Photo by Larry Cahill Photography
Christine Capece turned her DIY project into a true labor of love when she took on the monumental task of embellishing her 2004 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10 in 50,000 Swarovski Xilion Crystals.
Christine had always been drawn to the sexy curves, slick lines and bright bold colors of a street bike and aspired to learn to ride one. In 2001 Christine’s boyfriend (who eventually became her husband) began to teach her how to ride and at the same time started looking online to buy her one of her own.
While browsing on Craigslist he came across the brightly colored Green and Pink Ninja that had just been listed a mere five minutes before he discovered it. Immediately he knew that this was the bike of Christine’s dreams and wasted no time buying it for her.
Creating a Dazzling Crystal Bling’d Masterpiece on Two Wheels
It was Christine’s allure to the sparkle of real crystal that was the driving force behind her quest to bejewel her entire motorcycle with them. Being a stay at home mom afforded Christine the time to undertake her colossal DIY crystals project. It soon became like a full-time job over the next six months while she spent about 8 hours a day painstakingly applying the Swarovski crystals.
Every day after she got her four kids off to school she would then head to the garage with toothpicks and tweezers in hand. She came up with a design of her own to make it a truly “one of kind” crystal bling’d creation on two wheels.
“I love how the sun reflects off of real crystal, nothing a paint job could ever duplicate.”
Christine didn’t plan out the design; she created most of it “on the fly.” In fact, it was just supposed to be a design on the frame and flames on the front. Before long one idea led to another and soon the Swarovski crystals spread like fairy dust. As she continued to add more and more crystals she started calling her sparkling creation “Lucy” because she became concerned how she would absolutely lose it if they were to start coming loose.
Christine inevitably ran into a few snags and admittedly made a few mistakes during the design process. But to her relief any mistakes or even changes that were made in progress were easily rectified.
One particular incident was when she chipped off three of the stars because the Swarovski rhinestones didn’t quite match the others she had previously put on. She eventually found ones that matched perfectly, however she ended up having to patiently wait three weeks as they were shipped from Austria.
After completing the checkerboard around the windscreen and across the front Christine decided she didn’t quite like the way that the pattern of the crystals looked on her custom Ninja. She scraped the front ones off in favor of a solid, more refined design.
Later on, Christine also chose to remove some stars in favor of skulls.
Swarovski Rhinestones Shining from Fender to Fender
50,000 Swarovski Xillion enhanced crystals later the cost totaled $15,000 and to duplicate it again Christine’s custom Ninja motorcycle was insured for a whopping 40 grand. By the time she was done, she had encased almost her entire bike in sparkly brilliance; from the frame, rims, fairings to the handlebars, including around the seat, each surface had eventually underwent some form of shimmering transformation.
YouTube 20 Thousand Swarovski Rhinestone Crystals
YouTube CRAZY Swarovski Crystal Bling’d Motorcycle Kawi Zx10 Ninja (at 40,000)
Additional Kawasaki Ninja Modifications
Not only did a lot of bling get put into Christine’s bejeweled custom Ninja she also added some awesome modifications to enhance her motorcycle.
- Powder-coated rims, kickstand, foot pegs and clutch levers
- LSR triple tree and bar kit
- Muzzy frame sliders
- Spiegler braided lines
- Two Brothers carbon fiber exhaust
- Integrated tail light and under tail license plate bracket
- BMC air filter
- Michelin Pilot Power tires
- Corbin carbon fiber seat with hot pink piping
- Rockford Fosgate Amp
- Hogtune Speakers
Lighting It Up with a LED light kit & Green running lights
There is no mistaking that Christine’s bike shines in the sun, but she can also light up the night and sparkle until dawn. Christine enlisted the help of her husband when it came to lighting up her bike after she was told by two shops that they would have to remove some of the plastic parts in order to run the wires for the lighting she wanted.
Her husband expertly wired up the 12 sets of 6 LED lights and 2 strips of green running lights without removing any parts, and managed to keep all the wiring completely hidden.
Glamorous Bike Competitions
After completing her crystal bling’d shimmering beauty, Christine spent the first year entering her custom Ninja into bike shows that were located in and around her hometown of Middleton, Massachusetts.
Christine’s motorcycle is so embellished most people have a hard time believing that she actually rides it. She came up with the idea of adding a placard to her bike display setup to dispel any thoughts that her “Lucy” was a trailer Queen.
Eventually Christine eased off the competitive circuit of shows and focused on getting back into fitness with CrossFit and Lifting. She continues to satisfy the rider in her and instead of taking her bike to motorcycle shows she will take it every chance she gets to work out at the gym.
Christine also actively participates in local charity rides to show her support for some good causes.
The Boston Wounded Vet Ride is one that Christine makes it a point to participate in every year rain or shine. One would think that riding in the rain and mud would make cleaning a bike laden with crystals an impossible task, however Christine used the advice of a jeweler who had suggested that diamonds are best cleaned with alcohol.
She came up with using a steam cleaner filled with grain alcohol to avoid leaving too much residue on the gems and according to Christine, the result comes out “awesome.”
WARNING – Sparkles Can Attract Unwanted Attention
Christine’s unique and bejeweled custom motorcycle has brought its fair share of unwanted attention; especially when she has it parked unattended. With having such a sparkling crystal bling’d motorcycle, it tends to attract a crowd who just can’t seem to resist touching it. But if that wasn’t bad enough, for Christine the worst is when they have taken the liberty to sit on it without her permission, to which she very politely described these incidents as being totally “uncool.” However, for the most part she explained that people are just snapping a lot of pictures and giving her a “thumbs up” when she is waiting at a stoplight. Which leaves her to ponder,
“Lots and lots of phone pics, I wonder where they all go?”
Christine admits that it is mostly men that seem not to appreciate the effort it has taken to achieve her glitzy ride. She just shrugs it off and chalks it up to them not realizing how much time, energy and patience it took to actually create the dazzling artwork. Then one day while she was at a bike show a group of Hell’s Angels were gathered around her crystal bling’d custom Ninja and she overheard them in a deep discussion about how long it must have taken to create the artistic design. This made her realize some men do acknowledge the hard work involved and are not embarrassed to talk about it.
“I realized real hardcore motorcyclists appreciate any kind of artistry.”
Christine’s North Shore Bling
Christine now focuses her dazzling talents blinging up clothing and accessories for practically anything. Some of her designs are geared for cheerleaders, dance and gyms. If you have a team she can have you outshine the rest with glittery sparkle accents. Check out her work at North Shore Bling on Facebook.
Connect with Christine:
Do you have a bling’d out bike? Are you fashionably styling while you ride? Then check out How to get featured as a Biker Girl Bling’n It.