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“I thought it was going to be the last bike I ever built,” says Jared Weems of Weems Motor Co., as emotion filled his face and voice. His 1952 Triumph Speed Twin we’re going to tell you details about, is a savior for many, including Jared Weems himself.
Jared was one of the many builders we talked to during our time at the 2021 Fuel Cleveland show. However, Jared in particular had a remarkable story to tell about his motorcycle build. Despite the grizzly beard and ‘tough guy’ look, he broke down when telling us the details behind his beautiful 1952 Triumph Speed Twin.
Many people think of motorcyclists as tough, manly, badass folks, and they are some of those things, but the motorcycle community is just that as well – all about community and giving back wherever they can. Jared absolutely falls into that category.
Before we dive into Jared’s huge heart, here’s a little more info on the inspiration behind his
“During his career of painting thousands and thousands of motorcycles, he only painted two Triumphs ever,” Jared Weems says. “What I’ve done is I recreated those two Triumphs, which were never real motorcycles in life, and created them into real life. I was inspired because I love Triumphs and I love David Mann’s artwork, so I wanted to bring those bikes to the public so they could see it.”
This 1952 Triumph Speed Twin looks like it jumped right out of David Mann’s “Dog Gone Hot Dogs” artwork. The bike began life as a 500cc motorcycle. Everything on it is numbers matching, date coded correct, with just a few exceptions.
“Aside from the chrome and polish work, a custom gas tank and the rear fender, the bike is essentially how it would be coming off the showroom floor,” Weems says. “I also did a little motor work and hopped it up a bit. I bored it .120˝ over, which most people say is insane, and I put BSA A7 pistons in it. That popped it up to about 549cc, so with 38 horsepower in a motorcycle that weighs 328 lbs. soaking wet, it’s nimble and has a lot of performance.”
The bike also features a vivid paint job and a tidy, thin style that truly catches your eye, but we digress. Getting back to Jared’s huge heart… When Jared was 75% of the way to finishing this build, he visited Forgotten Angles, a non-profit 501c3 organization that takes in teens who have aged out of the foster care system. Teens are given tiny homes and resources to help them begin the journey of adapting to society as an adult.
“It’s an amazing organization,” he says. “It’s not just an organization where they house these kids. They teach them life skills, help them get jobs and set up bank accounts — basically what an actual parent would do.”
Weems was so moved by the organization that he decided to donate the bike and raffle it off for Forgotten Angels. Hearing of Jared’s idea, the greater motorcycle community came to his aid as well. Businesses like Lowbrow Customs, Biltwell Inc., and Easyriders Magazine chipped in on the six-month raffle for the bike.
In the end, $106,200 was raised for the organization. In true ‘pay-it-forward’ fashion, the winner of the 1952 Triumph, Jason Bellinger, instructed Weems to continue taking the motorcycle to shows for the rest of the year to spread the story and raise awareness for Forgotten Angels. Bellinger also requested that after the last motorcycle show of the year (which was Fuel Cleveland), Weems donate the motorcycle to the Barber Motorsports Museum, where it sits today.
“This has to be the world’s most expensive Triumph in existence,” Weems exclaims.
His creation is definitely a sight to see, but the story behind it is even more incredible. You’re probably wondering why Jared thought it would be the last bike he built. The reason being Jared was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014 and was having a lot of seizures as a result. He quit building motorcycles for a time, but more recently, when Mike Davis from Born Free invited Jared to build a Triumph for the 2020 show, it was this 1952 Triumph Speed Twin that Jared decided to create.
The Triumph is not only strikingly beautiful, but it was the savior for so many kids who needed homes, as well as for Jared himself.
“At the time, my garage became my therapy,” Weems admits. “I thought it was going to be the last bike I ever built. Now, the bike lives at Barber and I’m super stoked about it.”
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