Motorcycle Racing News Suzuki Hayabusa | Gregg’s Customs

Suzuki Hayabusa | Gregg’s Customs

Hayabusa 10th Anniversary

As Alexander Hamilton wrote nearly 235 years ago in The Farmer Refuted, "A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired." While the first Secretary of the Treasury could not possibly have had the Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle on his mind, even with access to the most prescient of performance prognosticators of the period, Gregg’s Customs Suzuki-commissioned 10th Anniversary edition of the Peregrine Falcon undoubtedly pays homage to Hamilton’s words.

"Jon and Garrett Kai from Suzuki have a rapport," builder Gregg DesJardins reveals. "The MotoGP at Laguna Seca was coming and Suzuki wanted to do a 10th Anniversary Suzuki Hayabusa. They were happy with the work we had done on the Suzuki B-King and other Hayabusas, so, if I may be so bold, we were the logical choice for them."

Though it may be romantic to think that Gregg DesJardins of Gregg’s Customs and Jonathan Reed of Sport Chrome-the two builders of this one-off Hayabusa-were channeling Hamilton when they conjured the idea of using the $10 bill as a primary graphic treatment for their custom motorcycle creation, the genesis of the design was more prosaic.

"We had a short time to build it, just a few weeks," DesJardins explains. "We spent time pulling it apart, brainstorming on what to do with it. We wanted a ‘ten’ on it, and I thought of putting a giant ‘10′ on the side and thinking about fonts. Someone had an old $10 bill in his pocket, and we came up with the idea."

Rather than duplicating the $10 bill graphic, DesJardins had plans inspired by the four-wheel world. "We mirrored all the graphics. I wanted the graphics to wrap around the tank as you sit on it," he recounts. "I was reading some import car magazines. They’ll put graphics on one side, with a mirror image on the other."
Visually, the Hayabusa is an involving array of variable reflections and light-devouring veneers. "I’m a big fan of contrasts and textures," DesJardins says. "I think it makes the motorcycle. When people are looking at it, it’s subconsciously because of the textures. We did some matte and glossy paint, and some metal-flake, some anodized, chroming, and raw finishes. It’s a risk, but sometimes it works and I am thinking it did."

Reed’s Sport Chrome handled the metal finishing and painting of the Hayabusa, and Reed clearly relished his collaboration with DesJardins. "It’s a very interesting process when Gregg and I work together," Reed says, "We brainstorm ideas and piggyback off what each other suggests. Sometimes we’re on the same page after 10 seconds, and sometimes it takes hours or days. But, when we get aligned in our thoughts, it’s incredible. For me it’s indescribable watching the image in my mind transform as someone contributes their ideas and improves what you at the time thought could not possibly be improved."

According to DesJardins, this Suzuki Hayabusa "is definitely designed to be ridden and fully functional, just like a stock bike." Producing prodigious amounts of horsepower in stock configuration, the only engine-related modification is an Akrapovič header with Gregg’s Customs’ Garrison Shorty Race muffler with billet end cap. This is a multi-purpose change that enhances performance, sound and appearance.

Certainly, the 10th Anniversary Hayabusa’s appearance is a showstopper-even in the rarified world of a MotoGP round-and the bike was unquestionably designed for show. However, that did not prevent DesJardins and Reed from retaining the Suzuki Hayabusa’s performance pedigree.

With the graphics dominating the front of the motorcycle, the duo’s attention focused on balancing the gaze-detaining front with an equally compelling rear. An immediately striking change is a 2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000 tail section with Gregg’s Customs’ subframe and billet aluminum fender eliminator kit.

"The GSX-R subframe is something I’m selling. I think it’s a great look," DesJardins says. "Corbin makes a seat for the kit. Once you get the tail mounted, neither the Hayabusa seat nor the GSX-R seat works, so you need a custom seat. I’m not typically a Hayabusa fan, but with that tail I really like it."

Indisputably, the aggressively angular GSX-R1000 tailpiece evokes a completely different response than the bulbous stock Hayabusa rear. "When you have bodywork you’re limited," DesJardins notes, "but I think on this ‘busa, the tail system looks like it could roll off the showroom floor."

Below the seat rests one of Gregg’s Customs’ signature designs-the serpentine Side-Arm swingarm. DesJardins takes tubular chromoly steel and TIG welds it into a work of astonishing practicality and beauty. Often powder-coated or left raw, the 240 Side-Arm on the 10th Anniversary Hayabusa was chromed by Sport Chrome. Not merely a showpiece, the 240 Side-Arm is engineered to track-level specs, maintaining the Hayabusa’s credibility as a purely sporting motorcycle.

Attached to the 240 Side-Arm is the reason for the "240" designation-an 18×8.5 Sport Chrome-exclusive Performance Machine black-anodized Forged Assault rim capable of mounting a 240/40 Pirelli Diablo rear tire. "The Assault back wheel is a special deal," DesJardins explains. "It’s made specifically for our subframe. Even though it’s wide, it’s lightweight." Performance Machine also provided the Assault front wheel, along with the front rotors and radially mounted calipers.

Mention of the front calipers reminds DesJardins of his favorite design element on the Suzuki 10th Anniversary Hayabusa. "One thing we’ve done that we’ve never done," he reveals, "is the grayish-brown hard, clear anodized finish on the rear seats and front calipers. It’s a purposeful coating, and gives it a racy look. We had hard-clear mixed with a chrome frame and black wheels. Traditionally, a motorcycle is chromed out or utilitarian black. We mixed it really well. At the end of the build, the biggest impression is that we tied together all the textures, colors and features."

Photography by Cordero Studios


Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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