A motorcycle show featuring motorcycle builders, rare bike owners, painters, and photographers, honoring the industry and it's crafts by carefully curating it and presenting it to the interested masses. The show takes place in an industrial warehouse just blocks from Lake Erie, providing the perfect urban, gritty setting for this Great Lakes focused show. It is a free event. The Great Lakes region is filled with manufacturing, machine shops, and automotive industry. Despite the foul winter weather, or maybe because of it, gear head ingenuity abounds. Fuel Cleveland aims to drag seldom-seen rare motorcycles and top-quality custom choppers together, along with photography and paint work by some of the top artists in the motorcycle community, to be shown off to like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts. For more information check out the website and give us a follow on Instagram.
After high school, I decided to give art school a try. I thought I would fully embrace in the â€œartist lifeâ€ and further develop my skills. Ha, not so much!! I was completely wrong. After a few years of being told by a professor I had no talent, I became your classic art school dropout. For about three years I rarely picked up a pencil. As I stepped away from my sketchbook, I ended up picking up a film camera. I was eager to learn something new and creative so I ended up taking a night class where I developed my own film and learnt the ways of an enlarger.
After some time had passed I decided to give school another shot, but instead of art I moved towards design. This is also where I started to fall in love with art all over again. With a fresh new approach I was picking up pencils, paintbrushes, charcoal, chalk, pastels pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I graduated from Emily Carr with a Bachelors of Design in Interaction Design. This lead me to my current career as an Interaction Designer specializing in User Experience and User Interface design. The last few years Iâ€™ve been working in the health design field; learning and designing interactive web and mobile interfaces that are tailored to chronic diseases. To continue to challenge myself and my design skills I do freelance work in other creative fields outside of health design. Who or what influences your styles and ideas when it comes your designs?
S: I get a lot of inspiration from my surroundings. Although,I find myself always drawn to ancient Egyptian art whether itâ€™s from their sculptures, architecture and paintings. In my work you will notice that Mehndi designs are also very prominent.
You are very intricate and immaculate when it comes tiny details in your work, do you feel like the small pieces take more time then the larger ones or is all relative to the time and design you are doing?
S: The small details probably take about the same amount of time, but they are what I enjoy the most. Small details make the biggest impact and for me are what takes a piece from looking great to making something look spectacular, polished and unique. Whatâ€™s your all time favorite piece you have ever created?
S: Oooooo, probably a skate deck design I did up for a new snowboard, skate and surf company a few years back. To my disappointment, it was never released, haha classic! So itâ€™s just been sitting in my sketchbook for the last few years.
Are there any new techniques or skills you have been working on or learning lately?
S: Lately, Iâ€™ve been mainly focusing on the art of engraving. Iâ€™ve been etching for a while now, but finally got to a point where I felt like I was outgrowing my tools and was looking for a different final result. I ended up moving away from my dremel for a while to try an airgraver. The final result is something completely different that surprised even myself. Itâ€™s all I think about lately and what I youtube constantly haha. I keep plugging away trying to get more hours under my belt and see how far I can push this new tool. What do you find most challenging about art?
S: What I find most challenging about art is knowing when to walk away. Whether itâ€™s from a painting, a drawing, or from a commissioned piece. Knowing when to walk away or keep going full force is something Iâ€™ve had to learn the hard way and am constantly still working on.
When did motorcycles come into your life? What was your first bike?
S: Motorcycles came into my life about 7-8 years ago. I started off as a passenger on the back of my boyfriend's, now fiance's bike. Every time I jumped on the back, it would completely clear our mind. Fresh air blowing on my face, and this indescribable feeling of connection between the three of us. Itâ€™s as if we would all become in sync with one another and moved as one unit. Iâ€™ve never been one to sit on the sidelines, so it was only a matter of time before I wanted get behind the bars. My first bike, Janette, was a forest green 1980 Yamaha XS400. She was a crusty old bitch. Often left me sitting on the curb calling the better half, while he laughed hysterically on the other end.
The roads in Vancouver are unreal and I can't wait to go back and explore more, what are some of your favorite places to go for a ride up there that you would recommend?
