SPCL'79 Ironhead AKA Roche Coach


This bike was never to be mine… at least that’s how the story of this 1974 Ironhead begins. The bike you see here started as a customer project bike and showed up at my home shop in multiple boxes. The reason for it’s being in my shop was for a hardtail job and other miscellaneous bits fabbed up for it. The work got finished, the bike picked up, and I thought my involvement in this build was over.  About two months later, I received a call from the customer stating that he bought a cone shovel and his interest in the Ironhead was fading.  A deal was struck and I was the new owner of a newly hardtailed frame, a motor and trans that I’ve never seen run or propel anything, and a few boxes of miscellaneous stock and aftermarket parts. 


Photography By Josh Calvi



For the next three years I would put in a couple days of work and then roll it into the corner so it wouldn’t interfere with my focus on customer work.  Many changes were made, parts put on and taken off. The final decision was to work toward my vision of salt flat, café racer, and chopper all rolled in to one finalized aesthetic. This was the standard pattern until Mike, Tim, and the rest of the fine people at Show Class Magazine came up with the idea of “The People’s Champ” and involving it in Born Free 5.  Please research this if you don’t know what I speak of.  The People’s Champ pushed me to finish the bike for myself, drive cross country, spend time with friends, and meet new ones.  I couldn’t be happier with the bike or the entire experience.  I can’t wait for the next experience… so it’s on to the next build. 



Owner name, location: Jason M. Roche


Chop Cult Member profile: Specialseventynine


Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1974 HD xlh


Frame: 1974 HD XLH original front section, one-off rigid rear section



Fork: late model 35mm with fender mounts shaved off


Chassis mods: Rigid rear section


Tire/wheel size and style: 19" front and rear 


Favorite thing about this bike: How I feel "in the bike" when riding it.



Next modification will be: Maybe a change of bars to mix it up.  


Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc:  Hammer formed aluminum oilbag, electrics box, and front fairing.  Too many handmade parts to list, I only hope they blend into one cohesive motorcycle.




Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: I completely built the motorcycle, loaded it in a van to drive cross country to Born Free 5 for Show Class Magazine's People's Champ contest and had an absolutely mindblowing time.  Upon its maiden voyage, I realized the one gasket(s) I forgot to replace was for the oil pump... which it flowed nicely onto the ground everywhere I parked it.  


The SPCL'79 Ironhead is up for sale.  If you have any interest and are a serious buyer you can reach me at

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Commented on 10-14-2013 At 08:44 am

wish I lived closer I would get a fairing similar to that made by Jason need a metal one since im running all bare metal tins

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 08:59 am

Beautiful bike Jay amazing detail and fab work

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 09:11 am

I want to be jay when I grow up. so nice

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 09:13 am

Very cool and different ironhead!!

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 10:16 am

Top shelf all around. Love it.

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 11:49 am

I was rooting for your bike to win the People's Champ from the first pics I saw during the build process. All the bikes were nice, but your XL is still my favorite.

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 12:43 pm

Very Nice! Keep up the good work!

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 01:33 pm

Super sweet build!!! Great photography, as well!!!!!

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 04:10 pm

What kind of controls is on there? That master cylinder and clutch look sick.

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 05:41 pm

The best Ironhead I've ever shared miles with. Mostly cause it's the only one that would run long enough to get more than a mile down the road! (I love a good Ironhead joke) Great build. So many details. Well dialed and gonna make someone very happy that they bought it. The only Ironhead better than this ever? Um, mine. HA.

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 06:55 pm

What are the specs on that hardtail? Looks like it has pretty good ground clearance.

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 06:55 pm

What are the specs on that hardtail? Looks like it has pretty good ground clearance.

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 09:01 pm

My pick at People's Champ. Love all your builds, Jay!

Commented on 10-14-2013 At 11:55 pm

Please paint that headlight cover >.> I love the black and blue theme, but the bare metal just doesn't fit in!

Commented on 10-15-2013 At 01:19 am

^^^Go home BoothEatsBUGS, you're drunk.

That fairing is tits, and I hate fairings. If you can make a perfect hammer formed aluminum anything that looks perfect, you would be a moron to paint or coat it. Great fab work, respect.

Commented on 10-15-2013 At 04:26 am

Very well done!!

Commented on 10-15-2013 At 06:19 am

Thanks for all the kind words, people. Once again, to all those that had a hand in organizing, competing, voting, and attending the Show Class People's Champ contest and Born Free 5, I give a hearty thank you! I was lucky enough to share the spotlight with amazingly talented people and will never forget the experience. It was almost too much fun for me to handle in 2 days!

The hardtail is a 4" stretch and 1.75" drop if I'm remembering correctly.

Commented on 10-15-2013 At 07:46 am

Super sweet....! I like the melding of the different disciplines into one bike.

Commented on 10-15-2013 At 08:10 am

looks great!!

Commented on 10-15-2013 At 01:51 pm

great bike and very creative. did the same with my ironhead oil pump and the same result but 500 miles from home and I had a nice oil sheen all over everything by the time I got home. always looks worse than it really is.
Again bad ass bike!

Commented on 10-16-2013 At 10:54 pm

Jay kicks ass!

Commented on 10-17-2013 At 05:21 am

I also want a big thanks out to Shawn Long of Imperial House for the paintwork on this bike!

Commented on 2-13-2014 At 06:37 pm

Sweet lil ironhead. Thumbs up.

Commented on 4-7-2016 At 12:33 pm

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