The Secret Life Of Jesse James

With Jesse James I start a new weekly series where I ask personalities and friends of my  industry – only the best at what they do – to answer my questions. You know, the ones you would have never had the opportunity or even dared to ask. (Jesse picked the right picture, telling me it’s his best one. Agree)

Cyril. In High School, what your teachers said about you? Jesse. They always said I didn’t know when to stop.

Cyril. Who were your childhood heroes? Jesse. Jack Lambert, Ray Nitschke, Lester Hayes.

Cyril. What was your 1st vehicle? Jesse. 959 American Rambler.

Cyril. If you were not working in the motorcycle industry, what would you do? Jesse. Open a Giant water bed factory!!!

Cyril. What is your favorite way to relax? Jesse. Welding.

Cyril. What are you afraid of? Jesse. Stopping.

Cyril. Which film made you cry? Jesse. Step Brothers.

Cyril. Name five things you hate. Jesse. Tomatoes, Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Zucchini, Cooked spinach.

Cyril. What was the last book you read? Jesse. Hitch-Hike Hussy by John B. Thompson.

Cyril. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Jesse. This is a trick question!

Cyril. Do you collect anything? Jesse. Vintage Bandanas.

Cyril. What was your worst buy? Jesse. I love them all, even the expensive ones.

Cyril. How do you take your coffee? Jesse. With cream.

Cyril. What is the best thing you can cook? Jesse. I made a caramelized onion tart in my smoker for my vegetarian daughters that was pretty damn good.

Cyril. When was the last time when you were really angry? Jesse. Every 20 minutes! Actually I am pretty anger-less lately. After all I have been through I don’t think I can be rattled.

Cyril. What is your perfect weekend when you are at home? Jesse. Working in my shop with the kids playing in the yard.

Cyril. What is your preferred rally? Jesse. “Free Wheels” in France.

Cyril. What is the worst question a journalist asked you? Jesse. I can’t answer this.

36 Responses to “The Secret Life Of Jesse James”

  1. 1 Gregory Smith Sep 9th, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Answers to simple questions like that reveal a lot about a person. Very interesting. Keep the interviews coming, Cyril. A new great idea for your blog.

  2. 2 Shifter Sep 9th, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Jesse: the most intelligent welder. Cyril: the most intelligent interviewer.

  3. 3 Sin Sep 9th, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Continue to love your work Jesse. Don’t go in the waterbed business. Nothing to weld there.

  4. 4 Brandon Sep 9th, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Cyril. can you oblige Jesse to answer your question about guilty pleasures? Ha!

  5. 5 Axleplate Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    That looks like the stainless cast neck I sent you . Is it ? Looking forward to seeing what you put together . John at Hardtail Choppers.

  6. 6 Tommy Senz Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    A little bit less show biz, a little bit more custom bikes and JJ will be fine.

  7. 7 Guy Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    JJ never changed his style of bikes, proof that he owns his own unique style.

  8. 8 Rambler Joe Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I guess the rest of his private life is already revealed in tabloids.

  9. 9 Garcia Sep 9th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Why don’t we see anymore his bikes in mags? Just on his website!

  10. 10 Steve 'brewdude' Garn Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    excellent interview and looking forward to this weekly pleasure!

  11. 11 Larry R Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Thanks, Cyril,

  12. 12 C O L E M A N F U Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Ask him why my expensive WCC passanger pegs rusted in a month? In the words of JJ – “Pay up sucker!” Damm those things look cool but I the finish crap.

  13. 13 Eric Maurer Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    you should hit up some guys like Todd Silicato, Chopper Dave and they guys from Biltwell and me (but I can already tell you all my answers will be “I can’t anwer that on the grounds it may incriminate me”) so maybe stick with the more interesting people 🙂

    Eric Maurer

  14. 14 Steve the producer Johann Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Cyril I like that you stay with building and even though JJ’s personal life is not one I wish, he is none the less a Key person in the building community and has done a lot to promote the custom bike world and for that I say Thanks JJ.

    By the way, if you like interviews with bike builders then listen to Hog Radio. Just google it. This week we have Jeff Nicklus Builder and Cyril’s friend and contributor to this blog on with us.

    Thanks Cyril, We love ya over here at HR.

  15. 15 Darin Maltsberger- Instructor@MTI Sep 9th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    The students and I like this kind of interview. Keep them comin’. Awesome job Cyril.

