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The iconic Italian Vespa by Piaggio holds a special place in the hearts of Indonesian motorists. The earliest version that can be seen on the street dates back to the 1960s, when the Indonesian peacekeeping mission in Africa returned to the country and was awarded Vespa bikes by the government. In many cities across the archipelago Vespa communities thrive. Although most of them adore classic Vespas, some take their obsessions to the next level by transforming the originals into versions never imagined by Piaggio.
As if emerging from Mad Max movies, these scooterists wander around the country riding custom-built Vespas, which look too weird not only to outsiders, but also to people within the Indonesian Vespa community itself. People call these scooters “Vespa sampah” (“garbage Vespa”) or “Vespa gembel” (“Vespa drifter”), but the owners of these Frankenstein bikes call them “Vespa extreme”.
It’s fairly hard to determine the early history of extreme Vespas. Their emergence by the early 2000s coincides with major changes in Indonesia, following the fall of Soeharto authoritarian regime in 1998. After the government reform, Indonesians suddenly enjoy a lot more freedom of self expression than ever before. The fall of Soeharto is also marked by a more relaxed law enforcement policy in general, and people in Indonesia are no longer afraid of the police as much as they used to be. This contributes to the development of this type of modified vehicle on the road, not only Vespas, but also transformed motorbikes and cars.
It is unclear how many extreme Vespas exist all over Indonesia.
Book: Hardcover, clothbound with embossed image and foil stamping on the cover and back cover
Size: 20x28 cm, 128 pages
Supplement/index: 26x36 cm, folded, 24 pages
Including original Extreme Vespa Community Stickers
Muhammad Fadli - Rebel Riders, Buku Foto Photobook