Life's A Beach
What a misery it must be to ride these, eh?
2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Under the Captain's paint hides the true power-a built motor.
One of the Crocodile Hunter's victims.
A dashmount camera gives a look at trouble behind
The Ice Maiden's victims succumb to the brilliant paintwork
The Ice Maiden clearly is a materialistic lady
Borrowing one of the Captain's trick
2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000
RC Components "Vega" wheel
The Ice Maiden
It's going to be an epic battle to the death; in the blue corner we have the world-famous Captain America, and in the orange corner we have a newcomer covered in princess-cut diamonds. OK, so it's not really going to be a battle to the death, but it's going to be a battle regardless. Some of us here in the office dig the Captain America bike, while others love the bling queen. It's even-Stevens here, so it's down to you to decide which one's hotter.
So why are we running two bikes, side by side? They were both built by the same guy, Mark Tempesta, who is the proud owner of Break Lites Motorsports in Malden, Massachusetts, and the creator of this dynamic Suzuki duo. He's been into the custom sportbike scene for years, having had an online parts shop since 2001, and following the success of the Internet business, he quit his day job and set up a real-world store location too.
Tempesta has been doing well in the Boston area-very well when you consider he's put out nearly 60 big-tire bikes in the last two years. Of all the bikes that he's built, though, these two are the first to be featured in a magazine, and as the Captain America was built for his own pleasure, we'll follow that story first.
First off, Mark is a huge fan of Suzuki, which is why it was a Gixxer or...nothing. The base is a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000; he bought it new and almost immediately chromed the thing out. If you look carefully, you can see that the whole bike is chrome underneath the glorious paint, but we're jumping ahead.
After he chromed it, he fitted a Trac Dynamics 240 tire kit with a six-over swingarm. He then got ahold of some Performance Machine "Hooligan" wheels and finally fitted an air ride on the rear.
Once his bike's stance was sorted out, it was time to move on to the motor.
Of course, not everybody goes down the performance route, as many owners feel that the factory power output is plenty. But not Mark-he wanted more. So he dropped the bike off at local performance shop S.R.E. and let them go to town. Now the motor features bigger bores, a longer stroke and a host of top-shelf internals to keep it durable. And just to make sure he's never lacking acceleration, he fitted a NOS system as well. Loony.
Obviously, this Gixxer is no longer a 1000, and calculations put it at 1150cc. It's very capable of flexing its muscles, too. At Daytona's Brute Horsepower shootout, the bike won its class. Once Tempesta had the trophy to prove it, he took great pleasure in explaining that: "Chrome really does add horsepower."
With everything else complete, all the bike really needed was a great paint scheme. After all, a solid chrome bike is like a mirror; it's just plain dangerous on sunny days. Tempesta wanted an all-American theme, but also liked the idea of going with a comic-book style. As Captain America hadn't been done yet, it was an easy decision.
He trusted the Captain America paintwork to Killer Kreations, and the shop definitely killed it. The entire paint job was airbrushed, as opposed to being done using flat color. The flag looks like it's blowing in the wind and is slightly transparent so that you can see the chrome shining through. In contrast, Captain America was painted using opaque paint, so there's no chrome show-through at all, which is what helps him "pop.
The Ice Maiden
"The first thing to know about this bike is that it was built by the guys at Break Lites for a customer by the name of Michael Fernandes, who is responsible for the style, while the guys at the shop take the credit for the mechanics.
Fernandes is also a fan of Suzuki's GSX-R series, so this is another 1000cc model from 2005. But his inspiration for the bike's theme was different: He wanted to build something that was for his two baby girls, and as we all know, diamonds are a girl's best friend.
If you study the paint, you'll notice that the graphics within the orange area are actually aibrushed princess-cut diamonds. What's really remarkable is that it's the airbrusher's first-ever bike (he's a tattoo artist by day). Upon further examination, you'll also notice that there's a chain graphic running around the gas tank and a dollar sign in the lower fairing. Yeah, now it sounds like a girl's best friend.
Fernandes took the rest of the bike to Break Lites, where the shop fitted a Hickman swingarm with a 300-section back end. He also had the boys add a Tricky air-ride system and a set of RC Components "Vega" wheels for further bling appeal.
Where the bike really comes to life is in the electrical department; hidden away under the body panels is the wiring for nearly 300 LEDs. Not content with that, there's also a set of Cop strobes (to pull over Tempesta's mirrored menace?), a video camera, a stereo and an iPod. It seriously must look like an early '80s computer underneath the beautiful bodywork.
We have two bikes that started off the same, yet ended up very different. They're also two bikes that seem to appeal to different tastes; the Captain America fans don't like the bling bike, and fans of the jewel-laden orange machine don't quite get the Captain America theme. Everyone has a different sweet spot, but this is truly the best of both worlds.
And the winner is...
The Buyer's Box 2004 Suzuki Gsx-R1000
Front end:Performance Machine "Hooligan" wheel
Rear end:Trac Dynamics 6-inch-over swingarm, Performance Machine "Hooligan" wheel, Tricky air ride
Motor:Bored and stroked to 1150cc, rebuilt with Carillo Rods, JE pistons,Ti-Force exhaust, NOS system
Paint:Airbrush by Killer Kreations, Philadelphia, PA
Chrome bodyby XXX, Milwaukee, WI
Bodywork:Custom transparent ram-air ducts, pop-up gas cap, strobe lights,LED lights, Silver Gator seat
Accessories:Scorpio alarm,rear-view video camera
Other:N/AOwner:Mark TempestaBuilder:Break Lites Motorsports www.breaklites.com
The Buyer's Box 2005 Suzuki Gsx-R1000
Front end:RC components "Vega" wheel, Galfer brake rotor
Rear end:Hickman swingarm, RC components "Vega" wheel, Tricky air ride
Motor:CSC billet covers, Power Commander
Paint:Mikey at Blue-Line
Polish/chrome:Break Lites Motorsports
Bodywork:Pop-up gas cap,alligator seat
Accessories:Video camera,stereo, iPod
Other:LEDs, police strobe kit,billet grips
Builder:Break Lites Motorsportswww.breaklites.com