S: For a quick escape from the city, I like to rip the Lower Marine Rd. to Horseshoe Bay. However, the topper of all roads is the â€œSea to Skyâ€; then cut off up to Squamish Valley Rd. to hit some dirt and be completely surrounded by the forest greens, waterfalls and wildlife .
When did you start combining them together, art and motorcycles?
S: I'm a very visual person so when I donâ€™t understand the complexity of something I often have to draw it out. As I started to take more interest and curiosity in motorcycles, I started to draw and paint them to better understand its complex components. Taking note of each motorcycles different lines and curves and how all its components connect with one another, I started to see motorcycles more sculpturally rather than engine type or brand. As my perspective of motorcycles changed, I became more comfortable leaving my mark on them. This changed my perspective on what my canvas could be. I moved towards wearables, painting on helmets, leather burning on boots and gloves and now of course, hand engraving on steel, aluminum and glass. Whereâ€™s one place on your bucket list you must see?
S: Egypt. Whatâ€™s your ultimate dream machine?
S: My ultimate dream machine would consist of converting an old school bus into a house on wheels, with a garage component in the back with just enough room for two bikes. This ultimate dream machine would travel on whatever road it can make it on. When it canâ€™t, the bikes come out and the adventure continues.
What other hobbies or skills do you have that most people wouldnâ€™t know about you?
S: Well Iâ€™ve dabbled in a lot of different mediums over the years and all of them have had some sort of impact on where Iâ€™m at now. I also do a lot of leather burning, painting, typography, photography, sculpting, drawingâ€¦ list goes on. But not art related I love spending time in our garden. Whats some advice you would give to yourself if you could go back in time to when you were 13?
S: I would probably encourage my 13 year old self to pick up the pencil more often and loosen up a bit. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Not everything you create has to be spectacular or complete. Is there any life mottos or codes that you live by?
S: Live a life that feels right to me, not one that looks right to everyone else. Are you food truck or sit down restaurant kinda gal?
S: I go where the food is good. Is there anyone you want to give a shout out to or thank?
S: A BIG THANK YOU has to go out to you, Mikey Revolt! We had the opportunity to meet last summer over here in Vancouver and right from the get-go we were both so hyped on each other's works. You reaching out to me on this opportunity to make my mark on a tank with nothing but excitement and support, which in-turn has really made me push myself outside of my comfort zone on this piece. Where can people keep up with you and your artwork?
S: I keep Instagram up to date mostly with what I am currently working on @_sbcreative
We are extremely excited to finally announce the entire list of bike builders and owners that will be showcasing their bikes at Fuel Cleveland on May 28th. We strive to curate this show with a diverse and wide range of motorcycles. We look at everything from history of a bike to the fabrication and craftsmanship of the builders. What's in the show you ask? Well I will hint that there will be your favorite Shovels, Pans and Knuckle head choppers. Along with BMWs, Triumphs and even a 2 stroke Suzuki. We love motorcycles of all kinds and try our hardest to put together a little something for everyone. We even have a few amazing survivors in the mix. So, bring the family out for a great time and check out some of the coolest motorcycles this country has to offer. We hope to see everyone at Rays MTB!
Fuel Cleveland goes from 12-8pm and is free to everyone to attend thanks to our sponsors.
Whatâ€™s your history with motorcycles and what got you into them/building them? S: My Father bought a Honda QA-50 for my brother and me to share when I was 8. I just kept getting bigger bikes as I got older.
As far as building bikes, I went to a yard sale one day down the road from my house. I met a neighbor who was building a custom motorcycle in his garage with his son. His son was stationed in Iraq and could only work on the bike when he came back stateside. I offered my assistance to help out with the build. I would go over there a few nights a week and weekends to work on the bike with his father. After the bike was completed I decided that I wanted to build one of my own.
Over the years what do you say is the hardest or most challenging thing about building for you? S: Finding the time to work on my bike. My builds always take the back seat to making parts.
Where does your style of building come from or is there anything or anyone you look for inspiration? S: Choppaheads, Factory Metal Works and Angry Monkey Cycles are all making beautiful Triumphs.
