Purple Haze

Article and Photos By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The March 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Feature 1a

The beautiful Panhead that is gracing the pages in front of you was one we ran into at our annual bike show in Galveston during the Lone Star Rally this year. We had heard rumors from our Texas connection, Clinton Wallace, that this bike was coming into town for the show but we had no idea how over the top it was until we saw it in person. The day of the show started as a complete washout and the entries were sparse but once the skies cleared the Texans rolled heavy and in the last group in was Purple Haze that took Best of Show. The story behind this bikes construction is the kind I like to tell. It’s a story where two separate parts of our world come together without us even knowing about it. Ya see, Jason Ochoa, the owner of Purple Haze tells us that he’s not really a builder. His affection for creating cool customs started with some of our other friends at Three Two Choppers. Jason built his first bike out of their shop through a learn as you build program they run. He ended up with a great little Ironhead that was featured in The Horse. With that little seed, his passion for creating was set ablaze. He states plainly that the guys from Three Two, J.C. and Jimmy Lee were his first inspiration and even after that his bikes come from the admiration he has for bike builders across the country.

When it came time for him to finally get to do his Panhead Jason had a few builds under his belt and was constantly learning. He got the nod from Show Class Magazine to be in the People’s Choice contest and he started to make a plan. He actually found this Pan on Craigslist in a sweetheart deal. It was a ‘55 with a good title that came with a shovel frame that had a title of its own. That’s what we in the backyards call a twofer! Jason was a huge fan of Rick Bray’s Solomon Special that he won Artistry in Iron with in 2014 but was never a fan of girders before that. He talked at length with Rick about having a girder built for this project and he figured as long as he kept it short and skinny he could pull it off in a way that he would dig. That skinny theme was held throughout the build and brought to mind another bike from Kutty Noteboom, the Sinners Prayer. He liked the super skinny 19” tire from that build and decided to bring that into Purple Haze to keep the lines tight. He took some wheels he had and sent them off to Matt Carroll where they were laced up with some Buchanan’s spokes for the perfect set.

Jason had scored a ‘57 straight leg frame that was hit pretty bad. It was bent to hell and back but the magic that Jason from Texas Bike Works does made it like new in no time. Once it was back from TBW, Jason went to work. His old man was always a fan of Hendrix and with the idea in mind that this bike was both a tribute to his father and a step back in time it would be all about the molding. He credits so much of what he has learned over the years to Three Two. Those guys are meticulous in the way they do everything from welding to fabrication in general. He took those same steps to make sure that this bike would finish off as good as the picture in his head. And that’s no easy task for those of you that have never attempted a ground up. Being honest with yourself and no giving into the mid build blues (as Jimmy Lee calls it) is the real challenge. One step too far in any direction, one item out of line and the whole build suffers. What Jason really achieved here was the perfect balance of enough attributes to carry out his theme and not too much to make it gaudy.

Another big factor in the build was Clinton Wallace who appeared on our December Cover with his Hippy Chick build. Clinton not only coached Jason over the phone throughout the build but made trips to lay hands on for help in aligning the fender, modifying the tank, and tearing the bike down for final paint and assembly. He has great support, that’s for sure but Jason has great drive too. In addition to his machining skills that he has developed over the years, he has also taught himself the art of tig welding. This came after some locals called him out on mig welding everything. Not to be outdone by off handed comments, he went to school. All of the redirect added to his desire to accomplish more and drove him to learn more and exceed his own limitations. In the end, Jason not only created the bike of his dreams but landed a solid top 25 in the Show Class People’s Choice. He won the Best of Show at the Lone Star Rally that got him this cover and with that this chapter has just begun. He already has his eyes on the possibility of getting invitations to a few other major shows as a builder and with what he has in mind he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Toward the end of the rally in Galveston I had the chance to ride with this pack of crazy Texans and man they ride these things as hard as they look. As a matter of fact, the only thing they do with more vigor is when they tear it up at the Mexican restaurant…. But that’s another story. In closing we would be remiss not to mention on his behalf how grateful he is to his wife Marci for being his biggest supporter. Great bike man, you always got a spot here in our pages. Whether you consider yourself a builder or not, we sure do!

Feature 1c

Purple Haze Tech Sheet

Owner: Jason Ochoa

City: Fort Worth, TX

Fabrication By: Jason Ochoa/Clinton Wallace

Year: 1955

Model: FLH Panhead

Value: $20K

Time: 1.5 Years

ENGINE

Year: 1955

Model: Panhead

Builder: Eastbay American Motorcycles

Ignition: Morris Magneto

Displacement: 74”

Pistons: 8:1

Heads: Stock

Cam(s): Stock

Carb: S&S Super E

Air Cleaner: Custom

Exhaust: Custom Ripple Pipe

Primary: BDL

Transmission

Year: 1947

Make: Harley Davidson

Shifting: Jockey W/ Rocker Assembly

FRAME

Model: 1957 Straight Leg

Make: Harley Davidson

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock

Forks

Type: Girder

Make: Rick Bray – RKB Kustoms

Extension:: 4” Over

Triple trees: RKB

WHEELS

Front Wheel: HD w/ Union Speed & Style Spool

Size: 21”

Front Tire: Avon Speed Master

Front brake: None

Rear Wheel: HD Ironhead Rim Laced to HD Star Hub

Size: 19”

Rear Tire: Dunlop Gold Seal K70

Rear Brake: HD Mechanical

PAINT

Painter: Other Side Customs

Color: Candy Purples & Blue

Type: Matrix Paint System

Molding: Other Side Customs

Chroming: Pullido’s Plating

ACCESSORIES

Bars: RKB

Risers: None

Hand controls: Harley Davidson

Fuel tank: Throttle Addiction, Modified

Front fender: None

Rear fender: Throttle Addiction

Seat: Duane Ballard

Foot Conttols: Harley Davidson

Oil Tank: Harley Davidson

Headlight: Bates

Taillight: Prism Motorcycles

Speedo: None

Photographer: Chris Callen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *