Custom Sportster Challenge

A second place in the Modified Harley Class in the 2011 AMD World Championship by a new kid on the (Brooklyn) block named Steve Iacona from deserves a feature in my website. An interesting approach to bike building with both Board Tracker and Cafe Rafe Racer influences converging to create a cool custom Sportster that the younger crowd would love to ride.

Steve is too young in the business to afford any fancy CNC machine. Still, with basic tools he fabricates his own parts and want as many of them on his creations. His catalog of parts is in his head, not on paper or online, and a close look at “Challenger” demonstrates that the kid has quite an imagination and the drive to make things happen, the 2 main qualities of any good custom builder.  

After converting the original 1996 Sportster frame to hardball and rebuilding the stock engine with Buell heads and cylinders, then fitting it with dual 30mm Mikuni carburetors, 800 hours of intensive work produced many interesting features. Among them: Girder style front end but with suspension. hand formed fuel tank with knee cutouts, rear fender tail section, oil tank, exhaust pipes and tips, handle bars and mounts, rear peg sets, headlight number plate, seat suspension, taillight, battery box, steering damper mounts, motor mount. Other details include: Ignition coils located near battery box along with all electrical connections. Oil cooler mounted behind front number plate. Hand formed stainless steel brake and oil lines, all stainless steel hardware, etc.(Photos copyright courtesy )

Tech Sheet. Bike Name: Challenger. Builder: Steven Iacona. Year/Model: 1996 XL. Engine: HD 1200cc. Frame: HD Sportster converted hardtail. Rake: Stock, Stretch: 0, Trail: 4.5″. Wheels: Front, Invader 21×3.50, Rear, Invader 18×5.5. Tires: Front Metzeler 120/70/21, Rear, Metzeler 200/50/18. Brakes: Front, ISR 250mm caliper. Rear ISR 250mm caliper. Painter Nub Grafix.

28 Responses to “Custom Sportster Challenge”

  1. 1 Dec 26th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Steve’s bike is drop dead gorgeous in real life. Super nice bike and a gentleman.

  2. 2 GetReal Dec 26th, 2011 at 8:45 am

    This is one beautiful machine. Greta build Steven.

  3. 3 Dec 26th, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Nice job, very clean and innovative!

    Congrats Steven !!

  4. 4 Dec 26th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    This is a fine example of the type of bike that can be built using the Sportster/Buell platform. Just pure American craftsmanship displayed here.

    Great Job!

    We love to use the Sportster/Buell based customs for a few reasons, first and most important in todays motorcycle building is price. Second is the sound of the engine, it is a different sound than a Big Twin, and third is performance, these bikes are simply fun to ride.

    Steve Carr

    Lightning Rod Motorcycles

  5. 5 Dec 26th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Steve, never stop dreaming up the impossible. Your attention to detail is inspirational, can’t wait to see the next build!

  6. 6 Boyd Motor Co Dec 26th, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I had the pleasure of seeing this bike first hand in las vegas, and was able to spend some time with steve.. nice bike for sure. if any of you have the chance to talk with steve, do it! he is a great guy.

  7. 7 Dec 26th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    great bike, great guy – shot the machine this fall – looks as good in person as in pictures

  8. 8 Larry R Dec 26th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    You are now recognized Steve as a master. Beautiful bike. Thanks Cyril for bringing him to my attention. Love and respect…..Larry R

  9. 9 hk Dec 26th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    very nice ,one of those bikes you can stare at and keep finding details .

  10. 10 Floyd Cantrell Dec 26th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    My 1st HD was a ’69 XLH bought new while in the service. Really a great bike that took me many mile across the county. In those days you bought a dresser or a hot rod. I bought the hot rod and never regretted it. Steve has really done an outstanding job with this bike and it is something he can be very proud of. Clean, original and functional. Can’t ask for anymore. Thanks Steve!


  11. 11 Dec 26th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    i met steve at AMD, kind of odd since he lives pretty close to me and gotta say This bike is nothing short of incredible everything on the bike is neat and clean but out there for every one to see. Congrats to a great guy on a killer bike

  12. 12 Dec 26th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Lovely bike and nice to see that the world of Cafe continues to have a place on the CHB.

    Steve Carr hit all the right points. It is still possible to get into customs without breaking the
    bike and have a stellar ride to boot.

    Looking forward to seeing what going on in 2012 on CHB.

  13. 13 Dec 26th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Great job Steve! Saw the bike for the first time at AMD. Loved it. The guy is a class act.

  14. 14 Dec 26th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    The shape of the tank would go good with a Shovel engine, too.

  15. 15 Dec 26th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Iam honored to be on your blog thank you for the great words from you
    And everyone who posted a comment. I met many geat and talented people this year and made many new friends along the way. Happy holidays

  16. 16 Ed Dec 26th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Super job on a great build. Attention to details are incredible.

  17. 17 Dec 26th, 2011 at 7:07 pm


  18. 18 Dec 27th, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Great work Steve. Congrats on a great build and 2nd place at the AMD.


  19. 19 Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Bad Ass hot rod.

  20. 20 Heavy Metal Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:12 am

    I would love to see it in person. You just keep seing detail after detail. Nice work.

  21. 21 Dec 27th, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Great work, well balance and harmonious.
    ..well done Steve!

  22. 22 rags Dec 27th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    great build steve

  23. 23 Dec 27th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    WOW!! I knew this was going to be a nice bike when I saw the mock up pics….Congrats to Steve for a job well done!!

  24. 24 Dale Dec 27th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Wonderful craftsmanship. Kudos.

  25. 25 Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Great Bike, perfect details and original look, congrats.

  26. 26 Dec 27th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Steve, you need to explain the name of the bike to the masses! You are one of the best out there and one of the most humble. I’m so proud to have you as my friend. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  27. 27 Dec 30th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Clean, clean, clean. Great job and I’ll bet its as fun to ride as look at. Have you taken it to the track to see how it runs full on?

  28. 28 barney Dec 30th, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Nice build, nice colour, looks similar to Triumph’s famous Amaranth Red. I love Sporties.

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