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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Been a while since I posted here, but wanted to see what the general feeling is on the above topic.

I recently posted on another (purely chopper-related) forum that I had seen an article where a bike was built by taking a "pristine" 50's panhead frame and chopping it (neck raked and backbone cut to fit in another engine). I said I didn't think that was a good thing to do since there are so many alternatives nowadays.

Well, I expected an argument, but what I got was a real sh*tstorm, lol. "You can't tell me what to do with my property", "who cares?", "you're just jealous", and even "you're un-American" were some of the responses. A few agreed with me.

My position is that yes, in the 60's there were plenty of old bikes around. But now they are getting more scarce by the day, and every time one is chopped up all it does is to drive up the prices and put the old iron further out of reach for more people. The younger guys seem to be pissed that they missed the glory days and are determined to re-live them no matter what. I think their concept of "old-school" is misplaced - they say they have respect for the old iron and the men who rode them, but the way they show it is to cut them up. Say what? :huh:

Opinions? And please, no sh*tstorm this time...if you can't discuss intelligently, there is no discussion - just an argument.
 

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you are right on. most of em dont even know what a cutaway, chopper or bobber is.
 

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You can buy replica frames for everything. You can buy ready to build frames that have all the features you would hope to obtain buy cutting up an original. IMO, there just is no need to destroy an original frame these days.
 

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My ride is a 1984 FXST. First year of the Evolution motor and first year of the softail frame. A lot of folks told me it would be worth something one day and should be preserved - but I wanted a chopper! So I looked at aftermarket frames and seriously considered that route, but also really wanted a "Harley", not some "assembled" thing. So I cut my frame, built my dream bike and couldn't be happier.

http://www.wholearmor.net/hog.htm
 

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make it your own

In my opinion anyone who wants to make a bike there own by customizing should go for it . If that means chopping up and existing frame then do it, lets face it not everyone has 2 or 3 grand to blow on a good quality frame . Where do you think the term chopper came from ? I am building a custom from the ground up I am going with all new parts or I am building what I like from scratch . I cant stand anything stock , I dont care if you modify a honda , 60s pan head or a brand new harley . I much rather ride somewhere and walk around and check out custom bikes than the same old stock bull crap that anyone with a fat wallet can ride . If you cant wrench on it or build it......... Dont ride it !!!!!!!! BAM!!!!!!!!!:woohoo:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RonH said:
My ride is a 1984 FXST. First year of the Evolution motor and first year of the softail frame. A lot of folks told me it would be worth something one day and should be preserved - but I wanted a chopper! So I looked at aftermarket frames and seriously considered that route, but also really wanted a "Harley", not some "assembled" thing. So I cut my frame, built my dream bike and couldn't be happier.

http://www.wholearmor.net/hog.htm
I suppose that will indeed be a collector's bike someday (or would have been), but in this context I'm not even considering something like that. The history that goes along with flatheads, knucks and pans is important to me. Not saying your bike is inferior to any other, but cutting up an '84 isn't even on my radar. Someday, someone will do with your bike what they should be doing now - taking an already-altered frame and re-doing it to suit themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dan Stewart said:
In my opinion anyone who wants to make a bike there own by customizing should go for it . If that means chopping up and existing frame then do it, lets face it not everyone has 2 or 3 grand to blow on a good quality frame . Where do you think the term chopper came from ? I am building a custom from the ground up I am going with all new parts or I am building what I like from scratch . I cant stand anything stock , I dont care if you modify a honda , 60s pan head or a brand new harley . I much rather ride somewhere and walk around and check out custom bikes than the same old stock bull crap that anyone with a fat wallet can ride . If you cant wrench on it or build it......... Dont ride it !!!!!!!! BAM!!!!!!!!!:woohoo:
First of all, I am well aware of where the term chopper came from, but thanks for the info, LOL.

Second of all, if you have to pay 2 or three grand for a frame, you're not looking at the right frames.

And lastly, there's no question you can do what you want with your bike. It's more a matter of, "being able to do something doesn't mean you have to do it." There are no laws to force people to be responsible and thoughtful.

FYI, I fixed up my Sportster to suit me, to the point where people have to ask me what kind of bike it is. But I could put it back to stock in half a day.

