We first profiled Patrick Pawlukievicz and his custom sportbike business Patrick’s Performance back in 2004. Since then the custom builder has not been idle, as evidenced by this flashy R1.
A couple of years ago we introduced Patrick Pawlukiewicz and the custom sportbikes he builds at his business Patrick’s Performance. Now Pawlukiewicz is back with an all-new decked-out Yamaha R1, a bike sure to turn heads at alarming rates of speed.
Pawlukiewicz, a relative newcomer to the custom builder scene, stands out from the custom crowd by focusing on the sportbike genre. The genesis of Pawlukiewicz’s motorcycle business, however, was not a customized sportbike, but instead his very own Fat Boy which he started building up. After that the custom builder directed his burgeoning talents to an R1, and things have kicked off from there. Now Patrick’s Performance runs a new online shop selling sportbike components as well as some of the finished project bikes themselves.
Pawlukiewicz designs components for all of the Big Four sportbike offerings, but regardless of make or model there is a definite theme running through his body of work: You can expect top-quality components, unreal paint jobs, and also chrome, chrome, and more chrome. The latest creation to exit the garage of the Kenosha, Wisconsin-based business lives up to all those lofty expectations. Now you never want to drop your ride on the asphalt, but you really don’t want to drop this R1. Ringing in at a cool 30 grand, this bike sports a look that could best be described as, uh, how you say, pretty damn cool.
A good place to start describing the Patrick’s Performance R1 is the attention-grabbing $6000 paint job. Will Christman of The Sign Shop in Racine, Wisconsin is responsible for a paint job which took three months to complete and includes a matching helmet. The task presented a particular challenge, due to the lack of a broad surface area upon which to apply the silver and blue paint scheme. The reverse fade design, which extends over the chromed windscreen, incorporates a blue base with silver graphics at the bottom with the colors exchanging roles at the top.
“Will did an awesome job on this one,” said Pawlukiewicz of the paint scheme on the R1. “Pictures don’t do it justice.”
Competing with the paint for attention on this blinged-out R1 is a rough assignment, but the chrome does an admirable job. Chrome smashes down hard on whatever instinctive primal button we share with packrats and raccoons which harbors the inescapable desire for shiny objects. Pawlukiewicz satiates this innate lust for the shiny stuff by adorning the frame, subframe, swingarm, footpegs, forks, and triple clamps. Chrome styling also extends to the Trac Dynamics 240 rear tire swingarm kit as well as the RC Component Sheriff wheels, which are fitted with Avon Venom tires.
The chrome extends beyond the frame to include the Trac Dynamics 240 rear tire swingarm kit and the Avon Venom tire-fitted RC Component Sheriff wheels.
What sets Patrick’s customs apart from most of his one-off, form-over-function chopper competitors, is these sportbikes are performance-oriented machines. A Graves Motorsports Titanium full oval exhaust system shaves 7 lbs off the stock system and, paired with a Dynojet Power Commander, team up to increase power sent to the back end by about 14 hp. Considering the 2005 R1 we dynoed for our Superbike Smackdown registered at just an eyelash under 145 hp, the addition of the Graves exhaust and accompanying Power Commander should put the Patrick’s R1 near the 160-hp range.
Graves also pitch in with black frame sliders and, available exclusively from Patrick’s Performance, blue-anodized Graves R1 handlebar ends.
The silver and blue R1 slows things down with steel-braided lines. Up front the calipers press upon the Galfer wave rotor, but to make things look just right, Pawlukiewicz pulled the right-side rotor and shaved down the caliper mounts from the lower fork tube. It is attention to such details which make Pawlukiewicz a solid craftsman as well as creative designer (even if he just halved his braking power – Ed.).
Further details include a bunch of color-matched components. A Patrick’s Performance exclusive transparent blue-coated sprocket cover and similarly finished blue clutch cover add to the theme, as does the blue triple clamp cover with “R1″ engraved into the top. A Vortex chrome gas cap and base supplies more sparkle. Lighting is provided by Angel Eye headlights that are complimented by matching running lights and clear flush-mount turn signals from Gregg’s Customs. In the rear a custom LED taillight dispenses with the stock turn signals. A billet CRG bar-end mirror brings it home.
The general turnaround time for a Patrick’s Performance custom bike with a chrome frame is three months. But like any project, unforeseen problems can throw a wrench in the best laid plans, and this Pawlukiewicz R1 was no exception. A major delay in the assembly process occurred when work had to be postponed until Trac Dynamics could deliver a swingarm that fit properly. The planned eight-week wait stretched into four and a half months.
This particular R1 made its debut at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show where it was well received. “Most people see us on the internet and in magazines and think we are on the same level as our competitors,” said Pawlukiewicz. “Then they see our work in person and realize it is quite more impressive than imagined. We do hear that over and over at all shows we go to.”
The Patrick’s Performance R1 featured here is not for sale and is waiting to be accepted by the customer who commissioned it, a civilian contractor working in Iraq. Don’t worry, though, making made-to-order custom sportbikes is Pawlukiewicz’s specialty. A bike similar to this R1 is all in a day’s work for Patrick’s Performance, or in this case, seven months work. An email to Patrick can get you a spot in his growing line of customers, as his work is becoming more in demand. With designs like this R1 making their way out of the garage, we can see why. New bikes can be commissioned, or individual components can be purchased through the www.patricksperformance.com website.
Looking ahead into 2006, Pawlukiewicz is eager to direct his full attention back to building bikes, after spending much of the last two years focused on tending to his fledgling business. The talented designer has something brewing in the back of his mind, just waiting to come to life in metal, paint, and rubber.
“I have seen a lot of custom bikes in the last six months,” said Pawlukiewicz. “I think a lot of them are starting to look very similar and it is kind of boring me. My work as I see it still could use a little something. Now that the business is more under control, I can focus on really designing something eye-catching and performance-oriented. Please stay tuned.
Rest assured, we will.