Even as the major motorcycle manufacturers are locked in a battle of the brochures for whose top dog has the biggest cahunas, and while both press and public alike debate whether or not Kawasaki’s new kid, the ZX-14, will take the candy away from the evergreen Hayabusa, Suzuki’s long-time contender in the top speed stakes, beavering away in his workshop in Boerne, Texas, is one man whose homebuilt bike could outdraw the two Oriental heavyweight gunslingers in a race for the quarter mile and leave them both shot and bleeding on the floor.

With an all up weight of 140k and almost 200 bhp at the crank, James Compton’s street legal ‘Crusher’ tips the scales at less than a MotoGP bike, runs a near-as-dammit stock GSX-R1000 engine, looks like a refugee from a pro street drag race and will light-up the rear tyre all the way through first, second and third gears.  Based in the small town of Boerne, located some 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, (and boasting the second oldest courthouse in Texas), James Compton owns a small metal fabrication workshop known as Compton Custom Design where he hand-crafted the chrome-moly frame and almost all of the exquisite billet aluminium parts that make up the rest of the bike.  And when he’s not fabricating parts for road race and drag bikes in his shop, or building engines and tuning suspension systems for the same, James works as the Crew Chief on Jake Holden’s #59 Suzukis as part of Basketball superstar Michael Jordan’s three-rider AMA Superbike race team. 

Preparing Jake Holden’s engines for both his Pro Superbike and 1000 Superstock bikes, James used the same expertise and experience to blueprint the ‘Crusher’s’ GSX-R1000 engine to a similar Superstock spec as the Jordan race bike engines he’s responsible for, albeit with a little extra oomph in the shape of an inlet cam of his own design and a very special BPD fuel injection system and modified Motec ignition.  For anyone outside of the race scene, the B part of BPD stands for Bazzaz, namely one Ammar Bazzaz, the electronics and suspension whiz, (formerly Crew Chief for Yoshimura Suzuki’s six-times AMA Superbike champ Mat Mladen), who besides being #43 Jason Pridmore’s Crew Chief on the Jordan Motorsports team is also the team Superbike Crew Chief and attends to the technical data acquisition and electronic management systems, and the suspension maintenance for all three riders on the Jordan race team.  For James’s GSX-R1000 engine Bazzaz created an ECU with a fully programmable system using the stock Suzuki double-barrelled dual-stage throttle bodies with some trick remapping that makes the motor perform as smooth as licking treacle off Jaylo’s inner thigh while doing away with the stock 10.2 litre airbox … although the four open velocity stacks might just suck the T-shirt right off your body when the throttle gets twisted in anger.  Not that it would bother James too much as at six foot and 260 pounds he held national squat records in 1984 and 85 for power lifting and played All-American High School football as a fullback for the University of Washington before he took up road racing in 1992, as James himself said, ‘Not the build for your average motorcycle racer’.  But despite being, ‘Larger that the average racer’, (as in being about four times bigger than most MotoGP riders), James had a successful career as a rider in the Annandale Race team in Formula Extreme before the pressures of a family led to his dual occupation as a fabricator/ tuner and a Jordan Crew Chief.    

The rest of the bike is very much an all Compton Custom Design benefit with James’ aptitude for fabrication making itself obvious in the creation of the hand-crafted rigid pro street drag style frame, the aluminium fuel tank located under the seat behind the engine and the myriad of hand-made billet aluminium parts such as the transmission outrigger, the footrest and lever assemblies and the engine mounts.  At the time of the photoshoot both mudguards were fashioned from steel, however James has since fitted super light carbon fibre replacements made by Gemini Technology, one of the sponsors and technical supporters of the Jordan race team. 

Cooling the Suzuki engine is the job of the dual radiators that James made from scratch using the cores from Honda RC51 Superbike units mated to a full set of SJS Performance red silicon hoses juxtaposed with an all aluminium race spec oil cooler sporting big bore braided stainless steel Goodridge lines.  With nearly 200 Suzuki horses stampeding out of the stable door when the throttle is nailed, in order to rein them back in James fitted the best brakes he could find, over $7,000 worth of full-factory Brembo monobloc calipers, master cylinders and discs.  Designed by James and machined by Ice Prototypes, the exquisite fork yokes grip a pair of ’04 GSX-R1000 fork legs that have been modified internally and shortened by four inches in the Compton workshop to hunker down the front-end of the bike down to match the low phat profile of the huge 300mm Avon rear tyre.  Both billet wheel hubs were spun up by Compton before being fitted with specially made lightweight billet aluminium five-spoke wheels, a 17-incher at the front wearing a conventional Avon sports tyre and a humungous section rear to spread the massive 300mm Avon Venom to its full width.  And while I have to admit that the current fad for oversize tyres on sport bikes makes about as much sense to me as a dog barking at an airplane, this is one bike however that fits the big tyre format perfectly as it was never intended to go around corners in the first place.