Inspiration comes from guys like Mike over at 47 Industries. His work ethic and craftsmanship is top notch. Mike works 24/7 and his shop is always open. Austin Martin Originals, who like me, holds down a full time job and works nights and weekends building bikes. Jay Roche from Special79 has unbelievable skills and has never been afraid to share them. Derik Seiber is killing it with the custom the parts he`s been making. Instagram is full of inspiring people to follow, just too many to list.
Where are some of your favorite places to ride?
S: Back roads of Connecticut.
Tell us about one of your all time favorite memories while riding. S: When I bought my first Harley, I was invited to ride up to Laconia with a local motorcycle club. These guys invited me and one of my friends as guest of the club and they treated us like members. There were hang arounds and prospects doing all kinds of things for the club, but we were off limits and all they let us do was party. They let us ride at the back of the pack and I got my first dose of hardcore biking. I remember on the way up all you could smell was oil burning and the cloud of smoke coming from the pack. When we got there, are faces were black from this. These guys all had old Harleyâ€™s that they wrenched on themselves.
We camped out and headed into town and just checked out the scene. This was back when cops were few and far between. The main drag was out of control, to say the least. On the way back it was pouring out. The pack just cruised at about 65-70 mph. I remember holding my hand in front of my face, while getting blasted from the rain for about 2 hours. That was my first dose of hanging out with real bikers.
Is there a place you have never been to in the world and you must go to before you kick the bucket? S: Nope, pretty much a hermit. I have everything I need right at home.
Your welding game is pretty damn strong, any tips of the trade you would like to share?
S: I tell everyone to go to Youtube and check out all the free videos available to get started. After that, just lay down as many beads as you can. Keep experimenting with all the different techniques available on line.
Whatâ€™s something else you are into or enjoy doing?
S: Just spending time with my family,
Dream machine, do you have one already or is it something that you are looking forward to building or owning?
S: Harley Davidson WLA Flathead.
Any big projects or things in the works you would like to share?
S: Ramping up on sheet metal tools in the shop. I am on a personal quest to learn as much as I can about working with sheet metal.
Since you are from New England, which clam chowder do you prefer, the white or the red kind? ahaha S: White Chowda, salt, peppa, vinaga and ketchup on my clam cakes and fries.
Anyone you would like to give a shout out to or thank? S: Everyone over at Fuel Cleveland for the invite. My wife and family for their total support. Lowbrow Customs, Factory Metal Works, Choppaheads, Seven Sins Choppers, Throttle Addiction and Licks Custom Cycles for believing in my parts enough to sell them. Patrick Noonan Photography for making my parts and Bikes look so good. Walter Yehle for teaching me machining skills. Steve Jordan for teaching me machining, sheet metal, and painting skills. Gilbert Dion for welding and fabrication knowledge.
Can you tell us a little about Death Co.'s history?
D: The Triple Six Crew Death Co. name was first used in the mid to late 90's. There were a bunch of us in my hometown who skated everyday and that is just the name that we called ourselves. It took on a few more shapes throughout the years but primarily it has been synonymous with a group of like minded individuals just looking to have a good time. It was about 5 or so years ago I decided to really push it and turn it into something greater. Back then I was hand screen printing patches in my basement. I would do small runs of shirts for mostly friends and shit like that. From there it just kind of turned into this ten-headed beast and it is where it is today.
Where do you see Death Co. going? Is it something you plan on doing as a full-time gig one day or are you already there?
D: I've got a full-time day gig like most guys. Death Co. is just something that I do in my downtime.
What is the craziest thing you have ever seen come through your email or DM because of Death Co.?
D: You know I get asked this question a lot. I'll just say this â€“ if you can imagine it, I've gotten it.
Where did your love for motorcycles come from, is there any history there you can share?
D: I wasn't born into the motorcycle culture like a lot of guys. I didn't grow up ripping around on dirt bikes either. My stepdad had a harley when I was growing up and I remember being fascinated with all of his old stories and whatnot. If I had to guess, I'd say that it started there.
When did you start building your own motorcycles?
D: I picked up my first bike about 12 years ago. A bone stock Sportster that I rode the shit out of as is for years. It wasn't until a few years later that I actually started working on and modifying them.
Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to building bikes?
