Chopper is a popular motorcycle that is either built from scratch or redesigned from an existing motorcycle for getting a unique appearance. The choppers possess long front ends and have extended forks as well. The extended forks come coupled with hardtail frames, tall ape hanger, short handlebars, stretched frames and increased rake angle. The tube set that connects the rare fender with frame is the signature feature of the choppers. Choppers have many parts that are also commonly found on the stock bikes. The only difference is that the stock bike parts are cut down to become smaller to be used in a chopper.
History of choppers
Let us explore how choppers came on the forefront in the first place. The first form of choppers was basically known as the bobbers. Bobbers were those motorcycles that had the heavy parts removed. For example, the fenders were not present in the Bobbers. The prime reason was to give a lighter frame to the bobbers. This also helped to drive the bobber faster. The bobbers initially came into existence back in 1940 and an initial example of bobbers is the Bob-job used by Indian scouts. The World War II also experienced a boom in bobbers. When the servicemen returned from the war they removed all those parts from their motorcycles that they found to be quite heavy. This included the fenders, front brakes and even turn indicators. The saddles were also removed for sitting low on the motorcycle frame.
The first bobber was built in America and it was a customized version of the bobber that emerged on the forefront after the second world war. There are many similarities between a bobber and chopper. The geometry of the chopper is modified through the process of welding. The earliest version of the choppers was based on the concept of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The choppers initially made use of flathead, panhead and knucklehead engines. When the new engines were available they were also utilized in the choppers. When the Japanese manufacturers offered more refined engines back in the 1960’s they were also utilized in the choppers. The motor of Honda 750-4 was popularly used in the early version of the chopper.
With the passage of time the focus of the manufacturers shifted more on acquiring a certain look of the chopper rather than performance based modifications. The styling of choppers was quite influenced by drag-bike modifications in the 1970’s.
Choppers gaining popularity in USA
The choppers gained immense hype in the USA and the prime reason was the exposures that the choppers were able to get in movies like “Easy Rider”. This was able to influence many of the motorcycle brands and they started to introduce styling influenced by choppers. Back in 2003 the television series by the name of “American ChopperAmerican Chopper” revitalized the charm and passion for the choppers and this renewed the interest of people in home fabricated bikes.
The passion reached such hype that many motorcycle builders started to create choppers from neglected bikes and people started to develop an inclination for the traditional styling of the motorcycles. This seems that this craze and popularity of choppers will never die.