Much like tattoos, the custom Hayabusa has been both admired and feared. In years past, mainstream sportbike riders considered fitting an oversized rear tire nothing short of blasphemy. Over time it slowly grew more popular and eventually gained social acceptance. And we'll be damned if fat tired customs aren't as commonplace as a celebrity with some skin art.
One man who was influential in the Hayabusa's aftermarket development is Ricky Monjaraz, a SoCal dude who's deep in the scene. He's been making aftermarket parts since he was kid, and when his dad created RIS Designs in the early 1990s it solidified Ricky's calling.
After years of carving out his spot it was no coincidence that the Ed Hardy crew looked to him for help when building a promotional bike.
"I chose a haybusa but decided...
"I chose a haybusa but decided to give it an all-new look."
"Ed Hardy Motorsports asked if we could build a bike to showcase some new parts, so I chose a Hayabusa but decided to give it an all-new look."
When it came time to lay color over the highly customized Canni Design bodywork, RIS enlisted the help of the airbrush kings at H2O Cycles. H2O's owner, Louis Grasse, explained: "I wanted the opportunity to show off some of our freehand work. We used a sticker only as an outside guide for the design but the rest was freehand airbrush. It turned out to be a total of 65 hours of airbrushing."
Originally, RIS said that we would have about two weeks to finish the job before an upcoming show. We actually had about seven days!"
The combination of the new custom skins with updated ink not only made the bike socially elegant, but also gave a rebirth to an aging design. Now the 'Busa looks as much at home in the window of a trendy boutique as it would in front of a dingy tattoo parlor on the wrong side of the tracks.
As with all things non-traditional, some sportbike purists will probably shun the new finish, but in the end it's a motorcycle like this that will bring custom sportbikes to a higher level of public awareness.
Don Ed Hardy
You've seen the flashy hats and t-shirts, but who is the guy behind the designs?
Don Ed Hardy is one of America's most celebrated tattoo artists, and was mentored by none other than the legendary Sailor Jerry.
His unique mixture of numerous styles has landed him worldwide fame, and now even a clothing line and motorcycle parts were created in his honor.
2002 Suzuki Hayabusa
Front end: Performance Machine "Torque" wheel and rotors, Pirelli Diablo tire
Rear end: Performance Machine "Torque" wheel, Pirelli Diablo tire, 6-inch-over swingarm with 240mm tire, Tricky air ride, Galfer Wave rotor and lines, Regina chain
Motor: K&N air filter, Brock's Performance Alien exhaust, Power Commander
Paint: Paul Wong at H20 Cycles (www.h20cycles.com)
Polish/chrome: RIS Designs
Bodywork: Canni Designs (www.cannidesign.com)
Accessories: RIS Designs clear clutch cover, flame levers, adjustable kickstand, clear stator cover, foot pegs, fork caps, fairing spikes, clear gas cap, flame clutch and brake levers, chain guard, front rotor inserts, grips, mirror block-offs, brake and clutch reservoirs, front tank cover, rear caliper bracket, Drastik Plastix LEDs, Street Racer Parts gauges, Grip Ace switch system
Owner: Ricky Monjaraz
Builder: RIS Designs (www.risdesigns.com) and Ed Hardy Motorsports (www.edhardymotorsports.com)