Builder Jesse Rooke thought it was so cool, he kept it for himself.
Custom builder Jesse Rooke was known for his work on both two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles prior to his sad passing in 2019. If you add those two things and split the difference, what do you get? Three wheels, of course. Although the design brief for this build originally said something about a sidecar, that’s clearly not the direction Rooke took it in.
It started, as so many things do, with a simple conversation. Rooke was friends with Jordan Suzuki Superbike rider Jake Zemke, and through that connection, he ended up talking to team sponsor The U.S. National Guard about a build.
Naturally, the Guard wanted something cool to take around the country to draw crowds and raise awareness. It suggested a sidecar, but Rooke just couldn’t see it in his head. Still, if they wanted a three-wheeler, then that’s exactly what they’d get. Jordan Suzuki sent over a GSX-R1000R, and Rooke got to work.
Gallery: 2011 Jesse Rooke Scarlett Three-Wheeler
What Rooke had in his head was a modern English three-wheeler, possibly powered by a Harley V-Rod engine. He adapted this vision to fit the GSX-R1000R lump instead, and away he and his brother James went. They, of course, fabricated tons of bits but also used as much as they could from the donor bike.
Upon Rooke’s presentation of this bike to the National Guard, someone said, “this is not what we expected,” according to the 2020 Mecum Las Vegas listing for this vehicle. As the story goes, it became the huge crowd draw that everyone involved had wanted, and the National Guard proudly toured the country with it like it had planned. Eventually, it went back to Rooke, who kept it for himself and named it “Scarlett,” after his daughter.
This build is pretty sweet, and in the video, Rooke talks about how smoothly the suspension handles. You can see it, too, in ways that beautiful static photos just can’t show. It sold with no reserve at Mecum, for an as-yet-undisclosed amount.