Before we get to the choppers, let’s take a look at what the traditional motorcycle is. A motorcycle has two wheels and is a single-track vehicle. This vehicle is the cheapest motorized mode of transport in the world. It has an aluminum or standard steel frame. The front wheel is held together with forks. Motorcycles feature an engine, fenders, brakes, exhaust systems, and transmission. A mid-size bike will come with a mileage of 35-40 miles per gallon. Some of the popular brands that produce them are Yamahas, Indians, Hondas, Harley Davidsons, and Suzuki.
The Story of the Chopper Motorcycle
Did you know that motorcycles were rare in America before WWII? As a matter of fact, statistics reveal that in the 1940s, there were only around 100,000 motorcycles registered in the whole of the U.S.
Once the war ended, the soldiers were discharged from the army. Having spent years fighting and killing, these young men felt the desire to explore the country on bikes. And at the time, only the military surplus Indian motorcycles and Harley-Davidson were available. These bikes were heavy and oversized, not suitable for racing around town. These models were meant for long trips. However, they were cheap and readily available.
The only option that the young men had was to work with the available models. So they decided to customize the vehicles to improve performance. This meant correcting the power to weight ratio. The only way to lighten the massive bikes was by removing the heavier parts.
Side panels, fenders, windshields, or whatever would come off quickly and did not influence the bike’s performance were taken out. And the machine was left with the frame, engine, two wheels, seat, gas tank, handlebars, and of course, the brakes. And because it seemed like the parts were chopped off, the new version came to be known as the chopper motorcycle.
Are choppers and bobbers the same?
Not really. A chopper motorcycle features the modified form of the original frame, and only the essential parts remain after the modifications. And some of the other original parts are also replaced by custom ones. This gives it better performance and enables it to touch higher speeds in less time.
On the other hand, Bobbers have a bobbed (shortened) fender and, like the chopper, feature only the vital motorcycle parts. The main difference between these two motorcycle models is that the chopper features a modified frame. In contrast, the bobber retains the original factory frame. And when compared to the chopper, the bobber is more minimalistic and lightweight with less chrome.
Present motorcycle customization trends
Today there are several more customization options available for motorcycles. Some keep the original look, whereas some riders prefer a complete transformation in the form of a chopper. Today bikers prefer to make their motorcycles as unique as possible, giving them a personality that matches their own. This could mean adding stunning chrome features or painting them with their favorite colors, graphics, etc. When it comes to modifying your motorcycle, you are only limited by your imagination.
There are all kinds of riders, and within the riders community, you will find a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who love minimalism. They want two-wheelers that are fast, powerful, low-maintenance, and strong. No need for any fancy aesthetics, just the bare essentials work for them better. Some of them might build a motorcycle from scratch, whereas some might customize an existing vehicle to suit their needs and tastes. In short, they make chopper motorcycles.
Choppers were once known as the poor man's racing bike. Back in the 50s and 60s, society did not find any practical use for sports bikes. The army and police departments sold off the surplus Harleys through auctions to the local public. These bikes were available at cheap rates. Bike enthusiasts in the U.S bought these and stripped them down to the bare essentials. The frames were shortened to extend the wheelbase, and straight pipes were added to make the bike lighter in weight. The modifications were primarily done to gain better speed, stability, and performance.
The first electric motorcycle originated in the late 1880s. Thanks to the brilliance of several creative minds today, Ebikes are available in several styles and designs. However, the primary aim is to allow riders to enjoy a smooth ride using cleaner technology. With advancements in technology, engineers are doing their best to make these vehicles as competitive as traditional bikes.