Based in Ottawa, the shop specializes in parts fabrication, vapor-blasting and, of course, complete restorations sprinkled with modern tech. We had a look at one of his Katana-based builds on autoevolution in the past, and what you're seeing here is along the same lines – sort of. The motorcycle Darren refers to as Orange Kissed also started out as a stock Suzuki GSX1100, but it was destined for a complete engine swap.
However, this heart transplant would be far from the only succulent upgrade performed by dB Customs, as the Katana’s chassis found itself in Darren’s crosshairs, as well. As with most of his undertakings, the goal here was to keep the donor’s iconic appearance largely unchanged, while dialing its performance to eleven. Orange Kissed was built for a client in New York, and it attained its final form in 2022.
First things first, Darren and his customer decided that the Katana had to be sharpened with some good old Gixxer power. Out went the GSX1100 mill, making room for a GSX-R1100's four-banger and all its 143 feral ponies. The air- and oil-cooled power unit no longer displaces just 1,127cc, though, because dB Customs blessed it with a complete overhaul before putting it on the older Suzuki.
Sir Begg added a Setrab oil cooler to prevent the inline-four from getting too toasty, connecting them to one another via tailor-made lines. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the power gains resulting from all these mods, but it’s safe to assume that Orange Kissed is as absolute ripper! In any case, the powertrain is just one side of the equation here, so let’s turn our attention to the chassis.
The Katana’s suspension underwent a radical transformation, as well, gaining a full suite of modern Ohlins parts. You’ll spot a pair of inverted forks at the front, accompanied by piggyback shock absorbers with progressive springs at the opposite end. Bespoke triple clamps have been used to mount the new forks in place, while the rear suspension goodies were mated to a reworked Suzuki Bandit swingarm.
The dB Customs treatment made a big splash on unsprung territory, too, bringing about some fresh footwear and improved stopping power in the process. Darren swapped the factory wheels with forged aluminum Piega R substitutes from OZ Motorbike, then he cloaked their rims in Michelin Power 5 tires for ample grip.
Woodcraft supplied some compact billet switchgear, and it’s joined by bar-end mirrors, Brembo control levers, and a multi-function gauge cluster from Koso. Even though most of the bodywork remains stock, dB Customs did install some carbon fiber overalls to eliminate a bit of weight. The replacement tail section and front fender are both CFRP units, but so are the little side panels completing the front fairing.
One may find aftermarket LED turn signals all-round, along with a grocery list of CNC-machined accessories. For the paint job, Darren Begg handed things over to Sketchs Ink – the same firm that painted his other GSX build we’ve talked about in the past. There’s nothing too in-your-face about the livery applied here; just an elegant blend of contrasting hues finishing off dB’s makeover in style.
A glossy silver base made its way onto the front fairing, fuel tank, and side covers, tastefully complemented by orange highlights. Items like the tail and front fender were only clear-coated to showcase their carbon fiber construction, while many other components have been painted black. As for the source of that pale orange, it came from the Lamborghini Huracan’s color palette.