Born and raised in Amador County, CA, he was originally inspired by his father. Jim got his start in Spinetti’s Bike shop in Jackson, CA in 1977 at age 17. At the time, Spinetti’s was one of the largest multiline dealers in the nation and Jim started out at the bottom, straightening up the place and doing minor repairs here and there while working on customizations in his spare time. This was only the beginning of his "formal" education as he had been riding motorcycles since he was six years old and also raced Motocross. Along the way, Jim has also been factory trained by Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.
Since these humble beginnings, Jim’s vision then and to this day remains to be a leader in Metric motorcycle customization. His hard work and determination have paid off in numerous awards, magazine covers, and in-depth build articles. Other builders’ styles and designs he appreciates are Roger Goldammer, Michael Prugh, Satya Kraus, Brian Schimke and Cole Foster. Often times you can find Jim’s builds along side theirs at shows such as the L.A. Calendar Motorcycle Show, AMD World Championships, Rat’s Hole, Vegas Bikefest, Sacramento Easyriders, Arlen Ness Bike Show and Black Oak Casino. Jim’s vision also encompasses a "far view". He builds bikes that will be popular five years from now, not bikes that were popular five years ago. He sets trends in the Metric arena with his high quality, labor intensive builds due to his dedication to "fit and finish". Keeping his motto of "average isn’t good enough" foremost in his mind, Jim has used this to expand his customs group to include a modeling agency.
No other industry has a modeling agency that helps build its products. Jim’s shop was the first to introduce many component designs in the motorcycle industry and he has instructed his model protégés in this strict adherence to quality and technique. They are amazing women and are truly dedicated to learning how to build world class custom Metric motorcycles. Many of them are certified welders and when they are contracted out to promote a product, service or business, their intelligence, good work ethic, sense of humor, strong family values and family support system enable them to not only walk the walk, but talk the talk, too. This was reflected in their first build, LowLA, taking top Metric honors at the 2009 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show when it debuted.
With their first build under their collective belt, these ladies are hard at work on the next one. Taking a page out of Jim’s book, they are building something truly unique and visionary and it will be ridden at the Bonneville BUB Speed Trials! Not satisfied with just looking good, this bike, which started out as a 2002 Honda VT750 will be entirely modified with the exception of rake and will be ridden by two of the models, Sukhee and Shelby, at the Speed Trials. Named "Kemosabe", we have pictures of the build as it progresses and the ladies who are building it.