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ChopSmiths Cruiser from Jay Hart

From the home of Racing, Indianapolis

By Prince Najar with Photography by Jack McIntyre

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Biker Pros rolled into Indy to produce the 2013 US Championship of the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show in a city known for the The Greatest Spectacle in Racing: the Indy 500. To say we were excited would have been an understatement. To a man, the Biker Pros team loves racing. We even race to see who gets the first cuppa Joe in the morning, it’s that ingrained.
We were excited about meeting guys, who built bikes around the local IndyCar and NHRA teams, which are scattered around Indy. We weren't disappointed.
The Championship kicked off on February the 15th, and this guy, comes tripping through the loading dock with a custom sled that looks like it came out of the ’50s. It’s none other than Jay Hart, a custom bike builder, one of the original Biker Build-Off contestants, musician, skate boarder and an old race car restorer.
For the J&P Ultimate Builder Championship Jay brought out the Chopsmiths Cruiser, his customer’s 2012/1977 Harley-Davidson FL to compete in the highly competitive Retro MOD class. The bike features the integration of 30-plus years of non-fitting Harley-Davidson parts including a Panhead frame, Shovelhead engine, a Knuck front end and Ironhead Sportster wheels front and back. It’s clean with a mechanical look. Check out the hump above the gas tank where the oil is hidden.
I caught up with him across the street from the IndyCar Dallara manufacturing plant on Main Street in Speedway, IN, at Denny Jamison’s Automotive HammerArt shop where he bends metal and restores old racers.
Back in the day, Jay made friends fast. After just a brief meeting, Jamison threw Jay the keys to the shop and cruised out the door to a local watering hole. Here’s one reason Jay’s bikes are different from the ordinary. He works on a lot of vintage era Indy cars, and many contained design elements from the period airplane industry. He takes vintage aero and mechanical designs and incorporates them into his sleds.
When not stepping in to help his buddy Denny at Automotive HammerArt, he is kick starting his motorcycle business. He brings his ‘50s IndyCar vibe to all of his builds.
Even though Jay didn’t win the Ultimate Builder competition in Indy, it was great seeing him hanging out at the show and bench racing with other builders. See a write up about Jay in the next issue of IronWorks magazine. And don’t miss the final 2013 Ultimate Builder Show in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend.

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