Diablo XS2 Gas Tank Mask Set


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Lawrenceville, GA
My wife did my 1972 XS2 tank mask set. She wrote up a little about her experiences.

After just finishing the 2 hour process of masking the ’72 Yamaha XS 650 tank kit, here are my thoughts.
1) The 3M tape kit is very stiff and does not position over curves and convex areas well, creating creases and bubbles no matter how carefully you apply and smooth.
2) The top tape is too opaque to be able to see positioning marks well
3) The yellow mask tape is quite stretchy - if you have to reposition it is very easy to stretch it out of shape.
4) The kit doesn’t seem to fit well with the shape of the tank. I had to place the pinstripe a little above the tank ridge line to get the back curve to fit. The lower stripe has a bend that didn’t fit well with the tank shape…a downward curve that was difficult to place. I had enough tape pieces after mating the 2 sections to cover what I thought should be a straight piece.
5) For the price, this kit was difficult to place. It would have been easier to do manually with a template and masking tape.

1) The tape adheres very well even after repositioning.
2) It is easy to smooth creases and bubbles along the edges.
3) The mask itself is very flexible. I would use 3M pinstripe tape if it is like this product.

My process:
Wipe tank with 91% alcohol and keep wipe handy to frequently wipe my hands. My tools were a small silicone spatula, Exacto knife, cloth tape measure and pencil.
Working on one side at a time, I placed the bottom stripes first going to just below the bottom edge of the tank removing the backing tape as I smoothed. The top layer adhesive tape has NO stretch so positioning was a pain. I could not easily conform to the curves and lines of the tank. After much fiddling, I decided to pull all the backing off and reposition as closely as possible knowing there were bubbles and creases. I pulled the top tape off and gently repositioned and curved the larger stripe first, smoothing out all the wrinkles and bubbles with the spatula. Then I adjusted the pinstripe. Leave your tails to cut later when mating to the upper design. The larger piece was more difficult to place since the top tape has no flexibility. I chose the spot and working from the front of the scoop I pulled the backing off slowly(4-5 inches at first). After much checking of the curve placement and pinstripe position on the tank, repositioning several times, I decided to just get it as close to the correct position knowing there were wrinkles and bubbles. I pulled off the top tape and slowly pulled the top pinstripe from the back almost all the way to the front and repositioned. I then moved to the large piece, pulling up to the middle or farther to remove the bubbles and wrinkles. I moved on to the bottom pinstripe and pulled up to the area with wrinkles, taking care to not let the tape stick to itself. I tried to handle the back of the mask as little as possible. I left all tails on the mask until the very end of the positioning and mating of top piece and bottom stripes. This product has plenty of stickiness to be repositioned but it does stretch and lose shape.

Moving on to the other side, I placed the lower stripes on first as before. I lined it up as closely as possible after removing all the backing tape. Once it was in place but not fully pressed down, I removed the top tape slowly and carefully. I then repositioned areas of the wider stripe mask before repositioning the pinstripe, smoothing with spatula as I went along. I did this same technique with the large design…pull off all the backing, place as close as possible but did not press down, then carefully remove the top tape. Repositioning is much easier without the top tape because you can follow the contours of the tank better. I ended up removing the entire large scoop piece after adjusting the top pin stripe to match the other side, placed the large piece slowly then adjust the lower half of pinstripe. I mated the back mask and cut.

In retrospect, it would have been easier to place the large piece in multiple stages. I should have cut the center scoop shape out and placed separately from the pin striping. Once you place the center, you can leave the backing tape on and align the pinstripe around more precisely, then take the backing tape off both pieces (or maybe even take the top tape off the scoop and make sure there are no bubbles and wrinkles then apply the pinstripe).
Here are a couple.