Motorcycles and Choppers

The Motorcycles and Choppers Channel explores how these machines are built and customized. Learn all about motorcycles and choppers at HowStuffWorks.

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Chopper fans celebrated when the 1980 Harley-Davidson FXWG Wide Glide was introduced. The Wide Glide featured a flamed Fat Bob fuel tank and wide-spaced fork tubes embracing a 21-inch spoked front wheel. Check out this factory custom Harley bike.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1984 Harley-Davidson FXRT built upon the success of the FXR. A stiffer frame with Sportster-style forks handled better than any previous Big Twin and rubber engine mounts and a five-speed made for a smoother ride. Read about the Harley FXRT.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The introduction of the 1986 Harley-Davidson XLH 1100 was big news for fans of the Harley Sportster. The 1986 models got their own version of the Evolution powerplant smoother and more reliable than the old design. Check out the Harley XLH 1100.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

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Harley-Davidson has produced many specialty machines but few match the impact of the FLSTF Fat Boy that debuted in 1990. The simple silver paint scheme was enhanced by a matching frame and classic design. Learn about the acclaimed Harley Fat Boy.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1992 Harley-Davidson FXDB Daytona was named after Daytona Beach Florida. It features a moderate level of chrome trim and Harley's first true pearl paint job. Check out the bike that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Daytona motorcyle meet.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1998 Harley-Davidson FLHTCUI was at the time quite simply the best-equipped Harley ever. By combining all the comforts of home with a full complement of electronics Harley created the ultimate touring rig. Read about this spectacular Harley.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

From the Springer forks to the wide whitewall tires to the fringed saddlebags the 1998 Harley-Davidson FLSTS Heritage Springer styling mirrors that of a 1940s-era vintage bike. Read about this modern classic Harley motorcycle nicknamed Old Boy.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

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The 1998 Harley-Davidson FLTRI Road Glide hearkened back to the FLT of the 1980s. The FLTRI's luggage space and convenient instrument panel were aimed at the touring market. Learn the unique feature that distinguishes this Harley from many others.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1998 Harley-Davidson FXDWG Wide Glide was aimed at Harley's loyal touring customers. Forward foot controls lend a long look to the chassis and along with the elevated handlebars give the rider a laid-back posture. Check out the Harley FXDWG.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

In 2003, Harley-Davidson celebrated 100 years of building distinctly American motorcycles. This article traces the development of the machines and the legacy of the "Harley mystique." Read how Harley-Davidson survived when other manufacturers failed.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1975 Harley-Davidson XL-1000 and XR-750 were often altered so few remain their original state. The engine for the XR-750 racer was based on the Sportster but it had dual carbs and high-mounted exhaust. Check out these rare powerful Harleys.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

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The 1981 Harley-Davidson FXB Sturgis took its name from the week-long motorcycle event held each summer in Sturgis South Dakota. Read about this popular Harley model featuring rich black paint with only small touches of orange and chrome trim.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Built and designed by The Wrench Custom Cycles, The Punisher is a custom chopper with almost all hand-crafted parts. See photos and specifications for this innovative chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

This cobalt-blue chopper is a mark of ingenious design and paint work. It combines catalog items with enough creativity to make it unlike any other, which is, of course, what every builder aspires to. See photos and specifications for this inventive chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Dave Dupor of DD Custom Cycles is fast becoming one of the nation's hottest chopper builders. His Pro Street features the finest hardware and workmanship. See photos and specifications for this cutting-edge chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

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Custom Shop Cycles Pro Street Chopper is a custom chopper built for a charity. It features a 113-cubic-inch Ultima engine, plus a flaming paint job. See photos and specifications for the generous chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Speed Demon is a high-caliber custom chopper with an elongated frame and a distinguishing chrome-themed paint job. See photos and specification for this silvery chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Buell Street Fighter is a custom chopper with a modified version of a Harley-Davidson Sportster engine. Creator Eric Buell forgoes long-legged designs in favor of a more traditional custom style. See photos and specifications for this chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Once Custom Shop Cycles decided to build its first chopper it went the route of full-blown crazy just to show the world what it could do. This chopper features a supercharged engine and nitrous oxide injection. See photos and specifications for this super chopper.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

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The 1981 Yamaha 1100 Midnight Special motorcycle wasn't your typical cruiser-type bike. It had an inline-four power and shaft-drive which was faster and smoother than other cruisers. See pictures and learn about the Yamaha 1100 Midnight Special.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1985 Yamaha RZ 500 motorcycle had extraordinary performance but was too wild for some. The twin-crank four-cylinder two-stroke was tame at low revs but exploded to life as it neared its 10000-rpm redline. See pictures and learn about the potent Yamaha RZ 500.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1997 Yamaha Royal Star Palamino Edition motorcycle was a tan-and-white beauty. The engine is actually a V-four water-cooled configuration instead of a V-twin design. See pictures and learn about Yamaha's Royal Star Palamino Edition.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1985 Yamaha V-Max motorcycle was unbeatable in a drag race by any other street bike of its day. It featured a a 1200-cc V-four cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder. See pictures and learn about the Yamaha V-Max.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

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Movies like "Easy Rider" brought the chopper to the public's attention, and chopper culture is still going strong. Even Paris Hilton has one, which reportedly costs $250,000. Go into the guts of these chopped-up motorcycles and see how they're customized.

By Jonathan Strickland

The 1983 Yamaha XJ 650 Seca Turbo motorcycle combined turbo power and aerodynamic styling. Unfortunately the motorcycle failed to produce the 'big bike' power that it promised which resulted in its demise. See pictures and learn about the Yamaha XJ 650 Seca Turbo.

By the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide