Motorcycle News - Superunknown: A first-time builder hits the big time
That’s how this intriguing and beautiful vintage Harley came into existence. It’s the work of Jackson Burrows, a young furniture designer and artist based in Calgary, Canada. And, believe it or not, it’s Jackson’s first attempt at building a bike.
“I’d met a guy who had bought out Lewis Puckett’s shop inventory years before, and this was one of the last engines to come out of the shop.” Jackson drafted out an idea and made a deal to buy the engine.
“Lewis Puckett and Dick O’Brien made so many modifications to these engines to get everything possible out of them,” says Jackson. “This engine is what would separate it from yet another restoration of a vintage Harley Hummer—but I wanted to take it a bit further.”
There was a lot to do. For starters, even though the engine was upgraded, it needed a full rebuild to bring it back to life. Jackson also installed a Lodge race spark plug, and a Linkert M18 Carb with a Falcon velocity stack, set up for racing by Charles ‘Mutt’ Hallam.
The front end is an original 1948 Harley-Davidson pressed steel girder, equipped with a five elastic band shock system. It too was heavily altered, to suit the bike’s stance and to hold a set of modern LED turn signals discreetly. It also supports a vintage Ducati headlight, with an embedded Harley Hummer speedo.
For wheels, Jackson sourced a 1961 Scat rear hub, along with a 48 Harley front. They’re laced up to 18” rims with polished stainless steel spokes from Buchanan’s.
It was split and reshaped, with custom filler necks and petcock bungs, and a unique single-bolt mounting system for easy removal. The gas caps are from British Trophy, and there’s a chunky Knucklehead ignition switch tunneled into the left side.
The front mount meets the frame where the rear tank supports are, and there’s even space for a spare spark plug. There’s also a basic hand-made barrel hinge under the seat itself, to allow the pan and leaf spring to move independently.
“Of course, I have haters over it. But finding the original frame, tank and parts it originally raced with wasn’t going to happen. And I believe that gave me the allowance I needed to make this bike truly look unique.”
“We talked out ideas and traded materials, learning from one another and working together,” Jackson says. “It was the first time I ever had anyone who could appreciate what I was trying to do with this bike.”
“I’d become obsessed and meticulous with every part of the bike. Simplicity takes time, and creative function was the focus for this build.”
Obsessed and meticulous is right. Not an inch of this classic bobber has gone untouched. Out back, you’ll find a Wassell front fender, adapted for rear wheel duty. Lower down there’s a leather bag, mounted to an elegant hand-crafted strut.
The paint scheme is timeless: Dove Grey with cream striping. It was shot by Warren at Sportscar Coachworks, who let Jackson mask out the design himself beforehand. After a dozen misses with other pin stripers, Shawn Long of Imperial House 71 nailed the highlights.
As the ‘Icarus’ project progressed, Jackson caught wind of the boom in the alternative custom scene. “Guys like Ian Barry, Shinya Kimura and Chicara Nagata are doing amazing things. Seeing their possibilities helped jump start a lot of my own ideas.”
Jackson was flying close to the sun, but his four-year slog has paid off big time. Icarus is flawless—and we’re not the only ones that think that. It snagged the coveted 1 Moto Show Award, along with ‘Best Modified/Custom’ and the ‘Industry Award’ at the prestigious Quail Motorcycle Gathering.
And now that his first project is done, Jackson is already aching to get cracking on the next—which he reckons may even be something electric.
We’re expecting great things.
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
September 13, 2018 at 12:04PM