Daytona Rocket Ship


During Daytona Bike Week I observed the return of the very radical custom bikes. And last weekend Custom Chrome Europe Dealer Show in Germany also featured a large number of very high tech bikes. No, it’s not the end of the chopper/bobber/vintage trend, but more a fusion of many styles. For example, it’s not rare to see radical bikes with perimeter discs and skinny rear tires, and new retro bikes slowing with a 360-brake. Why not? Want to create your very own style? Simple: mix several of them. Anyway, I digress. This post to introduce you to one very radical custom bike that the public and show judges liked very much all along Daytona Bike week. Joe Palermo from World Class Customs, builds very few bikes, but always push them to the extreme custom treatment. One sold finance his wildest dreams for the next one, and each of them can keep him busy for a full year.



The new one called Rocket Ship got started during Daytona Bike Week 08. Like many, Joe Palermo got fed up with the sea of bikes featuring a 250 mm and beyond rear rubber. So, he knew that his next sled would roll on 21” wheels. Then, he got inspiration from a BMX bike and imagined his next show winner as a large scale version, with no apparent gas and oil tanks. Hence this big arched double rail frame where gas circulate via another reservoir placed under the seat (total 3.5 gallon) ad moved through an electric pump. Oil is fed to the 120” Merch Engine via the down tubes of the frame. Joe hand made his complete frame with 42-degree rake and minus 2” in the front tubes, swingarm, transmission brake equipped with a JayBrake caliper, exhaust with left side exit, twin S&S G carburetor intakes, Jockey shift, hralight & taillight, custom hard plumbing, etc. Only the front end is stock/modified Harley Springer. Wow…said the judges who gave him some gold “dust catchers” wherever he showed his Rocket Ship. 1st place overall in Boardwalk Show. 2nd place over 1000 cc radical in Rat’s Hole Show. 1st place American Custom in Orlando Ride-In Show. 1st place radical in Deland Bike Rally.  For a true one off, contact Joe Palermo, World Class Customs, in Edgewater, Florida. Tel: 386-690-8488.




21 Responses to “Daytona Rocket Ship”

  1. 1 alan Apr 6th, 2009 at 8:06 am


  2. 2 Jason Apr 6th, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I like it very much. A lot f trick stuff.

  3. 3 Bremmer Apr 6th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Evidently it’s a show beast. But one can admire the fabrication and the details.

  4. 4 Ruth Apr 6th, 2009 at 8:13 am

    It should be called Clockwork Orange! Wild.

  5. 5 biker bob Apr 6th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Lot of hard work went into building this one. I like the mechanics of the whole bike.

  6. 6 jt Apr 6th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    The frame on this bike looks a lot like the frame that Rick Fairless built for the S&S 50th anniversary. I saw it in Lacrosse and also on his web site. I think he calls her PAM. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  7. 7 Steve Carr Apr 6th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I would like to say I have seen this bike in person at the 2009 Florida Invitational Bike Build Off, and was blown away by the amount of craftsmanship that went into this bike. These pictures do not show the details in this bike. I stood there for at least 1/2 hour with Jeff Kessel of Independent Cycle East – “I.C.E.” just trying to figure things out on this bike. Its an awsome display of where a bike can go, and I liked it for that reason.

    Please guys, for once, Unless you have seen this bike in person, you have not a clue of what its all about, and I for one am really tired of seeing negative comments about bikes from people that cant put a model car together on here.

    The bike is worthy of all its awards and I admire Mr. Joe Palermo. He had another bike there that was just as cool.

    Steve Carr

    Lightning Rod Motorcycles

  8. 8 Dave Blevins Apr 6th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Pretty cool.

  9. 9 badssrscamaro Apr 6th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve seen this bike in person, and still can’t believe the attention to detail, or the imagination that it took to build this ground up! There are a lot of builders out there bolting machines together. I think it is true artistry to fabricate and assemble something that came from an idea in your head.

  10. 10 Gary Delmar Apr 6th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Checked it out at the Boardwalk show in Daytona. Amazing details. It has to be seen from close to appreciate it.

  11. 11 Toddler Apr 6th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    This guy rides trhis bike. I saw him cruising down main street after the boadwalk show. This bike is kick ass!! Glad to see someone did somthing different for a change. Well Done!!!

  12. 12 MD Racer Apr 6th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I think Joe Palermo’s work is amazing. He always makes fabulous bikes that just blow me away. His creativity is unmatched. A real artist.

  13. 13 Kate Palermo Apr 6th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    This Bike is Amazing. jt and alan don’t hate just because you arn’t as cool or crafty.
    I am so proud of you and I love you!

  14. 14 Psycho Drew Apr 7th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    wierd ,but cool

  15. 15 Rodent Apr 7th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    a great exercise in design, concept and imagination, a viable motorcycle? no!

  16. 16 bigalyts Apr 7th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I think It is Pure Talent ! A Bike Built with this must Talent will surely put Edgewater Fl. on the Map, that’s for sure! What are the Real World Bikes that this Dood has Built. The Magic is to Build Bikes that Bikers will Ride and can be ridden. Yea, sure this Bike can probably be Riden for and around the Convention Center. What can be Built and Riden for $20 Grand is where this Market is at? A Bike like this will intraduce this Dood to the Bike Buying Public and We will watch to see where He goes from here.

  17. 17 john green Apr 7th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Just got word that this bike is going to be at the New Orleans Easyriders Bike Show.
    We are all eager to take a close look.

  18. 18 YOUDAMAN Apr 7th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    After reading everyones comments and criticism about this bike I thought I would take a moment to address the idiots that criticize a guy whom they know nothing about or anything that he has built. First of all he has built over 30 custom one-off bikes. To him this is a hobby not a business. Infact, if I know Joe he is probably in his shed right now thinking up his next bike that will blow this one out of the water. I know that for a fact because I own the bike that he built before this one. It is KICKASS!!! But I have to say he’s one up on me now. All his bikes are rideable so the guy that said ” it could probably be riden around the convention center” your wrong pal. When you get this level you actually have to be a skilled rider to handle a bike like this. This is no sportster. So I would keep your comments to yourself because if your making negative comments about this bike you don’t belong on this site. I don’t think Cyril Huze would have featured it on his site or EasyRider wouldn’t have it at there show if they didn’t think it was worthy. The funny thing is that Joe is just a hard working guy that does this for hobby. If anyone of you saw where he built this piece of art your jaw would fall to the floor. It’s a 15X20 garage. Everything on this bike has been made by hand with very little to no money invested. Joe, all I have to say is well done and don’t let these negative comments get you down. You da Man !!!!

  19. 19 THUG CUSTOM CYCLES Apr 8th, 2009 at 7:52 am


  20. 20 richard Apr 9th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Amazing bike. This might have a very tricky stuff.

  21. 21 G-MAN Oct 7th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Once again no oe can quite keep up with the Master Builder, First the SUB ZERO then the DAYTONA ROCKET SHIP. You are not only one of the premier bike builders but you have an artists eye. I really think that if DA VINCI was to have invisioned a bike thats what he would have seen, drafted and imortilized .. But it was another Italian. GREAT BUILD JOE.

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