His name has popped up in conversation more times than I can remember. Held in high regard by many other builders, his reputation had already reached me before I had even met him. What I soon found out is that I was already familiar with most of his work.
Scott 'T-Bone' Jones grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and started his love affair with motorcycles at a very young age. "My Dad was always on bikes. He would ride me around on the tank". At age 3, Scott already knew the right buttons to push to get the bike to start. At age 11, he rode his first motorcycle. "It was my first legit dirt bike". Harleys were also a big part of his younger days. He had his mom to thank for this. She would take him to the Harley dealership to gawk at bikes all day.
Scott is a builder with unbelievable fabrication skills. He got his start at Chica Custom Motorcycles in Huntington Beach. He would hangout at the shop almost everyday and got a job there after doing some apprentice work. He bounced around a few other shops and ended up at West Coast Choppers. He started working under Jessie James for a year and a half. During that time, Scott worked on side projects at home as well, and the idea of working for himself was starting to form.
This idea would take a few more years to take shape. In comes Falcon Motorcycles. The exclusive Los Angeles based custom motorcycle company founded by Ian Barry and his wife Amaryllis Knight had heard about his skills and wanted very much for Scott to be part of the team. Falcon was persistent and he finally gave in after turning them down a few times. "I told myself I didn't want to work for anybody else after West Coast Choppers but the offer was too good to pass up". He was a builder at Falcon for 2 years and helped the company materialize the first few of the much anticipated Falcon Ten.
Noise Cycles opened its doors January 1, 2012 and Scott has been a busy man ever since, rolling out one beautiful bike after another. Six, to be more precise. The last, and the one I wish was in my garage, is the bike built for Born Free 5. Taking best in show this year, the race inspired, handmade aluminum unibody Panhead is a masterpiece to say the least.
I love the sharp lines of the bike. I have studied every inch of it and I can't say I have seen anything like it. Not with a Harley power plant. Not with those tires. Not with that front cowl. Not with that front end with the massive 4LS brakes and definitely not with that pipe. The seat cut from a vintage motorcycle jacket fits perfectly. The wear on the black leather made the bike look like a veteran racer. Examine the sharp clean edges of the metalwork along with the minute details around the bike and you could conclude that the builder had an obsession with the details, the kind that would produce an M.C. Escher print.
Want specifics? Let's look at the controls. Handmade and configured throttle is really a nice touch. The kill switch is also a unique piece. Simple, race sh*t! Want more? The whole one piece aluminum body comes off with just two pins on each side located near the rear shocks. That's the kind of stuff factory teams do to their bikes to make tear down fast if ever in a pinch.
Scott gave me a tour around his shop and we talked for a couple of hours. He has a calm and personable character. He said he hasn't had a personal running bike in 4 years and recently sold his one and only bike. With the kind of bikes he's building who has time to ride anyway? And If he's not at the shop he's with his family. Everyone needs a break. Even when you're doing what you love.
A rough sketch of his Born Free 6 bike was already on the table. "I don't really care what bike I build. I'm not scared of trying new motors. I like it all." I will take that as a hint that next year's bike is going to be a little different. We will just have to wait and see.
Thanks for a great afternoon, Scott.
P.S.: Congratulations on the new baby girl.