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I have been on a RV vacation and trip of a lifetime for the past 36 days. I am presently sitting at the table in my RV in a campground somewhere near Cleveland, OH typing this update for all of you. It is now day 36 of my trip.
My last real update was on August 4, 2012 from the Washington DC area. I am giving another update now.
So far we have driven through or stayed in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. We have many more places to stay and drive through before we get home.
We ended up staying in the Washington D.C, College Park, Maryland area for about 11 days. Washington D.C. was an important stop for us, and with so many things to see, and such a great RV resort, we were in no rush to leave. We toured the Smithsonian museums’ and major monuments, among other things. I have tons of video that I will process when I get home and upload onto here.
The only negative part of the Washington D.C. trip was the hot balmy weather on some days, coupled with thunder storms and rain on other days, and the horrendous drivers in the Washington D.C. area.
My Harley Electra Glide enabled me to park near monuments and areas where people in cars just cannot go. On a few days Liz and I used the bus and train due to the weather. We also took the double decker tour bus for 48 hours as well.
The RV resort in College Park, MA was off of the charts. I went swimming every night with all of the other tourist. Hell on one night I found myself alone in the pool with 20 or so bikini clad coed girls from Europe. I could not decipher what language they were speaking, but my god it was a very nice sight.
I did not want to leave Washington D.C.; it was almost as if I needed to stay there longer. Maybe I should run for Congress?
When we finally left Washington D.C., we drove through Maryland and New Jersey. Maryland and most of New Jersey are truly beautiful states.
I found myself getting pinched for tolls every few miles. It turns out I was on a toll turnpike. My GPS was not set up to avoid tolls. By the time the day was over I had paid almost $100 in tolls because my RV and motorcycle trailer have 3 total axels. They were charging me like I was a bus. It really sucked.
When we got to New York we were led to an expensive KOA campground north of Newburgh, New York that was billed as the New York City KOA campground; talk about fraud, we were about 70 miles northwest of New York City in the middle of a forest.
Upstate New York is a truly beautiful state let me tell you, I had no clue. When we got to the campground it was kind of late and almost dark because of the trees. When we hooked up I discovered that the trees prevented my Satellite TV from working, my cell phone did not work, nor did I have Wi-Fi. Then it started raining as well. I had to rough it with DVD’s from Redbox for the night. Further, we only had a 30amp hookup, so I could not run both air conditioners and my microwave at the same time :]
Anyway, we got the hell out of there first thing in the morning, opting to go to the Liberty Park RV resort in Jersey City, New Jersey instead where we would have to dry camp for $50 a day. The Liberty Park RV resort was billed as the closest RV Park to New York City just 15 minutes away from Manhattan, and with a local water taxi that takes you to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. All of this turned out to be true.
On the way in to the campground I noticed that we were in Orange County New York, so I figured I would check and see if Orange County Choppers was nearby. As it turns out, Orange County Choppers was on the way to Liberty Park in Jersey City, so I figured I would stop in and check it out.
All I can say about Orange County Choppers is that it was a huge disappointment. It is the only motorcycle operation I have ever seen that does not sell motorcycle stuff. They have all sorts of shirts and other crap with OCC all over it, but no motorcycle stuff. They don’t even have examples of their production motorcycles in the showroom; all they have is motorcycles that they built in the past. I did not even like those. It is what it is. I got some video and got the hell out of there. It is nothing more than a tourist trap. The bikes on display seem un-ride able and not practical to me.
It was a very interesting trip through narrow streets in New Jersey to the Liberty Park RV resort in Jersey City, New Jersey. My rig is 35’ long with an attached 10’ motorcycle trailer. Some of the streets and turns I had to make near the Holland Tunnel on the Jersey side were monumental, but I finally made it to the RV Park. The RV Park was a combo Liberty Park Marina and RV park. There were ocean going boats, sailboats and the like dry docked on the other side of the park, with an actual marina and a bar and restaurant there.
Since the RV Park was totally full, we had to dry camp which basically means that we had no external electrical, water, or sewer hookups. We had to rely on our RV, and our generator. There was a dump and water site in the park that we could use as needed.
Since we wanted to run our generator past 10pm they basically put us in an area that was by itself in the middle of a field next to a bunch of boats. On the other side of the fence was a construction site in Jersey City. The setup was kind of like in New Orleans where we were 3 blocks away from Bourbon Street but smack dab in the middle of a bad neighborhood.
The Liberty Park RV area of Jersey City was kind of like a small island of a good area in a real bad area if you know what I mean.
We were so close to NY City in the Liberty RV Park that we could see the World Trade Center and Wall Street just across the Hudson River, and I could see the Statue of Liberty from my RV.
Due to a breaker on my generator, I did not get full power until just at dark on our first day in NY City, so we decided to wait until the next day to hit the city.
The next day we immediately went to the World Trade Center site and the 911 memorial. It was a very rainy day.
We did so much in New York over the next week that it is too much to write about here. Like Washington D.C., I felt attracted to the city; as a matter of fact I fell in love with the city. We rode the subway and went all over the place.
Three days before I left New York I ended up partially tearing my calf muscle walking down the subway steps. The reason I know it is partially torn is because three nights ago I spent most of the evening at Jersey Medical Center ER where they confirmed the tear with an ultra sound.
My years of sports and injuries have made me kind of tough when it comes to injuries like this. I tooled around New York City for three days in severe pain because I did not want to miss anything.