D: Inspiration comes from everywhere. Your friends, dudes you dig on on the internet, shit guys built in the past.
What was your favorite version of this bike because it's gone through a few changes. I feel like the swing arm version was way more comfy, am I right?
D: Even though the swing arm version was comfy as fuck, it's current state is by far my favorite.
Whatâ€™s your all-time favorite traveling moment on two wheels? D: It'll sound cliche as hell, but anytime I'm on my bike is my favorite time.
What is up with the I-270 curse when it comes to the Columbus crew? Itâ€™s like the Bermuda Triangle, bikes donâ€™t leave that area without some kind of crazy breakdown or story.
D: The I-270 curse is the fucking worst. It's like Murphy's Law when it comes to choppers.
Whatâ€™s the most ridiculous breakdown you have encountered in your crew?
D: Let's just say this, one year it took us approximately 24 hours to go 170 miles.
Whatâ€™s one place you have never been and want to go on your motorcycle?
D: Anything out west, I haven't had the chance to experience much riding outside of the Midwest.
Who did you look up to when you were a kid?
D: My twin brother and my old man.
What life mottos or codes do you live by?
D: Get Fucked!
Tell us about the garage space you share. Do you guys learn a lot from each other and whatâ€™s the vibe like there?
D: There are about ten of us that all share a spot at the Rice Paddy right outside of campus here in town. There's always something going on and there is definitely a plethora of knowledge floating around in that place. We are all just a bunch of grown ass men acting like 12 year olds all the time.
Name your all-time favorite spot to eat in Columbus?
D: Villa Nova. A rad Italian joint in the Cliftonville.
When it comes to alcohol are you a beer, booze, or both kinda guy?
D: Whiskey.. always Whiskey.
Is there anyone you would like to give a shout-out to or thank?
D: Anyone who has ever supported Death Co. in any way shape or form.
Where can people follow you and more of your shenanigans?
Come celebrate Lowbrow Customsâ€™ 12th year Anniversary & Grand Opening of their new showroom and building the day after Fuel Cleveland. Enter the ride-in motorcycle show (free to all to enter) with a grand prize of $500 in Lowbrow store credit going to the best bike! DJ Wolfboy Slim will be spinning 60â€™s surf and rock nâ€™ roll records all day while the Barrio Taco Truck will be serving their amazing tacos. Mark it on your calendars and be sure to ride south the day after Fuel CLE and check out the new showroom for some new Lowbrow parts and swag. The party starts at 11 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. with the bike show judging at 3 p.m. Lowbrow Customs is located at 2873 Interstate Pkwy, Brunswick, Ohio 44212. Be there or be square!
A: I'm a father of three lovely ladies, I've been married to my baby's momma for a decade now. I'm also a full-time Union sprinkler fitter, which I've done for over 15 years. I decided to rebuild my garage about four years ago after a tragic fire in which I lost 90% of my stuff. So I started from scratch and my shop rose from the ashes like the Phoenix! This is the time I started to teach myself how to tig weld and really got my creative juices flowing. I started shaping handlebars with my old school bender. Then I moved very fast into chassis design and fab and everything that came along with it. My next big purchase was an old 1951 south bend lathe. Which I make the majority of slugs, spacers, accent parts. I am self taught in every aspect of building and fabrication. In which I feel Is a good thing because I am a great problem solver and I feel when you are book taught in a classroom you only know one general way of accomplishing something and with being self-taught you figure out numerous ways of accomplishing something through research and trial and error.
What is a day in your life like for you?
A: Seems everyday is exactly the same get up around 6 o'clock get out the door get to work around 7 a.m. " I tend to zone out for about an hour. Then I get started on my TPS reports." (office space) But seriously I work 8 to 10 hrs a day then I make a B-line for the house I get home around 4:30 and am able to really do what I love fabricating and creating. I work til between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. every night by myself in my shop depending how deep into that part of the project I'm on or if I'm just staring at it blurring my eyes trying to envision how I want the bike to look.
How long have you been building and fabricating motorcycles?
A: I've been building bikes for over 12 years. I started Austin Martin Originals 4 years ago and have been fabricating as much as I can possible with what I have available in my shop.
