For Max Hazan of Brooklyn based Hazan Motorworks, motorcycles are an artistic medium. “I approach the process if it were a painting or sculpture, each part being the same as a brushstroke…”, he likes to repeat. So, some are going to admire this superb rolling piece of art. Others are going to state that it’s a failed motorcycle because even if you can ride it, it will not be for very long time with each bump on the road kicking your nuts…
A motocross accident letting him immobilized for a few months staring at a beach cruiser bicycle gave him the idea to build his first motorcycle. Let’s put an engine in it, he thought, until he realized that it was way too much power for a bicycle-conceived frame… Now in its fourth motorcycle project, he learned quite a few things about what can or not sustain torque and speed. But he is still faithful to a style reminiscent of last century’s first motorcycles, bicycles powered by an engine. Like many custom builders do it, he starts his creative process after first choosing an engine whose aesthetic qualities are pleasing him, and this whatever the rebuilt work that has to be done to make it run properly. A set of 1920’s car tires (31″ front, 30″ rear) he came across were the spark to inspire the project featured here.
Whatever you think of this bike, it takes great imagination and serious fabrication skills to re-birth a Harley Ironhead in a bodywork so fluid, with so few parts thought and fabricated as pieces of pure metal art. A hand-formed or cast tedious process that only perfectionists can endure. The gas tank you are looking at is his third version, the throttle and choke linkage his second, etc… No compromise here. Each part looks exactly how he wanted and fits the way it should.
Main features of this custom Ironhead are: a skinny and elegant steel tubing frame (7/8″ and 1″) housing the oil, wiring and some electrical components. Suspension is quite original with a dual spring setup under the fuel tank and another one just behind the headlight. Bike is electric with lithium battery hidden inside the long gas tank whose capacity is 1.5 gallon. Repurposed parts include a shift linkage made from a truck leaf on which is fitted a porcelain door knob and a frosted shot glass used as the taillight cover. Hazan Motorworks (photography @ David Cook)