When you’re a custom bike builder, you’re always trying to up the ante over previous builds you’ve done or what others might be building. You want to stand out in the crowd, especially when you’re touring the bike at various motorcycle shows.
The Motorcycle & Powersports News team was recently at Fuel Cleveland in November, and had to stop and check out one of the more fascinating motorcycles we saw called the Yankee. It’s a rare build done by a gentleman named Jeff Gasier.
The bike is built around a Yankee motor, which has some interesting history behind it. In 1972, there was a gentleman in Schenectady, New York, who decided to build a dirt bike/street bike and made 720 of them. He used this motor in those bikes called the Yankee.
“The motorcycle was kind of ugly,” Jeff Gasier says of the original ‘70s bike. “It was very heavy. It wasn’t really a good bike back in the ‘70s to race or do Enduros with, but he built it anyways. Despite that, it’s a nice bike. He got the motor from Ossa. This motor is basically two Ossa motors fused together for their racing team. It’s got a right-side shifter on it and it’s a special motor.
“When he went to go build this bike, he wanted this power plant and he contacted Ossa and they said sure and shipped it to him. He made 720 of these bikes.”
For Gasier’s build, he says he did not desecrate a bike to build his chopper. Rather, he built a chopper around the motor, the seat and the neck as a starting point.
“I was working in collaboration with Jesse over at Raw Iron Choppers,” Gasier says. “It took us about a year and a half, but we built the first Yankee chopper that’s ever been built in the world. I’ve been online and in different forums and stuff in Europe and everything else to find out about the bike, and these are very popular still in Spain, but no one’s ever built a chopper out of this motor.”
The chopper build is based off of the Ossa motor, which is a Spanish brand. It’s a 500cc twin two-stroke motor, which when you see a chopper, you typically have a Harley motor in it, whether it’s a shovel head or a knuckle or a pan or something like that – but Jeff just wanted to do something completely different for this show.
“I wanted to do something completely off the wall and different that no one’s ever done before and this is it,” he says.
Other finishes of the bike include a gas tank from Lowbrow Customs, a factory Yankee headlight, knobby tires, dirt bike handlebars, footpegs and grips, a Harley springer front end, a Harley neck, and Harley wheels and brakes.
“The bike is actually made using three different genres of motorcycles,” Gasier says. “We went with the knobby tires, dirt bike handlebars and dirt bike foot pegs and grips because the Yankee was kind of a dirt bike. Everything else was all either hand-built or Harley chopper built. I wanted to get all three genres – dirt bike, the Yankee and Harley – in there. All three of them are merged into this bike.”
Jeff successfully built a chopper/dirt bike hybrid that is not only the first of its kind, but also super cool looking. It’s definitely completely different and totally off the wall. In fact, we never heard of a Yankee, much less seen this twin layout before speaking with Jeff. Now that we have, we can’t look away! Check out the video of the bike below.
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