Orance County Choppers

Established as a business in 1999, the shop grew out of Orange County Ironworks, a steel fabrication enterprise founded nearly 30 years ago by custom-chopper builder and rider Paul Teutul Sr. OCC jumped on the custom-bike scene at Daytona Biketoberfest 1999 with “True Blue,” a classic chopper built in the basement of Paul Sr.’s house.

Orange County Choppers

Other signature bikes soon followed, including the Spider Bike, purchased by musician Wyclef Jean of the Fugees, and the Jet Bike. Built to honor U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, the Jet Bike was featured in the original American Chopper that aired on Discovery Channel in September 2002. Their popularity has led them to build custom theme bikes for some of the biggest names in corporate America such as Microsoft, Lincoln and Coca-Cola. Today, Orange County Choppers is regarded as one of the world’s premier builders of custom motorcycles.

Today, Orange County Choppers has garnered worldwide praise and recognition for their custom motorcycles. In 2002, for example, OCC was recognized by American Iron as one of the world’s top 12 builders; likewise, OCC will be among 19 other top builders profiled in the forthcoming book Haute Motor: The Art of the Chopper (November 2003). OCC bikes have also been featured on numerous magazine covers including American Iron, Freeway (France), Norsk Biker Journal (Norway) and Street Chopper. And the Spider Bike was one of three bikes chosen in the world-class competition at the Rats Hole Custom Show in Daytona, Fla., to receive an “all expenses paid” trip to Germany, the site of one of the biggest auto/bike shows in the world.

It’s a garage that’s come far in only four short years. Just wait to see what comes next.

Orange County Choppers at a Glance
Founder: Paul Teutul Sr.
Chief Designer/Fabricator: Paul Teutul Jr.
Established: 1999
Location: Rock Tavern, N.Y.
Employees: 20
Bikes Produced Annually: 150

Paul Sr.
The boss, and don’t you forget it.
Paul Jr.
OCC’s chief designer and fabricator of the custom bikes (as if you didn’t know).
Mikey
Phone-answerer and trash taker-outer and so much more.
Vinnie
OCC custom-bike fabricator alongside childhood friend Paul Jr.
Christian
Partner-in-crime with friend Nick on customer bikes, and pinch-hitter on theme bikes as well.

MGS CHOPPER

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Guide to Custom Chopper Kits

It can get confusing when choosing parts that you want your custom chopper to be made of. However, companies like Phantom Cycle, Biker’s Choice, etc have started to sell those famous ‘Chopper-in-a-box’ kits which make life a lot more easier. Custom choppers are now much more affordable.

You need to be aware of the kind of chopper you would like to build. Then you should go ahead and set a reasonable budget for the parts, and any labor costs as well as unexpected expenses. In many cases, the price of the parts is what keeps most of the chopper enthusiasts away from getting a custom chopper of their own. However, if you have clear specifications in your mind, you’ll end up with fairly inexpensive parts and a stunning finish.

Always try to use the authentic parts available within your budget. At times, even though you have an awesome finish in mind, you can end up with a relatively poor finish just because the suppliers did not pay much attention to the details.

Most of the ‘chopper-in-a-box’ kits usually consist of a chassis, engine, tires, exhaust pipes, metal parts, and steel tanks. They also often include a seat, headlamp, etc. Obviously, any other extras would depend on the brand of the kit you chose. Paint is vital to finish the custom job, as well as battery acid. Mirrors and other accessories are typically not provided in the kits because most people would prefer to buy their own designs.

Experts often recommend that you purchase your kit as well as the accessories from just one single manufacturer. This may, in some cases, require you to wait. It sure is not easy to wait, specially when you’re so close to doing what you’ve always wanted to do. But you’ll be definitely glad that you waited when the job’s finished.