The End Of The Road For American Chopper – Is the Biker Yuppie Craze Over?

 ** 2-11-10 Update – I watched the last American Chopper show and it sucked. There was no mention of the series being cancelled which leads me to believe that the series was cancelled by TLC without any advanced warning or planning. Otherwise they would have done some kind of end of series show.

One of my commenters, “Pirate” is right, this show bit the big one. He mentioned that the economy probably has a lot to do with the downturn in custom motorcycles, and even the Easy Rider show in his area. One of my other commentators “Guru” does not understand why motorcycles are not promoted more as a cheap way to save gas and commute.

Anyway I think that TLC did a disservice to watchers like me. They did not even respect us enough to do a final series show. I think that the Teutul’s disrespected us as well by thinking we would continue to watch a series where Paul Jr. and Mikey moped around town designing dog parks, and doing lame comedy routines while their audience wanted to see custom motorcycles being made.

Anyway that is it; I wonder if we will see any other motorcycle type of shows on cable?

Well the TV series American Chopper is suddenly coming to an end; the last show is this Thursday at 9:00pm EST on the Learning Channel.

Many of you may have read the article I wrote about the Teutul family lawsuit here.

I became aware of the fact that the show was ending when I saw a commercial on TLC announcing that the very last show would be this Thursday. I thought it was kind of odd that Paul Jr. was the one announcing the end of the show on the commercial since he was fired by his dad, (see below) and his is being sued by his dad.

I am sure that most of you know that American Chopper is or should I say, was, a very popular show on TLC about the Teutul family and their building custom motorcycles at Orange County Choppers in New York. The show also showcased some heavy duty family fighting.

I firmly believe it was TV shows like American Chopper, Biker Build-off, Motorcycle Mania, etc., that fueled the Yuppie motorcycle craze of the early 2000’s. Love the shows or hate them, they drove motorcycles into the mainstream, and made them more popular than ever.

Now it is almost impossible to find any of the reality based motorcycle shows that were running throughout the early 2000’s.

I myself was a regular watcher of America Chopper, and had it set to record on my digital video recorder automatically. I did not watch it for drama; I watched it because I thought the custom motorcycle build part of the show was pretty cool. I also watched other motorcycle reality TV shows when they were on. I believe that American Chopper is the last of the genre.

Some people may have thought that the show was BS, but in my humble opinion, it was a good watch, something better than let’s say watching some BS game show.

I have been riding motor powered mini-bikes and motorcycles since my dad put me on one at the age of 4 in 1967. I remember having to kick start (or push start) my motorcycles in the 1970’s, and early 80’s. I have been riding well before the yuppie craze started with motorcycles in the 2000’s.

Nonetheless I have nothing against yuppies. I believe the more people on motorcycles, the better. Anyway, getting back to American Choppers, I wonder if this will spell the end for Orange County Choppers. Who knows? Anyway, I will be watching on Thursday as I am sure will all of you, to see what happens, and bid a farewell to a show that gave me enjoyment.

Now I leave you with a clip of the reality that apparently tore the Teutul family apart, Paul Jr.’s firing. Maybe now these guys can pull their heads out of their asses and be a family again.

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By Biker Attorney and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

18 Responses to The End Of The Road For American Chopper – Is the Biker Yuppie Craze Over?

  1. American Chopper lost me when the show became all about temper tantrums, with some bike builds as set decoration. The economy is also having an impact with fewer bikes sold (at least new – there’s a ton of great used iron out there) and fewer RUB’s willing to pony up the cash for a very expensive hobby. That leaves the roads to the serious biker for whom it’s not a fashion accessory. I’m not sure that a good thing – we would ride whether or not anyone else did. And the sudden interest may have resulted in a (minor) rise in the awareness of the cage driving public that they were sharing the road with someone NOT surrounded by a ton of steel. Still, like the old saying goes, “I was riding before riding was cool” and not the crybaby Tuetels and not the economy are going to stop. Hell, maybe H-D will finally sell a bike at a price lower than what I paid for my first house! That’d be a good thing!

  2. The yuppie craze was probably crappy to a biker but yeah good for riding in general. I can’t understand why this country doesn’t really get behind bikes as an awesome commute tool. For example drivers ed is free in high school. We then all go out and drive a car to work – alone. Gonna now find time to learn to ride? Yeah – that’ll happen. So why don’t we teach motorcycle riding in high school? Why don’t we actually promote the idea of riding as a very fuel-efficient means of transporting a person a reasonable distance?

    I know while driving my 14mpg truck to work I wished I knew how to ride instead. I’m not a biker and won’t ever be one, but geez louise 2 wheels and a couple hundred ccs would save me a ton of money on fuel … and save the planet cuz I’m all about green :)

    Well it’s okay. I quit that job ;) uh … anybody need to hire a web guy?

  3. The last show proved why the series is over. Boring! A manaquin got 15 minutes airtime. No “reality” discussion of the lawsuit, firing, flashbacks nor explanation. Bike builds just seem like reruns, with little educational value. Not even a mention it was the last show, except in previews.