What or who got you into motorcycles?
A: It started along time ago when my father used to let my brother and I act like we were racing around on his Yamaha XS750. I don't actually remember this picture but it put the love and excitement of motorcycle's deeply rooted in my soul which laid dormant till I was about 23 when I bought my first custom rolling chassis and the rest is history.
Who or what inspires you and your style of building? A: I feel I have my own style all around. That being said my style has been shaped and molded over the past decade of watching the different Builders interpretations on what a motorcycle should look like. I'm inspired by a lot of badass Japanese builders, one being Ask Motorcycles and another being 2 loud custom shop. I also pull inspiration from guys like Christian Sosa from Sosa Metal Works, Rick Bray from RKB Kustom Speed, LC Fab Jeremy Cupp these guys are pretty much the best of the best just to name a few. Which I am lucky enough to call my friends.
Photo by: David "Englishman" Gregory
What do you find to be the most challenging for you when it comes to building a motorcycle? A: For me it's not time, nor talent, creativity nor ingenuity - it all boils down to the almighty dollar. Funding builds is honestly the hardest part for me. Scheduling Fab, paint, coating, and chrome is a bit much but also because it's out of your hands.
Favorite machine you have ever built? A: I would have to say the 1969 Triumph Bonneville T-120R I built for my buddy Justin Tokos. This is my first run at a British bike and I love it Besides the Whitworth bolts! She starts on the first kick and doesn't disappoint with her ride ability and classy looks.
What would be your ultimate dream build for you?
A: I would have to say something pre 20's for the historical part and the rarity of it. I like preserving and restoring old bikes. I'm working my way down to that era. I have built a 1969 being the oldest but I just picked up an 1958 Pre-Unit BSA a couple weeks ago so I'm getting closer and closer.
You have won tons of awards over the years. Tell us about your favorite Victory?
A: I would have to say winning the custom class at the outdoor Artistry in Iron Show in Las Vegas, it was huge! But the one that means the most has to be last year's IMS victory in Cleveland in the Retro mod class because I was able to take my 3 daughters up on stage with me to accept the award and get pictures taken that is something that I will never forget and hopefully they don't either.
What's one event you look forward to more than anything all year? A: Las Vegas Bike fest is a really good time well because it's Vegas. But I have to say the Lowbrow Getdown is one of my favorites because it's local for me and I get to hang out and camp with all my biker buddies and the boys from Lowbrow Customs put it on so it's always a hell of a time. Where is somewhere you have never been before and have to go before you die? A: I would have to say Venice, Italy. My father's side of the family is from Italy and I would like to see all the beautiful artwork, scenery and architecture throughout the country.
Any life mottos or codes you live by?
A: -"USE, RE-USE, RE-CYCLE" -"If it's worth doing, it's worth over doing!" -"Less is more."
How do you keep sane with all the little ladies in the house? A: I spend a lot of time in the garage, and I mean a lot of time. I also self-medicate with an natural herbal remedy passed down through the generations dating back to the days of the American Indians with their peace pipe. (If you know what I'm shayin') "I did not exhale" What's your favorite go to ice cream? A: 1. Cookies n' Cream 2. Mint Chocolate Chip Is there anyone you want to give a shout out to or thank? A: I'd like to think Tyler, Kyle and Mikey at Lowbrow Customs for the opportunity of being part of the Second Fuel Cleveland Show. It means a lot to be chosen, especially it being a local show. I would also like to thank my wife, Autumn, for always being supportive. And I better mention my boss Kenny always allowing me to take time off to do something I love, thanks brother. Where can people follow you and your work? A: Web- www.austinmartinoriginals.com IG- austinmartinoriginals FB- Austin Andrella and Austin Martin Originals LLC Email - email@example.com
Here's a few more photos of some of Austin's machines.
Can you talk about Johnny Bones and what it is, what are the ideas behind it etc...?
