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Standard Motorcycle Co. is Florida’s first and only Co-op Motorcycle Garage and Educational Facility founded by Jason Paul Michaels and his knowledgable crew. SMC’s unique approach allows its members to work on their motorcycles in a creative and collaborative atmosphere leaning on and learning from one another to maintain, repair and customize their motorcycles through their Educational Workshops. RSD sits down with Jason to discuss his Standard Motorcycle Co. bike customization program and his new Standard Street Tracker.
 
Photography by Preston Burroughs 
Is flat track the new chopper?
 
What’s a chopper?
 
Are choppers the new bagger?
 
Yes, but only if you live in SoCal.
 
Are scramblers the new café racer?
 
If by "new cafe racer" you mean, about to featured in every major fashion ad and movie and seen on every street corner near a coffee shop, yes. Otherwise, let’s get back to that chopper thing. I’ve heard of these.
 
WTF is going on out there?
 
No one knows. It’s the wild west, man. Everyone is hustling to get a piece of the pie. Me? I got tired of that hustle and recently found a new one. It’s an odd one, some people might view it as strange, but I just decided I was gonna focus on helping people and say “fuck it. I’m all in.” In the end, if it doesn’t work at least I’ll be remembered as one of the guys who took a chance for the gain of something other than their own."
 
Tell us about Standard Motorcycle Co, we hear you are helping guys build motorcycles?
 
We are. Ranging from basic maintenance to full custom work, our members have access to basic hand-tools, power tools, metal shaping equipment, TIG and MIG welders, laser cutters, CNC machines and even blasting, paint / powder, anodizing and chrome. We literally have the internal (or closely available external resources) to provide all the things required for someone to work on or build a custom motorcycle. The help part comes in after facilities we provide by way of helping guys plan their builds. Visualize them. We teach our members to start with photos and ideas highlighting the elements they love and then morphing them all into a single cohesive design. The only thing we really lack, come to think of it, is someone to design the members bikes for a frame of reference. We just concept and go and pivot along the way. We push our members to stretch their limits of capability, make mistakes and feel the resolve when they see that finished bracket that came from their on head, was turned into metal and then welded to the frame of their motorcycle. We're tyring to enrich the community and inspire others to create purely for the satisfaction of creating.
 
Is there a future in the Co-op garage?
 
Yes. I'm certain of it. The industry needs them, they're incubators for the next designers, builders, engineers and enthusiasts that will help carry this industry along for another 75 to 100 years.
 
Some people view the East Coast as being a bit behind in style and culture. How do you look at that statement?
 
I spend enough time on the West Coast with you to pull the good style elements out of SoCal culture, then I meld them with my Redneck Southern ways. I guess I don’t really look at the statement in any particular way because, so far, what I’m doing is working. I think?
 
How’s the bike scene in Orlando?
 
So hot right now.
 
Who’s your favorite person in Orlando?
 
This guy, Marshall. He wears different cowboy hat every day of the week. Has pressed Wranglers, an OG button down Western Shirt and boots that could tell stories for days. I see him walking all over, but his main spot is a coffee shop I frequent. He never says anything, just looks up and nods with respect, to everyone. I kinda feel like he’s got it figure out. I want to be more like him.
 
So, you built a few dirt trackers now. How do you view the move from custom bike builder to race bike builder?
 
To say I’m building race bikes would be a stretch. My guys and I are dipping our toes in the waters of racing, at best. Will I say building this Street 750 and then ripping it sideways at Johnny Lewis place was the most amazing moment of my motorcycle building life though? Hell fucking yeah, I will! I’ve fallen in love with Flat track and it’s not even about the racing. It’s about the people for me. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind and full of love for people and racing the same, and I’ve just decided that where I’m at in life, that those are the kinds of people I want to be surrounded by.
 
So how do I view the move? I would have to say “I’m in transition. Check back with me in a couple of years."
 
Racing is dangerous and I know you’ve seen the sharp end of that knife after talking to you post-concussion. As someone who is fairly fresh to racing, how do you explain the compulsion to get back on the bike after weeding yourself?
 
I don’t know any other way. I tried to describe this to someone who asked me “Jason, no matter what happens to you I always see you get right back up. Like, inhumanly fast. How do you do that?” My answer was that when I was young I remember a specific thing that shattered my world. I sat there and waited for everyone to come to the rescue and in the end, no one did. I’ve lived a life on the edge not because I want to, rather because it’s all I know. Up and down, perpetually torn. Eventually, I had another certain moment, recently in fact, the correlated with the swing of the pendulum at it’s farthest movement. I realized, that if I just got back up right away I wouldn’t lose any speed. And I liked going fast, so I went with it.
 
