I had an old and worn out motorcycle tank pad (protector) and I want to replace it with a new one. It's too late to remove it together with the glue by heating it, so now I need to find a way to remove just the glue that was left behind (quite a lot).

As for most motorcycle question, the internet is full of different opinions. Using alcohol, WD40 or gasoline, to name a few.

What would be a minimal damage method of getting rid of that leftover glue? (I'm asking for a metal painted tank.)

  • Never use WD40 around paint, and never use gasoline for... anything really.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 13:36
  • Rubbing alcohol should be fine, won't damage the paint if it's still factory sprayed. Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 13:37
  • @JPhi1618 - what's the issue for using WD-40 around paint? You realize it was originally designed as a cleaner for aircraft surfaces? Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 14:15
  • 1
    From the WD-40 website: Removes adhesive tape without damaging factory paint. So there you have it...
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 14:22
  • 1
    @JPhi1618 I think that quote you found qualifies as an answer on its own. Thank you both!
    – Alin P.
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


For the sake of putting answers on questions...

The WD-40 Website lists 100's of uses for the product and one of them is actually:

Removes adhesive tape without damaging factory paint.

So, it sounds like that advice is good.

I second DucatiKiller's comment about Goo Gone or similar "citrus" cleaners. I've had good luck with them on automotive paint. They can be harsh to some paints or plastics, so test on any non-paint surfaces first, or just keep it away from your seat or trim to be safe.

And of course, for any product to remove the sticky stuff, it has to be able to reach the sticky layer. Get off as much of the tank pad as you can before using anything. Plastic scrapers can help peel it off without harming the paint.

  • I think you covered it. You may also suggest using rubbing alcohol to get any of the residuals off. Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 17:50

Try Goo Gone! Try a little on the bottom of the tank first to test reaction on your paint.

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