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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pimp my moto: customisers want to trick out your ride

Pimp my moto: customisers want to trick out your ride


From $5 for flashing LEDs to $40 for a laser headlamp, Phnom Penh's motorbike customising shops promise to give you a sexier set of wheels 


Trang Shan, employee of a customising shop on Street 170, works on laminating a motorbike.

PIMP my ride. It's a refrain not yet commonly heard on the streets of Phnom Penh, but you could soon be hearing it more as interest in customising motorbikes grows in the city.

Near O'Russei market, on streets 170 and 182, dozens of shops display a veritable rainbow of stickers, decals and accessories.

Outside each business, a team of workers clambers around parked bikes; most are working on simple laminate jobs that protect the chassis from scratches and dirt, but others are pimping and prettying.

Bun Phay, owner of a shop on Street 182, is busy replacing a moto's standard factory foot pedals with chrome and rubber "gorilla feet".

The US$2 job is one of the cheaper ones he offers.

"Most of the young people who bring their motorbikes here do so to decorate them," he said.

Bun Phay's mainly male clientele, most of them students, are keen to make their bike more "handsome" to the opposite sex.

Like the customers, most of the bikes are young too, the majority no more than two years old.

In a standard day Bun Phay's team completes six or seven decal jobs, and on a good day 10 or more, he said.

The shop also offers a range of other cosmetic enhancements including lighting packages, metal faceplates and security upgrades.

Jov Man, owner of a store on Street 170, said a huge cross section of people were now interested in decorating their bikes in stickers and lights.

And, as interest in customising grows, so does the number of businesses offering services.

"It's very difficult doing business now because there is a lot of competition," said Joy Man. "I usually earn only $10-$20 per day."

Bun Phay also cited growing competition as a factor in the area, but said he could still earn $100 on a good day.



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