Biker Build-Off went off the air in 2007, West Coast Choppers shut down in October 2010, and American Chopper is more focused on family drama than bikes. Does that mean the chopper scene is dead? Of course not. It just means the scene is back where it belongs – in the garages of hardcore enthusiasts. The silver lining of the chopper boom was the introduction of countless new aftermarket brands and components that allowed a new generation of bikers to build show-quality scoots without needing a full machine shop in the garage. This wild custom is the intersection of high-end hardware and the talents of a NASCAR mechanic with a vision. Built between 2004 and 2005, this chopper is long, low, and loud in every sense of the word. If the combination of a big twin, big rake, and bright paint get your motor going, this custom chopper may be your new favorite toy!
While most ‘professional'' choppers are standardized, mass-produced packages that lack the intensity and attention to detail of a grassroots build, true customs like this chopper maintain a level of style and authenticity that can be tweaked and massaged to create an individual masterpiece. This build started with a rigid frame from Diamond Chassis, formerly based in Riverside, CA. The piece was stretched 4-inches up front and 6-inches out back for that classic ''long and low'' look, furthered by an impressive 46-inch rake. That foundation is topped by a custom tank and steel front and rear fenders which feature the bike''s calling card: a marbleized candy green paint complete with faux hundred-dollar bills and dollar signs buried under the clear. HOBO Speed and Customs did the work and it’s hard to argue with the glossy results. It''s a strong statement and one carried out with impressive dedication – even the frame has dollar signs incorporated into various locations.
Of course, there’s a lot more to the look at than paint. The show gets started at the front where a 21-inch Weld EVO wheel wrapped in a 90/90-21 Avon tire steps forward, fronting a complete HHI front end with a smooth traditional fork finished in chrome. A single headlight mounts to the triple tree while, above, a dollar sign bridges the space between the handlebars. Those sleek and slender billet hand controls are from Cyril Huze, with all associated cables routed neatly through the bars. There are no gauges to speak of but the tank is topped with a flush pop-up gas cap to keep the smooth lines flowing without interruption. Climb onto the bike and a sculpted Hot Tails seats makes room for you and an embossed dollar sign, while visually connecting the frame and the rear fender. Under that fender, an 18-inch rear wheel with a fat 250/40R18 tire fills out the space while, to the left, a billet license plate frame is topped by a Paul Yaffe taillight.
The heart of this Ben Franklin tribute is a polished 114 cubic inch V-twin from the talented crew at TP Engineering. As one of the must trust names in V-twin performance, you already know this is a serious piece. The spec sheet reads like a miniature race car build with terms like “forged flat-top pistons”, “forged steel rocker arms”, and “CNC-ported heads” gracing the list. The setup is good for an impressive 114hp and 121lb-ft of torque, balancing the bike’s performance with its visual sizzle. A single 45mm Mikuni carb with a polished velocity stack handles fueling while, on the left side, an open primary with a custom dollar sign cover helps lighten the rotating weight of the driveline. If loud pipes save lives, this chopper is a modern day hero – twist the wick and the V-twin howls through a pair of short coated pipes with angle cuts. Behind the 114, a JIMS 6-speed overdrive offers a gear for every situation while improving open road fuel economy.
Nearly everyone that walks by this chopper stops and looks at it and, if the visuals don’t grab them, the exhaust note definitely will once it starts up. Best of all, there are no disappointments when it’s time to hit the road - every piece here is top shelf. Find a nice stretch of asphalt, let the big twin breathe, and you’ll never second-guess the decision to bring this custom chopper home!