  16. 16 Doc Robinson Sep 9th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Garcia, you can find Jesse’s bikes regularly featured in HEAVY DUTY magazine.

  17. 17 Whiner Sep 9th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Light article that everybody seems to enjoy. Cyril. you’ve got fresh ideas and it makes your blog the most interesting . Waiting for the next one.

  18. 18 Brett Sep 9th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I am glad things are getting back to normal…no more nonsense about Jesse & his gals. No more TV couch jockey’s talking about him. Just back to bikers talking bikes & bike building.

    Now we need Keino, Paul Cox, Steg Von Heintz, Chopper Dave,

  19. 19 Bill Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Can’t wait to see what Jesse comes up with next. It seems like when his personal life is the roughest, he comes up with his best stuff.

  20. 20 hoyt Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Jack Lambert was the best to watch
    It is amazing how Big of an impact a Tiny weld puddle has on life. You inspired me to weld & I appreciate it.

  21. 21 nicker Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    “…glad things are getting back to normal…no more nonsense about Jesse & his gals…”

    Amen!…. But “…the most intelligent welder…”,,,,???

    Let’s not get carried away.


  22. 22 dale Sep 10th, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Nice Idea and interview Cyril: as always you provide us different, new and fresh. thanks for that.

    I think that Jesse is in many ways like so many other talented men in this life. Going all the time, pushing the envelope, breaking barriers, crossing lines, breaking rules, and coming back to this side of the line, then going back over the line. DAILY! That is his / their uniqueness that pushes the envelope.
    But he is not alone, Books like “every mans battle” are there because he is not alone. it is a constant need for fulfillment of what is on his mind, but to his POINT- NEVER STOP- That is more scary than going and occasionally breaking the rules.
    By the way, a daleism I want to share that applies to celebrities but even more so in the motorcycle world. ” People will forgive you for everything, but Success”

  23. 23 Steve Kelly Sep 10th, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Look outside of the American motorcycle magazine scene and you will find Jesse James’ bikes featured all the time, it is a big world out there. I have a nine page feature with one of his customer built rides (using all WCC parts) in Bikers News Germany this month for example.

  24. 24 JimC Sep 10th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Jesse is very talented and builds a great bike. Personally I believe him to be a hypocrit and have told him so. He says he is for the blue collar guy and yet left those guys in the ditch and rode right by them when he quit making parts. He said at the time that all he was going to do was build complete bikes and blue collar guys are not able to buy one of those. I know that he started making parts again but it revelaed to me a side of him that I did not know until then. Maybe with what has been going on,he is a changed man-not! 😉

  25. 25 Copperhead Sep 10th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks Cyril. I really like the way JJ builds his bikes from scratch, a true fabricator. (real talent) Its obvious he gets satisfaction creating great bikes. He has always seemed to be a humble guy not one of those people that thinks their perfect or really arrogant. Hey Jesse FTW

  26. 26 Woody Sep 10th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    He hates tomatoes!!?? Wierdo 😉

  27. 27 David Sep 10th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    And who is going to ask Cyril all the hard questions??????

    SSDD: David

  28. 28 Brett Sep 11th, 2010 at 5:37 am

    David. Probably Jesse James will ask the hard questions to Cyril…

  29. 29 Gene DENIER Sep 12th, 2010 at 12:33 pm


  30. 30 danny Sep 13th, 2010 at 8:15 am


  31. 31 Miami Chopper Shop Sep 13th, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Jim made a great point about Jesse leaving us normal Joe’s behind, but so did all the other major custom builders – lots of good cycle shops can build you a bike for $20,000 and less that will give you the looks, power, comfort, and RELIABILITY of all these crazy extreme $50,000 + bikes.

  32. 32 Randy @ CanadianBikerBuildoff Sep 13th, 2010 at 10:06 am

    What an awsome idea Cyril. Real questions and answers from real people.

    Keep it coming Cyril, love your blog !!!!

  33. 33 jatinder pal Sep 14th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Love this column cyril….quite entertaining.
    Jesse is a hell of builder,and atleast he can build.The style of bikes is unique,he is one of the guys who made choppers cool again.

  34. 34 GG "Chopper Para La Vida" France Oct 28th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Thank’s Jesse
    We had very good moments in Auvergne in the Freewheels show … very good moments shared together and with my friends… damage to see itself more as much but always in thoughts!
    Good continuation on your projects
    very friendly

  35. 35 Southcoast Nov 16th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    What,s up with WCC ???

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