Chopper (motorcycle)

From Academic Kids

Chopper refers to a special type of motorcycle that was radically customized to meet the owner's needs and desires, especially the Harley-Davidsons as seen in the 1969 movie Easy Rider. In California and Florida of the 1950s and 1960s, some motorcycle enthusiasts removed (chopped, stripped) all parts which were big, heavy, ugly or not essential to riding, like fenders and even front brakes.

Especially the large, suspended saddle was removed in order to sit as low as possible on the frame, which in most cases was a rigid "hard tail", as Harley introduced rear suspension in 1958. In Easy Rider, four former Police bikes were purchased at an auction, all of them early Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Hydra Glide Big Twins, with the telescopic fork which was introduced in 1949.

Forward mounted foot pegs replaced the large foot rests. Also, the standard big front wheel, head light and fuel tank were replaced with tiny ones. Many choppers were painted either in all black, or in shiny metallic colors, with many chromed parts but paint schemes could be as customized as the rest of the bike. According to the taste and purse of the owner, high handle bars, stretched and raked front forks, aftermarket exhaust pipes were added. The law required a holder for the passenger, so vertical sissy bars were installed, often reaching above the head of the rider.

While the lower weight and lower seat position improved handling and performance, the main reason to build a hard and tough Chopper was to show off and provoke others by riding a machine that was stripped and almost nude compared to the soft full dresser standard Harleys, let alone the oversized automobiles of that time.

Choppers made a large gain in popularity in the late 1990's with companies like Orange County Choppers producing extremely expensive bikes and a wide range of name brand merchandise like clothing. The television reality show American Chopper features the Orange County Chopper company.

es:Chopper

ru:Чоппер

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