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Frisco Style |

Tag Archives: frisco style

Choppers by Region

Have you ever noticed that Choppers built in So Cal usually look different than Choppers built in NYC or why do Choppers Built in Florida look different then choppers in the Pacific Northwest? What is the reason for this? Is it personal style or is it function?

In the early days of the Chopper (way back in the 60s and 70s) many builders and riders were actually building their to make them easier to ride in their local terrain. Choppers were actually built more with function over style, as where today it seems to be the complete opposite. But what determined what was function?

Region use to determine the Choppers Style

Well, function was determined by where you lived, in the US (or the world). If you lived in the San Francisco were you had a lot of hills your bikes would be suited towards that terrain. Things like high gas tanks for better balance, the gas tanks are also made larger to get more gas out of them (some as much as 100 MPG), shorter rakes for more control on the hills (can’t be too long or it would be hard to make a u-turn on a hill), and the pegs just underneath the rider (like on a horse) rather then in front for more control as well.

A Frisco Style Chopper

If you happened to live in a City in the Northeast like say NYC for example, bikes would be more suited to the high volume of traffic and rough old roads of NYC. Things like cabs, lots of pedestrians on the street and potholes create the function for the NYC style. Usually NYC Style bikes are built with small rigid frames, short front ends, very minimal with everything not needed stripped off, peanut gas tanks. The reasons for the rigid frames are, so they will stay together at high speeds on the rough roads and through pot holes, NYC riders need a frame that is strong. The short front ends are so the bike can handle better in a tight space, the peanut gas tank is to keep the bike small and to strip the bike down is to make sure it fits through all of the traffic.

Grease Monkey by Indian Larry a true NYC Chopper

Another common style is the Southern California look, for this style think Denver Mullins. Whats common with this style is a long front rake, large frame and large gas tank sometimes diamond shaped. Even though this style is studied well for So Cals open, desert terrain the real reason it started in a Quote from Denver Mullins Daughter is “my dad started modifying motercycles in the late 60′s because he was a BIG man (6’3″ and was @#%$@( pounds) so he wanted to ride comfortably. That is when the low profile frames were designed and produced….to make the low profile frame look cool, he decided that the front end needed to be longer. The laid bake appearence of his choppers, minus the sissy bar, was so that he could ride long and easy with his size getting in the way. Also, regular tanks were to bulky so he created the diamond tank!!!” Kind of ironic that all of that also fit the terrain as well.

Denver Mullins So Cal Chopper

The Pacific Northwest region has its own style as well, nicknamed the grasshopper style due to its appearance. This style of bike is known for its highboy frames, small rear end, and de-raked with tall tubes given it a grasshopper like appearance, also usually the front fender is left on. The reason for these mods are due to the terrain and climate of the Pacific Northwest, it rains a lot up there so the choppers have to handle well in the rain (yes they ride in the rain) and to handle the mountain terrain of the Northwest.

A Grasshopper of the Pacific Northwest

There are many other styles of chopper out there as well, some by region others by look, even though these choppers were originated by there riders regions today you will see all types of choppers no matter what region. I see Frisco style choppers over here in Florida all the time, I’ve seen pictures of So Cal style choppers in NYC, I live in Florida but I like the look of the NYC style the best. So it really doesn’t matter where you live, if you like a style build that style. I just wanted to show how some of the styles of the chopper originated.

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