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Sticking to a good thing

OK, one is a scooter, but the Vespa GTS 250ie is still a two-wheeled form of transport.

And it's the one that gets used the most for short trips, incidental shopping and commuting, just because it's so simple.

Hop on, twist and go. That's it.

There is plenty of storage space under the seat for coat, gloves and open-face helmet and on the way home, I can fit a few items from the shops or any work from the office that I need to take home.

It's also cheap to operate. Running at about 3.5 litres/100km, it costs less than $10 a week to do the 50km work-and-home daily commute.

Practical, but is it cool?

You bet. Italian retro design and it's black.

But to add even more spice, accentuate the Italian origins and attract a bit more attention, we went back to Carl Merz at Performance Decals & Signage, Moss St, Slacks Creek, to design, produce and fit some tasty stickers.

Merz spiced up the look of the long-term Yamaha XTX660 last year for just $200, which isn't bad for a one-off design.

This time, we needed an Italian influence, a nod to the retro styling and something that shows this is now slouch.

So there are green, white and red flags, and silver GT stripes that reflect the generous chrome used in the bike's design.

Since there is more surface area on a scooter, more stickers were required, so this job cost $300, which is still good value for a unique design.

Merz produces stickers for road and dirt bike race teams, bike shops, private riders, bike restorers and people wanting something different or a cheap fix on a scratched fairing.

"We're able to reproduce anything the factories do, including shaded and fade-in designs," Merz said. "A lot of people are restoring bikes and the decals are no longer available.

"It's a amazing how a set of decals will make a bike look like new."

Prices range right up to about $700 for a full set of decals for a road bike and $350 for thick scratch-resistant stickers on a motocrosser.

Mark Hinchliffe
Contributing Journalist
Mark Hinchliffe is a former CarsGuide contributor and News Limited journalist, where he used his automotive expertise to specialise in motorcycle news and reviews.
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