel like there’s got to be a place that has a machine that will do a custom powder coat or something :thinking:

Most powdercoaters can do more complex designs. We did a blue than a clear on this motorcycle tank and it had nice crisp lines, but you would probably have to have them do the entire panel so they had a clean slate to start with.

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Yah, this is just something I have little experience with. Any tips to finding a company/shop to work with to do the powder coating?

I guess I’ll just start by calling around to local shops and see what sorts of projects they’re willing to take on.

:motorcycle: — Also, your ride looks awesome.

Just try to find the higher end shops with a retail showroom etc. These tend to be the ones who care more about the work in my experience.

  • A friend and I built bikes for a bit, this was his personal ride.

Hey @bikedogtaco how did you do those panel graphics on the V1 you’re selling?

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I gave a guy I know who owns a local sign shop a rendering of my idea and he tweaked it on his computer to fit the measurements I wanted for the panels, ordered the vinyl decal material, and even installed them for me. Came out super professional looking & pretty bombproof too.

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@bikedogtaco — We initially thought we would go for vinyl, but were unsure whether or not it would peel off the panels. I’m guessing you haven’t had any issues with heat/water/dirt/wear causing issues?

EDIT: Oh yah, also thanks @gwiz!

When I had the whole entire panel wrapped in camo, I had issues w/ the vinyl peeling on the edges, but that’s because that was a heavier, less sticky vinyl that I did myself. and it was super difficult to go around the edges because of the way the inside of the panels are made. The 2 times I had the sign shop print me up designs that were sandwiched between the wax paper, they came out great & were even a bit difficult to peel off when I wanted/needed too. I JUST peeled off the orange/yellow design to get it ready to be sold and I was super impressed how well they were on there. No way they were coming off by anything other than human intent.

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This is great to hear. We had sorta canned this solution because we were worried it would peel over time — sounds like we should keep investigating though!

Nice bike! My first bike was an XS400 with the Virago shape and those curved spoke mag wheels.

Did they blast that tank? My local shop is so concerned about damaging the tank in blast that they subtly push you towards paint and away from PC…

Currently enjoying a vintage Yamaha project while I wait for the camper - 1976 RD400C.

Nice! We built an XS400 also. great little bike! For both bikes we stripped the paint, then used an orbital sander to clean and get the finish we wanted. Then they were able to powder on that without blasting. Sorry to get the post so off topic!
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Ha, not a problem at all!

:thinking: — I’ll have a post a picture of the rough design we’re thinking of going with on the panels to re-center things on GFC. Definitely just trying to sponge up any/all advice folks have!