Customizing scooters has been around almost as long as the popular 2 wheeled transports themselves, with it taking off vastly during the mod-era of the 70's. Scooterists added mirrors, badgers, chrome, and engine goodies to name a few, but modifying the scooters paintwork and look has always been out of reach for all but the dedicated scooter enthusiast due to the extortionate costs of airbrushing and painting.
Traditionally the scooter would have to be completely stripped down to a bare frame and panels, then painstakingly sanded flat before painting a base coat and lacquer on again, and that's just changing the color; if a scooterist wanted to add any art or decals these would then require further work as the painter needed to hand mask basic shapes and then meticulously add in detail further by hand bit by bit, having to wait in between color changes for the paint to dry and so forth. Needless to say this is a very skilled task not for the fault-hearted and since the price has always reflected that, with many airbrushing jobs costing thousands of pounds.
With modern large format printers however, there is another option; vinyl wrapping. This process involves digitally creating the design, or even using a digital or scanned photo, and then printing it out onto large sheets of adhesive vinyl, these are them laminated to increase durability by protecting about UV and abrasion and then "wrapped" around the scooters bodywork. Although this is still a skilled task within itself, as the installation usually requires 2 people to position the vinyl and control the contours it wraps around using a heat gun, the task is nowhere near as complicated as traditional painting and airbrushing, and hence offers massive savings on price.
Not only this, but since everything is controlled digitally in the design phase, it can offer complete photo realism and super accurate detail compared to airbrushing, where it has always been limited by the skill of the artist and how fine their tools can go. Combine this is the ability to digital proof everything and vinyl wrapping allows you to see how your finished scooter will look before anything is even printed, taking any surprises out of the process.
Then at the end of the day, sometimes a few years down the line when your scooter has been like that for a while, you can always remove the vinyl wrap and put another one on!
Source by Kyle Bennett