Two Wheels At A TimeJay LaRossa Has Built Trucks, Hot Rods & Now His Own Style of Motorcycles
Jay LaRossa of Long Beach, California grew up with motorcycles pumping through his veins. Both sides of his family owned motorcycle dealerships and he spent his childhood on the back of his dad’s Yamaha until he was old enough to get his own two wheels at the age of 9. When he was just 14, he bough a Honda Aero 50 and custom painted it and added a few accessories. However, Jay soon left motorcycles behind and ventured into the truck world building one of the most iconic S-10 trucks ever. This soon spawned his own shop and business, STS Performance. Working on various trucks and manufacturing performance parts that specialized in the popular S-10 mini truck scene were the foundation of that business. Fate had other plans however as Jay soon battled what would be his first bout with cancer.
After successfully recovering from cancer, Jay landed a gig on television working on Monster Garage. This led to a friendship with Jesse James and Jay was hired to build custom cars and hot rods for Jesse. While working on hot rods and maintaining his parts business on the side, Jay slowly ventured back into the custom motorcycle world having been exposed to the custom choppers being built next door at West Coast Choppers on a daily basis. A 1999 Monster Chromo Edition Ducati Monster would be his first foray back into custom bikes. He soon found himself so involved in the customization part of that bike that he never rode it so he picked up a vintage Honda CB550 and built it as a vintage race bike but for the street, a Cafe Racer. He collected a few other Honda bikes and started building a few in order to make some cash to fund his other bike builds. Soon, he pushed his car and truck builds aside and focused on building motorcycles full time. He quickly learned that he could fit more bikes into less space and turn them around quicker than building hot rods.
The motorcycle that helped launch his new venture, Lossa Engineering was a Honda CB160 that he built and put on eBay. The auction winner turned out to be none other than skateboarder and actor, Jason Lee. The bike gained the attention of Cafe Racer magazine. Soon, the camera crew from their television show came knocking at Jay’s door. An actual shop versus his home garage was in order and so Jay sold his ’66 Cadillac to pay rent for the first 6 months at his shop. He figured if he couldn’t pay rent on the 7th month from his bike builds then he wasn’t going to make it anyways. Luckily, the bike builds kept flowing in and the fame from magazines, shows and television put Jay at the forefront of the revival of Cafe Racer bikes.
Once again, cancer reared its ugly head and Jay went through treatment for months, thankfully coming out cancer-free yet again. This second bout with cancer clicked in Jay’s head and he basically said ‘fuck it’ and decided to build bikes how he wanted to see them done and venture outside of the strictly Cafe Racer genre. Since then Jay has built several custom Triumphs, dirt track bikes, modern adventure bikes, and many more two-wheeled creations. He hasn’t stopped working on four wheels however and has stuck to S-10 platforms with a Studebaker truck currently underway sitting on a S-10 frame.
Lossa Engineering’s motorcycles blend vintage styling with modern performance and reliability. Jay fashions the overall look and style to his liking and lets the bikes speak for themselves.