Jadus was founded by me, Jake Snowdon, a kiwi living in Sweden. I am an Industrial Designer come Mechanical Engineer come Entrepreneur and I have been working in the product development industry since 2008.
My personal journey into the motorcycle world was perhaps a little unconventional. My interest was sparked after reading the book John Britten – a biography by Tim Hanna. An amazing book with incredible detail and a must read for any motorcycle enthusiast. However, after reading the book I became infatuated with engines in themselves, rather than motorcycles. I read and read and read until I grasped all of the basic principles (and some advanced principles) of engine theory, design and development.
I then began (hopelessly) trying to invent my own, new, amazing engine. I was forever on the internet reading about new engine technology – promised untapped horsepower, incredible efficiency etc, etc. I watched a lot of press releases and promotional videos of new wacky engine concepts, looked at patent drawings and listened to hundreds of engine noises –
see this article that I wrote.
After some time I gave up on designing internal combustion engines – realising that I could not do better than teams of geniuses with PHD's and years of practical experience. Instead I decided to design and make miniature compressed air engines – with the purpose of teaching myself how to use a lathe and milling machine better - see images to the right and videos of them in action here and here. At this time I was living and working in the US as an Industrial Designer and had a boss who was motorcycle mad and obsessed with Hondas – check out his collection.
So I think it was just a natural progression for me to start taking notice of motorcycles - it was however especially classic and naked bikes - where the engine is exposed, the centrepiece of the machine. After all, the motorcycle in my eyes, is the simplest, most elegant way to display a beautiful engine and put it to practical use for man - strap on two wheels and you’ve got motorised transport!
This was back in 2008, just as Deus was getting big in Australia and the custom bike blog BikeExif was gaining popularity. Then the obsession really began for me – this time reading about the entire history of Harley Davidson, from different perspectives, reading about the history of Café Racers, Bobbers (what, when, why etc) and becoming more and more interested in Dirt Track racing and the street bikes created out of inspiration from these elegantly simple but beautiful and brutal racing machines. If you are a motorcycle enthusiast you will know what I am talking about. My tastes were very narrow in the beginning, being only interested in older, aircooled engine powered machines. I was especially attracted to the Japanese makers – being so reliable and much more in my range of affordability if I decided to get my license and buy one. The great thing with a passion and interest in motorcycles though is that it grows wider and deeper with time. My tastes and interests grew and grew until a point where I can appreciate most motorcycles ever made and often read about new technological advancements, new sports bikes and especially the unconventional ones - one of my favourite blogs being Oddbike.
My first bike after getting my license was a 1983 Yamaha SR250 and I quickly set about modifying it and ‘making it my own’ - trying to emulate some of the Deus style I had seen. This first custom build was the beginning of a connection to the SR250 and one that would lead to the creation of Jadus Motorcycle Parts.
What I found with the SR250 is that there was a real lack of aftermarket parts specifically designed to fit it - despite its huge international sales figures throughout its almost 35 year production run. I saw that there were endless parts available for the more common custom bike base models and was baffled that it was such a struggle to make stuff fit the SR250. This lead to the need to make, adapt and modify parts myself for the bike and was what started me off on the path of motorcycle customisation and the quest to gain more practical skills. I enrolled myself in some welding courses and panel shaping courses so I could get the basics down before teaching myself the rest. I purchased instructional DVD's from the most famous welding and panel forming professionals and bought myself some basic equipment. This gave me the confidence to start designing my own frame brackets, weld in tail loops, modify fuel tanks and fabricate my own parts. With this first build I also taught myself a lot about mechanical maintenance, motorcycle electrical systems and wire harnesses, carburation, exhaust and inlet design theory and also the basics of engine modifications for performance and frame geometry and suspension theory and practice.
After completing this first bike I posted a video of it on Youtube (see here) and it quickly gained a lot of views and an active comment section with many questions.
I saw that there were many other people also modifying SR250’s and struggling with the lack of available custom parts for it. This was when I thought about the possibility of designing and manufacturing parts as a business idea - in 2009, 6 years before I eventually did something about it.
After owning and working on several other bigger bikes, the humble SR250 is the one I have come back to for the basis of a range of custom parts. The parts on offer from Jadus are ones I thought are most needed by garage builders across the globe - parts that do not require extensive or expensive modifications to make them fit, yet achieve a stylish look. The market is already flooded with universal fit parts, but I wanted to offer parts that fit the SR250 specifically and really improve either the appearance or performance (or both) of the bike.
I consider myself very lucky to have found my passion, and to be able to combine that with my education and years of working experience in the product development industry is a dream come true.