One of the coolest chop­pers I’ve ever seen

Street Chopper - - Contents - WORDS: MARK MASKER PHO­TOS: PETER LINNEY

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

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