The emblems on the Harley-Davidson 883 are vinyl decals applied directly to the painted surface of the gas tank. These decals are then clear-coated with a polyester hardener to protect the paint. If you remove the original emblems from the tank to apply custom Harley-Davidson emblems, you will unfortunately destroy your motorcycle’s original paint job as well as the clear coat.
1. Remove the fuel hose from the fuel delivery petcock, a small valve, located on the left side of the gas tank with pliers. Open the valve on the petcock and drain the gas into a gas can. Close the valve on the petcock.
2. Loosen the jam nut that secures the petcock to the bottom of the tank with a wrench and turn the petcock clockwise to thread it out of the gas tank.
3. Remove the bolt located on the front of the tank between the tank and the front neck of the frame with a socket and ratchet. Remove the bolt that secures the back tank to the frame with a socket and ratchet. The bolt is located between the tank and the seat. Pull the tank off the Sportster’s frame.
4. Place a 600-grit sanding pad onto an orbital sander.
5. Turn on your orbital sander and press the 600-grit sandpaper against the emblem on the tank. Rotate the sander around the tank in a wide circular pattern. Sand the entire surface of the tank until you expose the bare metal. The finish over the emblem is relatively thin. The 600-grit sand paper will grind through to the bare metal over the majority of the tank after approximately 20-minutes of sanding.