You don’t see a legit 1925 HD frame with a ‘45 Flattie stuffed in it very often. Come to think of it, I never have! The simplicity of this machine is amazing. It is assembled from swap meet and horse-trading parts with a big dash of ingenuity. The tank is totally hand fabricated in stainless, and I like how there are still remnants of the original olive green paint on the frame. Jake purposefully did not paint it. The raw patina throughout this machine gives it real character that you just can’t reproduce.
This beast has HD parts spanning many decades and the Shovelhead primary chain adds some real beef to the, comparatively tiny, stock ‘45 stuff. That big bad clutch basket looks right at home as well. It’s pretty amazing that Jake Smith, of the company of the same name Jake Smith Motorworks, is 30 and the frame on which he based this bike is three times his age, at 91 years old.
As the now popular hash tag goes #teamworkmakesthedreamwork. This bike is no stranger to that concept. It was a 2015 Greasy Dozen Builder Collective Bike. Jake had plans to run a Kawa W1 transmission in it, which is essentially a copy of a BSA pre-unit trans. That was a creative idea, but as the clock ran down on the build time-line it became an impossibility. That idea was also difficult because Jake had a strong desire to preserve as much of the 90-year-old frame as possible. You see, 1925 HD frames don’t have a trans plate. It’s all a part of the frame. That meant a trans with a compatible bolt pattern was needed. Tyler Guidry of the #brothersguidry came to the rescue, offering up the trans out of his running panhead because the bolt pattern worked. It’s not often that you see a guy pull the trans from his running riding bike to help out a brother, but that’s just what happened. Tyler had a new trans on the way in a couple of days and Jake offered up some welding work for him. A few horse-trades later and everyone was square. Both bikes were running in time for the Greasy Dozen Run. Jake had some 11th-hour details and a few last minute pin holes to weld up in the gas tank, but he did roll out on the run until the mag went out trying to keep up with Evo’s doing 80 miles an hour.
So far, he has clocked this machine at 82 miles per hour! With plans for a port and polish and a racing set of flywheels already on hand, I think that this 90-year-old frame may just hit 90 mph some day really soon. Could it be on the Greasy Dozen Run 2016? If you dig bikes like this, you should consider attending. The full Run details are available at www.thegreasydozenrun.com.
Owner name, location: Jake Smith, Columbus, Ohio
ChopCult member profile: Neglegent
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 45ci Flathead, year is Unknown, Running a 38mm electron flat slide
Frame: 1925 Harley JD
Fork: Ironhead Sportster
Chassis mods: Rear of the frame was a mess, pulled it apart and replaced the tubing from the seat post back, slotted the axle plates for 3/4 axle, and made motor mounts for the flathead
Tire/wheel size and style: 18 Triumph spoked, 19 Sportster spoked front
Favorite thing about this bike: The stainless gas tank that sits in between the JD top tubes
Next modification will be: Working on a mechanical advance for the mag
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Narrowed an early pan wide glide stainless fork cover. It’s running a rotary top big-twin four-speed, which fit on the JD cast trans plate with no modifications, and will run over 80 mph at the moment. It’s all cool
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: This bike was part of the Greasy Dozen Builder Collective 2015.
I'm blessed to have a large group of friends and family who offer their support, advice, guidance, and motivation on a daily basis. Thanks to everyone who had a helping hand in this build, and to everyone who keeps me on track every day. -Jake
Story and photos by Bear.
*Additional feature :Daily:Jake Smith's 1976 Kawasaki KZ 750B