BROOKLYN — Steve Iacona is no stranger to hard work. For the last three years, Steve has worked the night shift at a local Brooklyn hospital so he could spend his days working to open his very own custom motorcycle shop.
Successful in seeing his motorcycle shop dream become a reality two years ago, Iacona says he is beginning to see his hard work and sacrifices pay off. Last week, Steve returned to Brooklyn from Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Fla., with a giant trophy, an oversized check and a coveted national custom motorcycle builder title.
Iacona won the 2012 Ultimate Builder Custom Bike U.S. Championship, the largest custom motorcycle competition in the country, in the category of Modified Harley. Out of 37 finalist contestants, the judges scored Iacona’s 1996 Harley-Davidson XL high enough to earn him the $4,000 cash prize for his category, an all-new Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle motor (worth $7,000) and an invitation to the World Championships in Sturgis, S.D., this August.
“I really cannot believe this is happening,” said Iacona. “It’s humbling and there were so many excellent bike builders in Daytona Beach. For the judges to pick mine, it’s an honor.”
Steve first entered his prizewinning 1996 Harley-Davidson XL into the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows in New York in January 2012 at the Javits Center. He took first place there, which qualified him for the nationals that ended Friday, March 16, in Daytona Beach.
The father of two young children, Steve said he could not give up his full-time maintenance supervisor job at a local Brooklyn hospital to pursue opening a custom motorcycle shop for because he feared the business might not take off.
When the opening for a night-shift supervisor became available, Steve jumped on it so he could concentrate his efforts during the day on building motorcycles.
After tinkering with bikes and parts in his garage for six years, Steve opened a bona fide shop in Brooklyn and employs one person part-time, though with his newfound success, he may start searching for a few more qualified builders.