Jeremy Cupp of LC Fabrications was one of the builders featured at Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show displayed to the world custom builds and unique artistic installations when artists mold and build machinery. See the exclusive interview with Jeremy Cupp of LC Fabrications below.
Moto Guzzi Originals: When was the first time you ever rode a motorcycle or scooter? How old were you and can you tell us a bit about the experience?
Jeremy Cupp: I was somewhere around nine years old....1979 xr80. My grandmother’s, neighbor’s, kid broke his arm riding it, and mom was selling "that awful thing." I mowed lawns all summer and by the time the corn was cut leaving the fields open for dirt biking....that baby was mine!
Moto Guzzi Originals: When did you design your first motorcycle? How did you customize it?
Jeremy Cupp: I designed my first motorcycle in 2005. I wanted a Harley Davidson (for whatever ridiculous reason) but couldn't afford one. I was already working as a fabricator, so I bought a used up engine and went to work, basically a low, drop seat rigid bobber thing....man I thought that bike was cool, although looking back I’m not sure why!
Moto Guzzi Originals: What’s your favorite motorcycle that you've ever designed and built? Tell us about the project.
Jeremy Cupp: Panster, hands down. It was only my second build, but my first attempt at really stretching my skill set. It started when I found a NOS pair of Ron Trock shovster cylinders and after learning a bit about the history behind them decided that a panster was in order (because shovsters had been done before). I even got to talk shop with Ron Himself just before his passing.
Moto Guzzi Originals: Can you lead us through your process of building bikes?
Jeremy Cupp: I usually start with an interesting engine, or concept of an engine, and try to build a suitable bike to carry it. I like weird overly mechanical things, stuff that hasn't been done before. Generally some sort of concept or vision of the general style of the bike will work its way into my thoughts, after which I’ll do a rough mock-up of engine, wheels, and neck tube on the table and move everything around until it looks good a work geometrically. I’ve found that you can't really force and idea, no matter how great you thought it was, to work on a particular bike. You really have to be open and let the bike show you what it wants to be.
Moto Guzzi Originals: What’s your favorite part of customizing motorcycles?
Jeremy Cupp: The day when you tighten the last bolt and add all the fluids...you can literally feel the love of your labor well up in you as you look at the last few months’ worth of ideas, emotions, triumphs(no pun) and tragedies materialized right in front of you. I think you can see the man in every bike, even get a general feel for his demeanor, location, influences etc.
Moto Guzzi Originals: What part of the motorcycle fascinates you most and inspires your creativity?
Jeremy Cupp: Back to the engine of course...just a bunch of parts, nothing so complicated about any one of them, but with some sort of magic happening in there.
Moto Guzzi Originals: Are there any odd design ideas you've been dying to try, but haven’t had a chance to?
Jeremy Cupp: Ha....yes plenty. I suppose the most recent weird thing that’s still in the thought stage is a square-four RD350. An RD700!
Moto Guzzi Originals: Where is your favorite place to ride in the world?
Jeremy Cupp: Hands down Blue ridge mountains...through this crazy motorcycle thing I've been blessed with a lot of opportunities to travel, and although there are some nice places out there, I’m always ready to come back home.
Moto Guzzi Originals: If you were not a motorcycle builder, what would you do with all of your extra time and money?
Jeremy Cupp: Honestly, probably build trucks, or hot rods, furniture.....as long as it’s made of metal. I seem to have a need to just dig a big hole and throw all of my earnings into it. But then at the end of the day.....if we work so hard to get money, to buy.....I don’t know, motorcycles......why do you need any money when you can make it yourself?
Moto Guzzi Originals: What’s the dumbest thing you've ever done to, or on, a motorcycle?
Jeremy Cupp: Probably taking it apart in the first place!