Wherever the bike came from, a chopper by right is a bike that rolled off the assembly line stock standard with all its trim and shiny stuff you will NEVER use in tact. Well, it starts that way. Now, like people and other animals, choppers come in all shapes, sizes, version etc. and like people, they came from one original idea. Bikes then were made for many reasons, some were made for war other just for riding. But the idea of a chopper supposedly (correct me if I am wrong) right after the war (can't remember WW1 or 2), some army folks (pilots if I'm not mistaken) had nothing better to do and decided to race these bikes (I think they were either Harleys or BMW's). upon racing, they discovered that they were kinda heavy. So they started removing all the stuff that was bolted on that they didn't need. Even then, they realized that it was still heavy (fenders were and some still are made of metal and covered a large amount of the wheel I think for armoring purposes). So some dude decided to literally "chop" off as much metal as they could off the bike but still, leaving just enough to serve its purpose. These made them very light and powerful as the large engines now didn't have to act like trucks lugging shit.
I have met many people and done many things to cars and bikes. Still so far, choppers intrigue me the most. Not because of the speed they can take, I don't really care about that, but more of the fact that this is such a personalized bike now that you can do whatever you want to it and it will look nice.
Now, back to what I said about choppers, a lot of people don't agree with me about what a chopper is, but they never realized that I never said I was right, I'm just expressing my point of view. Most Malaysians ride kit bikes. These are bikes roll out of the assembly line and purchased by the owners, but the owners want them to look different. I have seen afew of these kit bikes via some friends. Beautiful. Unfortunately, some look like they were assembled in a junk yard. I have afew friends too who have done up their bikes as a "true chopper" these are great too. They really strip off what they don't need and leave it as plain and simple as possible.
Also, I don't pretend that my bike is a true chop, because as mentioned in my first or second post, it is a combination of different types of choppers. I wouldn't call it a rat bike too as unfortunately, a rat bike in Malaysia is what these half baked, no creativity, hillbilly people who cant complete a project before starting another call their "frankenstien + mr potatohead" combo of a bike. Don't get me wrong, there are very nice rats, but most Malaysians can't tell a rat bike and a junk heap.
How these are made is one thing, but I must really say, I used to think American businessmen had a great way of twisting words like Cleanliness engineer = janitor and stuff like that. I once saw a badly painted bike and asked "erm, so… what's the look you were goin for?". He asked: "you can't tell?" (looking at me like I he didn't know himself) then continued: "uuhh.. it's a… RAT!!". Sadly that's the excuse a lot of people give nowadays for a rat look. But that's not always so. So, back to Malaysians and excuses, I came across a bike one day where the paintjob was quite fresh. They must have thought it smart to put gold leaf on it. Which is true, BUT, it was coming off. It was obvious (maybe he didn't lacquer it, I don't know), and the guy knew it, he just ignored the fact and went on explaining his things. The next time I was the bike, I found it was advertised as a "special" paintjob done with special gold leaf where it is semi silver and gold. I don't know if people bought the idea or not, but well, what can I say. I have even heard stories from people I used to know laughing at some local bike builders who built very badly misshapen, uneven frames and the excuse when the customers complain was, "it's a custom, its not an exact science". Huh? So how is it everyone else can do it right? Hence, with my slight rants, you can slightly see why I think so lowly of what the general "chopper folks" do.
Please don't overlook the fact that although I ran about very bad handiwork, I must admit. There are a handful of unsung heroes, bike builders, and metal fabricators that don't stick out of the woodwork and are unknown to most of the community. The bikes I will show later will explain abit. One of these bikes are of a close friend of mine whom in my view is a humble and wise man that I have the most upmost respect for: Eelman. Eelman loves bikes and he has a vision of true chops. He gets his bikes built by very nice people. Although I don't know who builds his entire bike, I do know that some metal fabrications and tanks are built by a guy called Wak Jep. I have met this guy and I must say. He has very very good handiwork when it comes to metal shaping. He doesn't do it the "American way", but more towards an old school way. Here, English wheels and automated hammers are not cheap, so it's a cut, paste and grind job. Apparently, he is very good at exhausts as well. I may be getting him to go one for me if he has the time.
Also, big ups to my new friend Ciprian! He owns a photoblog. I love his bike. Its another great true chop chopper although he says he doesn't call it that and prefers to think of it as a rat. In my opinion, he's too humble. IT'S A TRUE CHOP DUDE!!
Enough talk. Picture time:
Eelman doing a stunt on his EN500 The Lycan. I call him the Malaysian Indian Larry