Jason Roche at Special '79


Lurkers in the blogosphere may not know this man by his given name, but fans of metal fab are sure to recognize the work he features on his blog under the nom de plume Special '79. In his time in the chopper trenches Jason Roche has enjoyed 15 minutes of fame on Speed Channel's "Build or Bust" program, built a sexy Shovel for himself, and fabbed countless treats for fellow builders both invisible and infamous. In this installment of "Working Class Hero," Jason agreed to lay down the tools that do most of the talking for him and tell us what life in the fab lane is like for a Yankee craftsman.




Name: Jason M. Roche

Vocations: JMR Designs/Special'79 metal fabrication; bike part builder; starving artist



Age: I'm 40 yrs old, but I still feel like I'm in my 20's—except for my knees and back

Education: BFA and MFA in metals. These degrees and two bucks will buy me a cup of coffee



Work Experience: I worked for a Northeast skate/snow/BMX shop called Eastern Boarder and did metal fab on the side before I struck out on my own and started fabricating full time in 2008. I turned wrenches on motorbikes for years, and always had an affinity for ‘60s and ‘70s era machines. It was only natural that I started to take a much heavier interest in moving towards motorcycle and part fabrication

Personal Philosophies: Work hard and give credit where credit is due. No matter what field of work you’re in, there are pioneers in all of them. Give them your respect

In life, I just try to be happy, work hard, and treat people the way I’d like to be treated. I see too many people wasting time trying to be cool rather than happy. If you can do both, you’re lucky, I guess



In his own words: I do what I do because I don’t know how to do anything else. I also love to weld, so it makes every day at work enjoyable

Being able to look at a pile of raw materials at the beginning of the day, and at a finished product at the end of the day produced by your own hands is incredibly satisfying and motivating to me

Personal Mentors: No personal mentors. Hard work and talent inspires me. I’m an incredibly competitive person. When I see someone make or build something cool, it makes me want to work harder and be better at what I do



Friends, business associates and riding buddies: I’m lucky to have a great group of people to ride with and bounce ideas off of here in the Northeast, you guys and girls know who you are

Projects Past and Present: I’m really proud of the ’75 shovel I built; it was the first ground-up American bike I built for myself. I love this bike, but I’m trying to be a bike builder, so I sold it. Two more shovel builds, an ironhead, a Triumph, a Moto Guzzi, and an XS650 will keep me busy this winter




Special '79 blog

Jason Roche's ChopCult Profile


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Commented on 11-23-2009 At 09:32 am

One of the best Dudes I never met!

Commented on 11-23-2009 At 09:53 am

Nice lookin bars on your site.

Commented on 11-23-2009 At 10:18 am

Not only ridiculously talented, Jay is the best kind of guy.
I have a feeling whoever has that bike now is fat and most likely fond of window treatments.

Commented on 11-23-2009 At 10:18 am

Jay is in a class of his own!! He is a great guy to talk with and collaborate with on projects. This guy has more artistic vision and talent in his pinky finger than I have all around. Just take a look at the primary on that Shovel. Anyone could have removed the stock covers and ran it open or bought a 3 inch belt sander style kit from the aftermarket to be cool. Jay took a look at what we had and improved on the style and built it himself. I can’t wait to see what the Triumph and the new shovels will turn out like. If you need bars made or a special idea for your scoot, give him a call and you will see what I mean.


Commented on 11-23-2009 At 02:46 pm

I've been checking his stuff out for a while. I'm building a sportster and would be honored to have any part he makes on my bike. maybe one day.

Commented on 11-23-2009 At 04:22 pm

Nice fahgen bike...

Commented on 11-23-2009 At 07:54 pm


Commented on 11-23-2009 At 11:13 pm

damn another cool blog that I'll need to keep my eye on....

keen to see what happens with this motoguzzi.

Commented on 11-24-2009 At 06:10 am

nice speed suit dr. venture!

Commented on 11-24-2009 At 11:56 am

that primary setup is just on the money.

Commented on 11-25-2009 At 01:14 am

jason! i dig your words you sound super down to earth.

Commented on 11-25-2009 At 02:05 pm

Great job Jay and thanks again for sharing your talents with us!

Commented on 11-25-2009 At 04:47 pm

awesome tank man

Commented on 11-25-2009 At 04:59 pm

Keep the great work man. I love your work ethic and personal philosophy. It really says a lot of your character. Looking forward to meet you one day!

Commented on 11-25-2009 At 10:46 pm

A bha and mha in metalwork? Righteous. Great outlook on the healthy competion too.

Commented on 11-26-2009 At 07:42 pm

And I thought you were just a hack! HA. We will meet up one of these days. Keep that nice stuff coming. It drives me as well.

Commented on 12-6-2009 At 06:50 pm

Internet hug() your the best J. the tank still holds gas

Commented on 2-1-2010 At 09:27 am

awesome ride. chick magnet for sure!

Commented on 2-2-2010 At 07:28 pm

love this bike!

Commented on 10-13-2010 At 04:04 pm

very nice ride

Commented on 1-27-2011 At 06:02 am

Love the tank and paint

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