What’s better: speeding through the streets, zooming by passersby and other vehicles at speeds so fast, your hair is always slicked back (even though you’ve got a helmet on!) … or rather, cruising down the road at a comfortable pace, taking all the sights in as you pass on by? The question is one for the ages and one that many motor heads argue over time and time again. The truth is, there are valid points to both arguments, and it’s all vehicles we can talk about here. An example of this is… a Ferrari against a 1930s Era souped up Hot Rod. Each of these options would be favoured by someone out there. But for the sake of this article, we’ve decided to take a look at the good old chopper and we’ve compared it to speed bikes in general.
The chopper has come to be popular once again and it was mostly because of the resurgence it enjoyed in the mainstream at the turn of the century at the hands of American Chopper on Discovery. That show alone, revived interest in the chopper, and of course other shows followed in their footsteps, and nowadays, everyone knows how to build a chopper in their home garage it seems—at least gear heads do (both recreational and professional).
The chopper can be a very gorgeous piece of vehicular machinery and it’s quite impressive when well-built. Some designs are absolutely out of this world, as you will see in this article.
17 PJD Geico Bike
Who can forget those Geico commercials with that adorable animated Geico lizard talking about insurance? They were good for a laugh, but the company rose to prominence and is now considered one of the biggest insurance company of all time. Paul Teutul Jr., originally from OCC, separated from his father--Sr.--a few years back and started his own Chopper shop and company and aptly named it Paul Jr. Designs.
He had gained quite a bit of notoriety and respect for the designs he contributed to OCC, so starting his own company just made sense when he and his dad had a falling out.
Well, big name clients started coming out of the woodwork, and Geico was one of them.
16 PJD Anti-Venom Bike
Here is yet another of Paul Jr.'s excellent designs, and one he was able to work on when he was on his own. Paul Jr. is exceptional when it comes to detail. He also has a lot of creativity on his side and when it comes to fabricating choppers, creativity is definitely an asset. And it isn't just his designs that are awesome--or I should say aesthetic designs. Because mechanically, his bikes are also superior to most products out there. In the past he and his father have had some great mechanics working for them--mechanics that have gained a little notoriety of their own... like Vinnie DiMartino, Rick Petko and Cody Connelly. They were all productive members of the team and two out of the three initially followed Jr. when he started PJD.
15 A Chopper With A V8
That's not a typo, and no, that photo is not doctored. Of that we can assure you, friends. This chopper here has a V8 engine and that is just absolutely crazy when it comes to choppers.
It has been done before, and time and time again.
It isn't quite the novelty it seems to be, but at the same time, by no means is it your average engine choice for a chopper. Just try and imagine the weight, and of course the sound this bad boy makes. The average speed bike is a four stroke engine, maximum. Now think about what we said before about power. This bad boy wins the power battle, hands down.
14 An Awesome Find
If you look all over the internet these days, you'll find a heck of a lot more than just one or two shops in town that specialize in making custom choppers. And while you're at it, take a look at all the ingenious ideas that a lot of these shops are coming up with. This bad boy pictured here is a mammoth, to say the least and he packs quite a punch, it seems. Just take a look at that engine housing! This bad boy must be packing quite the engine. Just imagine the sound this thing makes when cruising down that wayward road. This is a definite piece of art and not just a mechanical wonder. Now how many speed bikes can you say that about?
13 PJD 9/11 Memorial Bike
In less than two years, it will mark the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, the tragic event that marked the beautiful city of New York in the most horrible of ways and took the lives of many innocent victims. OCC has always been a company that gave back to the community, as its founder Paul Sr believes in this, and practices it with every passing day. The company was part of many charities and dedicated many of its bikes to charity. So when Paul Jr. went off into business for himself, there is no wonder that he would follow in the steps of his father and give back to the community and honour the community as often as possible. Pictured here is the beautiful bike he built in honour of Ground Zero--in New York City. Even the mayor was present to witness the unveiling.
12 The Iconic Choppers Of Easy Rider
Dennis Hopper's cult classic film, Easy Rider has become an iconic classic all its own. It inspired millions of people not only to dress and act a certain way, but it inspired them to go out and do everything in their power to get their hands on choppers of their own. Films have a tendency to do that--more so in the 70s, 80s and 90s than now.
Easy Rider was a great film to boot and a directorial departure for Dennis Hopper who'd already been in the business a while.
The story was great and the choppers featured were beautiful and powerful machines. Just watch the movie again, and take a look at the picture above ... now tell me, don't they beat a speed bike any day?
11 Other Old School 70s Era Chopper
Case in point. Look at this bad boy here. The image that the chopper represented was definitely a little more rugged, a little more brutish than your average glove-wearing, Rolls Royce Sunday driver look. That's definitely putting it mildly, but it is true. The clear message that the chopper sent out was : "be a man ... ride a chopper." Of course the sentiment was rather archaic, but it was the 70s, so we can forgive the stereotypical ignorance of the era. These days, anyone can ride and enjoy a good chopper, and you don't have to be a man's man to do so. But what we can still say about the era's choppers is that they were beautiful machines that have indeed stood the test of time.
