One of the coolest choppers I’ve ever seen
Looking at this bike, I can see why Thom Jones would feel that way. This is a really ambitious undertaking of a chopper. Gene splicing anything Sportster and Big Twin together can be a pretty big job in and of itself, but this motorcycle truly goes above and beyond.
Watering down this very complex motorcycle into its basics, it’s essentially a 1957 Magnum Engine worked into a mid-1930s Harley-davidson VL chassis. Thom built it for Born-free 9 as an invited builder for 2017. He named it Two Chains after the two chains that pull the throttles. Every part of this beauty was either scratch-built or was modified from old Harley parts.
Building in the traditional chopper style, Thom used what he had available, destroying a lot of really nice stuff in the process to bring this chopper to life. This is the culmination of almost seven years of ideas brought to life for his favorite motorcycle show on the planet: “It was an honor to have been invited, and I tried my best to bring a bike that could stand on the level of the other builders who were showcasing at the event. I have a newfound respect for the determination Randy Smith had when coming up with the concept of the Magnum Engine, and it was incredible to follow in his footsteps and bring one of these machines to life.”
Building a Magnum 45 V-twin was just one of the many seriously involved processes that all add up to this motorcycle. Although the frame for this machine was a 1934–’36 VL chassis, Thom modified it from a single down tuber into a wishbone skeleton using a 45 Harley-davidson frame, another VL, and a BT frame in the process. He also stretched a Harley I-beam springer fork from that era 6 inches to really kick out the chopper profile. Borrani rims were laced to Harley-davidson stepped star hubs then shod in Coker tires to round out the rolling chassis into which he placed the Magnum he created from 1957 Ironhead parts.
As great as Thom’s respect for Smith is though, it pales in comparison to the love he has for his wife and boys, for letting him spend more than 1,200 hours in his garage that it took to create this work of art, realizing this dream of a motorcycle. SC