Friday, February 4, 2011

Traveling with M13: Custom Scooters of Taiwan

Custom Scooters – Part two of a three part series.

As in America there is a certain group of people in Taiwan that like to customize their vehicles. Most people spend a lot of time on their scooters so people like to customize them. I’ve seen a number of them on the road. Some are just body and paint customs, some use LEDs to cause a glow on the street below the scooter. Some have custom engine parts and some are done for racing.

As I said before my scooter has a bit of customizing done on it. But mine was customized in order for me to ride it. I needed some structural modifications to compensate for physical disabilities. (The third part of this series will center on bikes modified for disabled people.) So, customization is for more than just looks, or to stand out in a crowd. There are good reasons for customizing. If you’re bike calls attention to itself, then maybe drivers will see it more easily and avoid squishing it which is especially important if you happen to be riding it.

Sometimes though, people get carried away. Mordeth13 has a video that shows a scooter covered with crystals. This scooter has a sale price of $1,500.00 USD without the modifications but with them the Bike sells for $15,000.00 USD. I wonder what the thing weighs with all those crystals on it.   I wonder how easy it is to ride. I wonder if the owner of that bike rides it at all.

More than 100,000 Swarovski Crytals source:
When I was a kid, I had a friend that had a totally customized Volkswagen Beetle. It was awesome; well, as awesome as a ‘70s era Volkswagen Beetle could be. Beautiful paint job, the engine completely chromed. The thing was, though, he never drove it. It just sat in his garage, until he trailered it to some car show. I bet the owner of that crystallized scooter doesn’t drive it, either. I haven’t seen it on the streets, I can tell you that.

I think I’m going to do some minor customization on my bike. I want to put some blue LEDs under it to get a nice blue glow on the street at night. I want people to be able to see me easily. Customization with lights makes you more visible at night. Improved visibility equals improved safety. Plus it looks cool, which is equally as important.

Mordeth13 and his hot custom bike, Hello Kitty?

You Tube’s Mordeth13 has customized two of his scooters. His wife had an older scooter that was weather beaten and worn looking and he took it in got a fresh paint job, a seat recover and new floorboards and it looks brand new. The paint is kind of a pearlescent white. It really looks very nice. Then, he realized that her bike looked so good he needed to do one of his own, as well. He was looking for something that would match his image. After all, he’s You Tube’s motorcycle bad boy; the scourge of the Taiwanese Police and media darling. The press in Taiwan reports on his every move.

But not all customizing jobs work out. Not everyone has taste and style. Some guy in my neighborhood has customized his own bike. I’m not sure what he was going for but you can’t miss the bike. On the front by the handlebars is a small altar to some Taoist god. And the back looks like it has rockets. I think all the tinfoil is a nice touch, though.

Thanks to Mordeth13 for the use of this video and patiently allowing me to photograph him for this blog.
Photos by Emily and Brenda Banducci

Other posts you may be interested in:

Traveling With M13:  Finding Toad Valley
Traveling With M13:  The Sequel:  Return to Toad Valley

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