"I barely got out of the parking lot before the police got me. I got two tickets for holding up traffic before making it a single mile!"
Movies have been the inspiration for custom bike themes since the first steam powered bicycle had a picture of Steamboat Willie painted on it. In fact, the Predator movie has been the inspiration for many themed bikes by dozens of builders, but never quite like this. When Roderick "Slick Rick" McCullough, a successful business owner from Georgia, decided he wanted to make a theme bike to top them all, he found only one shop that was up to the task of pushing the limits of machine, style and taste.
No other custom builds have received more reactions than those featured by Dennis "D-Man" Vazquez of Pit Stop Motorsports. Nothing provokes screams of love or hate like one of his three-dimensional monsters. The letters and e-mails pour in with an almost dead-even split of passionate perceptions. One thing's for certain - there's no denying D-Man's bikes demand attention.
So what would make someone want to own a rolling 3-D movie-themed motorcycle? For McCullough, it was the need to exceed the sea of flat surfaces. "I saw D-Man's King Kong bike at Myrtle Beach. The owner could barely get up and down the street from all the people crowding it. I wanted to have something like that to stick out."
While a lot of shops might claim they can create this wild of a ride, McCullough discovered there was actually only one man capable. "There was a poster at the local Kawasaki shop of a custom ZX-14. I called the shop, but could never get him to give me a price. I later found out he was going through D-Man to get the work done.
At first I didn't want to go to New Jersey to get a bike built, but that was the best thing that ever happened. Don't get me wrong, I'm all man, but when me and him talked it was like love at first sight. Everything he was saying was right."
Now that McCullough had the right man for the job, he put his faith and credit score on the line and hoped the final product would be everything he wanted.
A few months later the build was finished and it was time for delivery in Myrtle Beach. Up to this point McCullough knew very little of the details, only that he left his credit card running with D-Man's imagination. Though the finished product surpassed all of his expectations, McCullough wondered if it would actually be rideable. "To be honest with you, I didn't think it would run. I took the bike off the trailer and pushed it around. It sat for about four hours in front of the hotel until D-Man called me up and asked if we were ready to ride. I barely got out of the parking lot before the police got me though. I got two tickets for holding up traffic before making it a single mile!"
So with a fully functional bike, a couple traffic tickets and a mob of people behind him, McCullough took on the rest of the country. The response has been mostly positive amongst bikers and onlookers. "The public can't believe what they are seeing. I haven't had any haters yet either."
The youngsters seem to be scared by the realism of the work however. "A lot of children cry when they see it. It scares them when the eyes light up green, but they just can't stop looking at it."
What's it like to ride such a literal beast? "I can't tell any difference. It's just like stock. The problem that I have is nobody will touch it. In order to get any work done I have to take the bike back to D-Man. I can't get anyone to take off the bodywork!"
Love it or hate it, the Predator 'Busa represents the outer limits of what one person with a lot of time, imagination and money can do to a sportbike.
2007 Suzuki Hayabusa
Front end: RC Components "Savage" wheel, steel braided brake lines
Rear end: RC Components "Savage" wheel, C&S; Custom Cycles swingarm, Eye Candy Cycle Designs air ride, Sato Racing rearsets, Pit Stop passenger pegs, steel braided brake line
Motor: K&N; air filter, Power Commander III, Roaring Toyz full exhaust
Paint: Geejo Customs, Airbrush by Nando Medina
Polish/chrome: Globe Plating
Bodywork: All custom bodywork by Dennis "D-Man" Vazquez, modified water gun for headlight
Accessories: RIS Designs triple tree, Grip Ace grips, Eye Candy spike kit, Pro One levers, Drastik Plastix LEDs, Roaring Toyz license plate holder, Koso gauge
Owner: Roderick "Slick Rick" McCullough
Builder: Pit Stop Motorsports (www.pitstopmotorsport.biz)