Roaring Toyz teamed up with apparel company Project H to build a bike that would encapsulate the clothing company's ethos: Speed and Strength. Not only did the bike prove to be a huge hit, but it made the cover of SSB!
In the late '80s and early '90s, men in mascara and stretchy spandex pants with excessively teased hair crooned power ballads and dominated the rock-and-roll music scene. Looking back it all seems ridiculous, but at the time it was considered totally "massive," "bitchin'" and "rad."
Then, almost immediately, a grungy three-piece band from Seattle emerged to reclaim rock's manhood and the music scene was changed forever.
For custom sportbikes, 2007 was the year of the bling. There were more unrideable themed bikes than cans of Aqua Net in the backstage dressing room at a Poison concert. But when one of the builders at the forefront of such builds, Roaring Toyz, released its Project H bike in late 2007, it took a step back from the "pop scene" and brought back the "sport" in sportbikes.
Jeff Morrow, a surveyor from Sarasota, Florida, never really had any desire to own an over-stretched trailer queen that looked good sitting still yet could hardly be ridden. "I bought the bike used with 1000 miles and it had chrome rims on it and I rode it like that for a little while.
"Someone at the gym told me about Robert (Roaring Toyz) and I went in his shop one day and I saw pictures of the Project H bike on the wall. Next thing you know, I fell in love with the Project H bike and I took my bike over there and they went at it!"
At the time, custom paint jobs had been getting more and more outlandish, with many looking quirkier than the Nelson brothers. Nearly every comic-book hero and variation of skulls, flames and stripes had already been done, and Morrow decided to do the unthinkable and leave the paint stock. "I wanted to leave the paint factory. The colors and such look nice as is. I didn't want to try and copy someone else. Everyone does custom paint. I wanted to do something a little different."
Like Mozart at a Winger concert, one can only imagine what Japanese engineers think when they see a 360 tire on a sportbike. Rather than bolting on pounds of gratuitous mass, Morrow had a Sport Chrome single-sided swingarm with Performance Machine contrast-cut wheels installed-inspired by the Project H look. "I wanted to be able to turn corners and stop. It seems like the bigger the tire, the less handling you have. Sooner or later it's a safety factor. I didn't want it stretched or to have a big fatty on the bike. I liked the single-sided swingarm with the 240 tire because it still looked a bike you could race."
Just like a guitar solo that defines a cheesy hair-metal song, some type of power adder is necessary when making a super streetbike. To get the ponies in full stride, Morrow had a properly tuned turbo installed from Cycle Logic to make sure no stock bike would be able to touch it. "Initially when we only had the wheels and swingarm, it slowed the bike down a little bit. I missed the feeling I had so I went ahead and added the turbo to compensate.
"I've had a couple of younger kids pull up on their 1000s and try to race me. It doesn't take long until they realize it's not stock!"
Morrow put the bike through its paces around the highways and back roads and was quite pleased with the end result: "It's a real big adrenaline rush. It feels like I have a rocket ship under my legs! But it's also like driving a luxury car. I can't believe with the swingarm it rides just like it did with the factory part. Actually, I think it rides better than the factory bike!
"I just thought with all the aftermarket stuff it would lose some of its performance, but that's just not the case.
"I've ridden it before all the upgrades and obviously after, and hands down, it handles better after."
History showed us that in a mere matter of months, songs about cherry pie, thorny roses and girls were replaced with music about teen angst and depression. There's nothing sad, however, about the way that Roaring Toyz has succeeded in bringing back the power and performance to the custom bike scene.
Just like Warrant, Winger and White Lion showed us, what is cool today is laughable tomorrow. Only time will tell if the exorbitant bling and flash of glamour bikes are dead. At some point, the line of cool is crossed in an attempt to outdo, outshine and outstretch, but Morrow's CBR1000RR represents a step back to make a leap forward.
Original make/model: 2007 honda cbr1000rr
Front end: Performance Machine "Torque" wheel, Pirelli Diablo tire
Rear End: Performance Machine "Torque" wheel, Sport Chrome single-sided swingarm and drive assembly, rear rotor, caliper, Pirelli Diablo 240 tire
Motor: Cycle Logic turbo kit and lock-up clutch, clear clutch cover, HELbrake line, Power Command III USB
Bodywork: Hotbodies Racing undertail
Accessories: Sato Racing rearsets and frame sliders, Cycle Logic lowering links, Gregg's Custom LED front turn signals, Yana Shiki "Titax" adjustable levers, Sportech windscreen, Custom Dynamic LED lighting, mesh screens
Owner: Jeff Morrow
Builder: Roaring Toyz (www.roaringtoyz.com)