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Tuesday 9 April 2019

Jesse Rooke

Jesse Rooke: 1974-2019

More sad news with the passing of another of the market's influential custom bike builders - Jesse Rooke was killed in a motorcycle accident in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 5th at the age of just 45!

Jesse at the V-Twin Expo in 2016
Jesse was one of the leaders of a new breed of customizers and a regular at the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building from its inception in California in 2004 - participating in one of the event's seminal moments, one that encapsulated the spirit of the custom market, helping Brian Klock wheel his proven runner but suddenly uncooperative 'Hobo' on to the awards stage.

2004 - Brian Klock's bike was a proven runner but chose the awards stage to have an 'uncooperative moment'. Jesse Rooke, Jesse Jurens and Fred 'Krugger' Bertrand to the rescue!

That moment spoke to both the passing of the
baton to a new generation and the eternal qualities of togetherness that builders like Jesse have carried forward from the market's earliest days to the future it now enjoys.

Jesse began building custom motorcycles in 2002 and brought his own very individual story and experience to his Rooke Customs business as a former go-kart and motorcycle racer.
Jesse took part in the 'AMD' five times, and we saw his design oeuvre morph in that time from his own distinctive and personal retro influenced take on the chopper to being one of the earliest of early adopters of what eventually became the tracker and scrambler crossover moto culture scene that is so popular now with 'New Gen' builders and riders.
Our thoughts are with his partner Ashley Blair and their daughter Scarlett.

Along with bikes from the likes of Gard Hollinger and Roland Sands, Jesse's 2009 'Shavonna' modified Sportster was way ahead of its time - a highly individual, race-bred pointer to the market that would emerge in the coming decade
2006 Metric Class World Champion - the 950 cc KTM engined 'Darla'
2006 Freestyle Class, 'Slowtard' - a 72 ci S&S 'single' showed in which direction his ideas were headed
In 'AMD' competition terms, Jesse announced himself with a brand new style and an 8th place in the Freestyle Class at the inaugural 2004 World Championship in California