Inside: Barnstorm Cycles/SPCL '79


Earlier this year Barnstorm Cycles and SPCL '79 joined forces in Spencer, Massachusetts. Jake and Jay decided to pool their resources and talents by occupying one larger building and offering everything from scratch-built components and complete builds to tire changes, tune-and-service and winter storage. Between the Gypsy Run and Brooklyn Invitational, our roving reporter Josh spent a day with Jake Cutler and Jay Roche to see what's up at their new shop.



Who works here?

Doug Cutler: Jake's dad, co-owner and our dedicated PR guy. He rides around on the Boss Hoss passing out cards

Jake Cutler: Co-Owner, mechanic, fabricator, the guy running around all day looking confused

Jason Roche: Co-Owner, fabricator, designer, and the guy who puts the Special in SPCL '79

Paul Quitadamo: The infamous “P.Q”, bike mechanic extraordinaire. P.Q. has been fixing and building bikes since the mid '70s 


When did it open? Barnstorm Cycles officially opened back in January of 2005. We just recently moved from our old shop to our new location at 24 Wall Street in Spencer, MA. The location is a 10,000 square foot mill building we bought in November 2010, gutted and then resurrected. Jay started Special '79 in the summer of 2007


Where did you learn to build? All of us here at the shop have been involved with motorcycles for most of our lives. We didn’t go to some school and learn motorcycle tech and fab in 26 weeks. No offense to those who have started that way; it’s just not how it happened for us. Motorcycles are a life-long passion. Maybe we were lucky. More than likely though, we’re just a bunch of overly dedicated motorcycle nerds


Jake's favorite bike so far? My old 1983 shovel FXR. The first pre-Evo I owned. I really just modified it a bit and rode it a ton. I wish I’d never sold that bike


Jay—what's your favorite tool or machine? My favorite machine is my TIG welder. A day doesn't seem complete until I switch that thing on


Jay, what's your favorite material to work with? I like working with sheet metal, but it's really labor intensive. I just finished an aluminum electrics box for a bike that took 15 hours of fabrication. Good thing it was for a personal project because it would be the world's most expensive electric box if it were for a customer


What's the mechanical specialty of the shop? Barnstorm Cycles is a soup to nuts motorcycle shop, from motor rebuilding to oil changes. The only stuff we job out at this point is some specialty machining for motors. I'd love it if our specialty was building bikes from the ground up, but you keep the doors open with being a full service type shop, then build bikes when the jobs come around


Is this an "after hours" deal or full time-gig? How many hours do you generally put in on a regular week? The shop is a full-time gig for all of us. Between fabrication, designing new parts, taking pictures and video and keeping up with the marketing and building the e-commerce side of the shop, I feel like I never stop working. I absolutely love what I do though, so I'm very lucky


Is your shovel going to look completely different when we see it again next year? I think I'm going to turn my shovel into a reverse trike (ed. note: insert Massachusetts accent and sarcasm here). Is that some kind of dig about how I can't leave anything alone?  I'll be taking the motor out to give it a once-over, powdercoating, polishing a bunch of stuff, basically bringing it to a more finished state


So what's this place all about? We are about doing high-quality work at a good value. We are not into working for free, but were not out to rob anyone, either. We take what we do seriously, and want to give our customers the best possible end results. And that goes for service work as well as fabrication. We all have a common tie, the motorcycle, and that’s the most important thing in the end


Links: Barnstorm Cycles

 SPCL '79

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Comment with Chopcult (19)

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 06:18 am

Man, what i'd give to have that shop! Badass!

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 07:24 am

that two to one shovel is gonna look somethin purty

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 07:54 am

I once had a dream about a barn and a storm so when you put the two together I was blown away!

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 08:19 am

Wow! Might you have an open lift space over there?
Beautiful place guys.

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 08:23 am

Super neat shop. Hope to see it in person sometime.

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 10:02 am

My favorite Masshole (Jay) and Jake are stand up dudes! I am glad to call them friends! Tim

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 10:13 am

Great set up, great fab work.

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 02:53 pm

a w e s o m e !

Commented on 12-2-2011 At 07:52 pm

dig the shop, work and this write up.

Commented on 12-3-2011 At 03:48 am

Joe Walsh use to have a band called "Barnstorm"......the smoker you drink,the player you get......can't argue with a sick mind....that was after "the James Gang" and before "Eagles"..........and way before that fucking punk rock crap!!!!!!!!!!

Commented on 12-3-2011 At 05:40 pm

I couldn't take enough pictures to grasp this amazing space. Jake and Jay are amazing hosts and i'm glad to have spent the time with them.

Commented on 12-3-2011 At 08:54 pm

Very nice guys! just good all around peolpe

Commented on 12-4-2011 At 12:00 am

Nice tube roller! Who makes those?

Commented on 12-4-2011 At 12:02 am

Nice tube roller! Who makes those?

Commented on 12-4-2011 At 07:05 am

Thats a harbor freight item, and its worked out pretty well so far!

Commented on 12-4-2011 At 08:10 pm

Good shit, great pics!

Commented on 12-5-2011 At 08:08 am

Jake & Jay are stand up dudes who do great work. Jay narrowed the gas tank on my '55 Triumph land speed bike a while back, did a gorgeous job!

Commented on 1-15-2012 At 02:56 pm

Good luck Doug hope ya have a grate year nice to see a shop here in the Hole that takes pride in what they do

Commented on 9-17-2014 At 11:28 am

Jake did some fab work for me this past summer and he is a real stand up guy. I drove from southern CT up to MA just to have him work on my bike and it was worth second/cent.

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