DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A 1976 customized Harley-Davidson took top honors last weekend as the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike U.S. Championships crowned its national champion during ceremonies in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Jeremy Cupp of LC Fabrications, Mount Crawford, Va., was named the 2012 Grand National Champion and winner of the Freestyle Class, beating a field of 19 competitors coast-to-coast. “I am incredibly humbled to receive this award, and am still in shock that I actually won the Grand National Championship,” he said. “The entire field of competitors brought amazing motorcycles down to Daytona, and each one was world-class in its own right.”
Steve Iacona, of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Iacona Custom Cycle, took first place in the Modified Harley category with a 1996 Harley XL. Mark Webster of MW Performance in Flower Mound, Texas, won in the Retro Mod category with a 1973 Yamaha TX 650 creation; and Mike Beland of A1 Cycles in West Palm Beach, Fla., won the Performance Custom category with a modified 2012 A1 Street Racer.
As the national champion, Cupp also wins a $6,000 cash prize and an invitation to the World Championship this summer in Sturgis. His 1976 Harley XL, named “Old Black,” has an 883cc Harley motor modified with two rear heads (reversed), is back-halfed and features dual Amal carburetors. The most unique feature of the bike is its chassis. “Truly separating itself from the rest of the custom builders along the tour, the Hillclimber chassis gave the motorcycle an aggressive appearance with dual jackshafted drive chains mounted on the rear tire,” said a spokesperson for the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows, which hosted the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Competition at its 12 nationwide stops.
Cupp took first place at the show in Charlotte, S.C., to earn a spot at the Daytona championships. The freestyle category was sponsored by Street Chopper.
In the Modified Harley category, sponsored by Hotbike, Iacona’s 1200cc Harley sports a hand-formed sheet metal chassis with a traditional bobber style and hardtail modification. “Challenger,” as the bike is named, features Buell heads, dual 30mm Mikuni carbs and a unique paint scheme by Hub Grafix. Iacona, who came to Daytona after winning first place at the New York show, wins a $4,000 cash prize and a new Screamin’ Eagle motor worth about $7,000; he also receives an invitation to the world championships in Sturgis.