    The current ecomony (the Greatest Depression) is so bad in TN that Easyriders show was only 1 day this year, with apparently half the turnout per day of last year. Not a single bike was ridden to the show, due to Global Warming freezing their nuts off.

    The Outlaws Geriatric Gang made an appearance at the show after their SWAT raid by the sheriff, confiscating their New Years Eve weenies.
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/jan/01/sheriff-raids-biker-gang-house/
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/jan/31/member-outlaws-motorcycle-club-says-raid-violated-/
    http://piratenews.org/piratenews-org-sheriff-hutchison72.jpg

  4. Gents, I hope some of you liked the Hybrid electric bike, shown on the episode on Jan 14th. I designed the Hybrid portion for the build and worked with OCC to bring it to fruition. It took a great fuel economy machine – motorcycle – and made it more efficient and much more powerful.
    Sadly, the amount of power we got out of the bike was never shown. 2 days prior to the episode, the bike was put on the Dyn in front of independent observers and produced 297 ftlbs torque from zero speed to 5000RPM for 20 seconds. Thats 280Hp, plenty for accel. And that was without re-engaging the S&S engine which would have added another 109 ftlbs / 100 Hp. (I was worried about the chain tension – it stretched a good bit).
    The point here is one of your comments said it best – you would think more would be said about the benefits or riding cycles to save fuel.
    Well, I hate to see American Chopper go, but I have been traveling with Paul Sr a good bit these last 3 months and he was fed up with the editing and the TLC direction of the show, too. It was more about the sons, less about the builds.
    OCC will be back in the news soon, but hopefully not like it was.

  5. Ditto! The last episode not only sucked, it dragged it’s teeth in the process. Way disappointed! Wasn’t worth my effort.
    People are eating out less because of the economy and they’re opening A high end restaurent?? WTF? I guess it’s good to diversify.
    Is it motorcycle awareness week or something? All the Lighted freeway signs here in nor-cal are lit up saying , Look twice for motorcyclists and share the road with them. or something like that. I like the concept just wonder how long it will last and why they don’t do it in warm weather when more bikes are on the road. Later dude, Walt “IN THE WIND”

  6. Norm: The dealerships here are advertising big markdowns. I have not been in pricing anything because my paid for Harley works just fine!! Right now is not the time to be making additional debt. I read your previous article….I miss very few!! I saw the big plant layoff too. You are right…they should be cutting the price.

  7. I too feel there should have been some kind of series finale. It is sad because when they were building custom bikes the show was great. Maybe the Network was just sick of the family bickering. Who wants to watch a show where Father and Son sue each other?? When the show got off track it lost viewers. Last show I watched before the last was when they did the NASCAR BIKE for Tony Stewart. Another thing, I think even the rich are hanging onto their money. Let us face it….a custom bike is hardly something that is needed. Now is the time to go into any Harley Dealership and get a good deal on any bike on their floor. We had a dealership close in Melbourne Florida a couple years ago when the economy started free falling and folks losing jobs. It is sad that American Chopper ended the way we watched on television. It was a major disappointment.

  8. Hi all. Just a few words. My wife was a Harley rider 15 years ago. A minor accident put her off till now. I rode a Vincent and BSA for years then just quit. She is 50 and I am 65. We just bought a Spyder made by can-am. We feel maybe this will get us back out there. So far, it is working. American Choppers almost had us but we put it off. Too bad the show went away. Oh well. At least we don’t tip over. Thanks for listening.

  9. That is good news about the signs in Norcal. I was just up in Redding and did not see any. I know that some Police departments have received money to roust us about our pipes and to supposedly enact motorcycle “roust” safety campaigns. Maybe the signs are part of this whole deal. Anything that can make the cager world take notice of us is a good thing.

    Norm

  10. Rich the hybrid bike was cool. That is what I meant in a prior article when I said they were building better bikes not than they ever did in the past. The hybrid, the diesel, etc., were all custom make. Whereas in the early days of OCC they were just bolting on ready make parts and then adding things here and there.

    I wish OCC and you guys the best.

    Norm

  11. Well Sandie even though Harley Davidson sales are off over 25% they are still not really dealing. Their motorcycles are overpriced and they want to keep it that way to somehow artificially keep resell values high.

    They are cutting production instead of lowering cost. I wrote an article about it here on the blog. I do not see how Harley Davidson can survive when the average cost of their motorcycles is 17-18k out the door, and their competition is about 8-10k out the door.

    Anyway…

    Norm

  12. OCC IS OVER.WE ALL NO JR BILT MOST OF THE BIKES.SR.CALLED HIM NAMES STILL CALLING HIM NAMES .SR WANT’S TO LOOK GOOD .HIS WORKER DO LESS NOW THEN JR DID.BUT HE DONT YELL AT THEN.WHY?AGAIN WHY NONE OF YOUR KIDS LIKE YOU?THERE.SR.YOUR A ASSHO-E.YOU HAVE SHOWED US YOUR COLORS.WHAT A DAD YOU ARE AND TRY TO PUT MIKE IN IT.HE WELL POB START DRINKING AGAIN.YOUR AN HATEFULL OLD MAN GOING TO DIE ALONE.BYE.

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