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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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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.

Supercharged: A Chopper Profile

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.

Fiend: A Chopper Profile

The owner's passion for all things retro found a place on his custom chopper. Fiend combines a retro look with modern innovations. See photos and specifications for this fiendish chopper.

1981 Yamaha 1100 Midnight Special

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.

1985 Yamaha RZ 500

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.

1997 Yamaha Royal Star Palamino Edition

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.

1985 Yamaha V-Max

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.

How Choppers Work

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.

1983 Yamaha XJ 650 Seca Turbo

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.

1974 Yamaha RD350

The Japanese-built 1974 Yamaha RD350 motorcycle was light and very powerful for its size. It featured a a broader power band than most. Get specs and information for this motorcycle.

1951 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide

The 1951 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide motorcycle was in its day among the world's fastest. A unique feature of this motorcycle is that the components were bolted to each other instead of the frame. See pictures and learn about the Vincent HRD Series.

1961 Velocette Venom

The British-built 1961 Velocette Venom motorcycle was a 100-mph single-cylinder bike. The motorcycle was capable of reaching such high speeds because of the large 500-cc cylinder displacement. See pictures and learn about the Velocette Venom.

1989 Honda BG500 Tourist Trophy

The 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy motorcycle had the look of a 1960s race bike. Unfortunately this motorcycle was not successful in the United States which caused a short production life. See pictures and learn about the 1989 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy.

1984 Honda Nighthawk 700S

The 1984 Honda Nighthawk 700S motorcycle filled a gap between sport and standard motorcycles. It had many of the same features of these two styles of motorcycles but it failed to find a true audience. Learn how and see pictures of the Honda Nighthawk 700S.

1990 Honda RC30

The 1990 Honda RC30 motorcycle is a racing machine in the shape of a regular sportbike. It contained a 750-cc engine that only produced 86 horsepower but racing parts helped reduce weight. Find more information and see pictures of the 1990 Honda RC30.

1998 Honda Valkyrie

The 1998 Honda Valkyrie motorcycle used a flat-six to out-power competing cruisers. The engine displaced 1520 cc that featured individual carbs for each cylinder. Check out more information and pictures of the Honda Valkyrie.

1915 Iver Johnson

Though a beautiful machine, the 1915 Iver Johnson motorcycle lacked horsepower. The motorcycle used a V-twin that displaced 1020 cc, which was far less than the other V-twins of the era. Find more information and view pictures of the 1915 Iver Johnson.

1964 Vespa Allstate Cruisaire

The 1964 Vespa Allstate Cruisaire was a U.S. version of the iconic Italian scooter. The frameless chassis housed a two-stroke engine that was efficient and perfect for city use. See pictures and learn about the Vespa Allstate Cruisaire.

1951 Whizzer Pacemaker

The 1951 Whizzer Pacemaker was as much bike as motorcycle but played a big role in cycle history. The simple design gave everyone an opportunity to experience motorized transportation. See pictures and learn about the Whizzer Pacemaker.

1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV

Built for speed, the 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV was tricky to ride. The motorcycle had 74 horsepower which gave the bike poor handling the propensity to wheelie and horrific fuel mileage. Find more information and view pictures of the 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV.

1969 Honda Dream 305

The 1969 Honda Dream 305 motorcycle combined power with convenience. It could reach nearly 100 mph with its powerful 305-cc overhead-cam twin-cylinder engine. Read about this important Honda and see pictures of a real dream machine.

1998 Triumph Thunderbird Sport

The 1998 Triumph Thunderbird Sport motorcycle featured retro styling and modern mechanics. This model featured a water-cooled double-overhead-cam 885-cc three-cylinder engine.See pictures and learn about the Triumph Thunderbird Sport.

1975 Honda CB400

The 1975 Honda CB400 motorcycle was affordable technically advanced and deceptively quick. Although it wasn't the fastest bike, the small-displacement four-stroke was much quieter than two-strokes. Learn more and see pictures of the lean 1975 Honda CB400.

1942 Indian 741 and Indian 841

The 1942 Indian 741 and Indian 841 motorcycles were designed for military use in World War II. This motorcycle featured a hand-shifted three-speed transmission and foot-operated clutch. See pictures and learn about the Indian 741 and 841.

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