Style Rider focuses on the intersection of motorcycle culture and individual style. From time to time, we look at scooter riders whose passion and style particularly stand out. Here we speak to President of the Vesparados (Sydney) Will Smith about his enthusiasm for vintage 2-stroke Vespas and Nike Air Max sneakers.
The custom work to this vintage PX150 Vespa 2-stroke, the ‘Red Baron’ and Will’s personal style make for a compelling combination. Will has a style that perfectly encapsulates his interest in the old and the new. He wears sharp Nike Air Max 90 sneakers paired with an armoured Oxford flannel riding shirt, Goku themed Swatch watch and vintage full face helmet; the latter offering protection while subtly defying the expectation that a vintage scooter dictates an open face helmet.
Name: Will Smith
Residence: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Operations Manager for Momento Hospitality. President of Vesparados Sydney chapter (Vesparados has 22 chapters worldwide focused on classic 2-stroke geared scooters), member of the Rusty Rhinos 2-stroke motorcycle group (see co-founder Tommy here) and Vespa Club of Sydney.
Today’s Ride: Vespa PX 150 nicknamed the “Red Baron”. The custom Snoopy vs Red Baron decals were made by Stuart Tiainen at StockisBest (Brisbane) along with the major engine works with a brief to ‘make it fast’. The bike started off as a 150cc 2 stroke engine that has been expanded to 221cc. The chassis has not been touched and I’m still deciding whether to repaint paint.
Modifications to this scooter have been extensive including;
- Piaggio px200 engine case
- Malossi MHR 210 kit
- Malossi 360 reed valve induction
- 30mm PHBH carb
- 60mm Worb5 longstroke crankshaft
- SIP VAPE sports ignition with lightened flywheel
- SIP ultrastrong clutch w cr80 plates
- SIP fast flow fuel tap
- SIP righthand performance 2.0 expansion chamber with carbon muffler
- SIP v2 11 inch tubeless rims
- SIP evo seat (normally on but using a vintage spring flat saddle)
- SIP front brake caliper
- SIP 72 degree side stand Bitubo front and rear adjustable shocks
- All cables and wiring have been changed including the whole front end and fork
Describe your style: I’m an easy going rider who loves to dress as casual as I can while still being safe, especially on long rides. While I love wearing an open face helmet as it goes with the vintage scooter look, I prefer full face helmets in both retro and modern sporty styles. I look to replicate a the vintage feel I love so much, but with performance focus. Today I’m wearing Goku themed Swatch watch, armoured Oxford flannel riding shirt and plain white shirt for contrast, limited edition Air Max 90 sneakers and black skinny jeans.
Style inspiration: The original bike was red and white and reminded me of the Red Baron. The Red Baron vs Snoopy song provided the rest.
Best Local Ride: Ride to the PITS (Pie in the Sky) and Saddles at Mt White. Also, the ride to Uppercrust in Narrabeen. All three rides have open roads, twisties and beautiful scenery. And delicious pies.
Best Distance Ride: Saddles at Mt White. It’s far enough for small cc bikes like mine, yet still can be completed in 3-4 hours including stops and a pie for lunch.
Tip for stylish motorcycling: Segura Jackets are both safe and rider friendly, offering a sleek look and fashionable designs. They can be worn casually as well which is a bonus. I wear this Oxford flannel top with armour in the summer heat. It is has a nice casual look with armour for protection in case of the worst. Also, full face helmets are the way to go. Match one to your ride.
Why do you like riding? I love riding because it gives me the feeling of freedom. The people you meet along the way, the places you get to see and the feeling of the wind is the best. It’s also a fun, quick and cool way to get from point A to point B. Honestly, at first I bought a scooter for commuting as it was cheap, fast and fun. This, however, led me to my passion for vintage Vespa’s, which it must be said, do break down from time to time. Whenever I think of getting a modern ride, I remind my self that it’s not simply about getting there, it’s how you get there. Riding this bike makes people smile and take photos.