Not every custom needs to be as over the top as Lady Gaga at the MTV Music Awards. For every guy who loves chrome and the fat tire look there is another who gets nauseous at the mere idea. But pleasing the masses is almost impossible, just ask Obama.
Then what’s the best approach when building a bike? What we can all agree on are the classics—black tie tuxedos and steak and potatoes are simple yet timeless. Capturing a resounding thumbs up from fellow riders doesn’t take deep pockets or an earth shattering paint job (though they don’t hurt), but rather an eye for tasteful detail.
Chris Hayes, owner of a restrained but eye catching 2005 GSX-R1000, receives universal approval when taking his “less is more” ride out on the road. This bike certainly follows the age-old acronym: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). Since giving the modestly modified Gixxer a home three years ago, he has put over 10,000 miles of exercise on the motor along with a handful of extra clean upgrades.
An everyday Suzuki man through and through, Hayes has owned a fair share of GSX-R heritage over the years, from an old-school GSX-R1100 to a first gen Gixxer 1000. He even shoehorned a 750 motor into a Telefonica edition GSX-R600 before moving on to his current Oreo-schemed showpiece that’s anything but a cookie-cutter custom.
When Hayes received word that a lightly modified 2005 GSX-R1000 had been left homeless at New Age Customs after the intended owner got cold feet and dropped out of the deal, he swooped in to sign the papers. At the point of purchase, the bike had a modest 7,000 miles, the current paint job, an adjustable-length Hardcore Cycles 240 swingarm, a remote-controlled LED kit and black rims. Hayes instantly saw its value as a streamlined take on the various candy flaked bling kings he cruised with to weekly bike nights. This particular redesign appealed to him for a couple of reasons, “The 2005 bodylines are smooth and the tail section stretches out enough to cover the 240 nicely, as opposed to the sharper and slimmed down look of the later models.”
Framework laid, Hayes went to work. He contacted brothers Tim and Donnie at Neyon Paint for additional color matching. The stock gold forks were an eyesore against the overall scheme so they were powdercoated black. The wheels were then whitened and finished with a gloss coat. See-through PPM windows embedded with white LEDs replaced the stock engine case covers, adding a focal point on both the right and left sides. Detail work continued all the way down to the D2Moto white face gauge, blacked out rearsets, white instrument buttons and Roaring Toyz steering stem cap cover.
Ditching the brake cleans...
Ditching the brake cleans up the rear, but some sort of rotor delete would be a good idea.
A 240 tire centers up cleanly...
A 240 tire centers up cleanly underneath the wide '05 tail.
Hidden behind the clutch window...
Hidden behind the clutch window are remotely activated LED lights.
The mild upgrades not only look great but also aid in the bike’s ability to own the asphalt. Yana Shiki rearsets and an adjustable chromoly swingarm, which easily slides the rear tire in as close as six-over over stock or all the way out to 12-over when fully extended, leaves room for a ride tailored to what lies ahead whether that be a day out on the back roads or parked for a photo shoot. Under no delusions about what the bike can do, Hayes joked, “I can still lean…somewhat.”
When viewed from the right side, a lack of stopping power quickly becomes apparent due to the non-existent rear brake and single front wave rotor. Hayes claims that the stripped down braking setup still provides ample slow-down ability, proven over the many road miles he’s tallied up since buying the bike. And those are miles gained on an unforgiving adjustable strut. Comfort (the gel seat helps) and safety aside, he never had intentions of owning a bike that collected dust: “I ride this bike wherever I go—it’s definitely not a trailer queen.”
His attitude towards riding what you rep dates back to childhood. His father rode on the street and regularly took the Hayes family on dirt bike excursions. By the age of 19, Chris owned his first GSX-R. His home state of North Carolina also fostered an environment ripe with ride opportunities and he took full advantage.
“When I tell people I ride it from Greensboro [to Charlotte], about 1.5 hours away, they’re shocked. A lot of people I ride with have chromed, air ride suspension customs and won’t ride nearly as far.”
Wherever the bike goes there is someone excited to take a closer look. Don’t expect to be shut down from a stuck-up owner either. Hayes enjoys talking to anyone interested in his build—or anything cycle related for that matter.
“Everybody loves the bike because it’s totally different. It’s clean and simple but a head turner without being too flashy. I can be in a pack of 15 bikes with tons of chrome and flaked candy paint and definitely stand out."
Not every custom needs to be as over the top as Lady Gaga at the MTV Music Awards. "
Call this bike what you want but we don’t expect to hear the word “fugly” roll off anyone’s tongue. It doesn’t scream show but it also isn’t kept cooped up on the red carpet. Clean, mean and completely useable, this custom may be evidence of a resurgence in classically calm designs.
2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Front End: Carrozzeria wheel, Continental tire, Driven rotor, lowered two-inches
Rear End: Hardcore Cycles adjustable 240 swingarm, Carrozzeria wheel, lowering links, custom sprocket, EK chain, Pirelli tire, adjustable strut
Motor: Race Fit exhaust, PC3, TRE mod, K&N filter
Paint: Neyon Paint
Accessories: Custom Dynamic LED kit, PPM Custom covers, Vortex clip-ons and gas cap, Yana Shiki rearsets, Pit-Eck upper triple tree, levers and block-offs, Hotbodies screen, HID bulbs, Suzuki gel-seat, Pro Grip grips, D2Moto gauges, Roaring Toyz yoke stem cap cover
Owner: Chris Hayes
Builder: Jason Seligman, New Age Customs