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Twinline Motorcycles

Building a community; One bike at a time

There exists a group of riders who live for the thrill of riding, restoring and generally worshiping vintage model Japanese and European bikes. Ian Halcott (at right) just so happens to be one of those guys, and he’s turned his passion into his business. What started when Halcott was just a 16 year old boy riding a Honda CL160 in small town Yakima, has become the now 31 year old's niche custom bike shop.

Halcott’s first experience with motorcycles occurred early on in 1981 at the tender age of four, while propped up on his father’s orange Honda CB175. His enthusiasm for tinkering with motorcycles began as he grew older, while teaching himself how to ride in the back alley of his family’s house. Ian later drifted away from the hobby as he left home for Evergreen College, earning degrees in Video Production and Social Sciences. Soon after, Halcott returned to what he loved doing so much--building, shaping and restoring vintage motorcycles.

Twinline Motorcycles is located in the Georgetown neighborhood of South Seattle, tucked away in the corner of a light industrial park. Approaching the front, a few gutted bikes and tires strewn about tells of the work going on inside. A small ordinary sign hung above an old beat up door in a warehouse type building, gives the impression that this shop isn’t about the glitz and glam. It’s a place where a handshake and a six pack can get you just as far as a fat wallet. A place to stop and visit just to check out the latest builds and freshest ideas. Twinline is more than just about building bikes, it's becoming part of the entire community, a place where riders gather to share their interest in the joy of building motorcycles.

Above - Tomorrow's project bikes waiting their turn. At a time when the economy is down, Twinline has more work than they can handle.

Open since September 2006, Halcott got the building in May of '06 and immediately began building the shop out. Nearly everything in the shop has been built by Ian and his small crew of mechanics/fabricators. Racks for storing bike parts had to be built out of 2x4s while other benches and tables were scrapped together. Bike lifts were nowhere to be found in the early days, and work had to be done wherever room could be found. Since then multiple bike lifts have been added, a dyno was recently installed and a paint booth is being planned.

The summer of 2007 brought along the introduction of the service department at Twinline Motorcycles. With 1960s and 70s bikes not always arriving in the best shape, Halcott and his crew have had to alter the perception of a normal service shop, due to vintage bikes continually arriving with issues that can possibly endanger the life of the rider. Bringing together restoration type work and service of the known issues has become part of the everyday job at Twinline. Halcott regularly has to point out to customers that their vintage bike is a little worse off than what they thought. More often than not, bikes brought in for simple brake jobs or small repairs end up receiving a much more in-depth restoration in the name of safety.

Above - Shop tech, Ian Siegl, prepares to install a new chain on an anything-but-stock Yamaha RD350 project bike.

Although service has become a big part of Twinline’s daily routine, Halcott and crew will tell you that their true passion is fabrication. True to form when a customer brings a bike in with very few guidelines for what he/she wants, Twinline’s fabrication side gets to come out. With the opportunity for complete control over the bike's final outcome, imagination must be the only limiting factor. Although some of the work is outsourced to other businesses, Twinline is working toward becoming an in-house fabrication shop.

Twinline Motorcycles is fast on its way to becoming one of the premiere motorcycle fabricators in the area. The market for vintage Japanese and European motorcycles is continually growing, and Twinline Motorcycles may have turned a onetime passion into one productive company with a future in the Northwest.

At left - Twinline tech, Brandon Gillam, performs a basic oil change on a customers commuter CB750.

Tim Pizzino/Spring 08


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