LC Fabrications makes their 'Vintage' mark

If you ever happen to Virginia in the east coast of U.S, make sure you ask about directions to a certain LC Fabrications. Virginia may have given birth to 8 U.S presidents, the thing is it also gave birth to a certain Jeremy Cupp. Jeremy Cupp who? Well, that is a question which will soon become obsolete. Because Jemey has a passion, a passion for classics and he turns his passion into works of art through brilliant craftsmanship. And to make it a habit, Jeremy opened shop in the hills of Virginia, LC Fabrications, a shop which customizes classic bike inspired by the time of those times gone by when metal was king and plastics were still align in motorcycling world. Jeremy tries (and succeeds) in reincarnating the history and traditions of the past. Brilliant work as evident from the pictures and that is not saying much. It just seems there is something extra in the customization which will demand you to keep looking at it for some more time than you erstwhile will spend in customized bikes. There are lots of shops into customization who does excellent jobs and are worth praising and so is Jeremy’s work, but something else tells you that he is probably a step ahead. And that is what probably Jeremy knows when he says “To us it is the sense of a job well done, not fame and fortune, that is the true reward.”
Jeremy’s shop LC Fabrications specializes in custom parts for mainly Sportsters and Triumphs, but as he says “We have the ability to put nearly anything into metal. So whether you need parts, custom fab or machine work, or you would just like to talk shop, send us an e-mail. We would be glad to hear from you”. Judging from his work, you can vouch for every word he just mentioned.
So let’s start with his bikes. As per the website, there have been 5 completed projects. The best looking bike among the 5 is most definitely the TT DELUXE. This is just so retro, very very elegant, it looks like a real piece of art which is just for visual sake, but the thing is that the TT DELUXE is very much ride able. Inspired by a scrambler that Jeremy saw on eBay, he went out e-hunting for a Triumph, preferably a modern out, in fact as new as possible. His friend helped him into a 2006 Bonne and was damn lucky to get it at only $300 although there were some engine problems, but $300! Now, some guys do have all the luck. At one point he mentions that “I decided to use this for a donor bike – something a little different from the norm, while being modern and reliable, and yet still cool.” Really couldn’t get that part, I mean he sure didn’t mean that modern bikes are not cool, but what he probably meant was that a modern bike with retro cool likes. He finally decided to go vintage with the modern engine and after some look up at early 1900 bikes, he wanted to start the design from the tank and this model is loosely based on a 1910 Triumph and then he started designing the druid style front end, the knobbies, center stand, and friction steering dampener. Once the frame was complete, he looked in detailing the bike.
He had visioned a race bike from the early 1900 and for that you see the 2-into-1 lakester pipes and drop bars. He got the inverted levers from Dave Cook. The paint and overall look is definitely Triumph inspired and those logos on the tank are copper leaf versions of the 1910s Triumph logo. All the leather work is home span. He mentions that the biggest challenge in the bike was the wiring amd must say he did an excellent job there as no wires are visible. More so the problem because he didn’t want to use the ‘fake oil tank’ to hid the wires as is normally the norm in this kind of styling. Finally he settled for the minimal basics with no horn or dimmer just the spark, charging, and lights. The TT Deluxe was placed 6th in the AMD 2009 World Championship Freestyle winner and Easyriders National VQ Award winner. To go the vintage way while retaining every bit of modernism is not easy, I mean it has to look a certain way to look vintage, but that would mean sacrificing the modern mechanics. Jeremy tried and succeeded in balancing both the generations and what finally came out was truly spell binding.

