Cleveland's own Jesse Basset owner of The Gasbox, and one of the curators for Fuel Cleveland is one of the most talented bike builders in the Midwest. His vast knowledge of everything two wheeled is far past many and he does it with a distinct style and grace. When you see a bike come out of Jesse's shop you can expect nothing but the highest quality builds; with perfect lines, beautiful proportions, extremely clean and polished overall look, all while having a small touch of class. Every bike build of Jesse's is truly timeless and you know it was built with the upmost craftsmanship. He has won countless awards, and has been featured in tons of magazines and other online publications through out the years. From super high end and rare builds, to one of a kind choppers, whatever bike Jesse puts his hands on it's done masterfully. It's really amazing to have someone so close to home with the knowledge and experience that Jesse has; he's always willing to offer help where he can and his knowledge of pretty much every type of motor makes life a bit easier on the Greater Cleveland area. Over the past 6 months, I have been working with him on Fuel Cleveland and we have become closer friends. To see his passion for motorcycles is truly remarkable and refreshing to see some one who cares so much about these machines. I'm excited to say Jesse will have on display his Born Free 6 Knucklehead build on May 9th for the show. I asked a few questions the other day to the man who hides behind the scenes and let's his bikes do all the talking; heres what came of it, enjoy!
When did The Gasbox open it’s doors?
J- Gasbox opened in 2009.
Have you always been a Cleveland Native?
J- I have always lived in cleveland, I grew up right on 88th and Denison.
How long have you been Building motorcycles?
J- I started working in a local custom bike shop when I was 10 yrs old sweeping the floors.
What is your favorite bike you have ever built and why?
J- So far my favorite bike I have built is this '76 Ironhead I did a few years ago. The customer wanted a chopper and I built something I wanted to do instead, I later bought it from him haha. Not sure why it's my favorite, maybe because there is nothing I would change about it.
What was the most insane bike you have ever worked on?
J- The most insane bike I ever built was when I worked at Huey's. It was a supercharged 100 ci Shovelhead with 2 rear wheels driven through a jack shaft and air ride. Not really my style but it was a ton of work since I had to make every part of it. There was nothing that would bolt on.
Who or what inspires your style? You have a lot of timeless bikes that look vintage yet new. Is there a certain time period you like more when it comes to style of motorcycles?
J- I am not inspired by any particular era in motorcycling, I just believe when you look at a bike you should not be able to tell when it was built.
What is the most challenging thing for you when it comes to building a bike?
J- I think the most challenging part of building a bike is establishing the proportions.
How many bikes do you work on in a week? I see one on every lift table you have in your shop and a few even on roll carts ahahah.
J- We are usually building a dozen bikes at time. This is not just full blown customs but a lot of mild stock modifications and restorations.
Where has been your favorite place to ride motorcycles?
J- For me the best motorcycle riding is Cali, no potholes and windy roads.
If you could own only one bike, what would it be and why?
J- If I could only own one bike it would have to be a 1976 Superglide. Looks cool, goes fast enough for me, and parts are everywhere.
Anyone you would like to give shout outs to or thank?
J- I would like to thank in advance everyone helping with the Fuel Cleveland show and everyone who will be attending.
For more of Jesse's amazing bikes go to www.thegasbox.com and be sure to see his Born Free 6 Knucklehead build in person at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th.