Friday, August 14, 2009

A RIDE OF A LIFETIME



Paul Teutul Miller Bike
Image from bikemenu.com


Paul Teutul LinconBig
Image from bikemenu.com


Like the bobber, the chopper is created by removing or chopping off unnecessary components from the bike. Who needs a windshield, front fenders, big headlights, crash bars, big seats, etc? Chop them off and make the bike lighter. Bikers started raking the front end so the angle of the fork to the ground began decreasing allowing for a greatly increased wheelbase. Handlebars were raised high and called ape hangers. The front tire was made small and the rear tire was made fat. Some bikers even removed the battery and used a magneto to reduce weight. The gas tank became small as was the headlight. Anything deemed to be unnecessary was removed. This made for a bike style that was unique and tailored to the rider since each rider decided just what needed to be done to his bike to create the chopper he desired.
As always occurs, this rise of the chopper created by individual backyard mechanics, soon was followed by talented designers whose choppers were sought after. An individual didn't need to actually do the work, just express what he wanted to a chopper designer. Arlen Ness was one of the first such designers.
(From chopperapparel.com)
When you hear "Orange County" you may think of California, but the Hudson Valley boasts its own. It's there, specifically in Rock Tavern, N.Y., where you'll find Orange County Choppers - about 80 miles from New York City.
Established as a business in 1999, the shop grew out of Orange County Ironworks, a steel fabrication enterprise founded nearly 30 years ago by custom-chopper builder and rider, Paul Teutul Snr. OCC jumped on the custom-bike scene at Daytona Biketoberfest, 1999, with "True Blue," a classic chopper built in the basement of Paul Snr.'s house.
Other signature bikes soon followed, including the Spider Bike, purchased by musician Wyclef Jean of the Fugees, and the Jet Bike, built to honour U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.
Today, Orange County Choppers has garnered worldwide praise and recognition for their custom motorcycles. In 2002, OCC was recognised by American Iron as one of the world's top 12 builders; likewise, OCC was among 19 other top builders profiled in the book, Haute Motor: The Art of the Chopper.
OCC bikes have been featured on numerous magazine covers, including American Iron, Freeway (France), Norsk Biker Journal (Norway) and Street Chopper. Plus, the Spider Bike was one of three bikes chosen in the world-class competition at the Rats Hole Custom Show in Daytona, Florida, to receive an all expenses paid trip to Germany, the site of one of the biggest auto/bike shows in the world.
It's a garage that's come far in just a few years.
(Copyright © 2009 Discovery Communications, Inc)
Orange County Choppers (OCC) is best known for the bikes featured on American Chopper where bikes are built around a theme or, for specific corporate or celebrity customers. Theme bikes are motorcycles in which the concept of the motorcycle takes priority over everything else, influencing the frame dimensions, paint scheme, and overall 'feel' of the motorcycle. The function of motorcycle usually takes a backseat to the presentation of the theme, and these motorcycles attract attention solely on the premise of the theme itself. Customer bikes are built for and generally to the specifications of a particular customer. Although the customers typically give OCC creative freedom to do what they will, some clients have a specific idea in mind and expect OCC to reproduce their mental picture literally. Customers use the bikes for promotional purposes at tradeshows or auction them off as a charity fundraiser.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


OCC Davis Love cycle
Image from bikemenu.com


OCC Liberty
Image from bikemenu.com


Dixie Chopper (lawn mowers) custom motorcycle
Lawnn mower retailer in Indiana, 15 April 2006
Source Image:Orange-county-choppers-dixie-chopper-bike-right
Author Derek Jensen (Tysto), From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Dixie Chopper (lawn mowers) custom motorcycle
The world's Fastest Lawn Mower
Lawn mower retailer in Indiana, Date 15 April 2006
Author Derek Jensen (Tysto)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Picture Of the OCC Dixie Chopper from Sturgis 2004
Image from gallconsulting.com


U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Dickerson
325th Fighter Wing vice commander
with Raptor Bike, “Air Force Chopper”
Unveiled at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Golden Corral 500
First Air Force appearance at Tyndall, March 22, 2005
US Air Force photo by Lisa Norman at defenselink.mil


