Customize Your Off-Road Vehicle

In these times when we are all being defined by numbers and crunched into conformity, we want something which expresses our own personality. Something which says, "This is me."

For some time, an underworld of car customization has existed. But these days, it's not just low-riders and hot doggers who want to make a personal statement. With the popularity of shows such as "American Chopper" and "Pimp My Ride," requests for custom cars and bikes have skyrocketed.

Now, ATV and utility vehicle owners are just as keen to spruce up their rides. They are starting to appreciate their off-road vehicles that are hardy – associated with hunting and farming – and are currently dreaming up ways to make them exceptional. Each becomes a signature piece, reflecting the flavor and fashion of the owner.

The trend, spearheaded by celebrities and sports stars is becoming more mainstream, according to Polaris, a leading manufacturer of ATVs and utility vehicles. The Southwest, notably California and Arizona, seems to be the hub of the new fad.

Here are some of the ways to customize your ride:

* Flames: Since the 1950s, painted flames scorching the front and sides of rods have meant speed. This design still leads the pack, today.

* Chrome: The lavish Packards and Cords of the 1930s

Were loaded with shine and sparkle. Grills, doors – did gleam. Even now, style is said by chrome.

* Color-keyed rims: They would have loved this in the 1960s. Primaries, strong earth tones -choose a color and your ride is one of a kind.

* Sound systems: Install one in the roof or the bed. Whether your music of choice is metal or oldies, everything will seem better. And on these camping trips when you're deprived of your comforts, it is still possible to enjoy quality sound.