March 2012

American Chopper March 5 "Rick's News"

This week on American Chopper OCC builds a bike for someone who will actually ride it, Jr. rebuilds the Black Widow bike from 10 years ago, and Mikey joins the Marines.

Fans of the show might remember the Black Widow bike from Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2, that originally aired Spring 2003. That’s back when Paul Sr. was still wearing sleeves. Wow, has it been 10 years already? Everybody looked so young then. Well, Cody still looks pretty young.

The big change is Jr. wants his new logo on the bike and OCC’s name off. Did anyone else think it was a little silly Nub called the original artist, Shane, before repainting the logo? What was Nub going to do if Shane said no? Sorry, Nub, but it’s Jr.’s bike, and he’s the one paying you. I hope Nub took a picture with his iPhone and sent it to him for posterity. The way this bike seems to have deteriorated, a photo might last longer anyway. I want to know how this bike got so abused sitting in the OCC Museum? Did they ride it hard and put it away wet? Well, anyway the parts they don’t reuse will make great wall decoration.

So, Rick’s big news is he’s getting married, and he wants everyone to come. He even wants everybody all at one big table like the Last Supper. I wonder what Rick’s fiancee thinks about this. News flash, Rick, these people don’t get along and with all the drinking that’s sure to happen things could escalate quickly. It’s important to remember this day isn’t about you. It’s about the girl in the white dress. Just show up on time to where you’re supposed to be and smile for the cameras. I love you honey :-)

American Chopper March 12 “The Call”

This week on American Chopper Sr. finishes two bikes for a trucker and Jr. builds a bike for babies.

The episode starts off when Jr. and family travel to Michigan to visit Lamar Construction Company. According to their website, Lamar Construction Company is a nationwide building contractor offering steel and precast concrete erection (he he). They've been around since 1938 and have had a good couple years recently, so Lamar wants to do a bike to raise money and awareness for March of Dimes. Interestingly March of Dimes was also founded in 1938 and is headquartered in White Plains, NY. Why didn't Jr. use this great co-branding opportunity like Ford and Harley-Davidson (both founded in 1903)? President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes to combat polio, but the mission has shifted to improve the health of mothers and babies.

To research his bike design, Jr. visits Sparrow hospital in Lansing, Michigan, to learn more about March of Dimes and meet with two parents of babies the organization has helped. Dawson was born 15 weeks premature at less than 2 pounds and a foot long. He's a little bit bigger now and didn't seem to like being on TV. He escaped past Vinnie to run wild around the pediatrics ward.

Back at OCC they're finishing work on the John Christner Trucking bikes. The old school bobber with Mexican style pinstripes is complemented by a "new-school" pro-street style that looks like a stealth bomber. If these bikes will be ridden by truckers, I really hope they include satellite radio, CB radios, air brakes, and running lights.

Daytona Beach Bike Week 2012 Tattoo Guide

With Daytona Beach Bike Week 2012 in full swing, you may be trying to figure out how to make the good times last. You may even be considering memorializing your experience with a tattoo. I mean, what else is gonna guarantee you never forget the bikini wresting girls you met on Main Street after riding around the Loop on your Harley better than getting stuck several hundred times with an ink-filled needle? Events like Bike Week are a popular excuse opportunity to get that first tattoo or add to your already well-decorated arm sleeve.

But let me just say this, especially for those of you who may think a tattoo is not for you – even if you haven’t made a clear-headed decision to make your body a canvas for some memorable body art, it is always a good idea to create a contingency plan beforehand. This is because, as we all know, sometimes tattoos just happen, and if you don’t have a plan in place you might wind up waking up one day with Kermit the Frog on your butt.

So, to avoid all potential permanent cartoon character/Muppet markings (unless of course that’s your thing, cuz there’s nothing wrong with that) I suggest putting a little thought into your perfect tattoo before you ever go near a parlor. We’re talking about finding the image that is really going to tell people what you’re all about.

According to the random Google search I just did, there are a vast number of symbols that bikers have adopted as their own. Eagles, flames, skulls, motorcycles racing, a grasshopper riding a motorcycle, the name and year of the biker event where you got the tattoo – all of these can create an impression. See these biker tattoos for some inspiration.

American Chopper March 16 "Drastic Step"

This week on American Chopper Jr. finishes the bike for babies, Sr. builds two twin biodiesel bikes, and Mikey fills a diaper for charity.

At PJD it's assembly day for the March of Dimes bike and Holy Purple! The frame gets delivered, and Jr. nervously wants to know who's seen the tins? Purple. Solid purple. Purple on purple is too much! And those wheels don't look like dimes. A bit unexpectedly the bolt-on purple accented wheels look good and really match the rest of the bike well.

Later, Sr. and the OCC crew visit E-Biofuels headquartered in Middletown, Indiana, where they see row after row of glass ball jars that look like they're storing amber moonshine. They're there to research the world's first "street legal" biodiesel motorcyle for CIMA Green. This stuff could be the next big transportation fuel. Bonus, it smells like french fries.

According to the company's website, the U.S. Department of Energy has found that biodiesel produces 78.5% less CO2 emissions compared to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel produced from vegetable oils or animal fats. It is a renewable, non-toxic, biodegradable, safe fuel made from any plant oil or animal fat that can be used in any diesel engine. Common blends are B20 which is 20% biodiesel.

Katirina Tracy, COO of CIMA Green, takes a page from "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" and tells us how BioDiesel is made with a tour of the factory. Vegetable oil, animal fats, methanol and sodium methylate. At the end of the tour, Jason drinks soy oil for $50 out of a shot glass and sticks his entire arm into a cylinder of free fatty acids to retrieve the $100 bill at the bottom. Jason, who hunts and guts deer as a hobby, thinks it's a walk in the park and hopes there are more R&D trips like this in the future. Look out, Mike Rowe, because Jason is after your dirty jobs.

American Chopper March 26 "Muscle Car"

This week on American Chopper Jr. goes with four wheels instead of two and, as I’m expecting, moves closer to having his own spinoff show potentially called "American Hot Rod" or "Jr.'s Garage".

Jr. is being secretive at his shop, but Mickey and the team want answers! It turns out that all Jr. could think about during the build-off bike was how cool polished and riveted aluminum would look on a car. Jr. cut his teeth building motorcycles but wants to take his company to the next level and design a car. Maybe he's trying to get hired by GM as a designer. I happen to work for an automaker myself, and all the designers I know are experts at CAD. It takes years to go from a sketch to even a prototype, but Jr.'s going to have it done in time for Daytona Bike Week. Vinnie seems pretty excited and states, "I'll be perfectly honest, I love cars more than bikes." Me too, Vinnie, and that's one more reason why he's my favorite character on the show.