Umm...BAM and woo-hoo to you, too.^rolleyez^
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
claydbal said:
you are right on. most of em dont even know what a cutaway, chopper or bobber is.
Been ridin' since '66 and _I_ don't know what a "cutaway" is, LOL. Gimee a hint?
 

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I'm with you 100% PA. Springer is correct, these days the aftermarket can readily supply any frame you want, there is no need to destroy an original.
If cost is an issue, I'm sure there is a market for old, hard to get original frames that would easily offset the cost of a new one.
Basically I am a lover of all things old an original, including restored original, so my opinion is biased.
Trends come and go. What we find appealing now will not be in the future. Just go through your old bike mags-even 10yrs ago-and see what was so great then aint so great anymore.
I'm all for customising, but to take an old original Knuckle for example and "chop" it would in my opinion is as close as you can get to repainting the Mona Lisa.
I can recall only 10 yrs ago all the 42 wla's I would see around, but now they are hard to come by.
 

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PA_Retread said:
but cutting up an '84 isn't even on my radar.
Sorry - probably should have explained better. Didn't mean to imply that an '84 is one the same page historically as a knucklehead or what have you, just the mindset of why someone would want to cut a frame in order to end up with what they want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RonH said:
Sorry - probably should have explained better. Didn't mean to imply that an '84 is one the same page historically as a knucklehead or what have you, just the mindset of why someone would want to cut a frame in order to end up with what they want.
Understood. It's a very subjective thing...choppers are cool to look at, but I don't really see the purpose in them Most bikes, including the old ones, are pretty well desgned in the geometry department - if any stability is added by raking the front end, I wouldn't think it enough to be worth it. Just about all the other customizing can be done so it can be reversed (sheetmetal, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
71baldboy said:
I'm with you 100% PA. Springer is correct, these days the aftermarket can readily supply any frame you want, there is no need to destroy an original.
If cost is an issue, I'm sure there is a market for old, hard to get original frames that would easily offset the cost of a new one.
Basically I am a lover of all things old an original, including restored original, so my opinion is biased..
Agreed on all points.

71baldboy said:
I can recall only 10 yrs ago all the 42 wla's I would see around, but now they are hard to come by.
Don't remind me, that's a sore topic for me. :crying: My Dad passed away two years ago (see below) and I decided I should build a tribute bike for him. Now I can't afford a WLA so will probably have to use something else.



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
springer- said:
You can buy replica frames for everything. You can buy ready to build frames that have all the features you would hope to obtain buy cutting up an original. IMO, there just is no need to destroy an original frame these days.
Right you are. For instance there's a guy who sells, on eBay, rigid Sportster frames WITH a plunger seat post setup for $600 - $700. That thing has so many possibilities...

Plus, how many frames have been ruined entirely by amateur Tuttles...:puke:
 

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It's your nickle, spend it however you want...

Me personally, I'm not a huge fan of the way greedy dip-shites are playing the status card with just about everything I hold near and dear, so why the F**K would I want to save anything for posterity. I'm sure the kids will be quite happy with my dollars alone.

Just make sure when you cut, you aren't figuratively cutting your own throat.

Example: That 59 Bonneville over in the corner would make some damn sweet chop material, but when you grow up you may be sorry you can't return it to something a whole lot nicer...Stock....Otherwise, go for it bro!
 

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PA_Retread said:
Agreed on all points.



Don't remind me, that's a sore topic for me. :crying: My Dad passed away two years ago (see below) and I decided I should build a tribute bike for him. Now I can't afford a WLA so will probably have to use something else.



That's a nice old pic PA.
A mate of mine bought a WLA at auction here in Oz around 15 years ago paid just under 4grand Aust. We all thought he was mad.
This bike was/is 100% original, and he don't seem so mad anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
71baldboy said:
That's a nice old pic PA.
A mate of mine bought a WLA at auction here in Oz around 15 years ago paid just under 4grand Aust. We all thought he was mad.
This bike was/is 100% original, and he don't seem so mad anymore.
Thanks - that picture will go on the tank of his tribute bike eventually. He was a pisser, as we say.

I think about lost bikes more than lost loves....I wonder where my '46 Indian is now...
 
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