Removing a Harley tank emblem or badge is not difficult. It does, however, require that you use patience and common sense.
There are a few reasons why you may want or need to remove a Harley tank emblem. You may need to restore or repaint your fuel tank. You may be replacing a damaged fuel tank but plan to reuse the original emblems. Or, you might prefer the look of your ride without emblems on the fuel tank.
Whatever the reason for removal, it must be accomplished without compromising the original factory finish. Never attempt to remove a Harley tank emblem with a razor blade or a screwdriver. And it’s not okay to use a small screwdriver. As Bob demonstrates, a small screwdriver will make smaller damage, but on a painted component; no damage is acceptable.
If you know that you will be removing an emblem(s) in the near future, it can be helpful to soak the backing adhesive with warm, soapy water. You can re-soak the area a couple times a day or more, until the day you finally have time to work on your bike. While soaking the adhesive is very helpful in softening the adhesive; it is not absolutely necessary.
The best way to remove a Harley tank emblem or badge is with a heat gun and a couple of non marring plastic, body trim, removal tools. It is important to keep the heat gun moving over the circumference of the emblem. Do not hold the heat gun in any one position for too long as this can damage your painted surface. Eventually a corner of the emblem will lift and you can introduce your non marring lever. It is good if you can use the heat gun and the lever in conjunction with one another.
After the emblem is removed, there will still be sticky residue left behind. For this, use a clean rag with a non chlorinated brake cleaner or solvent. Never use an aggressive chemical such as carburetor cleaner on your painted components. This type of cleaner will etch into your clear coat and ruin your finish.
When the emblem is removed and the fuel tank surface cleaned, you may notice that the finnish is inconsistent in the area where the emblem was once positioned. This is commonly called environmental fade and is a direct result of ultra violet rays against your painted surface. This can be easily corrected by polishing the entire painted surface. Make sure to watch all our videos covering bodywork and paint repair/care.