Sticker Kits - Create Your Own Identity

POSTED ON: March 21, 2010

Sticker kits (or the lack of them) gives your kart an identity on the track whilst your racing in a pack.

Surely as there are those that will argue its just a cosmetic tool and that its only proper to race battle-scarred karts, there are others who will counter-argue the merits of “hot” looking karts that personify the thrill and excitement that accompany racing.

For those looking to enhance the look of their kart, there are several ways to do so. Firstly, sticker and bodywork sets can be purchased from local dealers who usually have spare bodywork as well as sticker kits of the chassis brand they carry.

For those looking to purchase after-market sticker kits and decals, there are online sticker vendors such as http://www.godecalzone.com/ that either offer sticker kits of different designs or provide templates from which you can create your own design. Be aware that the material of sticker kits come in different  ply which affect how easy they are to work with and how resistant they are to physical damage. From my experience, the cheapest form, the 10mm ply is fine as long as the vendors ensure that their glue is sufficiently sticky. Another important point to note is that the vendor will generate the designs according to the bodywork template you specify - bodywork kits on karts can vary though it is a simple exercise to know which template to specify - there is usually a branding on the bodykits that will specify both the manufacturer brand, i.e. KG, and the bodywork model, i.e. Stilo. Should you print the wrong set for their bodywork, you will find trying to fit the stickers on the kart a futile effort as they will usually be either too long or too short. Once you find a design you like, a good quality vendor will send you your sticker kits in a cylinder, which will ensure that the stickers retain their shape and are not accidentally bent.

Upon receiving your sticker kits, via a visual inspection, ensure that you have purchased the right size for your bodywork.  Thereafter, you will need a scissors, a needle, a plastic spray containing a solution of soapy water, a hairdryer or heat-gun and I would also recommend baby wipes.

Pasting on stickers or decals is no easy task. Ask anyone who has ever given a try. A set of side bumpers, nassau panel and nosecone can take about 1-2 hours for the inexperienced.

Always plan ahead before proceeding to apply a sticker - to minimise the number of “ugly” gaps between adjoined stickers, you will need to compensate on the placement of certain stickers.

The actual application is relatively simple - having wiped down the surface of the bodywork with a baby wipe to remove any solids that would affect the flatness of the applied sticker, spray soapy water on both the section of bodywork that will be covered as well as the rear of the sticker. To get the stickers to slide easily, you should rub in the soapy solution evenly onto the bodywork. By then, you should then be able to maneuver the wet sticker across the surface. Once done, application of heat from a heat-gun or hairdryer will highlight any air pockets and make the sticker pliable for which you need patience to work on bubbles, pressing them with a pin and making sure all the film lays flat. For curved surfaces, align the sticker so that it fits the curve, then whilst holding holding a section of the curve, apply heat and work the sticker. Use baby wipes to remove the excess soap water as well as any glue that may stick to the surface of the stickers.

The example below shows a sticker kit that was recently applied to spare bodywork.

In addition, I applied a clear urethane film as a surface guard for my front bumper and sidepods, so as to minimise the scarring from light collisions.

sticker-kit

sticker-kit-5

plastic surface-guard

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