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DC KS18 Cosmetic Upgrade


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For anyone else that might be considering wrapping the KS 18 shell I have attached a photo of the wrapped shells and pedals.

I purchased from Jason @EWheels new headlight covers, Black Speaker covers, and a trolley handle. I have not yet installed these. The basic wrap is finished. This weekend I will begin reassembling the KS. When the trolley handle arrives,  I will install and the job will be complete. 

Finally,  my impressions of the install. This was my first time to even touch vinyl wrap. Considering my amateur wrapper status, the project went fairly well.

Since I am constrained by time, equipment, and expertise there are imperfections in the shell that I did not/could not completely remove that show through the wrap. I also see some air bubbles have appeared. These,  I can probably remove with a heat gun and some additional squeegeeing. The application is somewhat mediocre,  but the wrap finish looks good. The finish of course is difficult to screw up because the DIY wrapper does not create it. Thankfully, the vinyl companies spin that particular gold. 

Overall, I think that it was worth the effort to avoid paying the various quotes I received between $500-$700 by the expert wrappers around the DMV. It is not perfect, but it looks good to my eye and the eye of my son who must ride it. If you are thinking of vinyl wrapping it takes patience, especially with the KS18. The current KS18 has no outer and inner shell. The whole shell must be removed in order to complete the wrap. To remove the entire shell essentially requires disassembly of the entire wheel. Unfortunately, I am limited to 3.1mb and it seems that each photo maxes this limit. 

Side note: For those whose last trip to DC was the, no doubt, memorable school field trip to the National Mall, DMV does not mean Department of Motor Vehicles; it means DC and it's Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs, a.k.a., the Washington Metropolitan Area)


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Nice colour, please post a picture once you've got it assembled back together again... I would probably be too lazy to wrap mine, and just go with painting instead  :P

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Totally understand. For me painting is scary because it requires more skill than I have to ensure that the finish is right. Wrapping has its own unique headaches but it is hard to screw up the finish because the manufacturer takes care of that.  Plus, I can remove vinyl and change it should the desire arise 

Wrapping the KS18 is not for the faint of heart, because unlike the 14 and 16, the inner and outer shell is one piece. The 18 requires complete disassembly to wrap. The forthcoming 18L might be a better wrap candidate because the outer shell will probably be separate and the only piece the will need to be wrapped. My son has the 18L on pre-order so I may get to wrap that one whenever it comes. 

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Finished wrapping the KS18. Overall, I think it looks good. There was some difficulty getting it to adhere even with the heat gun. The unishell design made wrapping some portions of the wheel, like the molded handle very tricky. I ultimately gave up on wrapping the handle.

I found the difficulty I had wrapping the control board compartment cover a bit surprising; especially, since it is mostly a flat piece. The heat dissipation vent outlets at the top of the cover were odd to try and wrap.

The somewhat frustrating challenges I faced could be due in large part to my inexperience. The shell's broad portions were okay to wrap as was the underside of the foot platforms. 

I am interested in seeing how long the vinyl wrap finish will hold up.

I posted photos of the completed project on Imgur. I hope that sharing my experience helps someone considering a similar project for their wheel decide which way to go. Wrapping a KS18 is realistic, but inexperience combined with impatience is a volatile mix for this project.

Photos can be found@: 



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