OCC Spiderman
Image from bikemenu.com




Image from fighterslockerroom.eu


OCC was in the business of building custom motorcycles for individuals before it gained fame building themed projects or was featured on television. OCC has returned to that business while incorporating some of the designs that made them famous. The Web production bike is inspired by the Black Widow theme bike and other bikes which have incorporated spider webs into the design. The Greeny is an old-school style chopper designed by Paul Senior. The OCC Original includes many of the design elements that have made OCC famous including the heavy frame, wide back tire and wide rake on the front forks. The splitback features a unique split gas tank originally conceived from theme bikes on the show. A T-Rex Softail and a T-Rex Rigit were also available in the production series in the past.
Paul Senior's love of the style led him to create a number of Old School style choppers including 10-Up old School, Greeny, Maroon and Gold, Orange Bobber, The Blue Bomber, Little Red, Old School Vette, Orange Knucklehead, Pitchfork, Triumph Flames and Sunshine.
In recognition of the shows growing fanbase, a contest was held to select fans which would receive custom built bikes. Winners were visited by the designers and asked to describe their dream bike. Winners include Jeff Clegg's Corporal Punishment, Susan Morisset's Female Snake Bike, Joseph McClendon's Custom Hog, and Bryan King's Vertebrae Trike.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Mikey (from left), Senior and Paulie with "Patriot Chopper"
Commissioned and designed by the National Guard
Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va.
Date 27 September 2007
Source dvidshub.net, Author Staff Sgt. Kim Snow
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Paul Teutul Sr rides the "Patriot Chopper"
designed by U.S. troops, Jan 15, 2008
Source defenselink.mil
Author Sgt. Mary Flynn
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Paul Senior, Paul Junior and Mickey
with Brazilian President Lula and First-Lady Marisa Letícia
Date 7 September 2007
Source Agência Brasil, Author Antônio Cruz
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Paul Teutul Sr
Image from thebandmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com
Copyright © 2009 - Zimbio, Inc


Paul Teutul Sr
March 11, 2009
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images North America


His bike shop may be only 4 years old, but Paul Teutul Sr.'s love of riding and fabricating custom motorcycles dates back to the '70s, inspired by such films as Easy Rider and Marlon Brando's quintessential The Wild One. Since then he's worked in steel fabrication, nurturing his Orange County Ironworks into the booming commercial business it is today.
But it was Orange County Ironworks' very success that allowed Paul Sr. to pursue his passion for building motorcycles in his downtime, and in 1999 he recruited his son Paul Jr. to become the chief fabricator and designer for a new enterprise. Today, Paul's three sons all work in either his steel business or bike shop. Danny, 26, is the general manager of Orange County Ironworks and the father of a 2-year-old daughter, Gabriella. Paul Jr., 28, is chief designer and fabricator at Orange County Choppers. Michael, 24, answers phones and orders parts at OCC. Daughter Kristin, 21, attends nursing school in Rochester, N.Y.
(Copyright © 2009 Discovery Communications, Inc)


Paul Teutul Jr. on "American Chopper" - © TLC
Copyright © 2006-2009 by Pop Tower


Paul Teutul, Jr
Image from myspace.com


Paul Teutul Jr. — aka Junior or Paulie — was born with sheet metal in his blood. From the age of 12, he spent his summers at his father's steel business learning all the skills of fabrication that he would later use building motorcycles. While in high school Junior also took part in a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCE) program, which allowed him to further hone his craft.
Soon after graduation Paul Jr. went to work for his father's Orange County Ironworks, becoming head of its railing shop. But as his father began to spend more time building motorcycles for pleasure, he approached his son to assist. It was then that Paul Sr. recognized his son's design and fabrication talent, and with his blessing, Junior left the rail shop to help establish Orange County Choppers as a business in 1999.
That year, the father-and-son team debuted their bikes in Daytona to massive interest, and they've never looked back, With Paul Jr. as the chief designer and fabricator, and with Paul Sr. lending his considerable business acumen, OCC is unstoppable.
(Copyright © 2009 Discovery Communications, Inc)


