Restoring a 1996 Haro Group 1 Zi BMX

This old 1996 Haro Group 1 Zi BMX bike started as a frame only, purchased from an OZBMX member. This was to be my first old Haro BMX restoration done from the frame up.


The first step was the decals. Finding a new set of stickers for these mid-90’s Haro Group 1 frames is impossible, so I set about making a completely new set.

The best way to do this would be to remove them in one piece, re-stick them flat and scan them. These decals were in pretty bad shape, there was no way they were coming off easily with a blade let alone peeling off in one piece. The next best method is to photograph all the decals on the frame as flat as possible.

Before removing the decals from the Haro Group 1 frame and sanding I gaveit a a Citric Acid bath to remove all of the rust.

From the photographs I could redraw each of the decals in Adobe Illustrator. Not every one I redrew was exactly correct, there were a few fonts that I couldn’t find and a few curves that were too hard to replicate. But they turned out great anyway.

1996 Haro Group 1 Zi decals

The next step in the Haro Group1 Zi restoration was paint. I couldn’t find the original yellow colour so I decided to do a custom two tone colour. Quite a few old and mid school Haro’s had this colour treatment. I settled on a matt grey (granite) back end with a marine blue (seaside) front end.

To prep the 1996 Haro Group1 Zi frame, I sanded it back to the original primer. For me this is better than going back to raw metal, as it gives the colour coat something to bond to.

I prefer to use Rust-Oleum® 2X Ultra Cover the paint has a built in primer. In real terms I find it to be more resistant to paint chipping. I have resprayed a few frames using a separate primer but I found the top coat was chipping too easily. That could be a problem with the primer I used, nonetheless I don’t have that issue with this brand. And no, I don’t get paid to say that. I have had a few issues with their Gloss White, a few cans have sprayed out lumpy, and need to run the paint out before applying to the frame. Even with this issue, their Gloss White is the best for my purpose.


After spraying, the frame was hung up for about a week to let the paint fully dry.

As part of the Haro Group1 restoration sticker set, I cut chrome strips to sit between the two painted colours on the rear seat stays and chain stays. Many of the decals were created with chrome backgrounds to give them a bit of extra bling.

The 1996 Haro Group 1 Zi BMX frame restoration turned out great. I was extremely happy with the decals and the paint scheme. Now all I needed to do was build the BMX up.

Check back on the Refound Rides blog archives to see the final build photos of this 1996 Haro Group1 Zi.

For a list of blog posts that include other reproduction decals go to BMX Decals Design. For more information on all BMX decals go to

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For more information on this BMX and more, you can LIKE my Facebook page, to receive regular updates in your feed, visit the re-rides website or see the rebuilt and restored rides and parts for sale on our eBay store. For more images of all our re-rides in progress follow us on Instagram.




15 thoughts on “Restoring a 1996 Haro Group 1 Zi BMX

      1. I’d be VERY INTERESTED in buying 3 SETS of your designed Haro decal sets, if you’d produce them…tks, mike


      2. Hi Mike, I’m currently working on finishing these decals so they can be printed. I’ll contact you in the next couple weeks when I’m done. Cheers


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