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Ride of the Week

David Mann Inspired 1951 Triumph Thunderbird

Jared Weems of Weems Motor Co. is a prime example of virtue in the motorcycling community. We first talked to him at Fuel Cleveland, where he choked back emotion telling us the story behind his beautifully crafted 1952 Triumph Speed Twin.

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That motorcycle was inspired by a David Mann painting, who is well-known as one of the most iconic motorcycle-themed artists and has appeared many times in Easyriders Magazine. After completing the build and gaining some well-deserved notoriety for it, Weems decided to donate and raffle the bike for Forgotten Angels, a non-profit 501c3 organization that provides housing and gives aid to teens that have aged out of the foster care system.

The program was a massive success, with the Triumph Speed Twin raising a stunning $106,200 for the organization. In true ‘pay-it-forward’ fashion, the winner of the motorcycle requested that it be placed in the Barber Motorsports Museum, where it sits today.

This isn’t the only artistically inspired build Weems has done, however. Also at Fuel Cleveland last year was his second David Mann look alike – a shiny red, custom 1951 Triumph Thunderbird. As you can see, he has an affinity for the British manufacturer.

“The very first motorcycle I ever touched was my dad’s 1949 Triumph,” Weems told us. “Ever since then, I’ve been smitten. All I do is Triumphs.”

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This particular motorcycle, named “Hollywood Run,” is based off of Mann’s first-ever painting of the same name. The painting has even more significance, as it’s the piece that begun Mann’s long relationship with Easyriders Magazine.

Weems says that this is his “budget build” compared to his other Triumph, as this one was built mainly from parts laying around his garage. Even the paint job is DIY. Weems used a simple spray can finish and 2K clear coat that has a hardener built in to make it gas resistant.

“It’s like a professional paint job, but out of a rattle can,” Weems says. “I wanted to encourage the budget builder and say, ‘you can do some amazing work if you take your time and you put effort into it.”

Weems said that the most difficult part of the build was the gas tank. Instead of fabricating one, he again thought back to the “budget builder” who may not have these resources. After scavenging for options, he fitted the Triumph with an old Puch moped gas tank.

Despite using mainly recycled parts, the build blossomed into an artistic and powerful motorcycle. The bike’s frame is rather narrow and skinny, and at only 308 lbs., it’s pretty nimble. That’s also thanks to the 650cc engine that provides more than enough pep to get up and go.

“It’s a blast to ride, and I let all my friends ride it too,” he says. “I think motorcycles are something that should be shared.”

If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected]

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