Mikey Teutul
11-JUN-2005
Copyright David Bailey at pbase.com


Mike Teutuls
©2009 Google Download Picasa


Like his brother before him, Michael — known as Mikey — went to work for Orange County Ironworks at age 12, working on and off until he graduated from high school. From there he went on to community college, but after a series of zeroes he realized it wasn't quite his scene. So he returned to work at his dad's company.
Mikey toiled at Ironworks until he turned 20, when he moved to Tempe, Ariz., and went through six different jobs in five months:
* bouncer at a bar, which didn't work out because it interfered with his night life;
* busboy, which didn't work out because he was "treated like crap";
* telemarketer selling cell phones and cell-phone service, which didn't work out because he hates being bothered at home by telemarketers;
* valet-parking attendant, which didn't work out because they made him run — and shave; and
* movie-theater guy, which was enjoyable because he didn't really do anything but see free movies.
But overall, Arizona wasn't quite Mikey's place either, so Rock Tavern beckoned once his money ran out.
Back at home Mikey did carpentry with a friend for a year before again returning to Orange County Ironworks and working with his brother Daniel. Then, after two years of a job that was "unrewarding, cold and cruel," he went to a tavern one January night and met the man who would advocate his hiring at Orange County Choppers: Rusty, aka Russell Muth, producer of American Chopper.
Mikey was soon on board at OCC, answering phones, picking up parts, popping bubble wrap and taking out the trash. But within two weeks of starting his new job he was on the road attending bike shows with his brother and father, and his stand-in was already outperforming him. So while he has two people working under him now, he's not quite sure what his job is anymore. But does that really matter?
(Copyright © 2009 Discovery Communications, Inc)


Vinny
Image from bustedcar.com


Today he may fabricate OCC bikes (and enjoy it), but Vinnie's first love? Cars.
It's a bit of a surprise, since Vinnie's dad used to sell Indians and got his son riding when he was 3 (his first bike had a set of training wheels). But his dad also owned a repair shop and gas station, where Vinnie started working when he was 9. He got hooked, and by the time he was 15, Vinnie was doing high-performance work on his and all of his friends' cars.
But that was (and continues to be) all side work; Vinnie's first "real" job started when he was 16, working with his father at his golf course. Nine years later, family businesses being what they are, he decided that he'd rather stop working for his dad and be able to remain friends.
So Vinnie left the golf course to be an auto mechanic for a year and a half, then embarked on a series of different jobs: He drilled wells for eight months, drove a truck for a year, returned to the garage where he had been a mechanic, and also worked for a friend doing custom auto audio/TV installation.
Then one day his dad — long-time friends with Paul Sr. from his repair-shop — let Vinnie know that Paulie was looking for a good mechanic, someone he knew and trusted, to work with him at Orange County Choppers. And Paul Jr., his elementary-school friend starting in third grade, knew Vinnie could do anything to a car or bike (well, short of painting). Interested, Vinnie called Junior, and the rest is history; two weeks after their October 2002 conversation, Vinnie was working at OCC.
Today at OCC, Vinnie mostly does fabrication on the production bikes and fab and assembly on the theme bikes. And enjoys it — although he may be more into mechanics (motors and wiring) than welding, because the bikes are so varied, the work always stays fresh.
As you may know, 25-year-old Christian does the final assembly and service on all of OCC's customer bikes. And you may have noticed that when time is tight, he helps out Paul Jr. and Vinnie on theme bikes as well, the Leno Bike being one example.
But do you know how Christian came to work for OCC? No?
Well, read on, then. Christian said, "I have been into and riding motorcycles since I was about 6 years old; they've always fascinated me. I get a big thrill out of riding a bike that I have never ridden. I also have a love for cars. Stock is never good enough for me; mods are always good. I learned to fix motorcycles and cars by taking them apart and breaking them. I could never afford to get them fixed as a kid, so I would always pull them apart and attempt to fix them even if I didn't know what I was doing. I also attended the American Motorcycle Institute (AMI) in Daytona Beach; I graduated in 2001. Generally, I only work on my own bikes outside of OCC — usually my dirt bikes and quad. I had several jobs before OCC, including positions at two motorcycle dealerships, where I gained a lot of experience. The other jobs I've had are not worth mentioning. I started working at OCC in September 2002, just after Discovery shot the pilot show with the Jet Bike. As for how I came to work for them, Nick, who had been working there for a couple of months, called me up and asked me if I wanted to work there. We had been roommates in Florida and friends for a while. I do all of the final assembly and service on all of the customer bikes. I occasionally help Paul Jr. and Vinnie with the assembly on the theme bikes. My job title has pretty much been the same since I have been there, and the filming hasn't changed things much. My favorite thing about working at OCC is the test riding for sure. There is nothing better than getting to ride five or six times a week for about 40 miles a time. I don't really have a least favorite thing; everyone who works at OCC is great, and we get along well. I work on the theme bikes whenever time is a main concern. Paul Jr. will ask me to come and help out to get the bike done quicker. My favorite bike is probably the Black Widow. I ride almost every day — customer bikes. I still like Japanese bikes; I had one stolen from me last summer. But I have two dirt bikes now, and one quad that I ride all of the time. I was born and raised on the Jersey Shore, the Asbury Park area. I live in New York now, but I'm still missin' Jersey. My plans for the future are to ride bikes, ride bikes and of course … ride bikes."
(Copyright © 2009 Discovery Communications, LLC.)
OCC's production facility was initially located in the hamlet of Rock Tavern, it then later moved to nearby Montgomery before moving into its new headquarters in Newburgh. The company also operates a seasonal kiosk at the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall in Central Valley, NY.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Orange County Choppers World Headquarters
Author Jimerb (talk)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


