American Chopper, the end of a 10 year Saga

American-Chopper-Cast
From left to right, Paul Sr., Mikie, and Paul Jr. of American Choppers

Well tonight the last episode of American Chopper was aired and after a 10 year run, the show is finally over.

On August 13, 2012 I paid a little visit to Orange County Chopper and you can read a little post about it by clicking here. I will post extensive video on my trip to OCC later on.

The gist of this article is about the American Chopper show.

I will admit, I have watched the show for the past 10 years and have written several articles about it here in the Biker Law Blog. If you want to read my previous articles go to the search box on the top of the right sidebar and type in American Chopper. A list of the articles I have written will appear.

No matter what you or I think about the motorcycles Orange County Chopper and Paul Junior Designs built over the years, you have to admit, these guys out lasted most of the bike builders that I have become familiar with over the past decade. There is a long list of motorcycle builders including Jesse James who basically disappeared, all the while, Orange County Choppers and American Chopper continued plugging along.

I am not sure if the show was cancelled or the players did not want to be on the show anymore, it seems to me that their entire operation revolved around the show. Who knows if Orange County Choppers and Paul Junior Designs will survive without American Chopper? Maybe the Discovery Channel will do some kind of spin-off.

I am going to miss watching these guys build bikes. What is ironic is that I am I am sure all of you have gone though many things over the 10 years that American Chopper had its run.

I think that the years 2000-2010 consisted of one hell of a biker and motorcycle popularity craze, which the bad economy and other factors has ended. I have seen many acquaintances that I have ridden with over the past 10 years die in motorcycle accidents, disappear, or quit riding motorcycles.

So at least to me with American Choppers going away, it also signals an end of an era to me in my personal life and so on.

The good news is that the biker and motorcycle scene is still going very strong, albeit not as strong as years past. I am going to miss watching America Choppers and the dysfunctional family behind it building funky motorcycles. I am sure they made a small fortune over the past 10 years while entertaining us all.

Good by American Choppers.

  • If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © December 18, 2012

American Chopper, Senior v. Junior, a Review

The guys from American Chopper in better days
The guys from American Chopper in better days

You can read several write-up’s I have done about American Chopper here on the Biker Law Blog, by typing “American Chopper” in the search box that is located on the upper right section of this page below the header.

This review is my take on the new American Chopper, Senior v. Junior format that is now in its second season at the present time.

After watching last night’s episode which culminated in Senior and Junior both having a build off for GM’s Cadillac CTS division, I figured now was as good as time as any to do a fresh review of the show.

First off, American Chopper is basically the only motorcycle reality show about motorcycle building left on TV these days.

In the decade of 2000-2010 there were several different shows about motorcycles, but they all slowly died out.

Now all we are left with is American Chopper, and a show which may or may not come back, “Full Throttle Saloon” which is a show about a Saloon located in the small town of Sturgis, SD, which is only open during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

I do not consider Full Throttle Saloon to be a motorcycle show, although the show does show many bikers, and bikes, it is mostly about a bar at a motorcycle event. It is a totally different type of show than American Choppers.

After all of these years, I still enjoy American Chopper, although now the show purports to showcase a fully dysfunctional family with both Senior and Junior both building custom motorcycles from week to week.

The reason I say purports, is that I think both of these guys are real smart. I think they are playing up their dysfunctional family, and their business rivalry for the cameras, while they are both laughing all the way to the bank.

They have us all convinced that they have not spoken for two years, and that it is father against son, bla bla bla.

I think they could be bs’ing all of us just to make us watch their show. I bet their ratings are much higher with the new format.

Anyway getting past the conspiracy theory, let me talk about the show.

To be frank, the show is getting old. Basically now on each episode, you have Orange County Choppers led by Paul senior building one motorcycle, while Paul Junior Design’s led by Paul junior building another motorcycle.

Orange County Choppers at least to me uses a more sophisticated method of building motorcycles than Paul Junior Designs. The design of each motorcycle is put on a computerized Cad/Cam system by their designer before fabrication. It appears to me that everything on an Orange County Chopper is custom fabricated except for the engine, transmission, frame, and wheels, although I could be mistaken.

Some people might argue that the motorcycles are not really custom if the frame, wheels, engine, and transmission are not custom made by Orange County Choppers. That is not the subject of this article.

Orange County Choppers has several apparently talented sheet metal workers who are able to custom fabricate the parts of the bike that they apparently do such as the tank, fenders, handle bars, etc.

It appears at least to me that their motorcycles all are starting to look the same. Some look better than others, and some do not look very rideable.

Paul Junior Designs is a recent startup. It appears from the show that they build motorcycles on the fly rather than use computerized design like Orange County Choppers. It appears to me that Paul Junior Designs has to bring in an outside sheet metal guy on a temporary basis for each build to make their tanks and fenders, which may or may not be a good thing. I may be mistaken, but it also appears to me that Paul Junior Designs may be using more bolt on items than Orange County Choppers, but then again there is no way to know for sure. Ultimately, I think Paul Junior Designs also does not custom make their frames, engines, transmissions, wheels, etc., but I may be mistaken.

