Thursday, March 17, 2016

Jason Ochoa - 1955 Panhead "Purple Haze"

Photo by: Matthew Aims

Texas is home of the Cowboys, amazing BBQ, bitchen choppers, the slogan "Everything's bigger in Texas." and the one and only Jason Ochoa. Building bikes for only a few years now, Jason has been making waves with his latest build a 1955 Panhead named Purple Haze which was featured on the cover of Cycle Source for the month of March 2016. Jason is coming all the way up from Texas to showcase this build at Fuel Cleveland on May 28th and I couldn't be more excited to see this bike again. The first time I caught a glimpse of this beauty I was at Born Free this past year, super clean and tons of cool little details.  I had a chance to sit down and chat with Jason for a little bit. I asked him a few questions about himself and learned a little more about this impeccable Panhead build. Here's what came of that interview, enjoy!


-Mikey Revolt



Jason Ochoa, where do you call home? 

J: I was born and raised in Yorktown, Texas a small rural town in South Texas, but I currently call Fort Worth, Texas home now.

Give us a some history about yourself and your shop/work. 

J: I have been into motorcycles as long as I can remember, growing up on a ranch there wasn’t much to do besides hunting, camping, exploring and riding dirt bikes. Once I got my first motorcycle at age 6, I have been infatuated with motorcycles from that point on. In the early years I was really into the things Jesse James and Billy Lane where doing, so I scraped up some cash and bought one of the Custom Chrome chopper in a box kits. I sold that bike and decided to find another project, so with limited tools and no fabrication skills, I decided to build a bike at Three Two Choppers shop on their builders program. I learned a lot from JC and Jimmy Coen and we built one bad ass little Ironhead, which was featured in The Horse in 2013. I then bought several Shovel projects and did some minor modifications and flipped them while trying to expand my knowledge in fabricating and welding. At that point I just kept pushing myself to learn from friends and trial and error. My go to bike, a 1968 Shovel was the bike I really tore into and learned a lot of just how good I was a fab work, which wasn’t that great, lol. I always wanted a Panhead, so I was lucky enough to acquire a great deal on a 1955 Panhead and decided to throw my name in the hat for the Show Class Peoples Champ 3 last year and to my surprise, I was selected as one of the top 25. At that point I decided to dedicate all of my time and very little skills I had into producing the best bike to my ability. I had some good friends that helped and taught me along the way, but my longtime friend Clinton Wallace was a huge inspiration and motivator on this ground up build. Whatever I couldn’t do myself, he taught me and assisted as the build progressed. I currently build out of my two car garage, which has been converted into my shop, Four Speed Mayhem. I am investing on a lot of quality equipment, so I have no choice but learn the craft.


What got you into motorcycles? 

J: Definitely my grandfather. Growing up, my grandparents had a picture of my him riding a Harley in WWII and that picture always motivated me to want a Harley. I had always looked up to him and he bought me my first motorcycle and taught me how to ride at the age of 6.


What do you find to be the most challenging thing for you when building a bike? 

J: I have a great vision and desire, but I still have so much to learn when it comes to fabrication and welding. I fuck shit up all of the time, but with the desire to be better, I keep pushing myself. I bought a TIG welder during the Pan build and taught myself the best I could as that build progressed. I am still by no means a great welder, but I continue to challenge myself to become better each day. My step father is a machinist, so I learned how to machine at an early age, but lathes are expensive and I had limited access to one, so that was another challenge.

Photo by: Matthew Aims
What has been an all time favorite bike or project you have ever worked on?

J: My 1955 Panhead build because it was my first ground up build. I had the vision of that bike in my head for years and to finally see it come together was a proud moment for me. Also, my dad brought back this reel to reel from his time in Vietnam and I used to play the shit out that thing. He always had Jimi Hendrix playing on that old thing, so Purple Haze was a tribute to my dad and all the shit he went through during the war, so that made this build even more special for me.

Who or what inspires you? 

J: My wife Marci has always been such a great supporter of the things I do and she always pushes me to do my best. I had a lot of “FUCK THIS” moments during the Panhead build, but she always kept my spirits high and made me believe in myself.

Also, my buddy Clinton Wallace is the one who inspires me the most within motorcycles. His attention to detail and self-taught knowledge is very inspiring, not to mention he does all of his work on a secluded horse ranch outside of Houston, Texas. He is one of the most humble and down to earth guys you could ever meet. Just make sure he takes his meds…lol

Photo by: Matthew Aims

Congrats on the Cycle Source Cover story in this past March issue, how did that feel? Is this your first cover? What was your favorite part about the shoot with Matt Aims?

J: That was an amazing feeling and it is still hard to believe that I am actually on the cover of such a great magazine. I was in disbelief when Chris Callen sent me a text with the layout and said, I think we found our cover for March. It still makes me smile thinking about it. Matt Aims and I became great friends during our venture as the Top 25 for People’s Champ. I was really awed by his photography skills, so we became great friends because of our common endeavors. I knew I wanted Matt to shoot the bike, so I flew him down to Texas and he shot both my Shovelhead and Panhead. Of course, we snuck in a lot of partying and riding while he visited Texas.

Photo by: Matthew Aims

What’s your favorite motorcycle event of the year for you, why, and are you going? 

J: Giddy Up has to be my favorite event because I get to see so many of my friends at one time. Matt Jackson and Joey Cano are also huge inspirations for me, so being able to attend their event is something I really look forward to every year.

I'll see you there!

What other passions or hobbies do you have that most people may not know about yourself other than motorcycles?

J: In the early years I played guitar in metal bands and did a few tours with my band back in the late 90’s. I still play when I get a chance, however the audience is much smaller now. It usually consists of my two children, lol.

I have trained BJJ and MMA for over 8 years under ex UFC fighter Travis Lutter here in Fort Worth. I am currently working on my brown belt, but lately, I spend more time in my garage these days working on some commissioned builds.

Photo by: Matthew Aims
Is there a type of motor you prefer more then others?

J: I have always loved the look and elegance of the Ol’ mighty Panhead motor. Who wouldn’t love a Knucklehead, but I still think the Panhead motor will always be my choice.

What’s a favorite memory or story from one of your motorcycle adventures?

J: The first trip me and my buddies took to California attending Born Free 6. That trip is what triggered my motivation to build a bike that I felt would be worthy of taking it back there the following year. I was honored when Grant saw my Panhead at Born Free 7 and invited me into the VIP section. It was a dream seeing my bike amongst so many builders I look up to.

Photo by: Matthew Aims
What do you love most about motorcycles? 

J: The way you can jump on a bike after a shitty day and feel at one with the outside elements. Just feeling that fresh air and wind in your face gives you a sense of serenity.

Whats your all time favorite city you have ever been to and why? 

J: Los Angeles because growing up seeing my bmx, skateboarding and motocross heroes being from California always inspired me to want visit there one day.

If you could only own one bike in the world what would it be and why? 

J: I would like to own an all original 1948 Panhead. Why, because it’s a Panhead, duh!

Chocolate or Vanilla cake… or are you an ice-cream cake kinda guy? 

J: Cake, did you say CAKE!!!!

Anyone you would like to give a shout out to or thank? 

J: I would like to thank my wife Marci for her ongoing support over the years, Lisa Ballard for being such a great friend and introducing me to so many awesome people in the industry and last but not least, all you guys at Fuel Cleveland for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a stellar event.

You can check out more about Jason by following him on IG: MOTOPSYCHO73 , FB: Four Speed Mayhem or his Website: www.fourspeedmayhem.bigcartel.com

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