The devil’s in the details when it comes to “Lucifer’s Hammer”, the epic daemon summoned by Scott Porges of American Motorcycle Service. The builder hailing from Framingham Massachusetts is no stranger to building amazing bikes. In fact he has been building bikes since a young age, which accounts for many amazing builds ranging all over the vast spectrum of brands, years, styles, models and performance. We sat down with Scott to talk about his path to building “The Hammer.”
When did you start building bikes?
I started racing motocross at 9 years old. My dad drag raced cars and bikes. At one time, you could get your permit at 16 in Massachusetts. So when I was 15, I got a 450 Honda. I put clubman bars on it, one pipe, painted it blue metal flake, and got my permit, and boom, I was on the road. In the first week, I hit everything but the lottery. I hit a bus, I hit a car, I hit a curb. All those years of motocross did me nothing on the street!
What were your early beginnings in the bike building world?
In the 70s, I worked at my uncles Honda dealership, and I got certified with Honda. I had a ’78 super sport that I built, and a ’76 that I put in a custom frame. In the beginning, around when I was 16, I got a 550 Honda I built on a rigid frame. It was a Digger style bike, diamond tank, little diamond seat. Back then, what was popular was long and low and thin and narrow. And then I did a 750 digger, then a 900 Kawasaki digger when I was 18. And then I sold that after I drove it for about a half a year, bought a Harley, and I was done. My first Harley was a ‘76 super glide.
From there, I’m guessing it snowballed?
Yah, then I got a ‘78 super glide and I went to town, I kept the stock swingarm chassis. I shaved the tank, lowered it, and built a stroker motor. I went from 74-cubic inches to 88-cubic inches, ghost flames, and louvered all the panels on it. I won a whole bunch of shows with it and ran low 11’s in 1981-83. I’ve been building custom motorcycles since. We had a top fuel back in the ‘80s that was in the top 3 at the time; I was the engine guy and tuner.
You don’t seem to only stick to one kind or brand of bike, you really have a varied taste and style.
I’m all over the place I build customized V-rods, choppers, big tire bikes, sport bikes etc. Some years back, I had this thing about building scramblers with Shovelhead motors and Softail frames, 60/40 off-road tires, motocross bars, Honda master cylinders, high pipes. I did those for a little while, then I had a café racer thing and I’d just build ‘em. As soon as I find a niche I move on to something else. When I get bored, I’m off to the next one.
Lucifer’s Hammer is quite the bike, what is the story behind this amazing build?
That bike has been on my mind for about five and a half years. It’s all about good and evil. And it kind of fits the times. I read a lot, religious stuff, all kinds of stuff. The whole thing was kind of developing. Sometimes, I would build a bike with my friend Rob Lopez. When all that “build-off” stuff was going on, we built like 5 to 6 bikes, and showed them. Rob called me up about five years ago and said “Let’s build another bike, it’s been awhile.” I had the idea already! That was it, we started. So I went online and did some research. I wanted to do this whole thing with Satan and the archangels, so I found some very cool artwork online and then I started researching engravers. My father was a gun dealer for a long time. He used engravers for some of his guns. I talked to Paul Cox and I asked him who did the engraving on the bike he did for Brad Pitt. He turned me on to Heather New (New Line Engraving). I went on her website and looked at her work, Bingo! I got a hold of her and sent her the artwork and asked her if she could do something in that style. I explained my concept to her. She took off with it (artistic license) and that’s kind of how it happened.
The whole thing with this bike is that it’s about good and evil. It’s simple but complex at the same time. The bike is about that yin and yang in life. Everything was left natural. Natural aluminum, nickel not chrome plated, and minimal paint, I painted it silver with no artwork. There’s only three parts painted: the frame, the oil tank, and the fender. I wanted it to be very organic, simple but intense.
So, I got a 103-cubic inch S&S motor and had a transmission here. I bought a Paughco frame cut it up and modified it. I had a bunch of parts laying around. Scott from Invader wheels, from the 60s/70s, made me the wheels (original not reproductions). It took me almost a year to get it but that’s what I wanted. The thing (about working) with Heather is as I made or got a few parts, I would send her a small batch for her to work on. Six pieces would take her two to three months to do, which was not an issue since I knew getting the wheels would be drawn out. I made all the little devils tails on the bike, bars and bits and pieces as we went along. The lower legs I turned down on the lathe and made them look like the pillars of hell. And of course, the more you work on a concept, the more it evolves along the way.
After two and a half years of working with Heather and getting all the pieces ready, it came time to assemble the bike. I went over into my corner and I spent a week just super focused. As it comes together in front of you, it’s just like “Woooah…”
So, I guess in the next couple of years, we’ll be seeing another dream bike?
I think so.
Time, hard work and vision were this bikes beginnings, but Lucifer’s Hammer comes from a different place, a tribute to the ultimate battle. Scott’s sister’s partner engraved the seat, and she chose to design the archangel holding a sword pointed downward. By some twist of strange fate, Heather engraved a mirrored but opposed design also facing inwards without any communication between the artists. From the ether, this creature awoke and now the “Hammer” is here for all to behold. The bike will be displayed at the Roll the Bones Show in Montreal in May 2018.