American Chopper has been on television since 2003 and is one of the most popular motorcycling shows around. The series focuses on Paul Teutul Sr (known as Senior), his son Paul Teutul Jr (known as Paulie or Junior), and their motorcycling brand and company, Orange County Choppers.
The company, which is located in Orange County, New York, was founded in 1999 by Paul Senior and focuses mainly on the restorations and customizations of US-built choppers. The show is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, the work differences between father and son is a highlight and has provided viewers with some wonderful creations. However, this hasn't always been a good thing. For instance, the pair has extremely different creative styles and opinions on what is good and what is bad, which has sadly caused quite a stir over the years.
In fact, in 2008 the pair got into a huge argument which eventually led to Paul Junior's termination. Secondly, the show has produced some great work, with the Chopper style bike one of the most infamous designs in motorcycling history. Thankfully, the majority of designs that have featured on American Chopper have been respectful, to say the least, but alas, there are always a few that miss the boat with regards to style. Here are 10 amazing bikes from American Chopper and 10 that didn't quite hit the mark.
20 Lame: The Donald
In 2012, a certain blonde-haired businessman—and now one of the most powerful men in the world—appeared on American Chopper: Senior vs Junior. As expected, The Donald asked for something outrageous as well as expensive, with Paul Senior and Paul Junior somewhat managing to deliver. That's right, the final product was ridiculous, vain, and incredibly over-the-top, much like the person who demanded it. I mean, what would you expect from a man with a gold elevator and toilet? To make matters worse, the chopper had gold handlebars, gold wheels, and a large "T" on the pedal, just in case anybody forgot who it belonged to.
19 Lame: B-2 Bike
The guys at American Chopper often like to bite off more than they can chew, and often take on larger than life projects. In 2009, Orange County Choppers decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the B-2 stealth bomber plane, a plane which first lifted off the ground in 1989. The Chopper was given the name, "The Spirit of Innovation" with the date of its first flight written on the tail of the bike. Furthermore, the motorcycles gas tank was inspired by the B-2's cockpit, as well as the wheels. However, although this sounds great, the end result wasn't, with the overall project seeming rather underwhelming.
18 Lame: The Davis Love III
American Chopper has made a number of amazing and rather interesting motorcycles over the last few years and never fails to surprise their fans. In season two, the team was given an assignment that was somewhat a little boring, as well as dull. That's right, the brief was golf-oriented and included the most famous man in golf, Davis Love III. No? Don't worry, Paul Senior and Paul Junior had no idea either and were dumbstruck with what to do with the motorcycle. In the end, the motorcycle was a disaster, with father and son seemingly unimpressed with the assignment and the final result.
17 Lame: The NHL
For some reason, the guys at Orange County Choppers love to incorporate their love of sports with their love of bikes. Sadly, the combination doesn't quite work and instead looks extremely embarrassing, or worse, tacky. The NHL bike was no exception and has gone down in history as one of the worst bikes to have come out of American Chopper. Furthermore, the bike was the cause of one of the worst rows ever on the show, with the argument even turning into a meme. Sadly, as a result of the arguments, the motorcycle suffered. Yes, the NHL motorcycle was a failure.
16 Lame: The Abu Dhabi Bike
In season six, the guys at American Chopper were asked to build a bike that had been inspired by the Abu Dhabi police force. Yes, seriously. The team did their best with the assignment but didn't really manage to pull through. That's right, the chopper was painted in a bright red that imitated the color of the real-life Abu Dhabi police force. However, although it might have looked glamorous, the idea just didn't work and instead ended up looking rather cheap. Furthermore, it was pretty clear that Paul Senior and Paul Junior were unimpressed with their brief, with the final result showing a lack of creativity or imagination.
15 Lame: Statue Of Liberty Bike
Over the years, American Chopper has made some beauties with regards to their motorcycles. However, they also sometimes miss the mark with their designs. The famous Liberty Bike was one of such failures, with its all copper appearance somewhat of a disappointment. The motorcycle was originally commissioned by the Gold Leaf Corporation, with the bike created to celebrate the 2011 celebration of Lady Liberty's 125th Anniversary. Much like the real Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bike was formed with copper and iron as well as many other features from the iconic tourist attraction. Sadly, it just didn't take off, with the end product deemed more of a failure.