I don’t know about you, but the motorcycles coming out of Paul Junior Designs aesthetically look good, but look totally unrideable to me. The all seem to have a very long front end from the seat to the long drooping tank, to the wheels. They almost remind me of old fashioned cars with the very long front ends. Paul’s motorcycles also seem to have a very uncomfortable lean forward onto the huge tank type of set up. It may have a certain look, but it is not set up for riding.

To be frank, I am not really a custom chopper kind of guy. I prefer tried and tested designs that are comfortable to ride, and that are safe. I am not implying that the motorcycles built by OCC or PJD are not safe, but I feel more comfortable with a large factory design with some limited customization, rather than a motorcycle built the way OCC or PJD does their motorcycles. This is just my preference.

The part of each show I enjoy the most is the actual motorcycle builds. I am not into the bashing of each other by Paul senior, Paul junior, and Mikey. It is kind of disgusting to me to having family members bashing each other on national TV. As a matter of fact, it is getting real old.

My dad has done a lot of shit to me in my life, but I still honor thy father as the bible says to do. Paul senior does appear to be a real asshole, but to be frank, so do his kids as well. I think they all need to get their heads out of their asses if you ask me.
In the end, they are all getting rich, and the entire thing could and probably is all just made for TV.

I will continue watching the show, but it is getting kind of boring if you ask me.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 7, 2010

Déjà Vu; American Chopper, Senior vs. Jr.

Guys from American Chopper, Paul Sr., Mikey, and Paul Jr.
Guys from American Chopper, Paul Sr., Mikey, and Paul Jr.

Well tonight the new American Chopper, Senior vs. Jr. aired on cable TV. As far as I know it is now the only show on TV that features motorcycle customizers. 

I must admit, I enjoy this show, that is why I watch it, and that is why I write about it. It is basically a soap opera for bikers, but I don’t care. It is better than watching “Cake Boss.” 

As far as tonight’s debut show, some things were revealed. Sr.’s lawsuit against Jr. is real. The brothers had not talked to their father for over a year until they talked to each other on a radio show, and it appears, the father truly wants his son’s to come back to the shop so long as they respect him. 

We saw Jr. spending his dough to either buy or lease a building for his new shop, and we saw the return of Vinnie, who will apparently now go to work for Jr. I guess Vinnie’s own custom motorcycle shop that he started with Cody is no more. 

I don’t care what anybody say’s, this show is entertaining, even though it is basically the same old show. 

At least now we will get to see Jr. building motorcycles again, instead of designing doggie parks pro bono for the city. 

If you read between the lines you will see a few things; these guys are making a lot of dough doing what they do. It may have been a forgone conclusion that OCC would have gone out of business had the show not continued, especially in this economy. 

But get one thing straight, these guys are major TV stars with a huge following. The most viewed article on the Biker Law Blog was one of my articles about American Chopper. The article has had almost 250k unique hits and 133 comments.

Apparently I am not the only one that watches this show. 

No matter what you think, you have to admit one thing; it is good to at least have one show on TV about motorcycles. 

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © August, 2010

American Chopper is Coming Back in a New Form

american chopper is coming back in august 2010 TLC is reviving “American Chopper” with the estranged Teutuls going head-to-head in competing bike shops.

The new show, “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior,” begins filming next week and will premiere in August.

It focuses both on the original Orange County Choppers business run by Paul Sr., and Paul Jr.’s startup bike shop.

The new shop, Paul Jr. Designs, is located across from the original OCC shop in Rock Tavern, NY, near OCC’s Newburgh site.

The hook? Father and son haven’t spoken in over a year, ever since Senior fired Junior from the family business.

BIKE BATTLE: Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Jr. haven’t spoken in a year, but will both appear on a new version of “Chopper.”

The split effectively ended their long-running reality show. TLC axed “American Chopper” last February and, in an ugly legal battle, Senior is demanding the return of Junior’s 20 percent stake in OCC. After a brief reconciliation, Junior rode out his one-year non-compete clause and moved into his new shop last week. Father and son remain at odds, with no resolution in sight.

“I’m always hopeful for a reconciliation, but sometimes these things happen for a reason,” Junior told The Post yesterday.

“Even though you never want dissension in any family, especially with your father, this has allowed me to break out and do things on my own.”

Senior also says he’s moved on to a point.

“Junior seems to say all the time he’d like to reconcile, but the thing of it is, he’s never come to me with that,” Senior told The Post. “I’m happy he’s making an attempt to go out on his own, but I don’t feel he’s ever really followed through with anything in his life.”

“But this way, if he fails, he can’t say, ‘My dad made me fail.’ ”

The resurrection of “Chopper” will be good news for fans of the show, including “Late Show” host David Letterman.

“Letterman e-mailed me when he heard the show was going off the air and said, ‘What am I gonna do now, Paul?,’ ”

Senior says. “He was devastated.”

It remains to be seen how “Senior vs. Junior” will play out, but series executive producer Christo Doyle says there’s no formula on how much air time the two competing shops will get per episode.

“This is a very bitter situation that runs really deep at times I feel I’m a family therapist and not a producer.”

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