Stick and go

Stand out from the crowd with custom decal kits that give your scooter a bit more zip. Liz Farrelly checks out the illustrations on offer for those who want to pimp their Vespas

Whether you’re a vintage original from the 1960s, who accessorises your mohair Italian suits with the latest technology in personal mobility; or a 1980s revivalist, complete with German parka, Quadrophenia soundtrack, and a dream machine embellished with enough mirrors and horns to scare the horses; or an ecologically minded ‘noughties’ commuter, who wants to beat both the traffic and the Congestion Charge, as well as save the planet and look stylish all in one go, without a doubt the best way to travel is on a Vespa PX, the classic Mod scooter, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Now, for all you illustration geeks out there, for whom a plain old, no-frills Vespa PX is simply not good enough, there’s a website that enables you to customise your favourite petrol-guzzling toy in bold, individualistic style. You can now lend your Vespa PX a distinctly 21st-century aesthetic by way of www.pimpmyscoota.com’s limited edition, vector-graphic’d decals.

Designed to smooth on over those naked leg guards and bulging wheel arches, you can add instant street cred to your vehicle, without the arduous task of convincing a man who is more accustomed to adding painted scenes on to a Harley Davidson Hog rather than a cute, but girly Vespa.

The genius behind the website is Australian Dane Flighty, himself an illustrator. ‘After I brought a Vespa, I realised that there’s a real subculture of scooter nuts who love to customise their vehicles in totally wild ways,’ he explains. ‘A few years ago I worked for a sign company, so I already knew the ins and outs of what would be involved with creating the templates, and the right materials to use.’

That combination of practical knowledge and design know-how was all it took to turn Fighty’s light-bulb moment into an entrepreneurial exploit. And by simply adopting a template shopping cart site, www.pimpmyscoota.com was born.

Flighty admits that the paperwork is ‘painful’, but that researching the illustrators has become easier. ‘I select designers who I like; first I asked for submissions, now it’s by invite only,’ he explains.

As more kits for other scooter models are added to the site, Flighty will be commissioning new designs; his current list offers image-makers of the calibre of girl-racer Bev Hogue, New York surrealist Chris Buzelli, and Dutch monster-man Zeptonn. Artwork is supplied as a Photoshop file, and each illustrator is paid a royalty on the sales.

The decals are designed to last five years, but are easily removed (with a hairdryer) if you ever wish to sell your precious machine.

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