14 Lame: NY Yankees Bike
Sports-themed motorcycles are not OK. Think about it. Firstly, only a select number of people are going to like them, and secondly, they're as tacky as anything. However, those at American Chopper didn't seem to care and decided to create an American Chopper Yankees bike. That's right, the bike was created in season two and came from the mind of Paul Junior, whose mother was a huge Yankees fan. Not only was the bike dedicated to a baseball team but it was also shaped like a huge baseball. Yes, it really was that silly. Nevertheless, despite looking ridiculous, the bike proved popular with viewers.
13 Lame: Australia Bike
For some reason, nobody really seems to know a lot about Australia—even Australians—with the country too far away for anybody to care. In a nice way, of course. Australia seems to get by rather well without the interruption of the rest of the world, and so it should. Sadly, American Chopper wanted to let the world know what they thought about Australia and created a bike dedicated to their knowledge of the subject. That's right, the guys at Orange County Choppers decided to include every single stereotype possible, from a shark fin exhaust to boomerangs on the chopper's wheels. And if that wasn't enough, the bike was finished with a big Aussie flag along with the famed Harbour Bridge.
12 Lame: The Ferrari
You would think that combining one of the world's greatest cars with one of the world's greatest motorcycles would turn out great. Wrong. Yes, the Ferrari American Chopper was more of an embarrassment than a modern marvel. So what went wrong? It seemed the father and son duo took on more than they could handle and attempted a lot more than they could actually achieve. Furthermore, the company that hired them to do the job went bust halfway through the project, leaving Paul Senior and Paul Junior to mop up the mess. As a result, the bike ended up costing the family much more than they anticipated with the bike also a failure.
11 Lame: QUBX Bike
In 2012, Matt McGee, the founder of the Cleveland-based company, Virtrex Systems, asked Paul Junior to design and create a motorcycle that represented his company. The company, which dabbles in QUBX technology, an extremely fast and innovative Internet application, wanted the bike to imitate this particular feature. Although the brief was rather over the top, Paul Junior obliged and designed and created the bike with inspiration from the QUBX logo. However, due to a lack of imagination, not to mention a lack of material, the bike ended up coming across a little boring, despite the hefty price tag of $700,000.
10 Success: World Of Warcraft Horde Bike
Azeroth Choppers was a weekly web series that aired in 2014. The show featured Paul Junior and his company, Paul Jr. Designs, that he set up after falling out with his father, Paul Senior. Much like American Choppers, the show focused on building motorcycles. However, this time, the focus was on the long-running game, World of Warcraft. Two teams were challenged with building bikes that had to reflect two factions of World of WarCraft, with "Team Horde" coming out on top with the winning design. Paul Junior later discussed his joy at receiving the challenge, especially with regards to the freedom given by the game's designers, Blizzard, stating, "When it comes right down to it, for them to let that go and let me take control and trust me, it's unheard of; nobody does that."
9 Success: The Geico
Paul Senior and Paul Junior were famed for their constant disagreements and blazing rows, therefore it was only a matter of time before one of them bailed to start their own shop. Paul Junior decided enough was enough and quit Orange County Choppers to set up his own company, Paul Junior Designs, otherwise known as PJD. The plan worked, and Paul Junior began creating some exceptional masterpieces. The Geico was one of them and was the first bike to cement Paul Junior as a legitimate artist. The bike, which was inspired by the Geico insurance company, included a curling tail and an eye-catching green paint job like its gecko spokes-creature.
8 Success: Fire Bike
The Fire Bike occurred early on in the show's production, airing in Season One, Episodes 5, 6, and 7. The bike had a particular emotional element attached to it, due to the reason for which it was made. That's right, the Fire Bike had input from nearly everybody at Orange Country Choppers, with the bike a tribute to the heroic firefighters who served during and after the 9/11 attacks in NYC. Paul Senior later stated, "it's not just an Orange County Chopper, it's a New York City Chopper." The bike is often regarded as one of the best to have come out of the company and is also one of the most sentimental.