10 OCC Dragon Bike
Every now and again, there comes a bike design that is surely meant to shatter all other bike designs. This one here was definitely one of those bikes. The style isn't for everyone, but we can say that it was in fact very innovative and it must have been a beast to fabricate as well. This is the later direction that OCC was headed in, and was a distinct departure from where they had been before, but many favoured the change. But that wasn't the sentiment all around. Rick Petko, Sr.'s long-time mechanic expressed his concerns many times--and on camera--for how the company had changed their way of doing things, favouring designs on computer first, then following them to a T during fabrication. It was a different way to do things, but what would you rather be seen on... a Kawasaki or that beast up there ... you be the judge.
9 The World Fell In Love
How could the world not have fallen in love with the chopper. It just screamed freedom. The freedom to do what you wanted to do ... ride the open rode, let your hair blow in the wind and see the sights you would never have seen otherwise.
Even people from all over the world dreamed to come to America to ride a chopper off into the sunset.
The likes of Bruce Lee dreamed of coming to America to ride on one of them because he had seen it featured in so many movies, the idea of the chopper became the idea of freedom, and this, more than anything else, became an ideal worth trying to achieve.
8 Jesse James El Diablo 2
Say what you will about Jesse James' attitude, but the man can build a decent chopper. He has quite the reputation for not being the nicest of dudes and for good reason, that is. At West Coast Choppers, he has built some beasts in his day ... case in point, the one pictured here. It has a classic chopper look, but is taken over the top with that beautiful custom powder coated paint. The chrome speaks for itself and the engine in plain sight speaks volumes for the power beneath the seat. Now you can't get that with a speed bike, now can you? I didn't think so.
7 Goldberg's West Coast Chopper
Even WWE Superstar Bill Goldberg wanted a chopper all for himself. He rose to fame in WCW (now defunct) as Goldberg, the towering, bald-headed monster who had a record-breaking undefeated streak. He had previously played football in Atlanta and was discovered at a gym by none other than another wrestler and chopper aficionado, Sting. In 2003, he made it to WWE and the rest is definitely history. He is definitely a legend in the sport and as it turns out, is quite the aficionado of cars and choppers. He put an order in to West Coast Choppers, and for him, Jesse James was more than willing to oblige.
6 Kid Rock's El Diablo 1: West Coast Choppers
In the late portion of the last millennium and the early portion of this one, Kid Rock rose to fame with a few hard rock hits after failing at the rap and hip hop medium he'd tried his hand at earlier. With that newfound hard rock mentality came an image ... an image that he had to uphold. And uphold it he does, every day, trying to embody the rock star he so desperately tries to be.
That said, nothing says rock star more than a beast when cruising through the streets.
He commissioned more than one bike from West Coast Choppers, but this one is the most famous, or infamous, we're not sure. The bike is a beauty, and would look great in anyone's collection.
5 Sick Random Designs
Here's another beautiful piece. If it sounds like we're writing about artwork, as opposed to pieces of machinery, please excuse us. But for us and many of our readers, a great piece of machinery is artwork and it should be treated as such. If bodybuilding is considered artwork, and can be compared to the work of a sculptor, then the molding of metals, and shaping of them as well to achieve desired designs should no doubt be considered an art form as well. And not to mention the custom paint jobs thrown onto those bodies. We think Rodin would have been proud looking at some of these--that's for sure.
4 Sick Random Designs (2)
There really isn't a better term for this one here than "Beast From Hell!" Do you like the name? We hope so, as we gave it that name ourselves. Again, this here was a photograph we stumbled across, and as is the case with so many of these photos, it's unclear whose collection it belongs to, nor who designed it. But whomever was responsible for this monstrosity, we thank you for unleashing it onto the world and humanity. The world is a better place with such a piece of machinery around to break the sound barrier and shock the world until their collective eyes bug out of their heads.
3 Sick Random Design (3)
Every inch of this bike screams: "find me, buy me and ride me!" Any aficionado of choppers would love the chance to ride this sort of bike and for even just fifteen minutes. It's nowhere near enough time to enjoy it, but at least it would sate the need just a tad. The truth is, not many enthusiasts get to ride sick choppers like this one and others you've read about here, but scrolling through images on the internet also does the trick bit. I know I'm a lot happier after looking at so many bikes and so many sick designs. It was cathartic in a way and we hope it does the same for you all our precious readers.
2 Out Of This World Designs
And here, just for you is a truly out of this world design. Early bike builders may have had such designs in their heads, only they never would have believed that such designs would have been possible back when Nixon was president.
But alas, choppers like this are actually the norm nowadays and we only have technological advancement to thank for that.
Now as you drool over this bike, don't tell me that if it were side by side with a Honda speed bike, and you were given the keys to both, you wouldn't choose this bad boy. Don't lie... you'll only be hurting yourself.
1 OCC Bikes: All Top Of The Line
As I mentioned earlier, American Chopper definitely re-introduced the world to the good old chopper in general. And when we say that, we say in the main stream of course. They got some pop culture attention for the chopper, and soon, the whole world was buying, wanting choppers for themselves. Even Hollywood celebrities were putting in orders, and Orange County Choppers, the company featured on American Chopper, did their best to fabricate and fill out all their orders. The fabrications they were able to create were out of this world and the designs were definitely original. The bikes in this article are indeed awesome, like the one above by OCC. Read on and check out some more of their great choppers.
Sources: Pinterest.com, Yandex.ru, TheMotorHood.com