Interview: Jeff from Twinline Motorcycles
Twinline Motorcycles is a custom shop in Seattle Washington who have been building and restoring loads of beautiful cafe racers and vintage bikes. Last year Jeff (Tower) Pochodowicz took over the running of the shop and he hasn’t looked back. He managed to put the wrench down and answer a few questions for us.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and Twinline?
My name is Jeff (aka. Tower). I took over the management and operations at Twinline Motorcycles in September 2011. I grew up spending most my days riding a bmx bike and at one point my dad bought a Suzuki 125 quad, I loved that machine. I rode the hell out of that bike, breaking tons of parts along the way. Eventually he sold it and my sights turned to skateboarding. On May 25th 2007, my 30th birthday, I bought a Gpz550 off my friend and really that’s were my motorcycle career started, bang. I had no idea that buying that bike would change the course of my life and direct me to where I am today. I moved to Seattle in 2008 and was introduced to Ian and the guys at the shop. My buddy said “maybe these guys will help you get that piece of shit running right.” For a half rack of PBR and 80 bucks i was rolling. I thought the place was cool so I hung around soaking up as much knowledge as I could. In January 2009 i was interning at the shop full time. We changed locations to a larger, better workspace and I worked hard on honing my skills in problem solving, motor builds, fabrication and customization. During the summer of 2011 Ian had the itch to move to California with his family so i decided that taking over the shop was the best way for me to continue doing what I love to do while keeping the shop as a creative hub for the motorcycle community.
Looks like you guys have been busy. Have you got a favorite from the latest build batch?
That’s a tough question because every bike i’ve ever built is my favorite in some way. I’d have to say that out of the bikes recently finished, the CB750 is my favorite. So much thought has gone into every detail of this project. David, the owner of the bike, sourced most of the parts and i did most of the building. David isn’t like most people, he had a defined idea of what he wanted and he went for it, mainly he wanted 90bhp out of a cb750 and we got 87, not too bad for a 70s bike. The bike looks like a piece of candy and will slap you in the face if you’re not careful.
“The bike looks like a piece of candy
and will slap you in the face if you’re not careful”
Are most of your builds commissioned?
Most of the bikes we’ve built are commissioned or personal projects. I feel that if you want a custom bike you should either build it yourself or at least have an idea of what is right for you. A stock bike with clubman bars is not a cafe racer. Strip off everything, no horns, no blinkers, no bells, no whistles… now we’re talking. Lighter, faster, better is how it should be done. To build a bike for general sale you have to dumb it out, the seat has to be cozy, gotta have big ass blinkers, maybe cruise control, for sure an electric start. I have a bike for sale but it might be a while till i find the right person to buy it. I’m a hyper-minimalist when it comes to builds, and thats not for everyone.
Do you do guys sketch before you build the bikes? or just go with the flow?
I do sketch some ideas before I start, or at least have an idea before i start hacking things up. The bike tells you what it wants, gives you the lines you should follow, the personality is there already. It’s important to be in tune with your project and have certain goals, as things progress and change you have to go with the flow and keep your options open.
If money was no object, what would be your ultimate motorcycle?
The We R Winning video Todd B. shot was an inspirational film. Any more projects like that in the pipeline?
I’m not sure if Todd has plans for another film, and nobody has approached me with any other ideas for a project like that. I’m sure that in the future we’ll film some other project, maybe a western, hahaha.
What do you love most about your new gig?
Really, working for myself and creating cool bikes is the best part, trying to blow up bikes before i deliver it to the customer is a close second. If it doesn’t seize while i’m on it then it should be ok for someone to putt around town on.
What’s next for Twinline Motorcycles?
As long as I’m in control of the shop i’ll always be building some sort of project. I have my sites set on producing parts and possibly conversion kits for upgrading brakes, front ends, and electronics. Motorcycles have been fun for a hundred years, I want to help make them fun for another hundred.
[A big thank you to our good friend Todd Blubaugh who took all these stunning photos]