American Chopper April 16 "A Meeting Is Set"

This week on American Chopper Sr. builds an era correct chopper out of the '70s and Jr. digs for gold.

Lisa and Mike from My Pillow, Inc. drop by OCC for a custom pillow bike. They show off a cool new pillow that will hold its shape even with a 12 pound head. Unfortunately Jr.'s head is more like 18 lbs. I'm thinking Jason will make the pillow bike cloud like, but it turns out Michael Lindell wants something straight out of the '70s. Sr. should just sell him one of his classic bikes he's got laying around his garage museum. The company requests a 1970s bike with a long, long springer front end, and at 12.5 feet long it's twice as long as my bike! It's even longer then my boat. According to Sr. for the geometry to work on the '70s bike, it needs wide handle bars for something that radical.

At PJD work on the Newmont Mining bike continues. The engine cover was born out of solid 2 inch thick billet aluminum and mined out on the CNC machine to give it a terraced look to match the features of an open pit mine. But why is Paul Jr.'s logo in the middle of the engine cover? Jr. wants gold, gold, silver, and more gold. I'm wondering how this will compare to the Gold Donald Trump bike.

Meanwhile, Vinnie and Rick meet up for lunch and hope that it won't be long before they're building bikes together again.

Sr. takes a field trip to his private garage museum to give Jason some inspiration since he wasn't around in the '70s. It's big enough to host an entire wedding reception and puts my one car garage to shame. "Every time I come here I want to take these bikes down and ride them. Like I don't have enough bikes." Sr. says. I just want to get my one bike running! Five years ago Sr. started transforming his garage into a car and motorcycle museum. He started building platforms and hanging bikes one week before marrying Beth. He finished just in time to hold his wedding reception under some of his favorite bikes. My question is why own a bike you can't even reach to ride?

Assembly of the Newmont Mining bike begins, and it's a two-tone painted frame in dark blue and gold with a gold plated engine. The wheels replicate a core drill bit and are massive. Nub brings in the tank and fender and it reminds me of the University of Michigan Wolverines. Jr. wants to use 1 ounce of gold from the mine to set into the engine cover and claims 1 ounce of gold can flatten out to a 4' x 8' sheet (which would be about 500 nanometers or 0.00002 inches). I've actually seen this down at the science center and know that gold is so malleable that it can even be spread to less than 50 nanometers and still keep its color. The trick is to roll it between large steel cylinders. Brendan tries to roll it between two pieces of sheet metal and when that doesn't work uses a power hammer. Crude but good enough.

Jr. lets Vinnie test ride the bike, and when it hits the sun his eyes freak out. Vinnie's comment that with the solid wheels you can feel the weight has got to be an understatement. All that unsprung mass has to kill the suspension. After the ride it's off to Elko, NV, for the bike unveil. With a bike that heavy, I'm impressed it made it up the ramp to the stage. I cannot take my eyes of those massive yellow and blue wheels. They're like bull's-eyes. Newmont wants to grow, so this bike is an investment. It's going to be a marketing tool for their conventions. I sometimes wish I could trade my 401k in for a custom motorcycle, but I don't think I would get the same returns.

Finally Sr. calls Jr., and he'll have his people call his people and they'll do lunch. No cameras. Sorry fans. Looks like we'll see the aftermath next week.