December 2011

American Chopper Dec 5, 2012 “The Build Off”

On this episode of American Trash Talkers “The Build Off” Junior builds a plane, Senior builds an ATV for an Ice Road Trucker, and Jesse James builds a chopper from raw iron-ore, coal, and rubber all by himself with handlebars that he can’t see over.

Let’s start with some basics. Motorcycle (noun) is a two-wheeled vehicle that is powered by a motor and has no pedals. So to answer your question, Rick, “is that technically a motorcycle?”. No, no it is not. “Will the tracks deter too much from the bike?” Would bacon deter too much from a peanut butter sandwich? Skip to the end and notice how Senior doesn’t even call it a bike but instead it’s a “machine”. So within the first 5 minutes the competition is down to Jesse vs. Junior.

Brendan hits a chord with the group by saying, “It’ll be fun to go against Jesse. . .oh and the other side of OCC,” and scores big laughs all around. The establishment, OCC, is now a joke. How long before Junior takes over at OCC?

“Well, we have a short time frame as usual so we better get to work.”

So Jesse’s plan is to build everything himself. “I’m going to make the frame, the sheet metal, the front end, all the pieces and everything in between; I’m going to fabricate and machine myself.” Seems ambitious. What about the engine, transmission, fasteners. . .? Enter Dan who looks terrified. Jesse ends up spending all of his time on the frame and it pretty much looks like every other tube frame I’ve ever seen. So instead of buying that awesome forge, you could have bought a frame to start with and wouldn’t have wasted so much time building it yourself. Oh wait, I forgot, that’s not “cool”. “A hammer, heat, and an anvil, and that’s all you need. You don’t have the best metal guy in the business because that guy is me.” Ok, well put me in a forest with an ax, and I’ll build you a home. But why not use Home Depot and save some time?

American Chopper “Biker Build-Off Part 2″ Aired Live Dec, 6 2011

On this special LIVE laser show episode in 3D featuring special musical guest Bush. . .Sr. shows off a post apocalyptic vision of the future, Jr. presents an airplane with no wings, and self-proclaimed outlaw with no confirmed ties to the infamous criminal of the same name displays an old school, polished stainless steel red rocket chopper.

Sr. enters with his Mad Max “machine”, and immediately I’m praying he doesn’t spin out and torch the crowd. The compliment of the night comes when Sr. is prodded into saying “Jr.’s bike is good too”. Jr. is the clear winner but still doesn’t get any respect from his father or Jesse for that matter.

Up next is Jesse “Trash Talk” James. What makes your bike special? You wouldn’t understand.

Then there is Jr.’s bike. Part airplane, part bike. The crowd should thank Jr. for not using the smoke during his entrance. Thirty inch wheels with wood inlays that look like propellers, 2000 rivets, aluminum sheet metal trimmed in copper, and a one gallon gas tank for a 20 mile range (more on that in a minute). My only critique is why is the seat not in the shape of his logo? It seems like a natural fit. Also shouldn’t the handlebars be wings?

Now everybody knows that theme bikes are probably the opposite of choppers, but they must be heavier than I thought to get only 20 mpg, especially riding on 30″ wheels. In this DESIGN competition, of course, the bikes are pieces of art that can be ridden but aren’t really meant to be. They are mostly for show, but I think Jesse wants a street race to determine the winner. Hey, Jesse, do a biker build off with Erik Buell and prove it on the track.

Knucklehead, Flathead, Shovelhead, Evolution and More: Harley-Davidson Engines since 1909

If you ride a Harley or would like to someday, knowing a thing or two about the evolution of the company’s iconic V-twin engines is pretty important. You’ll need that knowledge to help you maintain your street cred, or at least keep you from needing to lip-sync the song Tequila in a biker bar. (If you don’t get it, don’t ask.) Want to learn the actual differences between a Knucklehead, Panhead, or Twin Cam 96 and why you should care? Read on.

The Harley-Davidson V-twin engine is nearly as storied as the company that created it. The angled engine cylinders set at 45 degrees first appeared commercially on Harleys in 1909, but the design was a flop at first. Only a few dozen were ever built. The automatic intake valves were designed for single-cylinder engines and caused problems with the flow characteristics. It took some tweaking, the addition of mechanical intake valves, and a new frame before the V-twin found success in 1911.

A Brief History of Engine Names

Through the years Harley motors have increased in displacement and sophistication, but the Big Twins have always kept some things in common. All Big Twin Harleys have been longitudinally-mounted, air-cooled, 45-degree V-twins with large displacements. Not all Harley models have been Big Twins, but most of the longest running and most memorable are. Several Big-Twin engines earned nicknames based on their appearance while others go by their official factory names.

F-Head (1911 to 1929)

These were some of the first V-twins, and they get their name from the shape of the intake tract determined by the location of the valves.

Flathead (1929 to 1939)

Harley-Davidson Flathead Engine


9 Ways to Customize Your Motorcycle

You’re standing at the dealership. You’ve just signed the papers on your shiny new, straight-from-the-factory motorcycle. You grab the handlebars, try out the seat, and know there’s only one thing to do next…start changing things. There’s nothing wrong with a stock bike, but with so many ways to make your motorcycle uniquely yours, most bikers don’t wait long before making a few (or a ton of) modifications.


1. Chrome

This is the most common aftermarket accessory added to motorcycles, and with the obvious bling it adds, it’s literally not hard to see why. Almost any part of the bike can be chromed from front wheel spokes to tail lights.

2. Exhaust

The most popular custom feature after chrome is the exhaust pipes. Nothing beats the sound of your own custom pipes as you ride through town. Harley-Davidson offers several custom exhaust systems, and when used in combination with intake, it can add torque and horsepower as well as great sound. Although you might not be on the best of terms with your neighbors if you ride your motorcycle to work at 5 a.m. Other popular name brands include Vance & Hines®, Rinehart, BUB, Thunderheader, Patriot, Kuryakyn®, Bassani®, Python, Road Burner, Samson®, Klock Werks,Santee, SuperTrap, Cycle Shack, Battistinis, Joker, Cobra®, Paughco, Dyno Power®, Krome Werks and Rush.

3. Seats

Green Harley with custom snakeskin seat