PHOENIX (FOX 10) - There's a big event here in the motorcycle community. And you can bet Jesse Rooke, known as one of the best bike builders in the game, would be here if he could. In the wake of his death, we spoke to a good friend of his and the legacy he left behind.
You can hear it throughout Cave Creek - the roar of motorcycles celebrating the culture these riders love. But a legend is now gone.
"Jesse, bring one of your bikes down, put it in my booth, class it up," said Eric Herrmann, a friend of Rooke.
Rooke's bike would be sitting here in Herrmann's showcase today. But sadly, he says Rooke died in a tragic motorcycle crash.
"It was a big shock to what I call the Moto Family," Herrmann said. "Not just me, but all the other bike builders and people. We're all kind of one big family and intertwined, so it's quite the shock."
Herrmann is a motorsport artist. He says he shared his love of painting bikes with Rooke, who loved building them.
"He came from a racing background of go-karts and dirt bikes," Herrmann said. "And he brought some of that style and idea kinda into the Harley and the custom motorcycle market. so they were young and fresh ideas."
And Rooke grew his reputation by creating Rooke Customs. Known for his unique designs and advanced engineering, Herrmann says Rooke originally built a bike for movie star Brad Pitt, but he always stayed humble.
"[He was] a low-key nice, young man," said Herrmann. "[He had] a small, little daughter [and was] well liked by everybody I know."
Rooke leaves behind his longtime partner, Ashley Blair, and daughter Scarlett. He was an Arizona native and had a shop he worked out of in Phoenix.