It's been three years since Scott Hamann of Metal Magic decided to have a custom motorcycle built from an airplane engine to his personal specifications. Today, the bike that is becoming known around the motorcycling show-world as "Blackjack", is licensed in Alaska, but on its way to Las Vegas. This unique ride is set to participate in the premier automotive specialty products show in the world, known as the 2010 SEMA Show (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) and is an event that is not open to the public. In it's premier there, Blackjack is sure to be the next Alaskan celebrity on the world stage. "This is a prestigious invitation for anyone, and it was a huge honor when Napa called me and said they wanted Blackjack to showcase their product. We used a Napa Martin senior paint, and after they saw photos of the bike they wanted it to represent them at the SEMA show this year. So were packing it up today after having finished the rebuild to send to it to Vegas," explained Hamann.
Scott decided to name the bike Blackjack, in keeping with the aviation theme of the motorcycle's airplane engine. He offered some history on the machine in a recent interview with the Dispatch. "There are only two other bikes in the world built with this engine, and this is the only one complete and on the street. But I wanted to stick with the airplane theme, so I went with the nose art that used to decorate WWII B-17 bombers. After having done some research, I learned that Blackjack was a B-17 with Vargas art on the nose that went down during the war, so I felt it very appropriate to name this radial powered machine after the original Blackjack," he said. Hamann now has a tattoo on his arm that matches the classic art on the bike, and says it's been kind of a bonding experience. "I never wanted a tattoo in my life, but after we came up with the art work that was just perfect for the bike, I just fell in love with it and decided I'd like to have that on my arm as well, and sure it was kind of a bonding experience with the bike if you want to look at that way," added Scott.
After waiting three years to have the bike completed, and then winning an award at the famous Sturgis, South Dakota bike rally, Scott brought Blackjack home to Alaska for the first time. "I had only test driven it about three miles, and all I can say is people who saw me said I was wearing the biggest smile they have ever seen. But I started seeing some weaknesses in the craftsmanship, so I took it apart and basically have now rebuilt the entire machine to my personal standards. Some folks think the idea of having an aircraft engine on a motorcycle is crazy, but really airplane engines are dependable and incredibly smooth because they (airplanes) don't tolerate vibration, and the engines are built to this, so I believe Blackjack is going to be one of the best handling, sweetest riding motorcycles that I have ever owned. Because the engine is turned parallel with you, all the torque is directed toward the rear wheel and keeps you planted headed down the road straight as an arrow, smooth and carefree as you could ever believe," said Scott.
Hamann is anxious to bring Blackjack home after the SEMA show and will be hoping for an early spring so he can start putting some Alaskan miles on the incredible machine. "We plan to make all the shows and parades locally and in Anchorage I just can' wait to show it off," said Hamann.
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