List of Theme Bikes:
Black Widow Bike:
Paul Teutul Jr. was the primary designer and fabricator on this bike. The Black Widow Bike was the bike central to the first two episodes of American Chopper. This bike was the first sign to fans of American Chopper of Paul Jr.'s obsession with spiders and spider webs.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Fire Bike:
Appropriately assembled of parts from across the country, the Fire Bike is a symbol of the unity, honor, and pride that swept the country after 911. With a gas tank from California, a carburetor from Texas, wheels from New Hampshire, and a swing arm from Oklahoma, the Fire Bike is a stunning portrayal of the effects of this fateful day on the nation. By far the focal point and most meaningful piece of the bike is the bolt affixed atop the gas tank; a part of history recovered by a firefighter from the ashes of the World Trade Center. Paul Teutul Sr. said it best when he said, “It’s not just an Orange County chopper. It’s a New York City chopper.”
(from Online media Gallery at ocfm.us)


The Fire Bike, 28 May 2005
Source Image: flickr.com, Author delgaudm
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Paul Teutul NYC Fire Department Bike
Image from bikemenu.com



The Fire Bike
Image from romaboutfire.com


The Fire Bike was created by everyone at OCC, the project holding more emotional weight with its ties to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This bike follows Orange County Choppers around to most of their shows and is consistently a big hit.
The chopper was built as a tribute to the firefighters who died in the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001. The custom paint job features the number "343" on the rear fender, representing the number of firefighters who died while saving civilians that day. It also features, as the very last part attached to the bike, a piece of steel that was recovered from Ground Zero. Paul Jr. welded the piece, which resembles a large rivet with the end opposite the head very jagged, onto a bracket made from diamond plate which was then attached to a cavity on top of the gas tank. This was done when the bike was presented to the firemen at one of the New York fire stations at the end of the episode.
During the New York Jets Bike episode, the Fire Bike was damaged during a highway accident. It was the New York City Fire Department that arrived to help and took special care in recovering the bike which was later repaired.

Cody's old school project:
Based around a Harley Davidson replica frame, the Old School Chopper has an 88ci (cubic inch) pan head motor that delivers 40 horsepower (30 kW) through a chain drive to the back wheel. It also features a springer front end, sportster style tank, old style ape hanger handlebars and foot clutch/suicide shift. Detailing includes a deep maroon paint job and gold-leaf accenting. Most of the fabrication on this bike was done by OCC's former student intern, Cody Connolly, as a joint project with Paul Sr. Despite the bike being presented to Cody at the end of the episode, it was later returned to OCC where it remains on display at the OCC retail store.

Comanche Bike:
Designed and fabricated by Paul Teutul Jr. and named after the RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter. The Comanche Bike was debuted at an event to which the Teutuls flew in on a Bell 206 helicopter, an entrance which required major set-up, leaving Vinnie DiMartino, the engine's original builder, Joe, and others to fix massive problems with the engine. In the last seconds (quite literally), the crew got the bike started up, and released it to the public with great success.

Mikey's Blues Bike:
Mike Teutul made his entrance into the world of custom bike building with this blues-themed chopper "Mikey's Bike" . Originally to be helped by his brother, Paul Teutul Jr., he eventually grows fed up with his brother's lack of assistance on the project and enlists various members of the Orange County Choppers staff. The wheels were spoked with gold spokes and their inside edges muraled with musical notes. In addition, all along the bike are painted images representative of various famous bluesmen such as B. B. King, Robert Johnson, Taj Mahal, Tom Waits and Gatemouth Brown.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Mikeys Blues Bike
Source originally posted to Flickr as OCC Choppers
Author delgaudm
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


OCC Mike
Image from bikemenu.com


Christmas Bike:
The Christmas Bike bike had a special rarely seen father/son build team of Mikey and Paul Sr. In this build the father and son team focused more on superficial factors like the antlers, paint job, and sleigh look as opposed to the power of the engine or electronics. Although not as serious of a technical episode as some are, the Christmas Bike episode ended on a nice note with Paul Sr. and Mikey entertaining some kids with their new creation. The main members of the build were Sr., Mikey, Rick Petko, and Mike Campo. All would regroup for the Santa's Sleigh the following year.

POW/MIA Bike:
During a bike show at the Javits Center Paul Sr. met two Vietnam War veterans. An idea brewed in Paul's mind for several months before deciding to make a the POW/MIA Bike centered around the POW/MIAs of the Vietnam War. The entire American Chopper gang made a trip to Washington D.C. and visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall, Rick Petko even taking a rubbing of a relative whose name was on the wall. In a rare turn of events, Paul Sr. took charge of the project, as opposed to his son, as Senior felt a closer tie to the veterans from his generation. Senior took Mike Teutul, Rick Petko, and Mike Campo into the crew for the bike. The bike featured massive custom fabrication on nearly every piece, the crew incorporating the phrase "POW/MIA" and the POW/MIA logo wherever they could. They even bought a custom Jeri Springer front end with POW/MIA memorabilia embedded in the metal. On September 22, 2008, The Teutels and Mikey had presented a POW/MIA chopper to Senator John McCain at a rally in Media, PA.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Picture Of the OCC POW / MIA Chopper from Sturgis 2004
Image from gallconsulting.com


Mikey/Vinnie's Bike:
Because of scheduling conflicts, Paul Sr and Paul Jr were called away on other business. As a result, Mikey and Vinnie were given free rein to create the Mikey/Vinnie Bike. In a first for OCC, Vinnie opted for a V series [twin-cam] engine modified to 103 ci with 110 horsepower (82 kW). The bike's most revolutionary innovation is its one sided soft tail frame. The unusual swing arm required a drastic adjustment to its transmission offset. A mural of Mikey giving Vinnie a bear hug compliments the rear fender.

Lance Armstrong:
After a visit to Nike headquarters, the American Chopper crew sets out to build a bike honoring seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, and his Lance Armstrong Foundation. Numerous custom parts were fabricated, including a prominent cover plate with 5 stars to symbolize Lance's 5 victories, which had to be altered when he won his 6th. The fuel tank follows the lines of Lance's riding helmet, and its paint scheme is the yellow and black of the Livestrong Foundation. Lance has come back to do a commercial for future seasons of American Chopper. In the commercial he races back to his hotel room, hears the whirring of buzzing metalwork behind the door, and finds the Teutuls (Mikey, Junior, and Senior) with his newly Chopper'ed bike (featuring sharp spokes, a fuel tank-like protrusion for some reason, etc).
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


OCC Lance Armstrong
Image from bikemenu.com


I, Robot Bike:
I, Robot star Will Smith visited Orange County Choppers to share his view of how the bike should look. Orange County Choppers used exclusive development artwork and sketches of the robots provided by the film's producers to lay out a sleek, futuristic, robotic looking bike. Finally, the Teutuls presented the bike in a red carpet affair for the premiere of I, Robot. Full Throttle video game, though is referred to as the 'Future Bike'.

Junior's Dream Bike:
It is the third in a series of "web-themed" bikes conceived and designed by Paul Teutul, Jr. The bike is covered front to back with cold rolled round bar webbing, each section of the bike has an individually tailored piece of webbing. The bike is notable for having a "ghost tank" in place of a gas tank, using webbing built in the shape of a gas tank. (A small gas tank was built into the oil tank in front of the rear wheel.) Vinny DiMartino constructed the headlight, Junior made the rear fender and the ghost tank, where Rick Petko created the oil tank and the scoop at the front.

Others:
OCC produced a jet plane-themed bike, known as the Jet Bike. Additionally, they have produced a Rat Bike, Police Bike, Lucy Bike, Military Bikes, Talladega Bike, Spider-Man Bike, Clown Bike, Flash Bike, True Blue Bike, Eragon Bike, Rick's Dream Bike, the PureFit Nutrition Bar Bike for founder and CEO, Robb Dorf.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


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