Date reviewed: March 2021 | Tested by: John Milbank | RRP: Around £100 | www.eazi-grip.com
Keeping the paint on your motorcycle in its best condition isn’t just about looks – it can have a big impact on the value of your bike when you come to sell it.
Eazi-Grip’s paint protection kits cost around £100 for gloss finishes and about £140 for matte – it’ll depend on the kit you’re buying, but for my 2019 BMW S1000XR the gloss film was £88.00 with free delivery.
Eazi-Grip is made in the UK, by an off-shoot of Hillcroft North West, which was established in 2002 and specialises in making self-adhesive grip, non-slip and protection products, so you can be confident that this ISO9001 accredited company isn’t just buying in random sheets of plastic with no background in the technology.
The kit is supplied in a large, well-protected tube, the protective film unrolling to reveal a set of perfectly-cut sections that can look a bit daunting at first, but the parts guide on the instruction sheet soon makes sense.
This film doesn’t cover the whole bike; on the XR for instance, it’s for all the exposed areas on the front, the frontal areas of the main side panels and the tail. There’s nothing for the tank or other areas that aren’t likely to get hit by stones.
I’d strongly recommend you do this job indoors if you can – you’ll be better able to control the light to spot any air bubbles, plus there’s less risk of getting any small flies caught underneath!
You also need a clean space and a good couple of hours set aside to do the job properly. I must admit I was rather daunted at the idea of doing this at first, but as the job progresses you’ll definitely gain confidence – I’d suggest finding a relatively simple section to work with first, like the tip of the front mudguard.
A decent-sized spray bottle with a small amount of detergent fluid comes in the kit – just top this up with water and it’s ready for use. It’s not for cleaning the clocks – it’s to allow the protector to float onto the bodywork for perfect positioning and no bubbles.
Your bike needs to be thoroughly clean, and that means ensuring there’s no wax or silicone left on it. Check out our in-depth cleaners review here, and I would go for more of a degreaser, to ensure the paint is spotless, but I’d strongly advise that you only use one of the recommended products to ensure it’s safe on the plastics. Once it’s properly clean and dry, you need to use the two supplied isopropyl wipes to remove any remaining grease, silicone or fingerprints.
With your hands washed, before you start work spray your fingertips with the detergent solution, which will stop you leaving any fingerprints in the adhesive.
First, spray the area you’ll be applying the film to with the detergent solution, then peel that piece of film off the backing sheet – I found it easiest to have it laying on a clean workbench, and to lift the corner of the piece with a knife.
As you remove the film, spray the sticky side with the solution. Don’t worry, you won’t dilute or harm the glue.
Now lay the film onto the bike and gently float it around until you get it in just the right spot.
It’s hard to photograph something so transparent, but the CNC cut lines give you an idea of what’s there…
Each piece is incredibly accurately cut, but this does mean you have to be very accurate. On some panels this wasn’t an issue, but the front of the S1000XR in particular was quite tricky thanks to the thin areas down the sides of the headlights.
This was the first section I worked on, which was a mistake as it was quite a tricky one with which to learn how the material moves and reacts, but once you realise that if you’re not happy with how the film is going down you can simply peel it off, moisten it with the spray again, then have another go, you’ll soon gain confidence.
The supplied squeegee allows you to push all the air bubbles out from the middle of each piece to the edges, and while some corners can feel like they’re not going to stick, as the adhesive dries the bond is excellent.
The pieces are cut in such a way that they rarely have to wrap around complex shapes, but even where there are (like on the leading edge of the S1000XR’s main side panels), the film follows these forms well when it’s worked in with the squeegee, your fingers, or the palm of your hand on more complex areas.
Throughout the application, it’s clear that this is a quality material with an excellent adhesive. I was concerned that any overlap on an edge could create a point at which the film would lift when cleaning, but while I tried to avoid this, there was one area where I wrapped the edge around a fine corner; after a few minutes of working it down with my finger, the moisture underneath had dried and the bond was good.
Once you’re completely happy that you have all the moisture out from under the film, with no air bubbles remaining, you should wipe it down with a paper towel then use a hair-dryer or hot-air-gun to finish it off.
I left this stage until I’d done every panel, but this was a mistake. While I was sure I’d cleared all the bubbles, there was one on the right top fairing and another on the right main panel that I’d missed. Because I didn’t spot them until the final pass with the heat gun, it was too late to lift the film off and try again.
I popped the bubbles really carefully with a pin then worked the air out through them, but it’s not perfect – if you know where to look there’s a small blemish that looks like the damage caused by bird poo if it’s left for too long on paint.
Of course, the paint itself is fine – and still protected – under these blemishes, and it took me a while to remember where they were to be able to photograph them for this review.