We finally left New York City two days ago on August 20, 2012. It took a while getting out of the city, we did not really want to leave, but we had to so we could finish the 3rd and final leg of this great trip that we are on.
We ended up driving to Northumberland, PA where we found a killer RV resort right on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. We got there just before dark. I swear I could live in this place. Pennsylvania is one of the most beautiful and big states in the United States.
The locals there upon seeing my Harley Davison in tow assumed I was there for “PA Rally on the River” which was set to begin on August 23, 2012, or the day after we were set to leave the campground.
Unfortunately the campground was booked and full months in advance for the rally. I was told that if I paid $50 a night, I could dry camp there with my RV. Had they gave me a regular camp site, I would have stayed for the rally. I think if they knew who I was, that they would have accommodated me. Liz called even after we left asking if there were cancellations; there were none.
Based on what I was told 2k people would fill up the camp grounds for the event which is adults only. I knew that if I stayed for the event, I would be stuck in the campgrounds until it was over due to the number of people. Further, there would be no way to dump the brown water tank or refill the fresh water tanks for the next week.
I decided to not stay for the rally but to instead spend the time tooling around Sturgis, SD when I get there. We left today on August 22, 2012. We drove all the way to near Cleveland, Ohio where I now sit writing this update.
We still have a long way to go on our trip and further updates will come soon.
I have been on an RV trip of a lifetime for the past month. I am presently in an RV Resort at the Jersey City Marina with a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from my RV.
During the trip I have filmed hours of video which I will not be able to edit until I get home. I therefore have been spoon feeding here on the Biker Law Blog, small unedited raw video clips of interest when I have the time.
Here is another small video clip of Liz and I visiting Orange County Chopper aka OCC in Newburgh, NY on August 13, 2012. I will do a complete write-up when I return home from my vacation at the end of August.
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.
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.
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.”
** 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?
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.
I am sure that many of you in the motorcycle world have watched the TV show American Chopper. American Chopper is a reality TV show about the company Orange County Choppers. Its stars are the infamous Teutul family; Paul Teutul Sr., his son Paul Jr., and of course Mikey.
Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul M. Teutul had a very public falling out, which was chronicled on American Chopper. In the Season 6 premiere, Paul Sr. and son had a contentious contract dispute, which led to Paul Jr.’s departure from the company. After a brief reconciliation, Paul Jr. left the OCC for good to explore other opportunities. In later episodes, Paul Jr. was seen working as a consultant at Orange County Choppers.
It has been reported that Paul Sr. sent a letter to Paul Jr. exercising an alleged right to purchase Paul Jr.’s share of the stock he owns in Orange County Choppers since Paul Jr. no longer works there.
Paul Teutul, Sr. claims he had a deal with his son, Paul M. Teutul, in which he could buy his son’s stock from the Orange County Choppers Holdings, Inc. motorcycle company.
The father, who appears on the television show alongside his son, sent Teutul, Jr. a letter saying he would be exercising his right to buy the stock.
Paul Sr. apparently has filed the lawsuit to the Supreme Court of New York; however I have not seen a copy of the lawsuit heretofore. He also filed a suit against Orange County Choppers, Inc.
In the lawsuit, he claimed damages in excess of $1 million and is asking for an order from the judge to force his son to give him the stock.
My take on the situation is this; yes I have watched the show for years. It is better than watching some of the other crap on TV I will tell you that.
I have been a businessman since I was in my 20’s, when I first got venture capital to start Daylight Data Corporation in Los Angeles, and am now running a successful California law firm.
Being successful at business requires management expertise, capital, and luck. It appears to me that Paul Teutul Sr. has been a very successful businessman. He started out installing railings; he worked hard and built his business into a metal manufacturing company, and then started Orange County Choppers. He then used the TV show American Choppers as a marketing vehicle to build his successful business.
There is no doubt that his son really did help with Orange County Choppers, however, in the end, it is the businessman who keeps a company going.
I learned in law school that you never want to represent friends or family because you will never do well enough in their eyes no matter the outcome in a case.
You would think family run businesses would be the easiest to run because of the trust factor. Let me tell you, it takes a special kind of family to stick together to run a business. Unlike other businesses where you can hire and fire at will, it is kind of hard to fire your son, or your brother, etc.
It is a shame that the Teutul’s family business relationship has apparently broken down. My personal take on the situation is that Paul Jr.’s head grew too big for his britches. He designed motorcycles, he started making money, he got the big house, he got the nice looking girlfriend, he obtained fame, etc. He started screwing off at work. Not coming in on time. He became unreliable to his father. Above all, he disrespected his father on national television.
Look, I know full well Paul Sr. is an asshole sometimes. Hell, he and my father would get along well if they were too meet. Paul Sr. did not ask anything more of his son, than a son should give to his father and a family owned business.
Without Paul Sr.’s capital, management expertise, and experience, Orange County Choppers would be a non entity. Motorcycle designers and fabricators are a dime a dozen. Paul Jr. could be, and has been replaced. I think Orange County Choppers are putting out their best motorcycles now.
I think Paul Sr. wants nothing more than to have his sons with him; as sons, not as monsters.
In my honest opinion, Paul Jr. should go to his father, apologize for being an asshole to his father, make amends, and jump back into the family business. Maybe when his money starts to run out he will.
Life is too short and you only get one father in this world. Paul Jr. and Mickey should jump back on the team for the big win, especially for their family.
Good luck to Orange County Choppers in all of their endeavors.
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