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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The Dirty Love chopper is based on Harley-Davidson designs of the past yet it sports a high-performance engine. It's pure performance in a plain black wrapper. Learn about this classic design.
The 1940 Crocker motorcycle outperformed better-known bikes of its era. Manufactured in Los Angeles, California, from 1936 to 1940, only 61 Crocker V-twins were built. See pictures and find out what made the brawny 1940 Crocker so special.
The 1958 Cushman Eagle and Cushman Pacemaker motorcycles were great starter bikes for new motorcyclists. Cushman was also one of the few manufacturers of motorized vehicles permitted to continue civilian production during World War II. Learn about these scooters.
The 1936 DKW SB 500 A motorcycle was a stout bike that looked back to racing success and ahead to battle duty. Fed by a Bing carburetor, the two-stroke engine produced 15 horsepower. Learn more about the DKW SB 500 A.
The 1965 DKW Hummel 155 motorcycle featured styling unlike any bike of its day. When the 1965 DKW Hummel 155 motorcycle was introduced to the public the European motoring press dubbed it the "Tin Banana." See what made it so unique in this article.
The FLH is a custom motorcycle with chameleon paint and a Panhead engine. Owner Jerry Morgan first customized this 1958 Harley-Davidson FLH in 1969 and he's redone it five times since.
Originally built in the 1970s, this Triumph Bonneville chopper was left for dead before being located by the current owner. Once acquired the machine was treated to a complete restoration and renamed Outlaw.
Whether new or old, what often sets one chopper apart from another is the paint scheme, and the Cherry Chopper is no exception. Its deep Cherry Red basecoat was treated to swirling gold graphics that dressed the tank rear fender and frame.
The Mississippi Queen is a custom motorcycle with a unique suspension system. Although this bike used many Harley-Davidson components, it was never a complete Harley to begin with -- the builder wanted certain features the Milwaukee company never offered to the public.
The Shovel chopper has custom-bent exhaust pipes and milled valve covers. Beginning life as a 1974 Harley-Davidson FXE, the owner began modifying the bike to meet his own personal tastes and continued for 15 years.
The EL is a custom motorcycle with a Paughco frame and ape-hanger handlebars. As a prime example of the Old School chopper, Robert Berry's EL shuns the sculpted metal billet trim and big-inch engine of most customs.
Old Skool is a custom motorcycle with a Paughco frame and Shovelhead engine. Harkening back to the early days of chopper building Old Skool caters to the simpler design elements found on machines from the 1960s.
The Board Track Replica is a custom motorcycle with a foot-operated clutch. Constructed and painted to resemble early 20th-century motorcycles, this bike recalls the excitement of board track-racing.
The Tramp is a custom motorcycle with a Daytec frame and unique engine. Powering the Tramp is a V-twin made from aftermarket parts but built to resemble a classic Harley-Davidson Shovelhead engine.
The 1966 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide motorcycle featured increased horsepower. Weight of the FLs had crept up to nearly 800 pounds and the extra power was appreciated by owners. See pictures and learn about the 1966 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide.
The 1966 Harley-Davidson Sprint motorcycle was the teamwork of Harley-Davidson and Aermacchi of Italy. It was powered by a 250-cc horizontal four-stroke single and was popular with buyers. Learn more about the Harley Sprint.
No question about it the 1996 Boss Hoss motorcycle is the biggest baddest bike to ever roam the streets. It defines 'bigger is better' by packing a Chevy V-8 engine. See pictures and learn about the outrageous Boss Hoss.
The 1967 Bridgestone 350 GTO motorcycle was one of a few bikes created by the tire company in the 1960s. Bridgestone was synonymous with "performance" in motorcycle circles -- though that really wasn't the company's original aim. Learn about the Bridgestone 350 GTO.
The 1949 BSA B33 motorcycle was a successful postwar bike developed by one of England's oldest motorcycle companies. Though the company also built large V-twins for 20 years before World War II, its stock in trade remained midsize singles. Learn about the 1949 BSA B33.
The 1966 BSA A65 Spitfire motorcycle was part of a streamlined BSA lineup in the mid 1960s. The A65 Spitfire was positioned as a road racer for the street and smaller fuel tanks were used in the U.S. market. See pictures and learn about the BSA bikes.
The 1969 BSA Rocket 3 motorcycle arrived a few years too late to be the savior BSA hoped it would be. Nearly a clone of the Triumph Trident, the Rocket 3 was powered by an alloy 750-cc overhead-valve engine producing 58 horsepower. Read more about the Rocket 3.
The 1994 Buell S2 Thunderbolt motorcycle was backed by Harley-Davidson as a contender in the sportbike market. Powering the S2 Thunderbolt was a modified 1203-cc V-twin from the Harley-Davidson Sportster. Learn about this important motorcycle.
1963 Harley-Davidson Topper motorcycle came during the short-lived scooter craze. Its 165-cc two-stroke single started with a recoil starter like a lawn mower and it featured an optional sidecar for a friend to ride in. Read about the tiny Topper.
The 1994 BMW R1100RSL motorcycle featured BMW's traditional 'boxer' twin engine. Equipped with adjustable handlebars hand controls seat and windshield the RSL could also be fine-tuned to almost any rider's personal tastes. Learn about the RSL.
The 1958 Harley-Davidson FL Duo-Glide motorcycle had a genuine rear suspension, finally giving Harley riders a smoother ride -- perfect for touring. The engine gave 50-60 horsepower from 1200 ccs/74 cubic inches. Read more about the smooth Duo-Glide.