A motocross bike doesn’t offer much surface to wrap, but motocross bikers still wrap their machines and helmets with designs that reflect the colorful and exciting sport. And with every new motocross season, more and more racers are turning to Bryar Perry, owner of 180Decals in Red Bluff, CA, to provide their desired looks. As a racer himself, Bryar knows this market. Shortly after designing his own bike and then his friends’ by 2003 at age 14, he was providing graphics for some of the fastest racers out there. “We really lucked out with the timing, because there wasn’t too much competition for motocross graphics back then,” Bryar said.
KEEPING IT PINNED
As his early efforts began to build a following, Bryar continued to race, even turning pro for a short time, but he couldn’t ignore the growing success of 180Decals and eventually stepped back from on-track competition to focus on his business. Bryar’s friend, Justin Kenney, handles the online orders for the shop, which account for about 70% of the shop’s jobs. Customers can order design templates for bike graphics as well as wraps for seats, radiator covers and helmets – with helmets typically being where riders express themselves most. “Helmet wraps incorporate lots of fluorescent colors and crazy designs,” Bryar said. “The stand-out graphics make it easier to spot a particular rider on the course.”
180Decals also offers completely custom orders, with clients primarily in California, but also from all across the US. “The custom work is the hardest for sure,” Bryar said. For the most part, his customers are “super specific” with what they want and send several images for reference. Other customers only offer little hints, which compels Bryar to dig deeper into what they are looking for. “On the rare occasion, a customer will just leave it all up to me, which I prefer,” he said. To work up his designs and due to his familiarity with it, Bryar uses Gerber OMEGA software, though he is also turning more to the Adobe Creative Suite. There isn’t too much structure to his designing process, he said, “But one thing I do keep in mind is thinking about the wide range of ages that will buy. Designing something you think an 18-year-old will like might not sell with someone who is 65.”
For orders of more than design templates, Bryar’s mother prints everything on wrap film from Substance Incorporated on the shop’s workhorse Roland VersaCAMM VS-540, and also its newer Roland TrueVIS VG2-540, 54-in. digital printer/cutter. “With the expanded color gamut on the VG2, oranges like those on the KTM bikes are easy to hit,” Bryar said. Once printed, all wraps are protected by 180Decals’ Royal Sovereign laminator. The decals are “super thick,” according to Bryar, and are precut to the shape of dirt- bike plastics to ease installation for the customer, “compared to, say, a car wrap.” The decals aren’t “super difficult” to install, he said, “but since they are so thick (21 mil), we recommend using heat for any creases and [also having] clean hands,” to avoid getting dirt on the adhesive. It takes about 45-60 minutes to install a full set of decals on a dirt bike. However, customers can, and do, ship their new plastics to the shop on occasion, where either Bryar or his father will apply them at no extra cost.
STEPPING UP TO NEW MARKETS
With two printers in-house, 180Decals became able to handle the additional demand his company started receiving from local businesses, which includes creating signs for area shops, as well as designing game wraps and faceplate decals for nearby casinos. “It’s great to have the extra income, especially during the offseason for racing,” Bryar said. “We love motocross, [but] we’re always looking for additional year-round clients to supplement our core racing-graphics business.”
Despite the recent restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 placed not only on 180Decals’ home state of California, but on most states and areas of the country, Bryar remains optimistic about his business and passion. When asked what he thinks will happen to the larger wrap market in general and to his company in the next three to six months, Bryar said, “It’s hard to say with this COVID-19 going around. I hope most people see it as downtime to do some maintenance on their bikes and get themselves a new look via our graphics. In general, I don’t see why the wrap market wouldn’t keep going strong. Everyone needs decals for something.”