Jason P. Grimes
Northeast Chop Shop
Describe yourself in three words?
Wide f—king open.
What are you currently building?
I am currently building an ’86 H-D FXRT Twin Cam, a ’69 H-D Ironhead chopper, a ’29 Essex rat rod, and several Damascus knives and parts.
What was your first bike?
A 1987 H-D FXSTC all stock.
What is your all-time favorite bike?
My favorite bike of all time is my ’86 gray FXR. It is my daily rider. My favorite build was the 2012 Tour Build-Off entry, the Dutch Oven.
Why did you choose to work in the motorcycle industry?
In my early 20s I was a professional snowboarder and dog-sled musher until I broke my back. While recovering I was watching TV and I saw an ad for Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. I had just bought my first Harley and wanted to customize it but knew nothing, so I went to school. I graduated two years later and worked at an H-D dealership for a year to get some experience under my belt. I then opened up my own shop in 2001.
What do you think the future of the motorcycle industry is?
The future of the motorcycle industry is going to revolve around customizing existing production motorcycles. I also believe you are going to start to see electric platforms being used more.
What is your greatest life achievement so far?
Becoming sober and seeing life with a clearer view.
What has been your biggest regret to date?
Selling my 1951 Mercury Kustom.
What inspires you?
The things that inspire me the most are ancient design, weathered materials, the woods in the fall, heavy metal music, my daughter’s laughter, and working in my shop.
Who are your three all-time favorite bike builders?
Billy Lane, Lock Baker, and Bill Dodge.
Any last words?
If you have aspirations to become a bike builder, my suggestion to you coming from a man with over 15 years’ experience is that if you want to make it as a builder or shop owner, hard work, mistakes, honesty, and perseverance will form who you are. Keep your nose down and your head up while honing your skills, and become great at what you do.
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