D: Johnny Bones was an actual person, it's not Damian as his Instagram handle has led people to believe. Johnny Bones was our best friend growing up through high school. Unfortunately he died from diabetes at the age of 19. Since then he's always been the biggest inspiration to the way we live, so when we decided to try and brand ourselves we knew we had to use his name. Plus his name is pretty badass, haha. Johnny Bones started based on Damian ripping bikes and me shooting photos. It was more or less just a way for us to express ourselves creatively in the beginning. We're just two broke ass kids trying to do something cool. We've always wanted to make our own clothes, not for anyones else necessarily, just for us. But people seem to get behind what we're about so we decided to run a full line of graphics and start a website. Still, it's just a place for us to share our passions and have a creative outlet. Although money is pretty cool, it's not all it's about. At the end of the day we just want to make cool shit with our friends, ride bikes and have fun.
What was the first camera you ever got hands on?
D: First camera was a Canon 7D. My old job had a few of them I started messing around with. Once I realized I liked photography I bought an old Nikon Fm camera and shot nothing but film for about a year.
Are you a Canon or Nikon guy, or something else completely? D: I definitely prefer Canon over Nikon. It might just be a familiarity thing at this point but I work closely with Canon now and I just like the way their stuff handles. Other than that, I really dig the mirrorless stuff Sony has been coming out with. I have a little Sony a6000 I shoot with a lot when I'm shooting bikes. It's small and I can take it anywhere, it's a powerful little workhorse. I've beat the shit out of it and it continues to take great photos. Plus I like the reaction I get from other photographers when I show up to shoot with it. People can't believe I produce some of the stuff I do with it.
Where are some of your favorite places to shoot photos? D: I really dig the desert, I like being in the middle of nowhere, as anybody that rides motorcycles would. If not the desert it's gotta be some grungy city location or something industrial.
Do you feel you have found your style yet or is everyday a challenge to find what you want to portray? D: I feel like I'm always evolving. I get bored quick and I think change is good. I'll always stay semi true to my black and white, contrasty roots but I like to mix it up and try new things. I like my photos to feel more natural and unforced. My photo style is based around putting myself in a situation, letting people do what they do and trying to capture the moment organically.
What kind of bike do you own and what bike do you have your heart set on? D: Unfortunately, the broke photographer lifestyle has forced me to sell most of my bikes. Giving up one passion for another kinda thing. But currently I have a 01 Sportster and 1987 XL600. The XL was my first bike and my Dad gave it to me so it will always be my go to. I'm trying to buy a FXR or a Dyna now. I just want something I can get on and ride 1000 miles and feel solid.
Do you ride and shoot, or what other method do you use to get your moving shots? D: I prefer to ride and shoot, it feels more natural. But a lot of times I shoot from the back of my truck. It all depends on the situation.
Damian (other half of Johnny Bones) does some pretty crazy stuff on his bike in some interesting places, do you and him work together on a lot of ideas for riding spots and situations? D: Almost everything we produce is a collaborative effort. That's where the whole Johnny Bones thing comes from. We're pretty much brothers, we share everything (including women)(jk, lol.)(but seriously). I've known him since he was 14 and since day 1 we've always felt like together we can make something rad. We work best together, so when it comes to shooting photos we always make the best shit when we're both in on it.
Where would be your dream location to shoot or ride?
D: I want to ride through Europe and shoot the whole thing. I'm hoping within the next year I can make that happen. Sooner I plan on doing Highway 1 down the whole West Coast. I'll always be a West Coast kid and being on the 1 just makes me feel at home.
What got you in to motorcycles and wanting to capture itâ€™s lifestyle? D: My Dad rode bikes my whole life and he was always working on something. I was born a grease ball and always will be so naturally when I got older it just made sense to go this direction. I simply take photos of my surroundings and it just so happens that this was it. I don't shoot weddings or senior photos, I shoot bikes and the people that surround the industry because those are my people.
Who or what inspires you and your work? D: My friends and the women I fall for. All the people that support my work. The whole Instagram community. I'm inspired every time I look at my phone and I've met and collaborated with some of the most amazing people through Instagram.
What is your all-time favorite story or memory from a photo shoot? D: Probably the recent video lookbook shoot for Johnny Bones we did in collaboration with our friends at Ori Media and Canon USA. We drove down to a place called Mystic Hot Springs about 2 hours south of Salt Lake and shot this entire video in one day. Not the most exciting story, really. We just shot a lot of video/photo, drank a lot of whiskey and managed to create one of the most beautiful things I've ever been a part of. If your interested, go check it out. JOHNNYBONES.CO
Any life mottos or codes you live by? D: Get rich or drunk trying. Stay true.
