Category Archives: Featured Bikes


Photos & Post by Jack McIntyre:  Being the Artistry in Iron Photographer each year gives me the opportunity to photo some of the worlds best builds, and this 1941 Indian by Jon MacDowell of Bonneville Customs, caught my eye immediately during setup. Just so you all know, I offered this bike to the print magazines, and after learning it would be “possibly” a year in the file cabinet before consideration, I checked with Jon and received the permission to post this amazing bike. Enjoy the images below. I shot them at the 2017 Las Vegas Bikefest, my favorite event of the year, every year!

Enjoy this write up from Jon, he describes the creation of this masterpiece.

JON MacDOWELL:  I bought this 1941 Indian Scout 741 as a basket case on eBay about a year ago.  I spent the next 9 months tracking down parts, some I got from Jerry Greer’s Engineering and some from Kiwi Indian, but I had to buy many from eBay all over the world. I found some parts in the US, some in Australia, and some from Sweden. I started building the bike after winning the Fremont Street show at Las Vegas Bike Week last year. I started building the frame and front end while I sent the motor off to Carl Pusser at Walkin Tall cycles to bore the cylinders out to 37ci and rebuild the bottom end. After Carl shipped it to me, it was destroyed in shipping by Fed Ex, so damaged that they couldn’t deliver it to me. I had to shop it back and forth to Carl twice as we tried to repair it. BTW, FedEx has denied that they were at fault and refused to pay out the insurance we purchased for it. Yes, I’m still mad about this to this day. I didn’t have a complete motor until around May of this year, in the meantime I had to try to build everything else that I could without a motor. I was missing the primary cover and couldn’t find any around, so I machined an inner and outer primary and converted the setup to an open primary, I also used this machining opportunity to relocate the generator to the top of the transmission. The inner primary is machined to mount the generator above the tranny. I mounted a model 65A 12V generator and used a generator gear from a 1946 Indian Chief to torun the generator. The gear fits into the primary chain to turn it. The engine case and transmission are painted Indian red by Blair Peterson of Creative Custom Paint in Idaho Falls, ID.  They are the only items painted on the bike, the rest is polished Stainless steel and aluminum.  I decided to forego the Linkert carb and build a custom manifold to adapt an Amal 930 carb to the engine.

I designed and build the frame and front end, the welds were done by Rhett Patner of Power Needy The front end is a custom springer, the internal and external springs are opposing tensions and laced through plates mounted to the forks. The bike rides on a custom pair of Black Bike Wheels with Stainless hubs and powder coated rims, the front is a 23″ Bridgestone knobby and the rear is a 19″ Firestone ANS and runs a pre-unit Triumph brake and sprocket.

The handlebars are hand bent from 1″ Stainless, with an internal throttle capped off by a set of cast aluminum grips from Speed Foundry in Texas.

To make the tanks, I made a trip down to Vegas and took a Shaping class from Cristian Sosa at Sosametalworks. The tanks are shaped on the outside from 14ga aluminum. The gas caps are hand machined from aluminum bar and rotate sideways to open.

The fuel filter and oil filter are handblown glass pieces that I had a local guy do in Boise, Idaho. I machined the cap pieces to fit the glass and rubber mounted them to the frame.  The oil bag is hand shaped polish aluminum and sits in the frame under the filter.

The final touch is the seat, made from 1/2″ thick solid brass mounted to 1/8″ aluminum plate. We built a custom form for a brake and pressed the two pieces together to make the shape of the seat. From there we hand cut the brass and filed it down, then rolled the edges of the aluminum at the legs so it looked like an old vintage motorcycle leather seat. It sits on top a compression spring that runs through the frame.

I started the majority of the work on this bike in May when I got the engine finally back. I work a normal day job and have a wife and 2 kids. Most of my time working on the bike came after I put the kids to bed, I would work from 10 at night until 1 or 2am. I spent nearly every night working in the shop until the show in October. Many weekends throughout August and September I loaded up the bike and parts and drove 4 hours to Idaho Falls to work in the Bonneville Customs shop with Mark Shell. To say I was relieved to finish the bike and get down to the Artistry in Iron show is an understatement, I was burnt out by the end of it. But after nearly a 2 month break, I’m back in shop and building more parts.

Check Jon out on facebook, see his other work’s of art:

Nash Builds a Knockout by Taber Nash

4by Taber Nash

Had a customer walk in one day with a pile of parts. Dropped them in my lap and said, build me something low.
I cut up the frame first. Had a Harley dirt bike tank that I made into a fuel/oil tank. 15” wheels and a lot more fab work and here it is.
The paint scheme” An old 1920s race car I saw had “OK” on the side of it. Wanted the other side to mirror the OK and that’s the KO.

-80” Shovel Head with an S&S super E carb
-4 speed kick only trans
-hand clutch /hand shift
-mid foot controls

Interested? Contact:
Taber Nash
Nash Motorcycle Company

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Location: Long Beach, Ca, 2012: J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. Pictures by Jack McIntyre / Iron Trader News.

Shooting bikes for the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builders Shows & Bikerpros during the 2012-2013 shows was an experience that I will never forget. Week after exciting week, great cities & people, it was a period of my photography career that will always be remembered and appreciated. So, as you can imagine, my hard drives are LOADED with galleries of the bikes I photographed. Now & then, I post a gallery for the viewers to enjoy. Today I chose a hand fabricated bike by Michael Schacht from the Crocker Motorcycle Company.  The bike was entered in the RETRO MOD CLASS and properly named “Crocker Big Tank”. Year, 1942, Engine: 85CI, hand fabricated including engine, clutch, and transmission. Enjoy the images!