While James, (or Big Buddy as he’s called by the Jordan crew), wrenched on Jake Holden’s Superstock bike in the pits at Daytona the conversation went something like this, ‘I started building bikes in 1992 the same time I started racing and haven’t been able to stop.  Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very talented riders including Ben Spies, Steve Rapp, Jason Pridmore and Jimmy Moore.  When I’m not at the track I’m at my shop in Boerne building bikes and helping my girl, Kim, take care of our four boys; newly born Kendric, two year-old Christian, Devon who’s five and eight year-old Teigen.  I build race engines, suspension, complete road and track bikes, and offer custom metal fabrication and machining services.  The ‘Crusher’ is the first full custom bike I’ve ever built.  I wanted something different.  The inspiration for the bike came from the wild pro street cars that you sometimes see on the streets here in the States.  I wanted to build a bike that looked outrageous with the performance to match, basically a two-wheeled version of a pro street car.  I feel like I was able to achieve my goal with this bike.  It’s definitely outrageous, it doesn’t look like something you should be allowed to ride on the street and it’s already done a high nine-second quarter mile pass.  I think with a little more tuning and the right rider it could be in the eights.  I’m looking forward to building the next one.  Any takers? …………..’



James Compton, Boerne, Texas, USA.


2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000 balanced & blueprinted to AMA Superstock spec. Stock GSX-R1000 inlet cam & Compton-spec exhaust cam. Stock GSX-R1000 crank lightened & balanced. Compton Custom Design exhaust system. Stock GSX-R1000 throttle bodies with Bazzaz Performance Design Superbike fully programmable engine management ECU. Modified Motec electronic ignition system. RC51 Honda radiator cores in specially designed & fabricated aluminium coolant radiators by Compton Custom Design. SJS Performance silicon coolant hoses & aluminium header tank fabricated by Compton Custom Design. Race spec aluminium oil cooler with Goodridge braided stainless steel lines. Billet aluminium transmission outrigger designed & machined by Compton Custom Design. 175bhp @ rear wheel on dyno.


Lightweight chromoly tubular steel dragrace style frame designed & fabricated by Compton Custom Design. Footrest/lever assemblies designed by Compton Custom and machined by Ice Prototyping.

Front End:

2004 GSX-R1000 fork legs shortened by 120mm by Compton Custom Design. Lightweight billet aluminium fork yokes designed by owner and machined by Ice Prototyping. Brembo factory race-spec radial 4-piston monobloc brake calipers, fully-floating brake discs & master cylinder with plastic-coated stainless steel lines. Brembo clutch master cylinder with plastic-coated stainless steel line. Billet aluminium wheel hub by Compton Custom Design & specially machined 5-spoke aluminium 17in wheel with Avon Azaro 130/70x17in tyre. Lightweight steel clip-on handlebars. Q/A throttle.

Rear End:

Billet aluminium wheel hub by Compton Custom Design & specially machined 5-spoke aluminium 18in wheel with Avon Venom 300/3SR18in tyre. Brembo factory race-spec radial 4-piston monobloc brake caliper, fully-floating brake disc & master cylinder with plastic-coated stainless steel line. Billet aluminium rear drive sprocket machined to match rear wheel.


Aluminium fuel tank under seat designed & fabricated by Compton Custom Design. Steel front & rear mudguards designed & fabricated by Compton Custom Design, (now replaced with carbon fibre Gemini technology). Seat by Compton Custom Design.


Bazzaz Performance Design Superbike-spec wiring harness & Bazzaz Performance Design QS-4 electronic gear shifter. Custom headlight & LED rear light. 


Boerne Stage Custom Street Rods, Boerne, Texas.


Compton Custom Design.




Bike designed & built by James Compton @ Compton Custom Design, Boerne, Texas, USA.

Thanks To:

Ammar Bazzaz @ Bazzaz Performance Design, Bill & Mike @ Ice Prototyping & Chris @ Boerne Stage Custom Street Rods.

Info on Compton Custom Design is available on

Info on the Michael Jordan race team is available on website