The Panster was kind of differently fascinating, I thought this was a Triumph but found that it was a HD, so that was quite interesting. The bike has kind of a wooden feel more so from the colour combination which seems deliberate. The overall styling of the bike was inspired from a picture which was hanging on the wall of his shop. The picture gave him a vision of customizing a modernized "Hot Rod" version of the bike. “I have always loved anything old, it brings to me a sense of true craftsmanship – when a man was respected for the quality of his work rather than the size of his account.” says Jeremy. His friend Tom Stevens gave him a set of cylinders from one mr. Ron Trock and that was the start of the Panster.
The engine is sourced from a 1973 Sporster with panhead custom cylinders. Jeremy got caught hold of the Ironhead engine through eBay and used the bottom of the engine. He has ready cylinders and so bored the engine to fit the cylinders.
Transmission is via a stock 4 speed gearbox and it has 21” laced wheels which runs on Avon tyres. The bike, as seen has no suspension. The fabrication, assembly, frame as well as the graphics and paint job is customized by LC Fabrications. The fork is also a Custom Springer by LC Fabrications. He himself mentions that the wheels are pretty cheap and he did that so that the perimeter brakes would be accepted. Those were then laced with Buchanan spokes. The seat funnily enough got the central place after lying in his granny’s basement. Every other thing was done in his basement with his two hands, bare and also helped. The handlebars are really fascinating and by the looks of it, feels like it will be a very relaxing ride.
His friend, Tom Stevens set up the flywheels and the main part of the engine was done. Well, it sounded a lot easier right but as Jeremy mentions he “had to do was move the head bolt pattern, plug and recut the clearance holes for the pushrods, and make new tubes to follow the push rod angles.” Not getting into more technical staff which is like speaking Greek to me, he says in the website, “Since the pans already have a steeper rocker ratio that the sporty, I was able to use stock "P" cams. I used stock 3 7/16 shovel pistons. I just had to cut the valve pocket a bit deeper. I used an S & S E carb mainly because I got a deal on it. I am a machinist by trade but cutting a $2,000 set of heads definitely caused a little sweating."
The Panster is Jeremy’s personal favorite which he says was really difficult to build but was very fruitful for the excellent ride it gives. According to the website, the Panster was the Smoke Out 8 winner, and Easyriders National Editors Choice 2009 winner.

The other bike you see is the Outcast. The Outcast, despite the name, is a bike which Jeremy build according to what he envisages on a bike. He wanted to ‘build’ a bike and not ‘bolt something together’.
For this project, he waited for a suitable donor and adequate finances and finally zeroed upon a 1989 Sportster. On this project too, Tom Stevens helped him. Jeremy’s vision was to start from scratch, you know building the frame and go up. Tom gave Jemery lessons in frame construction. He took the engine and the front end from the Sporster. For the low seat, he went with 37-degrees of rake in the neck and added 4 inches in the backbone with another inch in the downtube. He constructed the oil tank inside the gas tank, played with the engine, rear forks (which are actually sourced from small trailer) and the neck and when all was done, he finished it off by running copper tubing for oil lines to show off the mechanics of the bike. The bike turned out looking like a panhead and to go with the flow, he gave it low-slung board tracker set of handlebars. He added the headlight from a Ford Model A and interestingly even MIG found a place in the bike. The toe shifter is made from a MIG gun nozzle, and the air cleaner is made from MIG tips. The wheels are new and so are the spokes, for the paint job, he got inspired from the original Ford Model A gunmetal blue as he wanted a simple paint job and added black panels and scallops. The tank looks very classy and the bike overall resembles something of a customized hot rod and the 30s bike, you know the Hendersons and Broughs. Jeremy says, “In the end, I felt like I had stayed true to my purpose. I think the coolest part of this bike came from a lack of three things: money, experience, and the proper equipment. Only then are you forced to be creative and just try to see if it works.” Okay, he hasn’t mentioned the money part, but somehow it feels that this is going to cost a lot, at least look wise, it gives a impression of an excellent done up bike, I mean, it IS excellent but the way Jeremy puts it seems that he just went after his heart and whatever but the final product is definite drool worthy.

