Motocross and, to some extent, simply riding your dirt bike is all about shameless promotion to the outsider.
Seriously, what's with all the stickers (we call them graphics) plastered all over the bike frame, plastic and even helmet? The rider's jersey has logos too! It's a sometimes dizzying amount of products and manufacturers advertised but a dirt bike with bare plastic looks ridiculously naked.
Unlike the odd balls who bedaub their cars with a glut of bumper stickers thinking they're spreading hope and change, it's actually a thing to decorate your dirt bike or ATV with custom graphics. This accomplishes three things:
1. Protects the plastic
2. Acknowledges sponsors
3. Personalizes your bike
If you've never installed graphics it's not too hard but it takes time and patience. So, if you just bought a new bike and want to get it race ready, or at least look like you know what you're doing, but having a hard time figuring how to fill in all the blank space, let us help. Here's 10 custom graphics you can add to your dirt bike or ATV:
1. Bike Manufacturer
The color of the plastic is a dead giveaway but don't let that deter you from adding some KTM, Kawasaki or Honda logo graphics. Including the bike model is also standard fare. You bought the bike so, yes, you're now part of the family whether it's Suzuki, Yamaha or whatever manufacturer built your ride. Slap on that paw print for Husky and you've made the first statement.
2. Favorite Gear Company
People who ride whether it's a 2-stroke or 4-stroke, dirt bike or ATV, represent some of the most loyal customers in the world. They usually stick to the same boot brand for life and good luck getting them to change helmet companies. It's this protection - keeping the rider safe - that builds brand loyalty and owners of this gear have no problem displaying a bunch of Alpinestars, Shift, Fly or Shoei graphics on their dirt bike.
3. Favorite Parts Company
Same thing as announcing your allegiance to gear manufacturers, riders tend to let everyone know they equip their bikes with a Renthal chain, Pro Taper handlebars, FMF pipe and a Rekluse clutch. Certainly, a bit of bravado is at play here but mostly it's a rider proud of the aftermarket support that powers their bike.
You don't need to race professionally to land sponsorships so if you're a pretty good local talent securing discounted products, free stuff or even a $100 check from any business even if it's your town's life insurance company or veterinarian you MUST give them free advertisement on your dirt bike or ATV. When you get to the big leagues sponsors offer big money for prominent placement on your fenders - that should give you an idea of the importance of graphics.
5. Favorite Powersports Retailer (cough, cough) MotoSport.com
We love it when our customers ask for stickers and send us photos of their bikes with MotoSport on the front fender, rear fender and/or the shrouds. We have an in-house printer so we can customize your graphics and we even offer a MotoSport package.
6. Racing Number
If you race Motocross or any sanctioned off-road race you need a number which goes on the front plate and side panels. As stated earlier, we can customize graphics to your number and preferred color. Most riders, even trail runners, add a number which usually means something special like a birthday or whatever the AMA appointed years earlier and it stuck for life.
7. Anything Personal
This is your chance to express yourself or advertise anything you want. Some riders carry someone else's name and number in memoriam, a weekend warrior might add their company-owned name as a way to advertise and drum up business, while someone else enjoys a favorite nickname they want to show off. Dirt bike plastic is your oyster so to speak, use as you see fit.
8. Flashy Designs
Not all graphics represent advertisement. Wild patterns and loud colors like flames or stripes make a statement and help you stand-out from the field. It's actually a good way to acquire fans because people remember you and might look for the rider with the bright colors all over the bike the next time out.
Restoring an old dirt bike or ATV means finding the parts of the era and adding old school graphics representative of the time. You don't want the modern day Fox logo on your 1980 ride or include any gear manufacturers in existence today but not around 30 years ago.
10. Your Name and/or Team Name
You don't have to put your name on your bike but lots of riders do and if you race as part of a Motocross or off-road team you'll definitely want to add your team name. It's no different than a jersey in stick and ball sports. You want to identify who you race for and lots of times it's also the name of a sponsoring company.
Graphics come in all shapes and sizes and you can put them anywhere you please. Some riders prefer a bike fully emblazoned with graphics, others prefer a cleaner look using just a few. Either way, you'll find the protective coating prevents fading, cracking and other damage to your plastic from crashes or general wear and tear.
As for MotoSport, we make our custom graphics using an industry standard vinyl from Substance that offers durability, a bubble-free application and allows decals to pop.
Need help installing your graphics? Read How To Install Dirt Bike Graphics which includes a "How To" video.