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The JIMS Machine Monster by Paul Platts

By Bandit (with help from AIMag) photos by Markus Cuff

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Camarillo is a city in Ventura County, California. It’s south of the 101 Freeway and north of Pacific Coast Highway, just minutes from entering Malibu along the winding coast. Camarillo is named for Adolfo and Juan Camarillo, two of the few Californios (pre-1848 California natives of Hispanic ancestry) to preserve the city's heritage after the arrival of Anglo settlers. They had to be boot-tough and rattlesnake-mean. Settlers took everything from everyone.

For decades, Camarillo was a riders paradise between Ventura and Los Angeles, and home to one of the mainstays in the Harley aftermarket industry, JIMS Machine. Jim Thiessen built a family-owned business around special tools for builders all over the world, to make their Harley mechanical jobs easier and provide them with quality transmission parts.

JIMS reached out to further his business with more performance products, including a line of high-performance twin cam engines sold through Harley dealerships. Jim is being inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame this year. He deserves it and more. It takes a tough, wise man to keep any business alive through all the challenges he’s faced. He’s supported racers all his life, including our own 5-Ball Racing Team, and if we enter the Salt Flats next year to test and tune the first streamlined trike, a 135-inch JIMS Twin Cam engine will power it.

Two members of his team have been around for a very long time, Paul Platts and Garry Hughes. In 2011, Paul decided to build his first ground-up chopper and his best friend and co-worker, Garry Hughes kicked in to help out.

“I’ve always loved choppers, and they were the rage when I started dreaming up this project,” Paul said, “but there were no real big-inch Twin Cam choppers. Working in product development, I knew JIMS was developing a true Twin Cam Evo-mount case. I simply wanted a big-inch, new technology chopper with a complete JIMS Powertrain.”

Inspired by Russell Mitchell, Paul set out to keep his bike as clean and sanitary as many Exile Cycle bikes he admired over the years. Of course, he wanted the JIMS engine to stand out big time.

He worked with Mike Scraggs of Chopper Guys for a classic Swedish-styled rigid frame sporting a stout 2.5-inch stretch in the downtubes and 40 degrees of neck rake. Chopper guys frames are tough, well-built and stylish.

There’s another classic Ventura-based cycle parts company, Storz Performance, and Steve Storz sets up classic Ceriani front ends for use on Harleys. Camarillo held the best of the best when it came to coastal and hillside roads for chopper riders blasting around and through strawberry fields, wicked coastlines and through wineries leading inland. Unfortunately, population growth is fucking it up.

Paul understood the chopper rigid code and Garry was inspirational when it came to suspension. They rubber-mounted his bars, ran rubber pegs and grips and gave his spring-mounted thick, solo, Le Pera seat a couple of inches of travel. This hot rod could fly along any road.

The new JIMS Twin Cam 120-inch engine with Evo-style cases formed the heart of the monster. 

“It’s a beast of a power plant,” Paul said. The JIMS bulletproof 4.375-inch stroked lower-end was coupled with 4.125-inch bored cylinders. JIMS steady roller lifters and roller rocker arm, CP pistons and Screamin’ Eagle cylinder heads added flow with the 258 cams (.569 lift). This monster called for a big venturi 58mm CV carburetor fed with a JIMS Race Flow backing plate and a Screamin’ Eagle filter.

The entire bike has a tough, bare look with only performance components, including the bare stainless Vance and Hines two-into-one Competition Series exhaust system.

Mike Grieco did a helluva job with the contoured tank, including the arch on the bottom to highlight the JIMS 120-inch power plant. Jason Hart created the oval oil tank and battery box housing and concealing the electrical panel and circuit breakers.

In Exile tradition, the paint and chrome is minimal. Silver metallic powder handled the frame and sheet metal, with pinstriped highlights. Everything else is hard-coat black or polished stainless steel.

Paul took a memorable three years to complete this build alongside his best friend, Garry Hughes. “As you can see on the air cleaner cover, it reads ‘In memory of Garry Hughes.’ Garry was my best friend and was taken too soon with stomach cancer.”

“He was my go-to guy for the complete build. He would brainstorm with me and bring me back to reality if I was getting too creative. I spent a couple of weekends at Garry’s house getting the bike ready for its first fire and loved every second of it. My fondest memory was the first ride on the backstreets of Somis, California. "Garry took off on his scooter leading the way, and I followed on this raw-metal, mocked-up chopper, with the biggest smile on my face ever. I would trade this bike in a heartbeat to have him back, and I will always remember that day and that ride vividly. Rest in peace buddy. I miss you every day.”

Supreme Bikernet Tech Sheet
Owner: Paul Platts
Builders: Paul Platts, Garry Hughes, Jim Thiessen and friends
Year/Model: 2011 Special Construction
Time: Three Years


Type: JIMS Twin Cam 120
Builder: JIMS
Displacement: 120-inch
Horsepower: 116 monster horses
Cases: JIMS Evo-style
Flywheels: JIMS 4.375-inch stroke
Balancing: JIMS, balanced to 54 percent
Connecting rods: JIMS
Cylinders: JIMS 4.125-inch bore
Pistons: CP-Carrillo
Heads: Screamin’ Eagle
Cam: Screamin’ Eagle 258, .569-inch lift
Valves: Screamin’ Eagle
Lifters: JIMS steady Roll and rocker arms
Pushrods: Screamin’ Eagle, adjustable
Carb: Harley-Davidson CV 58
Air cleaner: Screamin’ Eagle/JIMS Race Flow backing plate
Exhaust: Vance & Himes Competition Series 2-into-1
Oil pump: Screamin’ Eagle


Primary cover: Barnett
Model: JIMS six-speed
Case: JIMS
Gears: JIMS
Clutch: Barnett
Primary Drive: Barnett
Final drive: BDL/GMA


Frame: 2003 Chopper Guys Swedish Rigid
Rake: 40 degrees
Stretch: 2.5 inches

Front wheel: Black Bike 21-inch
Rear wheel: Black Biker 18-inch
Front brake: BDL/GMA

Rear brake: BDL/GMA pulley
Front tire: Metzeler 80/90/21
Rear tire: Metzeler 240/40/18
Rear fender: Exile Cycles, modified
Fuel tank: Mike Grieco Designs
Oil tank: Jason Hart Designs


Forks: Storz Performance Ceriani
Mods: Extended legs
Handlebars: Wild 1 Chubbys
Risers: Wild 1 Chubbys


Headlight: Exile Cycles
Seat: Le Pera
Pegs: Exile Cycles
Mirrors: Custom Chrome
Hand controls: BDL/GMA

Foot controls: Exile Cycles




Click for performance.
Click for performance.







Click for Exile Action.
Click for Exile Action.


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