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The J&P Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows held during the last few years, IMS Shows showcased hundreds of striking, hand built motorcycles. Only a fraction of them received their due so we’re taking the opportunity to show you more of them in detail at Iron Trader News, thanks to Jack McIntyre’s top notch photography. So sit back and enjoy this close-up gander at some of the industry’s best. We certainly did!

Owner: Shaun & Sheree RuddySHAWN

Builder: Shaun Ruddy

Bike Name: Chop Deluxe

Make / Model / Year: 2012 Retro Racer

Paint by John Deel

Engine 127″ Ultima El Bruto

Features: Hand machined & polished brass pieces throughout, clear ignition plate.

Photos by Jack McIntyre


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Hazan Motorworks Engineering follows design

Story by Marilyn Stemp
Photos by Mark Velazquez

No, Max Hazan isn’t the first guy who learned the basics of fabrication as a kid in his father’s workshop. But it’s the rare person who takes such elementary foundations to the level of artistic expression Hazan has. And this bike is a standout example of being introduced to a craft or idea and taking it way beyond the expected.

To begin with, if you’ve seen other customs from Hazan Motorworks, you know they have little in common in terms of design. “I try to push myself to do something completely different every time,” said Hazan, who has turned his attention to BSAs, Ducatis and Ironheads in equal measure. “In terms of the overall design I try to work outside my comfort zone.”Silver Vegas 16

In this case, Hazan was inspired by a particular engine. Admittedly he’s not the first builder to be so motivated but the craftsmanship that followed from that point is so distinctive that it makes a specification list unnecessary. Why? Because 95% of the pieces on this bike are hand crafted.

Hazan calls the bike the Musket, the same name the engine builder gave to the motor when he developed it. Hazan had seen a picture of the Musket engine online and contacted the builder, a man from Ohio who had worked on the project for over 10 years. “He actually carved the bottom end of the engine out of a block of wood; that took him a year,” explained Hazan. “Then he had a cast made and machined everything on a Bridgeport mill. It is really a hand made engine.”Silver Vegas 13

Hazan bought the second Musket engine produced intending to build a bike around it for a customer who had given him total leeway on design – every builder’s dream scenario. After adding the kickstarter he altered the carb mounts to accept Amals for their better aesthetic proportions. “They get a bad rap but they work great. Especially with this engine, I wanted something that was elegant looking and sized right,” Hazan explained.

He constructed a rigid frame which was nickel plated then spent 10 days making four different tanks from multiple pieces until he was satisfied. He bent the exhaust pipes out of stainless in those perfect curves and fabricated the front end from scratch.Silver Vegas 22

Despite their slight appearance, these major components are quite strong and capable. “Everyone thinks it’s frail but I used quarter-inch thick wall tubing on the forks themselves and the other parts were carved out of inch-thick plate steel,” said Hazan. “It’s solid!”

Taking a clever approach to braking, Hazan cut open primary drive, spaced the drive out, eliminated the gear oil and hid a disc brake in the transmission. The bike is actually slowed through the chain. “Other people have done sprocket brake type setups but I don’t think anyone has put the disc brake in the trans,” he said, adding it runs fine dry; he simply oils the chain now and then if it looks like it needs it.

And that’s the beauty of building a custom like the Musket; there’s more latitude. “It’s not a race bike so I wasn’t crazy worried about spring rates and dampening. It just needed to ride well,” he said. “For a rigid, it’s pretty smooth.”

Aiding the ride are wide tires, which along with the wheels are the only components that were bought instead of made. Generic Harley-Davidson wheels came from eBay but even they were modified. Hazan used part of a Harley hub on the rear then machined the rest out of a block of aluminum.

An artfully engineered spring under the seat adds suspension, too. Speaking of the seat, it’s a separate work of art, fabricated by the builder from steel inlaid with mahogany of almost equal thickness. Though Hazan enjoys woodworking, it doesn’t mix well with metal working. Fortunately he has access to a wood shop on the 10th floor of the building housing his own shop in downtown Los Angeles, a city he calls home since moving from Long Beach, New York about two years ago.

Hazan works by himself in a second floor warehouse space that has lots of big windows and a freight elevator, located in a neighborhood he describes as okay in the daytime and a little sketchy at night. In a word: perfect. He chose the area because it reminded him of his old New York digs, before gentrification and skyrocketing rents.

He wasn’t in LA long before he discovered another east coast transplant nearby, Lock Baker of Eastern Fabrications. As it happened, when the shipper arrived to pick up Hazan’s bike for the 2015 Motorcycles As Art Exhibition at the Buffalo Chip, the driver said Lock’s place was his next stop. Said Hazan, “I had no idea, but it’s nice to have a neighbor like that.”

Essentially self-taught, Hazan has had to fill the gaps in his skill set as necessary and claims his biggest assets are being a fast learner and having an ironclad work ethic that dictates you learn something by doing it until you get it right. “I’m just kind of lucky that I can visualize things,” he said. “A lot of the details happen later, after you get the general idea.”

And that’s the nugget of the Hazan Motorworks approach to bike building: engineering to get the desired look. “It’s not that I put looks over something else, that’s where I start. I think of what I want to see then I think of what will work.”

Hazan Motorworks