Inside The Gas Box

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In an old modernist firehouse in North Olmsted, Ohio, is The Gas Box, a custom shop that’s starting to get a lot of attention.  There you’ll find Jesse Bassett, the easy-going, easy-laughing mad genius; his girlfriend and business partner Kris Hinkel; customer-turned-partner Crazy Brett Scully; and their mechanical magi Marcus Ellis, Tim Fiorucci, and Jeffrey Wolfson. 

Photos: Carter Edman

The Gas Box makes everything from traditional choppers to cafe racers to just-plain-builds, but they specialize in a kind of a style I can’t put a name on.  It’s like, what style is James Joyce?  It’s a clean and complex, guts-out, sculpted, gynomorphic, ultra-refined, superheterodyne, sashimi, Screamin’ Mimi style.

Jesse’s red Indian recently took second place in the Custom Modified class at Quail (behind a Shinya Kimura creation).  This bike started with a derelict 1940 741 Indian engine that Jesse married to a Norton 4-speed tranny in an unholy, interspecies ceremony.  The result looks so natural it could be a threat to single-species marriages everywhere.  It makes you believe in basilisks and griffens and chimeras.  The springing, pouncing arc of the hand-made frame reminds me of the leaping Jaguar logo, but for all its beastliness it is incredibly refined, mostly because of Jesse’s intense, obsessive, fanatical attention to detail.
The Gas Box’s work has been featured in print in Street Chopper, DiCE Magazine, Cycle Source, Easy Riders, the Italian mag Riders, and online on BikeEXIF and Moto Rivista. Here’s a look inside their shop. Login or register to view the gallery.

  • Jerry Guy

    Fatal error: No theme found.

  • Racetrack Style

    galleries worked for me.
    Blacked-out Pan looks cool

    • Bill Bolton

      very cool

  • Frosty_spl

    Yea, that black bike looks amazing!

  • carter

    A minor correction: Kris tells me she’s not actually a business partner. Her official title is Kick-Ass Girlfriend Behind the Scenes.

  • Campisi

    Indian makes everything classier.

  • Jesse

    I’m a fan. Anytime a Jesse is doing something right, I feel that I should approve.

    That Indian is naturally delightful. The flaked purple hardtail Triumph tickles me… not my usual style of bike to ogle, but it looks nicely put together, and fun. I would totally ride that about.

  • scottydigital

    Jesse builds some beautiful bikes, glad to this up on HFL!!

    • Bill Bolton

      He is just starting.. Did you see the BMW?

  • Matt W

    I had the incredible opportunity to visit The Gas Box for one of my college classes at CWRU. Jesse is a really down to earth guy. After speaking to him about how he comes up with the designs for these beautiful bikes, he simply pointed to his head and said, “It’s all in here”. Such amazing work brought to life without ever toughing paper.

    Funny thing about Jesse too, he makes such sexy bikes but when I asked to see what bike the man rides, he just told me he rocks a p.o.s. Honda BSA

  • Brettscully
  • Bill Bolton