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Chopper: what defines a chopper

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53rigidrider
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:02 am
Location: Puget Sound

Chopper: what defines a chopper

#1

Post by 53rigidrider » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:40 pm

My friends go round and round about what makes a chopper.
I say, modified wheels (21" up front)
Modified fenders
Ape Hangers
Extra junk removed to a lean and mean cruisin' mochine.
He say's, a radical rake and 15" over tubes.
*When does a bike become a chopper?



Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#2

Post by Cotten » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:33 am

Take a historical perspective:

Modified fenders came with the Bobber era, predating Choppers by two decades at least, maybe more.

21" wheels weren't popular until the Northern California style caught on because of magazines in the late 70's, long after the "Chopper" name was coined..

Apes pre-dated Chops as well, as they work best with a stock front end. Damn stupid with anything else.

So I can only repeat what I heard in my youth: A Chopper had to have a chopped frame, whether it was a cut neck, added hardtail, or whatever. The rest was incidental.

53rigidrider
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:02 am
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#3

Post by 53rigidrider » Fri Oct 17, 2003 12:05 am

What I heard in my early days that a "chopper" was the act of chopping unneeded stuff off your machine.

I always was puzzled by that since the look was a raked and stretched rigid frame that had been chopped to look that way.

It's a good debate to start in a biker bar too....
Thanx! ;)

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#4

Post by Cotten » Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:16 am

The sporting aspect of removing weight and un-necessary stuff was at the heart of "bobbing".

Later, "chopping" took it a step further, and got serious with vanity and appearance, although the original competition aspect was lost totally.

Bobbers are getting popular again among the resto scene, so if you want to be an honest chopper rider, you better get out the hacksaw and torch.

haggis
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 3:35 am
Location: Maine USA

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#5

Post by haggis » Sat Oct 18, 2003 2:53 am

Chopper....hmmm!
Always thought you had to have the mandatory 1'' insert in the bottom gusset of the neck( hence the chop)
giving the 10 '' over front end.
stock front=bobber ....stretched front=chopper. Haggis.

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#6

Post by Cotten » Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:03 am

Haggis!
So which is my bike "Sugar" as pictured in the "Name that Beast" thread?
It has a stretched frame (The heads can be removed without removing the gastanks!), yet that's a stock-length WLC springer.

Don't say it: It can't be a "bopper"!

DuoDave
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:45 pm

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#7

Post by DuoDave » Sat Oct 18, 2003 3:45 pm

Cotten! Stroke that motor and it'll be "The Big Bopper!"

panster
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:07 am

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#8

Post by panster » Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:00 pm

Duo Dave .
That's the best pun/potential bike name I've heard
in ages....good lateral thinkin'.
cheers,
Jamie (London)

haggis
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 3:35 am
Location: Maine USA

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#9

Post by haggis » Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:13 am

Hi Cotten,
That's one beautiful scooter, the sugar can oil tank is a hoot!, and that paint job....what a great colour. kinda gives the bike a distinctively German third reich flavour!!
Great work Cotten......
Still ....nice frame stretch, but stock front end, so....it cant be a chopper...way too much going on on it to be called a bobber. Loved Duo Daves Big Bopper pun, but with that German feel going on how about calling it the "Uberbobber"...? Haggis

toolscum
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:21 pm

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#10

Post by toolscum » Sun Oct 19, 2003 10:17 pm

I go along with the guy who said chopping off the unnecessary stuff. BTW I'm originally from L.A. and that's what we called them in the late 60's. A chopper really had to have a rigid frame, too.

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#11

Post by Cotten » Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:48 am

Haggis!

Nevermind my Teutonic blood, I really didn't have anything Euro intended. Practicality dictated that (..wow it already sounds fascist...) that the most durable low-cost coating available be used. It turned out to be an isocyanate urethane watertower coating from a company calle Tnemec.

**If ANYONE has a lead on a supply of Poly-Ura-Prime series 50 #330 Aluminum,.. PLEASE contact me directly!***

Looking at it from the distance of a CRT does give you the gunmetal taste; I now can see how you view it as uh,..paramilitary??

But still, this machine shows how subjective our discrepancies between chop and bob really are.

The frame is altered, so it's a chop whether I prefer bobs or not. A stock fork on a stretched frame is unique to be both; The surprising aspect is that no one has wondered how I did it.

haggis
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 3:35 am
Location: Maine USA

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#12

Post by haggis » Mon Oct 20, 2003 3:35 am

Ok TC I'm game.....and very interested....how the hell did you manage it ? and why aren't you doing it all the time?....lot of guys would like that look.
(Still think a chopper has to have been raked and have an extended front end.) ....Haggis ;)

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#13

Post by Cotten » Thu Nov 06, 2003 2:05 am

Sorry for the late reply, but my confuser never highlighted a response,.. dumb thing that it is!

Note that the stretched frame (I guess the pics have disappeared) placed the headstock two inches higher than stock. So I cut a scacer to go beneath the headstock, and eliminated the crown nut on top that was approximately the same height. Voila, the stock springer fit the stretched frame, and kept it level!

Topsy

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#14

Post by Topsy » Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:34 pm

Long forks, high bars and nothing that isn't needed to make the bike work. Of course, kick only.

chopper
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:04 pm
Location: Stockholm Sweden

Re: Chopper: what defines a chopper

#15

Post by chopper » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:30 am

If you guys cant get to an agreement what a Chopper is i just wonder who can !!?? I mean many of you live in the country where it all started and many of you are old enough to actiully have "been there" when it all started. I often have arguments with the guys in the club "what a chopper is" I say that i have a chopper and they say i dont, i get >:( and say that they dont know what they're talking about and they say that i have a Bobber or maybe a Custom ??? Here in Sweden most people think that a bike have to have at least a 15" over front end to be a chopper. I say look in the old Chopper Magazine from the 60s and there you have bikes simular to mine and it says CHOPPER in those articles!!! To me a Bobber is a "fat bike" and a chopper is moore narrow or slim, i agree with those who say that a chopper have a extended front end and a raked and stretched frame, what i dont agree on is that it have to be "that much" extended or "that much" raked etc to be a chopper..
Must say that i get confused when some of you guys say one thing and some of you another ??? YOU GUYS SHOULD KNOW i'ts part of YOUR culture and YOU guys started it... ;)
So what do you say, do i have a chopper or not ;) My bike is in page 13, Chopper's Chop..
And another question is: What is a Hot Rod ??? ;)
Rikard.

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