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Eastern Kayaker

How to: Remove Tank Panels (eg. To Change Bike's Color)

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Eastern Kayaker
I would like to thank members @v8titanpwr and @fzhooligan , since I link to their threads for the tank panel removal process. There are 3 panels to remove: the throttle side tank panel, clutch side tank panel and the center tank panel. The side panels will have the front air scoops attached to them when they are removed. On average, it should take an hour to swap out the original panels and get the new ones on the bike.
At a minimum you need to order the clutch side tank panel, throttle side tank panel and the center tank panel to change the tank's color. You can reuse the hardware from the original panels. If there are stickers on the tank panels associated with your new color and you want them, you would need to order them. There are 2 foam damper pieces glued inside each original side tank panel, some members reused them by successfully peeling them off. I ordered new ones, since I was not sure they would peel off ok at the time. If the fender has matching color side pieces that you want to install, you need to order them. However, this thread does not document how to install these matching colored fender parts. There are several online parts stores listed near the bottom of this thread. These are not the only online parts stores, so find one you prefer.
Tip 1: To avoid having to remove the tank panels again for a different mod that requires it, try to do these mods at the same time. For example, I installed the silver colored steel mesh air intake covers in the front and rear air scoops when doing this panel swap. However, the rear air scoops are part of the rear side covers, which are not removed as part of this thread.
Tip 2: Try not to put all the hardware in one big pile as it is removed from all the panels. As you remove each panel, keep the bolts, pop rivets and any hardware, with the panel it came from. This makes it less likely to forget to install a part for that panel. It also makes it easier when you transfer each original panel's hardware to the new panel.
Tip 3: Before removing the side tank panels, verify all the bolts and the pop rivet are removed. The side panel's exposed upper slotted tab is unsnapped from the tank's center piece. Also, there are 2 hidden tabs (one near top of seam, other near seam by center piece pop rivet) on the center tank piece that the side panel connects to, so use a plastic card along the seam to gently lift up to disconnect them. All this needs to be done before attempting to pull the side panels off the bike. If you forget something, you will break the side panel trying to pull it off the bike. If done properly, the only things holding the side panel with air scoop in place are the three spikes on the side panel inserted into the oval rubber grommets in the bike's frame. These spikes are located near the front bottom, middle bottom and near the rear of the side panel.
Tip 4: To remove a pop rivet, push in the small button in the center of the pop rivet to unlock it. Grab the large pop rivet head to pull out the entire pop rivet. When ready to install a pop rivet, make sure the small center button on the pop rivet is sticking out at least a 1/4 inch, while pushing the pop rivet into place. Lock it by pushing in the small center button of the pop rivet, so it is flush with the pop rivet head.
Read this entire thread before you start the removal process. Prepare your work area and layout a drop cloth to place the original tank panels and hardware as they are removed from the bike. This area should be large enough to hold the original and new panels, since you need to transfer the original panel's hardware to the new panels. Make sure it is not in your immediate area around the bike, since you want to avoid accidentally stepping on these panels.
Check out this thread link Here and another Here2. The first thread link is for doing a throttle body sync, but the first series of steps show you how to remove the tank panels (your last step is the one that covers removing the white inner panel tank piece). I call this inner panel piece the center tank piece. Also, this first link shows instructions and pictures for the removal of the throttle side tank panel, but not the clutch side tank panel. However, you can use the throttle side tank panel instructions for the clutch side. The second thread link is for installing an EJK fuel controller, but also removes the tank panels and gives tips on how to pull the panels off after the bolts are removed.
After you finish removing all the tank panels, you need to remove the front black air scoops from the original side panels and attach to your new side panels using the original hardware. You also need to remove (slide off) the threaded bolt clips from your original panels and reuse on your new panels. Make sure you install the threaded bolt clip the same way it was installed on the original panel. You need to transfer any hardware on the original panels to the new panels. One good thing is the new left side tank panel comes with no warning sticker on it, so no need to remove it. When you order new panels they have no stickers. For example, if you ordered the 2016 Silver colored panels, it would not have the warning sticker or FZ-07 sticker on the panels. If you wanted the stickers, you would need to order them.
You will notice there are 2 foam damper pieces glued to the inside of each original side tank panel. The first picture shows the red painted side of my original side tank panel with the air scoop removed. The second picture shows the inside of this same panel with the 2 original damper pieces still attached and all the hardware removed (eg. Threaded bolt clips). There is a large foam damper piece to the left and a small black rectangular damper piece to the immediate right of the large damper piece.
[attachment id=1492" thumbnail="1][attachment id=1491" thumbnail="1]
These damper pieces prevent the tank panels from rattling against the frame. You can try to peel these damper pieces off and stick them to your new side panels or purchase new damper parts. I purchased new ones for a little under $8 (2 large & 2 small), since I was afraid they would not come off ok. I believe there were some members that were able to peel off the damper pieces successfully to reuse. If you decide to reuse the damper pieces from your original side panels, take a picture of where the damper pieces are positioned inside each panel. This will help you position the damper pieces properly on the new tank panels.
When you are ready to install the new panels (with hardware) on the bike, start with the new center panel piece and the center piece (specified as inner panel) removal step instructions mentioned in the first thread link above. Work your way back to the top of the instructions (reverse order of removal). Keep in mind the instructions are for removal, since you are now installing these parts. Make sure there is a rubber grommet on the frame near where the air scoop attaches. This oval shaped rubber grommet sometimes comes off with the panel or falls off the bike when the panels are removed. 
I purchased a red bike because of the black frame and replaced the red tank panels for white without any issues. It is very easy to remove the tank's panels, just take your time, especially when pulling the side panels off the bike. These are the before and after pics of my bike:
[attachment id=1486" thumbnail="1][attachment id=1485" thumbnail="1]
I know some forum members have ordered the body panels from the following online websites at a good price and were happy with their purchase (consider shipping fee cost). They had no problems with the panels during shipping:
Note: Some bikes have a matching colored part on the front fender (eg. white), I don't cover the removal here of the colored fender piece. 
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