Are you ice cream in a bowl or ice cream in a cone kind of guy? What's your all-time favorite flavor? D: McDonald's ice cream cone on the road. The cone is the best part.
Anyone you would like to thank or give a shout-out to? D: Everyone I look up to in the photo/video world for teaching me everything I know. Most importantly: Micheal Ori Joey Jonaitis Landis Tanaka Jordan Harper Steven Stone
I grew up in a small country town called Sterling, MA with nothing to do but ride your dirtbike and play sports. Well, the sports thing was easy but seeing how my mother was a RN and had worked at times in the emergency room of different hospitals, the motorcycle thing was off the table. It wasnâ€™t until she took me to the RMV to apply for my learners permit that I secretly applied for my motorcycle permit instead of my car permit. She wasnâ€™t happy with that sly move at all, but she got over it seeing how she didnâ€™t feel like driving me to my full-time summer employment every morning. Enter my first motorcycle, a 1977 Honda CB400F Super Sport. That first feeling of total freedom to come and go (within reason) got me totally hooked on two wheels.
Photo by: Gregg Greenwood
Iâ€™m inspired by smart, simple design so thatâ€™s been my main goal whenever I start a build for a customer or myself. I aim for people to look at a bike that Iâ€™ve had my hands on and be able to understand how something comes apart and goes back together. Function with attention to aesthetics.
My favorite bike has to be the Buell powered, foot clutch/hand shift, de-raked rigid frame hauler that I built a couple years ago. It was the first bike I ever built that I was totally happy with every part I made for the bike the first time around. I had a lot of friends parts in on the mix too which made it fun to mix with my fab bits and pieces. It was also my first foot clutch bike so it was like relearning to ride a motorcycle the first few rides. I sold the bike to fund some other builds and I totally regret itâ€¦ although it did help me build my 94 FXR so I canâ€™t be too upset.
The bike Iâ€™m building to bring to Fuel Cleveland started out as a hot rodded Buell S2 motor that was sitting around from a bike I had purchased to part out. I want to build a super comfy/functional everyday ripper with a neutral riding position that will be a mix of custom fabricated parts along with some neat off the shelf bits. The chassis is a leftover mid 90â€™s Sportster frame that is getting some attention to the tail section to allow for a fabricated tracker/cafe unit to bolt down. Comfortable, go fast, stop fast, and try to be easy on the eyes while doing so. Let's see if I can pull this off.
Photos by: Gregg Greenwood
Iâ€™m pretty lucky to have purchased a building with my friend Joe @skanadesign less than a year ago. We were both looking for a larger shop space and initially looked to rent some space together and quickly realized it was either absolute fire hazard shitholes or 25,000 sq ft spaces that were available. While dealing with our smaller shop spaces, we started looking at properties with the idea to have some extra space to include a tight community moto enthusiast wrenching spot and possibly a small storefront/showroom for some of my metalwork and his woodwork. After looking at a few places, his father ran across a foreclosed building that had been lost in the whirlwind of failed businesses and dissolving banks. We were the first people to go look at it after it resurfaced on the Google machine and with some really good advice from some pretty smart people we bit the bullet. It's totally scary, but we have our shops up and running with the shared motorcycle building/wrenching/fabrication spot underway. Our storefront build out will happen this spring/summer under the name New Tradition Company. We want to focus on a mix of handmade items from talented craftsman, artwork, and cool camping/riding gear and parts for moto adventures. Weâ€™ll definitely have a spot to enjoy a good pour over coffee while you come in and hang out too. And thatâ€™s just phase one.
You can keep up with Jay and Special'79 Fabrication on Instagram at @jayroche79 or check out his website spcl79fabrication.bigcartel.com Also, don't forget to check out Jay's crazy cool Buell S2tracker he's bringing to Fuel Cleveland on May 28th. He is getting close to the end of fabrication stages on this build. Here are a few updated progress photos.