3M and vehicle wrapping partner Sign Language satisfy Crescent Suzuki’s need for speed in World Superbike 2012
31 May 2012
Diversified technology company 3M is supporting the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike team with its high performance Controltac Graphic Film Series IJ380, which is being applied to the team’s 2012 race bikes by Authorised Vehicle Wrapper Sign Language.
Many high-tech racing teams still rely on traditional paint and stickers to display important corporate branding and sponsor messages. As liveries become increasingly complex, and with less time to approve and implement the designs, leading teams such as Crescent Suzuki are turning to wrapping with high-quality vinyl. Livery and sponsor logos can be printed, and the wrap applied as a one-piece film, bypassing time-consuming paint shop processes.
After finalising team sponsorships, and designing and approving the livery for the 2012 season, Crescent Suzuki had a very short timeframe in which to prepare its GSXR 1000 race bikes for the first meeting in Philip Island, Australia. “Sign Language not only met our challenging schedule but delivered a visually stunning result,” said Crescent Suzuki’s Managing Director, Paul Denning.
“A race bike presents extreme challenges for all aspects of vehicle wrapping, from design to application,” explained Tobin Jenkins, Managing Director of Oxford (UK) based vehicle graphics specialist Sign Language. “The result we achieved with items like the precision one-piece bellypan wrap, which displays sponsor logos on both sides of the bike, highlight the skills and experience of our design, production and application teams, as well as the high performance of the vinyl.”
The three dimensional conformability of Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 helped Sign Language wrap the challenging contours and angles of the bike’s fairing and seat unit, achieving a high quality application on every panel.
“A key message demonstrated through this project is that wrapping films such as this can be used for motorbikes just as effectively as for cars and vans,” said Paul Kitchen, Marketing Executive, 3M’s Commercial Graphics division. “Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 is already used extensively for wrapping commercial vehicles, which often require conformability to deep features and corrugations.”
Graphics are applied to the film by screen or inkjet printing, and the film has a dedicated overlaminate that provides a protective gloss finish, Scotchcal Overlaminate 8580 from 3M. Controltac Graphic Film IJ380’s advanced adhesive allows for accurate graphic positioning before being activated by applying pressure. No base colours, or raw carbon fibre texture of the Crescent Suzuki racing panels, show through the film after application.
Paul Denning added that vinyl wrapping is the ideal solution for allowing graphics to keep up with modifications such as the aerodynamic front cowling used at Monza, the fastest circuit on the World Superbike calendar. “The quick turnaround effectively releases extra time for our aero engineers to perfect the shape of the cowling. Ultimately, Sign Language will have around one day to apply the colours and graphics before we leave for Monza, which would be impossible with conventional paint and stickers. There is also a small weight saving by avoiding the primer-filler and base coat usually applied during painting.”
Sign Language and 3M will present high-performance vinyl films and perform live demonstrations with Crescent Suzuki at selected events during the year, showcasing the advantages of wrapping in numerous applications, including all types of race vehicles, as well as commercial fleets, vans, and custom cars and bikes. “We are very proud to partner with Crescent Suzuki in World Superbike,” concluded Tobin Jenkins. “Our work will be seen all around the world in 2012, and the project is already providing exciting new opportunities for Sign Language, working closely with 3M.”
For more information about 3M's Authorised Vehicle Wrapping network, please visit www.wrapyourcurves.co.uk.
3M, Controltac and Scotchcal are trademarks of 3M Company.