MXA TEAM TESTED: DECAL WORKS GRAPHIC GUARDS
WHAT IS IT? DeCal Works rose to fame producing custom-made graphics kits that were previously unavailable to the average motorcycle racer. They made their customers’ bikes look good. Imagine how they felt when they saw how ragged their graphics got after they got worn out, rolled up and peeled away by the riders’ boots. DeCal Works clear plastic graphic guards protect your side number plate graphics from ugly wear and tear.
WHAT’S IT COST? $24.95 (For Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, KTM and Husqvarna models)
CONTACT? www.decalmx.com or (815) 784-4000.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the DeCal Works graphic guards.
(1) Invention. Although you may have seen graphics guards advertised by both DeCal Works and Polisport Plastic, don’t be confused. They aren’t fighting over who came up with the idea first. Why not? Because DeCal Works’ Ron Joynt thought up the product and got a U.S. patent on it back in 2012. DeCal Works and Polisport came up with a partnership agreement in which Polisport would manufacture the graphic guards for DeCal Works if they could sell them on a royalty basis also. The Polisport and DeCal Works products are identical.
(2) The problem. On most modern motocross bikes, the rear number plates extend to where the subframe attaches to the frame. The side panel is then covered with a vinyl number-plate background. The problem lies where the rider’s boot meets the front edge of the side number plates. Even though the side number plates are often as high as 10 inches above the footpeg, the constant movement of the rider’s feet frays the vinyl graphics. Not only do the number-plate graphics get torn, the sticky glue interacts with the rubber sole of the boot and leaves big black marks.
(3) Cheap solution. When faced with rolled-up graphics on the front edge of their number plate, most motocross racers cut the rolled-up portion off with a razor blade. And, as it continues to roll up, they cut more and more of the vinyl decal away.
(4) The DeCal Works solution. DeCal Works graphic guards are like sneeze guards at a salad bar. They are small, clear, molded pieces of plastic that encapsulate the area where your boot hits the vinyl number plate. The plastic layer never lets your boot touch the vinyl, thus the vinyl never tears, rips or rolls up. And since the graphics guard is clear, it allows the color of the graphics to show through.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? On KTM models, the left-side graphic guard made it difficult to get the airbox cover open. Our first solution was to leave the left-side graphic guard off, because most of the wear and tear is on the right-side panel; however, when we decided to run the left-side graphics guard, we found it necessary to trim off the offending piece of plastic with a Dremel. Problem solved.
MXA RATING: MXA test riders like their bikes to look put-together, not frayed and ragged. If you are like us, you will like DeCal Works’ graphic guards.