To most guys, a Harley Davidson is just about perfect straight from the showroom floor. But for Jamie Wiebers, anything “straight from the showroom floor” is only the beginning.
“I think I like building them more than I like riding them,” says Wiebers. “I just like the mechanics of working on it — fixing it up with all the trinkets and shiny stuff.”
Wiebers has worked on more cars and cycles over the years than he can count, but he has two very special Harleys that he built himself, piece by piece.
The project began back in about 1998, but he didn’t start really working on the cycles until about four or five years ago. The second bike started out to be only a donor cycle for the first bike — a classic, Softail Harley — but once Wiebers started, he just couldn’t stop.
“When I got the first one done I got bored again, so I decided to put the other one together,” he explains.
Wiebers used the motor from the donor bike in the first Harley and then had to purchase another motor to use in the second. While they’re definitely Harleys, they have Wiebers’ own style built in.
“The frame is after market, and it’s got different angles than a factory Harley,” he explains.
Wiebers collected parts for the bikes by shopping online and scrounging old parts that had seen better days.
“A lot of them are recycled parts. They were banged up and scratched, and we ended up with them at the body shop,” he notes.
Fortunately, Wiebers isn’t afraid of taking a mess of steel and leftover parts to fashion his own design. He hand-built the fuel tank out of steel and made his own rear fender from an old boat trailer.
“I built that gas tank from scratch; it wasn’t easy. I won’t do it again,” he says. “I probably have 100 hours just in that.”
But the work is all worthwhile when he takes either of the bikes out on the road. He’s taken the Softail Harley out on numerous road trips, sometimes logging 300 or 400 miles in a day.
“It’s a workout,” he says of the long trips. “You know you went somewhere.”
And for Wiebers, wherever he goes it’s always with his own unique style.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”