This is the Birmingham Bee-Liner, a project which was planned to be a simple rigid wet frame. Initially this project was started by Shane Ramey and he wanted Jeremy help on the bike. Now Shane has joined LC Fabrications. You would be pretty amazed what went into this bike. From the red Warp 9 wheels and tires from a Honda dirt bike to the headlights off a race mountain bike to a donated '73 Triumph OIF from a friend to the rear brakes from a Honda 250R, this bike has it all. The whole idea was to make a very low bike, just 3 inches off the ground but running on a 21" front wheel. Chopping off everything that seemed irrelevant to the frame, stretching the backbone by 3 inches and an in house made hard tail got Jeremy working. Jeremy also designed the very nice looking girder front end. To give the bike a lean mean hungry machine meant that the conventional tank had to go. So the wet frame oil tank became the gas tank and holds about 1.5 gallons and the gas gets to the Mikuni carb by the way of a vacuum fuel pump from a lawnmower. So much for practicality, but what a product. I don’t think this bike was ever meant to be practical, but just for sheer work done to make it look good, this definitely gets an A+. The rear axle is fixed and I guess it had to be so the chain tensioner had to be fabricated. Shane says that much of the add ons have been assembled from junk available in the garage which is a little hard to believe looking at the product. Anyway, the donor engine here is a '67 BSA A65T that was purchased from a yard sale. It uses a Mikuni 32mm carb with a Clay Cobb side draft intake manifold. Through eBay, they purchased the Joe Hunt magneto was along with the Peterbilt shift knob. And are you fascinated by the steering stabilizer that occupies the pride of places? Well, that was used from an old cold water knob that was on lying on Shane’s Grandma's basement steps! One thing I now know is that if you have a vision for detailing and has a gift of art, you can probably convert anything to anything. Not in a million years would anyone would have probably thought of using a water knob and that too in a customized bike. The paint and seat are also designed and done in house. Not surprisingly, the Bee-liner got into the record books too in the AMD 2009 World Championship where it got the 14th place in Freestyle category.

LC Fabrications 5th project, the Bonnie started out after Jeremy got a good deal on a Maryland Salvage bike and the primary intention was fix it and resale it. There was some amount of body damage and so the swing arm rear fender and seat was worked upon and of course the bike wears a new coat of paint. And then he began riding it and he did it for one year and then got tired of the bike. The thinking was to use the engine on a new project and while the ‘thinking’ was going on, his hand set to trim the bike here and there. A ‘Hinckley version’ was playing on Jeremy’s head and soon the swing arm and rear section was gone. This was a low cost project and so the aim was to use the bike parts in one way or another.
The hand controls are from a R1 and the front end came from a 2003 gixxer and to give it (probably) a non-sports look, one disc was chopped off as well as the fender mounts. The bars are cheap dirt bike steel bars and Jeremy says “I used a set of meridan triumph clamps I had under my bench.” I really wonder how much stuff this guy has in his garage. Brakes and calipers are stock, so are the pegs and foot controls and both the wheels use the stock hubs which has been powder coated black and laced them to sun rims with Buchanan spokes and Avon rubber. The rear master cylinder linkage was inspired by Fab Kevin's X-15. The 2 into 1 exhaust was fabricated and it uses a Harley muffler. Other ‘cheesy’ things include a twenty dollar seat which of course had jeremy’s daft touch and the rear fender was fashioned from an old Chevy spare tire cover. To use the maximum products from the bike itself, the tank was kept as it is. The stripped version of the wiring harness that has been originally developed for the TT Deluxe found its place here.
This bike is not really a custom bike in a true sense, it is more of a modified Triumph original and that was what Jeremy wanted to do at the first place. But you see the final product, yes, it is a Triumph and there are no surprises but get the whole picture, this bike definitely didn’t cost much, but it came out very well. This is just not passion, you must also have a flair for it. The bike doesn’t have the detailing like the other bikes, does, but this can inspire a lot of us that what a little bit of innovation could lead into. Jeremy says “It was good not to have to stress over every fine detail, just build a bike, for you to ride, keep it simple, make it yours, and have fun”.
One thing is for sure, this guy is someone you really need to watch out for. Barring the Bonnie (which I again repeat is not a customized bike) the bikes have a certain distinctive touch which maybe called the LC Fabrication touch and this touch will keep on announcing itself at the AMDs every year until it gets to the top.You can visit LC Fabrications for an in depth looks at their work and they are also into merchandize of apparels and parts.


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