Kart Racing Network

Exactly How The Chopper Came To Be

A lot of Americans who fought in World War 2 remained faithful to the Harley Davidson brand but they were not satisfied with the new motorcycles. Many of them experienced riding more exciting and lightweight motorcycles seen in Europe. Since many realized what it took to build great cars and motorcycles, they wanted to make changes to the Harley Davidson motorcycles. They started out shortening the fenders or removing them entirely to make the bikes lighter. Even though the back fender was shortened so that dirt and water wouldn't splatter up from the tires, the front fender was completely removed.

As customizations continued to be completed by riders, the chopper came to be and the term bobber was coined. To use along with dirt bike racing was their initial purpose. Any component that the riders thought were pointless was chopped off, and this process of chopping is where the term chopper came from. Components that were usually chopped off incorporate big seats, crash bars, windshields, headlights and front fenders. The motorcycles grew to be lighter because fuel tanks got smaller and large footrests were taken out and replaced with forward-mounted foot pegs.

The next modification that came to the motorcycle was raking the forward end, which decreased the angle of the fork to the ground, increasing the wheelbase. The handlebars were raised up which grew to be called ape hangers. Personalizing the bikes became a preoccupation for many riders as they took out parts that they felt were unnecessary or made other parts smaller. The back tire was designed fat and the front side one was made small. Industrious individuals began to fashion custom bikes and began building them to sell to those who didn't want to perform the work themselves. Increasingly more choppers were being manufactured as the demand grew.

The trend for choppers slowed down for a couple of years, but lately it seems to have made a comeback. Many people happen to be looking for choppers that are custom built by the world's top designers. Right after the film Easy Rider with Peter Fonda, choppers became particularly popular. The Shovelhead FX Super Glide made by Harely Davidson was a reaction to the popularity of the chopper. Even though a lot of people believe the chopper was built for aesthetics, there is a real performance advantage to the raked front end. The motorcycles feel more stable than the original factory suspension at excessive speeds but there is a catch. If you move at slower speeds or close curves, it is much heavier and not as responsive.

If you prefer a motorcycle that has been altered from its classic design, then you should look into a chopper that has been hand-crafted from scratch. Although they might not be easy to ride in certain situations, they do look very impressive. One type that is becoming popular is the low-rider type which includes a low frame to ground clearance.


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