I used a heat gun (hair dryer) and removed the stickers on the rear side panels - they were not under clear coat. There was no residue left behind so that was incredibly easy.
I have decided to leave it "as is" even though I'm not excited with the colors, I can live with them. Meanwhile, I've posted advertisements in the F800R forums to let anyone know I will do a panel swap.
BMW makes at least six different color schemes and maybe someone out there will want to swap theirs for mine.
Also, I have not totally written off the idea of painting what I've got but I am definitely going to put this option off for a while. If or when I consider painting the panels again I will look at the archived version of this thread (I copied and saved it to my hard drive) because of the great comments and suggestions you guys offered.
Just wanted to say thanks again & I hope y'all enjoy what you're doing. I have great respect for your phenomenal skills with bodywork & painting, engines & transmissions - the whole thing is amazing.
I know every project isn't "fun" but I hope each of you will look at what you're doing and be glad you've got a job or hobby that involves hands-on activity. I hope you realize you have amazing skills and perform taks that are not just "necessary and functional" but also creative and artistic.
As a high school teacher, I see so many young people who struggle to even change a light bulb (okay, that's a little exaggerated - ha). I remember when I was in high school I took a visit to the "Vocational school" and we toured the automotive paint & body shop (they seemed to have everything that was vehicle related, all other shops as well). I was truly impressed with the body shop and standing in that oven and looking at the cars there in various stages of repair, I thought to myself "Wow, this would be a cool job."
Of course, my parents thought I was crazy and encouraged me to attend college. During my second semester of college I quit and started rewinding industrial electric motors. It didn't make my parents very happy but I enjoyed it. Later, I eventually did the college thing but looking back, I'm not convinced my life is any better with the white collar jobs. So, in many ways I look back at my previous jobs when I was training people how to run machines in the cotton mills and when I was rewinding motors and I know it sounds crazy but I sometimes miss those days.
That's when people would actually work and get things done. It was a simpler life when I could pop the hood and actually see and work on the engine components. All tool boxes back then had a timing light and everyone knew how to use one.
Things are so different now - in some ways better but definitely not always. In my latter stages of "good quality" living, I don't have too many regrets. I am fortunate because I was never exclusively loyal to any brand but I gotta tell ya, the first time I saw a GTO I was in love. The rich kid in town got one for his 16th birthday. I'll never win the lottery but if I did, I'd have on in my garage.
And, if I ever somehow did get that GTO and someone dings it, I'll come back here and ask you guys for a bit of advice so I can make it right.
Until then, I hope each of you will find the joy and satisfaction you deserve in performing your labor - whether for fun or for your profession, it's not always easy or fun or exciting but it's a worthwhile thing to do and y'all know this more than I do but sometimes it seems like the only one that knows what a great job you're doing is you. But hold on to and protect your self worth because it's important to take pride in getting the job done well.
And unfortunately, the "doing it right" attitude seems to be something that's fading from America. But I'm optimistic that mindset will become popular again - it has to. Hopefully.