 
 
Back in the 60’s and 70’s there were flat track races all across the nation and lots of events every weekend. Can you see that happening again? What’s happening on the east coast and across the country?
 
Yes. I do. I think that non-endemic exposure to motorcycle racing is the key to not only reviving motorcycle racing or the motorcycle industry, but rad creative communicative culture. When you go to races you meet some of the nicest people both in the stands and the pits and they’re all there for one reason, a love for motorcycles. I believe only good can come from that.
 
As for the east coast, we're doing our thing trying to get Hooligan racing going in the Southeast with the Southern Dirt Track Association. They hold 13-14 races a year and are seriously down home. We've got pro's like Johnny Lewis and soon, Jared Mees here in Florida with plenty of tracks and time to ride. My personal goal is to help spread the word. I've gotten the guys at Apex Cycles on board having built a few BMW Hooligan bikes, Adam from Speed Deluxe is working on one two, even Zack and Jake from Prism Motorcycles are getting into. My goal is to just get a bunch of Hooligan bikes built, take them to races, let people ride them and get them hooked!
 
You built a bike. Tell us a little about it.
 
It’s a Harley Davidson Street 750 that we turned into a flat track race bike for one of the Harley Hooligan Racers. For me it really pushed the envelope, I learned more about myself as a man and a human being than I did as a bike builder. And that was a real surprise. As for the build, my OCD kicked in early and I made a decision that every part we added had to be designed and laser cut. I wanted to build a custom race bike that could have been perceived as a factory Skunk Works project had the opportunity arose to build such a machine. We used RSD Traction wheels a mixture front end of R6 and GPS Racing parts. Protaper bars, controls and a rad little mini switch house from Posh. The tank is a modified Sportster that we lowered a tad and cut new mounts for. I built the entire sub-frame from chromoly tubing, rosette welding the joints to give it a factory lugged look. (Big Will hated making those for me on the lathe!) And the cushion was done by my girl Ginger at NewChurch. Suspension out back is dialed in by Fox and is connected to a notched and modified swing-arm so we could fit the 19” Dunlop rubber on the rear. Engine is stock internal with one of our “LC750” K&N intake kits and a high-flow custom exhaust we built in-house, from scratch (including the cans) with tubing from Cone Engineering. Other than that, it’s got custom controls we made utilizing some key components from the factory parts, a chain conversion from TrackerDie, a full custom wiring harness powered by a Shorai Litium-Iron battery and a Dynojet Powercommand to extract as much power as possible. What’s your least favorite thing about it? This was the most difficult build I’ve ever had to complete for a variety of reasons. Despite all of that, not one unfavored thing comes to mind. If you could do something different, what would it be? I would have rosette welded the 1/8” stainless steel “SMC” backbone plate in 16 spots, instead of 8. You know, don’t want that thing coming off too easily.
 
What’s your favorite thing about it?
 
That I proved to myself that I could do it.
 
It’s the weekend and you bike is broken. What are you doing?
 
Breaking one of your bikes because I can’t ride one of mine.
 
 

THE DETAILS:

Base Bike - 2017 Harley Davidson Street 750

Engine - Water-cooled 750cc, stock

Bodywork - Modified Sportster fuel tank w/ Saddlemen flat track seat & SMC “LC750” radiator shroud

Frame & Swingarm - SMC “LC750” Modified stock frame w/ chromoly sub-frame and modified swingarm

Seat - Custom seat cushion by Newchurch Moto

Electronics - Custom harness w/ SMC “LC750” Battery box delete kit w/ Shorai Li-Iron battery and DEI Wire-loom

Handle Bars & Controls - Protaper Handlebars, Clutch & Grips w/ 1/4” Turn Quick Throttle

Foot Controls - SMC “LC750” Staggered brake & clutch control re-location kit

Exhaust - SMC “LC750" 2-into-2 Flat track exhaust manufactured w/ Cone Engineering

Intake - SMC "LC750” Intake plenum & air-box removal kit w/ K&N hi-flow air-filter

Wheels & Tires - Roland Sands Design “Traction” Flat track wheels w/ Dunlop DT3 Flat track tires

Brakes - SMC "LC750" master cylinder relocation kit w/ EBC rotor (Front removed for RSD Super Hooligan Racing)

Front Suspension - GPS Racing Custom Triple Trees w/ Yamaha R6 Forks

Rear Suspension - Fox Racing Podium R Shocks

Paintwork - Bombshell Deluxe

Coatings - ProFab Customs




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