Vintage Wheels #10: Choppers!

Admittedly, the closest I ever came to own a chopper was my Green Machine back in the early seventies.  I did enjoy watching Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, but that's where my chopper experience ends.  But around this same time, a motorcycle culture was emerging in the States, and the chopper was their ultimate symbol: speed, coolness, anti-authority, hell on wheels.  Easy Rider simply underlined its awesomeness.

I came across some really amazing photographs from the 1970s featuring these extended front motorcycles.  Don't look for helmets in any of these photos - you won't find them.  What you will find is the seventies at its finest.  Take a look.

I recommend you print these, frame them and hang them in every room of your house as a constant reminder of what it means to be totally awesome.


  1. Haa - this is too Good - a Time to Remember - back when all ya had to do was go in and actually apply for a Job anywhere doing anything - and you could be working that week if you wanted to - NO stupid Pre-Employment Idiotic Drug Tests, NO FBI-TSA Homeland Security back ground checks that takes weeks and you didn't even have to prove you were a Real Legit US Citizen - because there were few Illegals here unlike now ! Imagine that ! Back in a Time when if they hired you - you were actually Full Time with Real Benefits - and Corporate CEO's actually had Morals- before the likes of ENRON and the likes ! Back at a Time when you could actually "Buy Real Gasoline", for under a whole $1.00 too, and you had Ethyl and Regular etc. and Cigarrettes were only like 40 cents a pack and you could actually Smoke anywhere, even at work - Imagine that and in the office - Imagine that - and Bars too - Imagine that ! Back in a Time when it was Cool to have your Hair kinda Long - unlike nowdays with all these Shaved heads and Tattoo's trashing yourself up like ya just came from the "GONG SHOW" TV Show - Back in a Time When having a Customized Van was really Cool - before these stupid Soccer Mom Mini Vans were ever introduced - Imagine that ! Also, back in a Time basically before any of us even had a Computer - and we Actually would get out of the house and Actually Talk to other Real Living Human Beings face to face and have a real rapport with them - NOT all this Texting in some kind of foreign whatever language shorthand - and WE Actually Read Real Magazines & NewsPapers and went to Real Garage Sales - long before E-Bay and whoevers List to buy stuff - Imagine that ! Back in a Time YOU / WE Could actually Find & use what was known as a Real "PAY-PHONE" almost anywhere and it'd work too, and YOU / WE could actually talk to our friends for a whole 10-cents - Imagine That -Long Before the outrageous Ridlicious idea of owning a Cell Phone for a monthly bill of $100.00 or more dollars. (thats unthinkable). Back in a Time when IF you had a 25" Color Console TV, with Remore Control - you were the talk of the neighborhood - long before Flat panel 60" TV Screens, that cost thousands - Imagine that ! Well, I haven't been out of my House in Years - think I'll go jump in my 1969 Dodge Charger R/S with a 440 in it and actually go talk to some Real People, after I actually Call them on a Real Telephone to see if their actually at Home !! :):):) Bye - The JetRanger

  2. I almost bought a 1973 Triumph in 1987 or 88 that had two forks come with it. One standard and one chopper. I had never owned a motorcycle and it had something that caused it not to run unless there were jumper cables hooked up. And it was positive ground. Just too intimidating for me even though he was asking $200. I could have parted it out and made money. Oh to be young and dumb again!

  3. You can keep the choppers and just give me the van in the campfire picture.

  4. I was just a tad too old for the "Green Machine," but, a few years earlier, had the much-desired "ChopperRoo!" It, too was somewhat chopper-like, at a time when the older kids (kids in 6th grade or so) were even buying customizing kits to extend the forks on thier bicycles...And us boys noticed EVERY real chopper that roared by!

    I even had Hot Wheels and Sizzlers chopper-bike toys!

    Al Bigley

  5. My dad had one back when I was a kid. My strongest memory of it was trying to reach over the front tire and pull up on something so that he could do some work. Being 4 at the time, I really didn't have the body mass.

    As for helmets, I didn't need one as I one as I rode behind dad, holding onto to his belt loops. Not that he had one either.

    I remember being really confused when, a couple of years later, he required me to have a set of glasses to wear with his frame car so that I didn't get hurt.

    Of course that was the same 2-seat frame car that him and mom used to pick up me and a friend after school. My buddy had to sit on my mom's lap (for safety) while I sat on the beer keg gas tank and held on to the roll bar for the trip.

    I miss those days.

  6. This brings so many good memories to me.....When I was a kid I would visit my grandfather and uncles in the summer in sykesville ,MD..They would always give me rides on their bikes .My uncle Ralph had a chopper with a 52" rake and drag bars and My uncle Eddie had ape hangers (tall handlebars on his).My grandfather Had a full dresser(a cruising bike w the works) 1967 Harley.He said he'd never get on a chopper because he said it was for "the young".Thanks for that flashback,Gilligan."sniff"

  7. I wanna see a full article on custom vans, mainly because I'd love to try doing a custom job on my 1995 Ford E350 Clubwagon (bought off craigslist for $700, hey, any vehicle you can get for under $1000 that isn't rusting on cinder blocks is a good deal).

    It eats gas like nobody's business, but recently took advantage of a goof at the gas station, they misprogrammed the pump so it was giving out premium gas for 39 cents a gallon. First time I ever filled the tank of any vehicle shy of a scooter for under $10!

  8. AMazing pics indeed!!

  9. That orange one around halfway down is amazing! Great post. :)