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  • Chopper (motorcycle)

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    Peter Fonda rides a replica of the "Captain America" bike used in Easy Rider. A chopper is a type of custom motorcycle which emerged in California in the late 1950s. The chopper is perhaps the most extreme of all custom styles, often using radically modified steering angles and lengthened forks for a stretched-out appearance. They can be built from an original motorcycle which is modified ("chopped") or built from scratch. Some of the characteristic features of choppers are long front ends with extended forks often coupled with an increased rake angle, hardtail frames (frames without rear suspension), very tall "ape hanger" or very short "drag" handlebars, lengthened or stretched frames, and larger than stock front wheels. The "sissy bar", a set of tubes that connect the rear fender with the frame, and which are often extended several feet high, is a signature feature on many choppers. Perhaps the best known choppers are the two customized Harley-Davidsons, the "Captain America" and "Billy Bike", seen in the 1969 film Easy Rider.

  • Ben Hardy (motorcycle builder)

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    Benjamin F. "Ben" Hardy was an African-American custom motorcycle builder who made the Captain America and Billy choppers for the 1969 Peter Fonda road movie Easy Rider. Replica of the "Captain America" bike in the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum.The Captain America bike, made from a then 20-year-old, heavily customized Harley-Davidson panhead is considered one of the most iconic motorcycles ever built, one which captured the zeitgeist of a generation and became an anti-establishment symbol. Working with another Black motorcycle builder, coordinator Cliff Vaughs, Hardy built two 'Billy' bikes and three 'Captain Americas', one of which was destroyed in the making of the movie, the rest of which were stolen. The 'Billy' bike was typical of the custom motorcycles Black bikers were riding at the time. Hardy and Vaughs remained largely unknown and uncredited for 25 years as they were not accepted as being equal due to their color and, as African-Americans, were not welcomed into the mainstream white motorcycle world in the USA. Known locally as "Benny" and "King of Bikes" Ben Hardy's Motorcycle Service was located at 1168 E. Florence in Los Angeles.

  • Bobber (motorcycle)

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    A bobber, originally called a 'bob-job' from the 1930s through 1990s, is a style of custom motorcycle. The typical construction includes stripping excess bodywork from a motorcycle; removing the front fender, and shortening the rear fender, which is "bobbed" (as in bob-tail), and all superfluous parts removed to reduce weight. A Harley-Davidson bobber A BSA M20 bobber

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