7 Success: The Eragon
In Season 4, Episode 19, the team attempted to build a dragon-themed Eragon chopper, which actually ended rather well. Yes, you read that correctly. The Eragon chopper was based on the 2006 movie of the same name, which starred a number of high-profile celebrities. Just like the movie, the bike was inspired by dragons, with the handlebars and saddle designed to look like the body of a dragon. Furthermore, just to add that little bit of extra detail, the whole thing was painted an eye-catching electric blue, which although made the bike look extra cool, it didn't really look like a dragon. Oh well, it's still a magnificent bike.
6 Success: Bebop Bike
The Bebop motorcycle has been heavily criticized over the years for being one of the worst bikes to have come out of the American Chopper franchise. For instance, the bike has been blasted as ugly, ridiculous and showcasing a clash of styles. Fans often dislike the motorcycle for its pointy edges and strange positioning of certain things such as the exhaust under the tank and the spikes that cover the bike. However, although most people might hate the design, there is no denying how unique it is. Think about it? What kind of bike has spikes cemented on the wheels? What kind of bike is covered in pointy blades? None! And that's the point.
5 Success: The Cadillac
Paul Senior and Paul Junior have a rocky relationship, to say the least, so much so that the pair split and created their own show, Senior vs Junior. The show produced a number of spectacular choppers, from classics to futuristic masterpieces. However, it was the Cadillac that generated the most interest, with the bike branded as one of the best to have come from the mind of Paul Junior. The brief was to create a bike inspired by the classic car, the Cadillac. Paul Junior set to work and delivered one of the classiest motorbikes on the planet. The Cadillac was later auctioned off for charity.
4 Success: Gears Of War Bike
The Gears of War bike was created to celebrate the launch of the computer game, Gears of War 3, a popular game set in an alien-infested, post-apocalyptic, space-wasteland. Gears of War 3 was to be launched at the hugely popular Comic-Con International in San Diego, therefore the team at Orange County Choppers set to work to produce one of the most spectacular motorcycles that they had ever created. The bike was unconventional, to say the least, and ended up being a three-wheeled trike rather than a conventional two-wheeled chopper. However, the game's designers were more than impressed, and the launch was an immediate success with gamers all over the world.
3 Success: The Anti-Venom
The Anti-Venom already wins for having one of the coolest names. That's right, this chopper is one of the coolest things to have come out of American Chopper, and is also famed for tearing Paul Senior and Paul Junior apart. The two already had a rocky relationship on the show and were often at other's throats. Soon enough, the duo went their separate ways, with Paul Junior going on to set up his own show. The Anti-Venom was the first thing to come out of the show, hilariously named Senior vs Junior, with Junior going on to wow audiences worldwide with his creation.
2 Success: Black Widow Bike
The first ever episode of American Choppers had to be something special, with the team at Orange County Choppers certainly passing the test. That's right, Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2, saw Paul Junior create one of his most beautiful machines, the Black Widow. The Black Widow was central to the first two episodes and is still spoken about today. In fact, it was the Black Widow that introduced audiences to Paul Junior's strange obsession with spiders and spiderwebs, a theme that would continue throughout the series. Overall, the bike is a beauty, with its red and white finish and web design a creative marvel.
1 Success: The Christopher Reeve
Although most of the press generated from American Chopper trended towards the blazing rows between father and son, the bikes still managed to get a little attention. For instance, the Christopher Reeve motorcycle was built for those with spinal injuries. That's right, the bike had an area in which a wheelchair could be fitted safely and soundly in the back. Paul Senior built the bike for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, a foundation which had been set up by the legendary actor in 1982. The idea was to provide support to those with spinal injuries but who also enjoyed riding.
Sources: The Low-Down, IMDb, and Ride Apart.