Men love shiny things, and throughout the custom world chrome has always been king. But nothing displays success like excess, and the custom bike scene has become glutted with the silver stuff. But what is a company to do when you are in the business of chrome plating? Change the game, what else?
Jon Reed of Sport Chrome and Gregg Desjardins of Gregg's Customs were commissioned by Suzuki in 2008 to build a series of custom bikes for display at the MotoGP in Laguna Seca. They were asked to come up with some fresh ideas. Sounds simple enough, right?
Following the trends is easy-setting them is not. Rather than the usually slap and tickle fat-tire, chrome and loud paint job, the duo went low key.
The first step was to forgo the typical bright and shiny for the more subdued look of black chrome. Reed explained: "In the past, several companies tried to bring different coatings to the market called 'black chrome.' This consisted of different powdercoats or spray paints over a chrome finish. What we did is introduced a true black chrome plating, which is as durable and beautiful as our traditional chrome."
The final look is a classy black finish that has all the shine of chrome without the glare.
The rest of the bike followed suit with the understated, but not underrated, classy theme. High-priced luxury toys, like the Bentley Continental, served as the inspiration for the paint. Color Zone Designs laid down a simple silver and black paint job with patterned inserts.
Gregg's swingarms dominated the custom scene in 2008, due in part to its combination of style and function. Putting a grossly oversized rear tire on this bike would be like turning a Maserati into a donk though. So it was only natural that the GSX-R receive a simple, yet effective six-inch over 240 rear tire to ensure the bike could handle its business on the street as well as the showroom.
The end result was all James Bond, not Daffy Duck. The use of mattes and blacks helped to confirm that all that glitters is not gold, and all that shines is not chrome.
2008 SUZUKI GSX-R1000
FRONT END: Performance Machine "Domino" wheel, Star Rotors, Pirelli Diablo tire
REAR END: Gregg's Customs swingarm, Performance Machine "Domino" wheel, Pirelli Diablo tire
MOTOR: Voodoo exhaust
PAINT: Jon Reed/Sport Chrome and Matt Polosky/Color Zone Designs
POLISH/CHROME: All black chrome plating by Sport Chrome
ACCESSORIES: Lockhart Phillips hand and foot controls, Gregg's Customs tag bracket, Todd's Cycle grips
BUILDER: Jon Reed/Sport Chrome (www.sportchrome.com) and Gregg Desjardins/Gregg's Customs(www.greggscustoms.com)