You know the tune. It only takes a few bars of that cool classic theme song to instantly instill mental images of a tall and lanky pink cat. But what the hell does the Pink Panther have to do with a custom sportbike?
We wondered the same thing until we hooked up with bike owner Donna Jones. Her infatuation with the pink pussycat is such that she's known around Los Angeles for her uniquely painted 2004 Honda CBR1000RR with pink bodywork and large Pink Panthers on both sides. But she always felt it was missing something, and after meeting builder Tony Sesto of Tek9 Cycles at a motorcycle club event, she decided to join the ranks of the custom crowd and take her ideas a bit further. "I've seen Tony's work. I knew I would get what I asked for when it was done."
Before Jones let Tek9 build her bike, she had a single request--make it pink. "I wanted a hard-core chick bike. I wanted it pink, but not a prissy pink."
Tek9 started by completely disassembling the bike so it could be sent to Sport Chrome for a quick dip in the silver sauce. Pink chrome is actually translucent powdercoat though, so the next stop was just down the street in Huntington Beach at Specialized Coatings, where the frame, swingarm, forks and hardware were all given a clear-coat treatment.
But when the box of parts returned to Tek9 it looked as if it might have been slightly overdone...
The bodywork that was taken off the bike was a pink fuchsia color with a large Pink Panther running along the side fairing, and moments after the bodywork was mated to the newly pinked-out chrome frame, Jones received a phone call. "Tony asked me to come in and look at it. The first thing I said when I saw it was `hell no'! The pink frame made the original pink bodywork look red and it was just too much. I didn't want a Pepto-Bismol bike."