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.