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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1973 Harley-Davidson FL Electra-Glide

The 1973 Harley-Davidson FL Electra-Glide is one of the few Harley models to sport "AMF" alongside the Harley-Davidson name on its logo. Learn why in the 1970s many owners removed the AMF badges after purchase and repainted their entire motorcyles.

1978 Harley-Davidson FLHS Electra-Glide

The 1978 Harley-Davidson FLHS Electra-Glide debuted with a lean look. The FLH tradition typically invokes the image of a full-tilt luggage-laden touring bike; learn how adding the "S" suffix in 1978 meant a stripped bike resembling the FLs of old.

1978 Harley-Davidson XL-1000 Sportster

The 1978 Harley-Davidson XL-1000 Sportster was released in a limited run in honor of Harley-Davidson's 75th anniversary. Gold striping gold-cast wheels and genuine leather graced the jet-black paint. Read about this classy full-featured Harley.

1980 Harley-Davidson FXWG Wide Glide

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.

1984 Harley-Davidson FXRT

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.

1986 Harley-Davidson XLH 1100

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.

1990 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy

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.

1992 Harley-Davidson FXDB Daytona

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.

1998 Harley-Davidson FLHTCUI

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.

1998 Harley-Davidson FLSTS Heritage Springer

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.

1998 Harley-Davidson FLTRI Road Glide

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.

1998 Harley Davidson FXDWG Wide Glide

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.

Harley-Davidson History

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.

Harley-Davidson Engines

When one thinks of Harley-Davidson engines, thundering V-twins is what usually comes to mind. Read this article to learn the 6 unique Big Twin design generations over the history of the Harley-Davidson company and the details for the smaller motors.

1975 Harley-Davidson XL-1000 and XR-750

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.

1981 Harley-Davidson FXB Sturgis

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.

Punisher: A Chopper Profile

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.

Turbo Spike: A Chopper Profile

Designed and constructed in Ft. Lauderdale by Kaotic Customs, Turbo Spike is a powerful custom chopper that features a boosted engine with a Garrett turbocharger. See photos and specifications for this super chopper.

Hard Tail: A Chopper Profile

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.

DD Customs Cycles Pro Street: A Chopper Profile

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.

Checkers: A Chopper Profile

Checkers is a custom chopper with a monster V-twin engine fed by twin S&S carburetors. In this machine, Harley-Davidson meets street machine. See photos and specifications for this unrivaled chopper.

Assassin: A Chopper Profile

After showing its wares at a custom cycle show, Scooter Shooterz was selected to participate in the hugely successful Biker Build-Off on The Discovery Channel. Assassin is outfitted with a black steel frame and Executioner wheels. See photos and specifications for this killer chopper.

Custom Shop Cycles Pro Street: A Chopper Profile

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.

Speed Demon: A Chopper Profile

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.

Buell Street Fighter: A Chopper Profile

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.