Pretend Choppers

This is the first post on my new Blog and the reason I decided to do a blog in the first place is so that I’ll have somewhere to jot down my thoughts before I’m to old to think clearly anymore.

Today’s subject came about after Mike Vils and I were talking about the apparent decline in the number of truly handcrafted and personalized Choppers that we’re seeing at meets and shows nowadays.  Ironically there are more bikes on the road today than in any other point in time but we’re seeing a huge increase in what Vil’s called ‘Pretend Choppers’.

These are bikes that look like Choppers (or Bobbers) but they’re put together from a Chinese Menu of parts and components ordered from catalogs, mass-production accessories outfits and even mass-production ‘custom’ bike shops.

At one time the type of bikes shown below dominated the various Chopper oriented events around the country.

2014-04-26 12.05.46

But today these old hand built and custom-crafted scooters are being replaced by the new generation of Pretend Choppers like the ones shown below.


The warehouse guy is going thru his check list. LowBrow  air clearner, Check. Lowbrow fender, check. Biltwell seat check, Custom Chrome headlight, check. West Coasy Choppers key-fob, check. Nothing wrong with these bikes except that they have no ‘soul’, no ‘individuality’ and no’personality’. At first glance they all do appear to be different but on a closer inspection you see that they are all just cookie-cutter copies of one another glossed over with different paint colors and mix of off-the-shelf accessories.

What is sad about this situation is that many of the owners of such bikes don’t even bother to ‘make them their own’ by customizing them with personally made parts and components. They just continue to ‘bolt-on’ parts made by some mass-production, mass-market company pretending to be fabricators of ‘custom’ parts.

To me a ‘custom’ parts are exactly what the word implies. Something custom made, unique, a one of a kind type of deal.

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