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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I ride naked motos but I also like custom choppers. What makes me confused about them is they dont seem like comfy from the outside, I cant fully remember but I think there were also some custom riders who claims having waist injuries because of hard suspensions. Another point which takes my attention that these motos have a fairly large turning circle that will cause some difficult maneuvers in traffic.

What is your thoughts about them ? Pluses and cons ? Would you even consider having one ? Why and why not ?


By the way, here an example photo of what I mean by saying "custom chopper"

ttps://i.ytimg.com/vi/QHSgP-4-ko0/maxresdefault.jpg (add a "h" letter at the beginning of link)
 

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American Legion Rider Staff Administrator
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Yep, custom choppers are for show, not for riding any distance. Although some try to but I'll guarantee not a single custom builder could ride with me on that show bike.
 

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Nightfly
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I agree one hundred percent with UK. They look cool, but handling is something you would never associate with a chopper. A few years ago a local Big Dog dealer was trying to sell his last remaining choppers. Almost giving them away, and even then I think he just kept a couple, only because it made sense financially.

Everyone should try a hardtail at one time, it's the only way you'll understand the beating your body takes because of it. If you have a front end that is kicked out your turning circle will increase exponentially. At that point the only thing you'll need are ape hangers about a foot above your head and you'll be good to go.

I'm not telling you not to buy one but, they can be a handful. As for riding naked, it's the only way I ride my Sportster. But it has suspension, eh somewhat, and I like how it handles. For a Harley it's a lightweight.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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TR we have talked to you until we are blue in the face, You cannot ride NAKID, you must wear clothes! Not only for your own protection but for the rest of us who see you.
 
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Nightfly
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TR we have talked to you until we are blue in the face, You cannot ride NAKID, you must wear clothes! Not only for your own protection but for the rest of us who see you.
I'm sorry John, I just don't seem to be able to find clothes that work for me. You know how it is, some people you just can't help. But I do wear boots, no socks...
 

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Resident of Munchkin Land
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I'm a new rider so my opinion doesn't hold much weight. I like cruisers but I've no interest in riding a custom chopper and I don't even think they look good.
 

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Nightfly
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I'm a new rider so my opinion doesn't hold much weight. I like cruisers but I've no interest in riding a custom chopper and I don't even think they look good.
Seasons come and seasons go. Choppers were a fad for a pretty long while. I don't know how Orange County Choppers stay in business, if they even are. Never thought much of theme bikes.
 

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American Legion Rider Staff Administrator
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I'm sorry John, I just don't seem to be able to find clothes that work for me. You know how it is, some people you just can't help. But I do wear boots, no socks...
But you got one heck of a tan I bet.:surprise:

Seasons come and seasons go. Choppers were a fad for a pretty long while. I don't know how Orange County Choppers stay in business, if they even are. Never thought much of theme bikes.
My guess is they make most of their money on TV shows. That is if they are still doing those.
 

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Nightfly
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I saw their new TV show a few times over this past winter but lately it seems to have vanished. I don't miss them. I always had much more appreciation for the talent of Jesse James. His talent as a welder, a fabricator and designer was superior to OCC mostly due to his eye for what works, not a theme he was trying to make a motorcycle fit. From all the video's and TV shows about him that I have watched, I believe he can build almost anything.

Some may slam his personal life but not me. I won't judge someone's personal life when I know nothing about it. We all screw up, make mistakes, some huge, some not so much. Some of Jesse's just happened to show-up on national television. I wouldn't want to bear that burden.
 

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Visionary
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Old skool choppers were silly in a lot of ways but nowadays we have an even worse trend, Big Wheel Baggers.

The formula is simple, take a great riding bagger (Harley street glide or Victory Cross County or Vision usually) that was designed to handle well and cruise across a continent, and do everything possible to make that impossible...extend the rear bags, lower the suspension and add air ride so the bike can sit on the frame ( But can't corner without grinding on the ground) , and then put on a 30+ inch GIANT front wheel and poorly designed rake kit to totally kill the handling. Take off the windshield and replace it with a 3" high painted black blade screen, and make sure to add a set of 18" apes too to make it even worse to handle and put your hands up above the fairing.
Then take the engine and throw a bunch of random performance parts that make it totally the wrong powerplant for a touring bike, if your really want to be rad you can go twin turbo and or add a stupidcharger. These mechanical mods are usually complimented by the loudest exhaust system physically possible, and of course a 300 HP nitrous system. Add a few practical touches like flame thrower exhaust and a 50,000 watt sound system with 4 batteries filling up the bags to power it and you have the quintessential "Big Wheel Bagger"

Building one of these people spend 50-100K on top of the price of the bike, they post pictures, tell how they ride so well, handle 'almost' the same as they did before the mods, when questioned they post videos of them riding in a straight line to prove how well they corner :) and then 6 months later you see them for sale for 1/3 of what they cost with no buyers even interested.
 

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Nightfly
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It's all about image. Many a cool bike has been destroyed by biker shops hoping to get credibility by building the next fad bike. I'm glad to see the chopper has been put back on the shelf of over-indulgence. Even most serious biker gangs were not big proponents of choppers, which is not to say then didn't ride them on occasion.

This style mike721 is referencing is even worse, in my humble opinion. They have taken a few really good bikes and did everything possible to make them much worse, all for the sake of image. I think it's a shame but as I've said in another thread, seasons come and seasons go, I don't see this fad ever becoming a trend, I don't see the potential for anything about this to influence the market long term.
 

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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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I know that the origin of "Choppers" were regular motorcycles that the owners "chopped" off parts that were non-essential, including the front brake (back in the days when many riders would not use a front brake, considering it suicidal) to reduce weight and improve speed. But today they appear to be bikes that some want as a means of garnering personal attention, just like loud pipes and "ape hanger" handlebars. And some "choppers" have all of the above. Maybe I'm crazy, but I always thought motorcycles were for riding, not for compensating for shortfalls in your life so that you would be noticed by others. But each to their own. If having a bike that can barely make a turn, has no storage capability, a tiny seat and probably little or no rear suspension, is what gets you excited, go for it. Maybe some of those that ride choppers are doing a form of "dress up", like kids putting on costumes. They can ride around looked bad-ass in their own mind and then go back to their normal lives. If that makes them happy, then its all good, man.
 

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Driftless Rider
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Choppers? two words... BUTT JEWELRY.

To expand on vito's post above. I once saw an old timer at a swap meet wearing a shirt that read "It used to be about motorcycles, now it's a F-n fashion show."
A truer phrase was never screen printed.

Choppers have never been my thing, having ridden a few just confirmed my initial impressions. Unwieldy, heavy, loud, corner like dumptrucks, way too "look at me" attitude.
The latest craze of the same ilk seems to be the huge, lifted, diesel trucks everyone seems to be driving (and parking) poorly
 

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Nightfly
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Choppers? two words... BUTT JEWELRY.

To expand on vito's post above. I once saw an old timer at a swap meet wearing a shirt that read "It used to be about motorcycles, now it's a F-n fashion show."
A truer phrase was never screen printed.

Choppers have never been my thing, having ridden a few just confirmed my initial impressions. Unwieldy, heavy, loud, corner like dumptrucks, way too "look at me" attitude.
The latest craze of the same ilk seems to be the huge, lifted, diesel trucks everyone seems to be driving (and parking) poorly
I could not agree more...
 
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