Finding a slammed and stretched custom with less than 999cc is like finding a screw in a silo of bolts. Not to say it’s never done, Jason Cleghorn retooled an off-the-lot 2007 Suzuki GSX-R600 into a true blue hero of the Chicago show scene after wise words from his better half. Why not go literbike, you ask? Losing off the light on his first Suzuki GS500 wasn’t cutting it amongst a crew of big bikes so Jason set his sights on mo’ powa. Supporting the cause, his wife funded a quicker means of getting around downtown but not without a caveat. She nixed his hopes of jockeying a speed steed for a more than adequate middleweight that ironically is now the source of constant literbike confusion:
“Everybody thinks it’s a 1000 until I tell them it’s a 600. They all wonder why somebody would put so much money into a 600. Everybody does the thousands and ‘Busas. Originally, I wanted a ‘Busa but my wife said no because of the way I used to ride, so I got the 600 and that’s what I had to work with.”
Like most new bike buys, the standard aftermarket pipe and small dress up bits quickly bolted into place but it wasn’t until a random run-in with an old teenage crony that the build really kicked into high gear:
“I started everything on my own with exhaust and little things here and there but it got completely out of hand after running into Josh from JDA Custom. The next thing I knew it turned into a big thing.”
Without getting gaudy, the graphics were stripped and the factory blue with a candy touch splashed across the fairings that were then ghosted with white flames. From there Jason grabbed the JDA Custom menu and ordered one of everything. Clear gas cap to heel guards, the bike was outfitted in builder bling across the board. PM Torque wheels and a 10-over Thompson’s Custom Cycles swingarm kit stretched the look even further. A crate worth of accessories color matched or chromed acted as eye candy while a Pioneer speaker and GPS system kept any in earshot entertained. Adding one last creature comfort—Arnott Air Suspension air ride—stifled road bumps with a wave of Cadillac-level cushion.
The roughest portion of the entire build was keeping a wife onboard that at first was not keen on all the time and dollars devoted to making a dream come true. Eventually, Jason’s wife turned out to be the one most eager to chat up bike nighters coming in for a closer look. Ten thousand miles of road reactions and neither could imagine parting ways with a 600 that has confused some, surprised others and confirmed there isn’t anything wrong with taking the route less traveled.
Keeping a low profile is for...
Keeping a low profile is for escaped convicts, not a bike with speakers mounted in the dash and a DVD player front and center.
2007 Suzuki GSX-R600
Front End: Performance Machine Torque wheel, Galfer brake line and Wave rotor, Shinko tire, JDA Custom triple tree
Rear End: Performance Machine 240 Torque wheel, Galfer brake line and Wave rotor, Thompson’s Custom Cycles 10-over swingarm with under brace, 240mm Shinko tire, JDA Custom sprocket, Arnott Air Suspension air ride, RK 530 chain
Motor: Hotbodies Racing exhaust, Power Commander, K&N filter, Yuasa battery
Paint: JP Customs
Accessories: JDA Custom clear gas cap, flat dress cap kit, license plate bracket, lowering kickstand, grips, master cylinder caps, flat fairing screws, flat caliper delete bolts, heel guards, GPS/Audio bracket, flat fork tube caps, stem plug, chrome frame sliders, tank pad and chromed components, Pioneer F500BT GPS/MP3/Video player, rear view camera, four speakers, amp mounted in tail, SBT chrome gator skin seat with light-up logo, HIDs, LED lighting kit, molded windscreen, custom molded-into-tail LED turn signals, Hotbodies Racing signals, clear engine covers
Owner: Jason Cleghorn
Builder: JDA Custom