TYPES AND STYLES OF CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES.
People often confuse the term “custom” with the term “chopper”…A chopper is surely a custom motorcycle, BUT, a custom motorcycle IS NOT necessarily a chopper…Let’s try to put some order in the wonderful and challenging world of the custom motorcycles! 

Forgive any mistakes!

As we have read in history, the first attempt to build a different – and lighter – motorcycle than the stock ones, took place by ex-soldiers who returned home after the WW2…
Those days, those bikes were called “bobbers”, and that particular style – as a term and also as real motorcycles indeed – exist even today…
some examples below…

This is what was happening in the USA, but at the other side of the atlantic ocean, and especially in England, things were a little bit different…Ex-soldiers and common 2-wheel enthusiasts were cought in the vortex of the “CAFE RACERS” universe…Same purpose, different bikes, different style…Cafe racers DO exist today, and they haunt some people’s dreams…
some photos…



Virtualy ANY kind of street bike can be “transformed” to a cafe racer-style bike…The possibilities are unlimited…
You got the idea, there’s no need to dig deeper…

THEN…In the mid-’60s when the term “do it yourself” was ruling the planet, the idea of a cost-efficient custom bike that could travel across the continental USA easily and pleasantly, gave birth to the very popular “CHOPPERS”…
Low, long bikes with even longer front ends that gave stability and smooth, effortless all-day “EASY” riding…
The all-time classic film, “EASY RIDER” became the benchmark of an entire new era, an era that began back then, but has NOT ended yet, and I don’t think that ever will be…Words are very poor here…
The legend reproduced by OCC

Other contemporary creations…The spirit is the same, no matter how old or newer the bike is…


Needless to say, that on this canvas, the exaggeration is often…



Some bikes that in my oppinion belong in the chopper family, are the “LOW RIDERS”…Ultra-low and long bikes, with the apropriate rake and fat, fat rear tyres, are similar in style with the drag racing bikes, or “dragsters”…





Then, there are also the “CRUISER” style, in which the word speaks for itself…NOT one of my favourite styles…

I think a very srtong trend nowadays, is the “BOARD TRACKER” style, and we have seen fantastic bikes using this mid-’20s racing bike style. To some people, this term is wrong, but what can I say when almost all the famous designers and builders still using it to describe certain custom motorcycles…

21” diameter – or more – wheels with VERY thin tyres, compact structure, are one of my favourite styles…




A Very representative brand – among others – of this style, is the FALCON motorcycles.



This style inspired many others to build bikes loyal to that elegant style, but in a more “post modern” way…
The CONFEDERATE WRAITH model, is one of the first to appear in the world bringing this style, and still, one of the most beautiful…

The famous KR by Roland Sands design

And many others have built masterpieces…

And then, there are of course – America’s favourites – “FLAT TRACKERS” or dirt-trackers by others. Since we’re concerned ONLY about the style and not for the actual races, it’s the same thing…
The do-it-yourself happy hour! I think – and this is only a personal statement – that this is the simplest, easiest kind of customizing! ANY and I mean ANY bike existing on the planet could be turned into a beautiful flat-tracker…
The most famous and from where everything began, is the H-D XR 750…

Here we ca see a ducati undercover as a XR 750…





Of course there are many other subcategories under every major type and style, esthaetically speaking, but I think we mentioned the most significant and common styles today…
It is very common to designers and builders to “MIX UP” styles together, in order to present a very innovative and impresive bike, with varius results…Some bikes are sight for sore eyes, and some others are monstrosities…
The motorcycle customizing reality is very open-minded, and it’s up to each of us to decide what he likes and what not…In the very near future, I WILL put my designing and building skills to test, so stay tuned!!!
Nick

PS. In order to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations, I have to say that I have by all means NO relation of any kind, to ANY known or unknown custom builder, individual or company. The chosen photos are randomly selected from my collection, and I used them in order to visualize the certain style, in order to become more understood.

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