Multistrada 1200 – Fitting DP Clear Tank Protectors

Multistrada 1200 – Fitting DP Clear Tank Protectors

See also: VentureShield Paint Protection Film – care advice

The following article refers to the DP (Ducati Performance) adhesive clear tank / paint protection panels but the technique applies equally well to other similar vinyl/adhesive paint protection products.

Fitting DP clear tank side  protectors
By member ‘wooleeboolee’
(see the original discussion here: Gas Tank Scratches & Solutions 
[‘Gas tank’ = Fuel or petrol tank :-]


I got the official Ducati Accessories DP clear tank protectors and they look great on my white Touring Multistrada 1200. I got the clear ones because I was worried that the faux carbon ones would chop up the nice lines of the bike below the tank. I’m glad I went with the clear because they’re virtually invisible from a few feet away.

Photo by fellow member ‘UFO’ [added by AndyW]

Some tips on applying these tank protectors especially for the clear protectors where you don’t want air bubbles and finger prints showing through!:

What you’ll need:

  1. a new set of DP tank protectors;
  2. a clean, empty spritzer bottle (any spray bottle);
  3. clear tap water and a few drops of liquid dish soap like Dawn liquid (but see comments appended at the end);
  4. some rubbing alcohol;
  5. blow dryer or heat gun;
  6. an old plastic credit card or plastic freezer defrosting tool with smooth edges, to use as a squeegee;
  7. a clean, dry microfiber hand towel;
  8. half an hour of time and some patience.

Now, let’s get started:

1). get a clean spritzer bottle (spray bottle) and fill with clean water; add a few drops of liquid dishwater soap like Dawn liquid, and gently shake the bottle to mix up the soap. [AndyW: see notes appended at the end of the article;-]

2). take some rubbing alcohol and clean the area before applying the tank protectors. This gets rid of wax and other residue like oils that would prevent good adhesion (and later causing your tank protectors to peel or bubble). Use a fresh, clean microfiber towel…cotton towels will leave lint that will get trapped under the protectors.

3). position the clear protector with the plastic backing sheet still on it, so you can see where it will go once you apply the protector. This is a “dry run” so to speak.

4). you’ll note that the best position for the DP protectors is about 1/4 inch from the edge on the bottom and along the side that is closest to the rear of the bike. The top of the protector will rise across a ridge on the tank that seems weird and causes some finessing, but don’t let it freak you out.

5). if your bike came with a center stand, use it, so your bike is vertical. This helps in the application of the protectors because your bike will be straight up on both sides of the bike. Otherwise, if you have a rear stand or a fork stand, use it.

6). now wash your hands with soap and water. Don’t dry with paper towels or terrycloth towels…they will leave lint on your hands! If you need to dry your hands, use the microfiber towel you used for the alcohol.

7). you are now ready to apply the first protector. Pick a side, any side, and spray the tank area liberally with the water/soap mixture. Shove a little bit of the microfiber towel under the tank area and over the engine area to soak up excess liquid. Next, spray your hands liberally with soapy water…this prevents finger prints. Then, gently use your fingers to remove the tank protector from the clear sheet that it comes on, using only the edges of the protector to lift and handle to minimize fingerprints.

8). carefully position the protector onto the area where you’ll apply it. There will be soap bubbles and liquid dripping from it but that’s okay. The protector will want to slip around and that’s okay. You want it to be slippery so you can position it properly. Use the 1/4 inch guidelines around the bottom and rear-side to position the protector.

9). holding the protector with one hand, use the other hand’s fingers to squeegee the liquid from under the protector, going from top to bottom (let gravity help you out). Once you get most of the liquid out, the protector will start to stick because the adhesive will start taking over. Take the credit card or other plastic tool like a freezer defrosting tool to gently squeegee the liquid from underneath the protector. Work from top to bottom, center to the outside edges, and firmly but carefully squeezing water out as you go.

10). once you’ve got almost all of the bubbles out, use a hair dryer (set on HIGH heat) or a heat gun (CARE!) and blow the protector to help it dry, all the while, squeezing out the last of the bubbles out. The heat will also soften the upper portion of the protector to allow it to stick over the ridge mentioned above. Once the protector is nicely “de-bubbled”, you can take your microfiber towel and dry it everything off, making sure that the edges are firmly patted down and all the remaining water is out. The hair dryer/heat gun will help dry the edges out. If you’re using a heat gun, be careful not to overheat the plastic or the paint! You don’t want to fry everything and ruin the expensive paint job on your new baby.

11). repeat steps 7 through 10 for the other side. Now let the bike sit for several hours to let the protectors sufficiently dry out. Overnight is better, so you don’t accidentally move them with your knees. You’re done! Good luck.

[AndyW] – don’t panic if you end up with one or two small air bubbles, carefully pierce the bubble with a fine pin and apply pressure to the area 😉

Soap – I had VentureShield protective film professionally applied to my bike a few weeks back……..the guy used Johnsons Liquid Baby Bath Soap (very mild soap with no strong chemicals;-) [other brands may be available lol] ….rather than ‘washing-up liquid’ soap as he’d found after much experimentation it was best. The use of soap acts to retard the adhesive so as to allow the installation without the adhesive prematurely sticking so that the film can be moved around on the bike panels for best fit and reducing any bubbles and creases.

[‘awdnut’] – I cut myself a similar pattern to the DP tank protector using 3M Dinoc film