Superunknown: A first-time builder hits the big time

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
Purists will say that a full nuts-n-bolts restoration is the only way to treat a rare classic. But when all you have is a motor and a head full of inspiration, things tend to escalate.

That’s how this intriguing and beautiful vintage Harley came into existence. It’s the work of Jackson Burrows, a young furniture designer and artist based in Calgary, Canada. And, believe it or not, it’s Jackson’s first attempt at building a bike.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
The project kicked off four years ago, when Jackson was still in design school. “I found an old Lucas brass taillight in Spain,” he tells us. “A month later, I stumbled upon an unusual power plant: a 1960 Harley-Davidson Super 10. It wasn’t running, but it was ‘all there’ and had a unique AMA race history.”

“I’d met a guy who had bought out Lewis Puckett’s shop inventory years before, and this was one of the last engines to come out of the shop.” Jackson drafted out an idea and made a deal to buy the engine.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
The tiny 165 cc single-cylinder two stroke had been set up for racing, with a high compression Webco Racing head, an enlarged and ported cylinder, and match-ported cases. It also had stiffer plates and a hand-made seven-spring clutch.

“Lewis Puckett and Dick O’Brien made so many modifications to these engines to get everything possible out of them,” says Jackson. “This engine is what would separate it from yet another restoration of a vintage Harley Hummer—but I wanted to take it a bit further.”

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
Working under the moniker ‘&Sons Atelier,’ Jackson started piecing his freshman build together in the kitchen of his downtown apartment. He could only work on it after hours—and was acquiring skills as he went.

There was a lot to do. For starters, even though the engine was upgraded, it needed a full rebuild to bring it back to life. Jackson also installed a Lodge race spark plug, and a Linkert M18 Carb with a Falcon velocity stack, set up for racing by Charles ‘Mutt’ Hallam.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
Then he had to pick a frame to mount it into. He managed to source a 1964 Harley-Davidson Scat frame, which he extensively modified. That included trimming off excess metal, cleaning up factory welds, and stretching and refining the swing arm.

The front end is an original 1948 Harley-Davidson pressed steel girder, equipped with a five elastic band shock system. It too was heavily altered, to suit the bike’s stance and to hold a set of modern LED turn signals discreetly. It also supports a vintage Ducati headlight, with an embedded Harley Hummer speedo.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
Jackson then reworked the triple tree so how could mount the one-off handlebars. Those feature a custom internal throttle, with no less than 13 parts in operation. The grips and switches came from POSH Japan, and the levers are custom cast BSA M20 items.

For wheels, Jackson sourced a 1961 Scat rear hub, along with a 48 Harley front. They’re laced up to 18” rims with polished stainless steel spokes from Buchanan’s.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
Jackson clearly has an eye for matching up classic pieces. The fuel tank looks like it belongs here, but it’s actually a heavily modified vintage Wassell ‘banana’ tank.

It was split and reshaped, with custom filler necks and petcock bungs, and a unique single-bolt mounting system for easy removal. The gas caps are from British Trophy, and there’s a chunky Knucklehead ignition switch tunneled into the left side.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
Even the seat became a complex process. Jackson shaped the pan from some leftover sheet metal, and Ace at Back Drop Leather executed the killer upholstery. The mounting system is a pair of antique Farmal leaf springs, and a modified Harley VL seat T-bar.

The front mount meets the frame where the rear tank supports are, and there’s even space for a spare spark plug. There’s also a basic hand-made barrel hinge under the seat itself, to allow the pan and leaf spring to move independently.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
By this stage in the build, the Super 10 had already strayed far from original spec—but Jackson wasn’t fazed. “I went with my gut and I did what I wanted to do,” he says.

“Of course, I have haters over it. But finding the original frame, tank and parts it originally raced with wasn’t going to happen. And I believe that gave me the allowance I needed to make this bike truly look unique.”

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
As the project progressed, Jackson serendipitously met ‘The Night Crew’: Uncle Tim, Dan and Max. Each had his own custom projects on the go, all from Uncle Tim’s shop. Jackson moved his Harley in and kept slogging away—now with support.

“We talked out ideas and traded materials, learning from one another and working together,” Jackson says. “It was the first time I ever had anyone who could appreciate what I was trying to do with this bike.”

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
“A lot of people told me I was going to completely ruin it, that I didn’t know what I was doing and that the bike was never going to get done. It’s hard to admit but I was starting to believe it myself.”

“I’d become obsessed and meticulous with every part of the bike. Simplicity takes time, and creative function was the focus for this build.”

Obsessed and meticulous is right. Not an inch of this classic bobber has gone untouched. Out back, you’ll find a Wassell front fender, adapted for rear wheel duty. Lower down there’s a leather bag, mounted to an elegant hand-crafted strut.

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
The taillight that originally inspired the design is now on a side-mount license plate bracket. The exhaust muffler is a modded H-D Pacer item, capped with a heat shield made from a French WW2 artillery shell. Even the exhaust clamp is a borrowed item; it’s off a Royal Enfield.

The paint scheme is timeless: Dove Grey with cream striping. It was shot by Warren at Sportscar Coachworks, who let Jackson mask out the design himself beforehand. After a dozen misses with other pin stripers, Shawn Long of Imperial House 71 nailed the highlights.

As the ‘Icarus’ project progressed, Jackson caught wind of the boom in the alternative custom scene. “Guys like Ian Barry, Shinya Kimura and Chicara Nagata are doing amazing things. Seeing their possibilities helped jump start a lot of my own ideas.”

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10
“I started conversing with a lot of them for advice and parts. I got the velocity stack from Ian, Shinya and Ayu turned me on to Ace from Back Drop Leather, and Mutt Hallam always gave me well needed advice, and his mechanical expertise.”

Jackson was flying close to the sun, but his four-year slog has paid off big time. Icarus is flawless—and we’re not the only ones that think that. It snagged the coveted 1 Moto Show Award, along with ‘Best Modified/Custom’ and the ‘Industry Award’ at the prestigious Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

And now that his first project is done, Jackson is already aching to get cracking on the next—which he reckons may even be something electric.

We’re expecting great things.

&Sons Atelier Instagram | Images by Bookstrucker | Spotter: Paulo Rosas of Speed Machines Design

Jackson Burrows' award-winning vintage Harley-Davidson Super 10

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