From an early age, Gregg DesJardins was inadvertently spoon-fed a unique customization and chrome awareness. He grew up around the creative environs of the family’s garage, in close proximity to his father’s passion for building hot rods. A wonderful metallurgical playground of rolling cut-and-chopped Detroit iron fueled young DesJardins’ fertile imagination and set the developmental gears in motion. The inherited gearhead genes, fostered by the gasoline-fumed environment of ratchet tools and custom alterations, became the foundation for a future inventive designer’s mind.
As a teen, DesJardins undertook several frame-up restorations of the four-wheeled variety before turning his attention to motorcycles and the customization possibilities they represented. The path to custom bike builder was facilitated by a serendipitous event. A sportbike enthusiast, DesJardins was dismayed by the limited choices of after-market turn signals available for his Yamaha R1. So, as is the case with so many successful entrepreneurs, he merely created a product to satisfy a personal need. Only as an afterthought did DesJardins try his hand at marketing his billet-aluminum turn signals. They were an instant and unexpected hit, and ultimately helped seed the start-up of Gregg’s Customs. (Click image to enlarge)
The GC-1000 Honda—DesJardins’ first motorcycle endeavor from scratch—represents a dynamic two-wheel canvas intended to showcase his abilities as both a designer and fabricator. The bike brings to bear the creator’s ingrained appreciation for the clean flow of sheet metal, the sinuous bend of tubing, and the artistic realms of machined billet aluminum. It possesses enough custom fodder to make it an exceptional conversation piece at even the most blinged-out parking lot hang, exuding a unique blend of ghetto attitude with rock star charisma.
However, as a serious sportbike rider, DesJardins was intent on building a daily rider. Although he wanted a machine with distinctive flair and a brazen personality, it had to be functional as a regular weekend canyon runner. For this reason, DesJardins chose the Honda RC51 999cc V-twin engine to propel his creation of wild paint and prodigious chrome. The superbike powerplant reinforces GC’s unruly, rebellious persona with a canyon savvy brawn, elevating it above mere poseur status. (Click image to enlarge)
The compact and narrow motor allowed DesJardins to carry an extremely slim profile through the entire flow of the bike. Naturally, by using the RC51 powerplant the machine benefits from Honda’s extensive R&D, sophisticated engineering, and legendary reliability. In stock trim, the engine produces enough horsepower and torque to negate any fidgeting, save a GC stainless exhaust system and titanium mufflers with billet end caps.
To maintain the machine’s narrow theme, the engine was rotated backward slightly to allow the installation of a front radiator, as opposed to the standard RC51′s twin side-mounted units. Taking a lead from the custom cruiser world, DesJardins spent a good deal of effort concealing the electrical wires, tucking them up and away from infringing on the bike’s appearance.
The most impressive aspect of the bike is the hand-built trellis frame and swingarm fabricated by DesJardins himself. Made from chromoly tubing with trusses of streamline stock—traditionally used in the manufacture of airplane struts—the chassis is crafted to tightly hug the engine’s contours. The single-sided swingarm is an equally beautiful, sinuous and sturdy work of art.
With performance mandated by a sporting ethos, the GC-1000 Honda’s chassis is imbued with a short wheelbase and steep rake for quick turn-in and responsive handling. Öhlins forks and rear shock, PVM brake rotors with AP calipers for braking, and PVM 10-spoke forged aluminum wheels round out the authentic sport persona.
All of these serious performance attributes meld successfully with the spirited rebellion of individualism in the honorary badge of customization and chrome. It is this dynamic clash of cultures that drives the GC-1000′s aesthetic. The fuel tank and tail piece are hand-crafted from aluminum and represent yet another maiden voyage for DesJardins into fabrication; the time-honored art of hand-forming metal.
When it came time for paint, DesJardins was intent on root beer brown. Craig Fraser was brought in to work his airbrush magic, rendering root beer candy over gold with tangerine tribal flames. Delving into the traditional custom world, the scheme was accented with ghost skulls. (Click image to enlarge)
The GC-1000 Honda is laced with a Gregg’s Customs staple—billet aluminum. Triple clamps, headlight stanchions, rear-sets, handlebar risers, caliper brackets, clutch cover and exhaust tips are all machined in-house. The shift lever, brake pedal and kickstand are tasteful constructions of stainless steel rod riding on needle bearings for tight tolerances and smooth action, testament to the level of craftsmanship DesJardins brings to his work.
Gregg’s Customs has succeeded in blurring the lines between the established world of personal, one-off customization and the assembly line product of major manufacturers. The GC-1000 is a category-hopping, classification-defying motorcycle with the heart of a Japanese sportbike and the signature raucous independence exemplified by a custom.
Honda RC51 999cc
4130 chromoly trellis frame with streamline trusses
Öhlins R & T forks and Öhlins remote reservoir shock
PVM forged aluminum 10-Y spoke
PVM rotors with AP calipers
BrakeTech floater with a Brembo caliper
GC Stainless full system, with titanium mufflers and billet endcaps
Triple clamps, headlight brackets, rear-sets, handlebar risers, caliper brackets, clutch cover, and exhaust tips machined in-house
GC hand-formed aluminum by GC
Root beer candy over gold with tangerine tribal flames and ghost skulls by Craig Fraser at www.gotpaint.com. House of Colors Paint.