Take your time and check more carefully than I obviously did in this case and you shouldn’t have any problems, but fortunately Eazi-Grip is very helpful if you do have any issues with a piece you feel you might have messed up, so don’t be afraid to contact them.
Shot extremely close, you can see some of the blemishes that remain after I fitted it the film. These are practically unnoticeable in reality, and if I fitted it again I reckon I’d be able to avoid them all
Besides the two avoidable blemishes, I really was surprised at just how invisible this film is.
Once you know where to look you’ll notice the edges as they catch the light, but it’s far from obvious; while cleaning the BMW I made a point of being quite aggressive near the edges, but often found myself forgetting where the film was applied.
When rinsing the bike down after a wash the film is more obvious, but only because the water beads so well on it.
Water beads really well on the film, though the difference is less noticeable once the whole bike’s been waxed
I’ve had it fitted for a couple of months now but it hasn’t been out much due to lockdown. The coming months will see me using the bike a lot more – and hopefully in plenty of bright sunlight – but the Eazi-Grip film is claimed to be UV-resistant and non-yellowing. Needless to say, I’ll update this review if anything changes, but I’m very happy so far.
Eazi-Grip says that the expected lifespan of the protection film on the average motorcycle in a North Central European Climate is ten years; “Lifespan depends on the type of substrate, substrate preparation, exposure conditions and nature and frequency of the cleaning,” they told me. “For instance, it is estimated that a south-facing exposure will divide the durability by two. The same applies to a horizontal exposure.”
Generally, it’s really hard to see the film
Despite a proper wash, the Eazi-Grip film hasn’t shown any signs of damage or peeling; even rubbing at it with a microfibre for some over-enthusiastic drying had no effect, and the overspray from applying corrosion protectant made no difference.
As with any unlacquered graphics on your bike, do take care with a jet-wash – if you get the nozzle too close on the edges you could start to lift the film, so just use a little common sense.
The official line from Eazi-Grip is “For the use of high-pressure cleaners, apply medium water pressure at a minimum distance of 50 cm and a maximum water temperature of 35°C (95°F).
“The film should not be cleaned within the first 48 hours following its application as this can affect the adhesive strength that may result in the film peeling off.
“Solvents and corrosive detergents must not be used. Always carry out a test on a small area before cleaning the entire surface to be covered.
“We would recommend hand washing over an automated wash, which is what is mostly used for motorcycles anyway.”
That point about solvents and corrosive detergents is key – the test I carried out on cleaning products showed that many have the potentially to be very harmful. Even very popular cleaners from the car world proved to be highly alkaline and damaging to some plastics, despite being described as ‘all-purpose cleaners’ and claimed safe on all surfaces. I’m not trying to push expensive motorcycle cleaners, as you’ll see if you check out the feature here.
These chips on the edge of the BMW’s tail wouldn’t have been prevented if I’d fitted the film earlier as it doesn’t cover this section of my bike. The film is available in strips though, which if I’d known earlier I would have used here
Obviously the paint underneath the film is well protected from any scratches or indeed stone chips, thanks to the soft and resilient nature of the film, but what’s most impressive is how the Eazi-Grip doesn’t tend to show scratches itself.
I gently dragged a knife over the surface, which – as it would on the paint – left a scratch, but just wiping my thumb over it saw the mark quicky ‘heal’ and disappear. This property was obvious when I was having to pop those two rogue bubbles; the film gave a lot under the point before it was penetrated.
My only disappointment is that the film doesn’t cover the corner edges of the 2019 S1000XR’s tail unit, which is where my wife’s boots tend to catch when she gets on and off. There are chips and marks here that the Eazi-Grip simply wouldn’t have stopped if I’d put it on earlier, and while it’d be a difficult shape to cover, it’d be great to see the company tweak its design if possible.
I must admit that I was sceptical of the value, ease of fitting and performance of this product before I tried it. Yes, I did make a couple of mistakes, but they’re hard to spot and I could get those sections replaced.
The fact that the film is so difficult to see is really impressive, and the protection from scratches is brilliant; the resilience means it looks great for all the time it’s keeping the original paint untouched.
There’s no doubt that keeping your bike looking at its best will maintain its value, plus the film itself – if you leave it on – will be something of a selling point.
I can’t foresee any issues with this Eazi-Grip paint protection over time, but I will keep this review updated. The only thing I’m unable to test is whether it could cause a reduction in paint fading on a bike that’s left out in all weathers, meaning that once removed the covered paint could be a slightly different shade to the uncovered areas. Realistically though, this product is likely to be used by people who put a lot of effort into keeping their motorcycles looking pristine, and they probably have a garage or shed.
Do you have one of these protection kits? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell everyone what you think of them…