American Chopper: CHOPPER LIVE! (Part 1)

10 Dec

December 10, 2012

Keep checking in as I will update this as the show progresses.

For the (next to) last time…

build off

chopper live logo

Chopper Live: Road to Revenge – (American Chopper Special)
Competing to build the best bike, Junior, Senior, Jesse and the Fast N’ Loud guys bring their unique designs to life. But relentless trash talk and ridiculous pranks raise the stakes and threaten to knock everyone off course

TWO HOURS tonight of “relentless trash talk and ridiculous pranks.” OH BOY! When people ask me why I don’t like the show that way I used to, that’s the answer. I can’t even complain that it stopped being about bikes, that happened a long time ago.

Despite being called “live,” this show is not live. Go figure. Tomorrow night is live.

 Jesse James- no chance.
 Senior- has a chance if A- he builds a bike this time around and B- the fans have been fooled into having some sympathy for him.
 Fast N’ Loud- I think the new guys might win in a sort of passing the torch moment.
 Paulie- will probably win again.

Senior is taking it seriously and building a motorcycle, and when I hear Jason say things like “it saves us both time and money” I remind you of my prediction: he’s the next OCC boss, mark my words. Senior loves him like the son he always wanted.

Meanwhile, it seems like Jesse James is in everyone’s head, since every other team has been talking about him. Yet, and I’ll say it, Jesse James continues to come across like a total ass. The less of him the better.

PJD is doing a classic car theme, from the 1930’s or 40’s. The logic is they want to beat the other guys at their own game- FNL (easier to type that way) predominantly works on cars and Senior owns dozens of classic cars.

FNL wants to build a real motorcycle, a Harley, without the bells and whistles or extra aftermarket stuff, just a bad ass, real bike.

Jesse James said some stuff too, but he talks slowly like he is always stoned so I tend to tune him out.

So after a segment of PJD working on their bike, we get a OCC prank segment. Sigh.

Future OCC boss Jason calls Senior to his office because he wants to prank the FNL guys. Yes, the bike “drawer” called the boss off the floor to make  prank call. Meanwhile, for all their trash talk, the FNL guys have tried to, largely, be above the nonsense.

Meanwhile, if the twitterverse matters, it seems that the tweets (picked by Discovery, so take this with a grain of salt) running at the bottom of the screen seems to be in Paulie’s favor.


One thing I will say about Jesse, when he isn’t being an idiot, he talks bikes like we never heard on this show. I wonder if, honestly, given the exact same parts and tools, Senior could do what he does.

Senior is building what looks like a, at least from the drawing they showed, stretched out futuristic thing which, and I am calling it, is a loser.

Then we get a FNL vs. PJD prank battle with each imitating the other.

It is now 9:50 and this has more or less been a pretty average episode of American Chopper, but then I realize that I don’t have ten minutes left, I have an hour and ten minutes left.

OH, the Jack Reacher sneak peek! While I have never read a Jack Reacher book, everyone I know who has expects Tom Cruise to suck. I expect that too, simply because I have no respect for his acting.

The OCC bike is turning out to be overdone, overdesigned, overdetailed, just too much. I like the FNL and Jesse James ideas of just doing a real bike, really well.

Hearing Senior and Jason call the FNL guys “Stupid and Stupider” is hysterical, especially considering this:

I started this post by complaining about the lack of bike building over the last few years. Ironically, despite all the dumb pranks, there has been a ton of bike building on this show, mostly by Jesse James.

Meanwhile, the more I see Paulie’s bike, the more I agree with Jesse James and FNL. The bike isn’t looking much like a bike, it has so much non-bike, non-necessary afterthoughts that I am leaning toward FNL over Paulie, although their bike has a ton of pink on it.

Meanwhile, give Fast N’ Loud credit. They were the only guys to finish their bike on schedule. Jesse James needed another two weeks, OCC was going to have to forego an important part of their build, and PJD wasn’t finished either, although they rightly felt that if the had extra time, they’d like to had it earlier in the process. Everyone got two more weeks, which rightfully upset the FNL crew.

Senior took the finished bike out for a ride, and you can vote however you like, but it looks like an overgrown toy. Fail. Of course, that isn’t what OCC is good at, it is lousy pranks, which is what they moved on to next, blowing up dummies of the Fast N’ Loud guys. Or not. They really didn’t explode very much. These pranks are getting as old as Senior.

Jesse James ended up doing the opposite of what he kept saying he would. It is a weird-looking thing that does not look like a normal bike. Senior built an overgrown toy. Paulie built a nice looking bike that is all style over substance. My vote goes to Fast N’ Loud for making a clean, real, bike.

Chopper Live: The Revenge – (American Chopper Live Special)
Senior, Junior, Jesse James and the Fast N’ Loud guys compete in a rematch of the ultimate bike build-off.  You voted.  Now find out the results in a live throwdown hosted by Sal Masekela at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas

Who is Sal Masekela?

According to wikipedia, “Selema MabenaSalMasekela (born August 28, 1971) is an American television host, sports commentator, actor, and singer.”

Skip ahead to 2:49 and watch to 2:55 in this clip to see my reaction.

Oh no they didn’t.

Discovery just advertised ONE LAST episode of American Chopper for next week. One more time, one more time. I swear I thought the Build-Off was the end!

13 Responses to “American Chopper: CHOPPER LIVE! (Part 1)”

  1. Jamie December 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    Who did Jesse compliment and invite to his shop? I missed the name


    • bmj2k December 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      It was Paulie. He said Paulie had some skills and he would work with him for a few weeks and make Paulie an amazing builder.


  2. Michelle Kenney December 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    How long does voting last? We missed the 9:00 airing and are watching the rerun.. hoping to see the bikes so we can vote before it ends..


    • bmj2k December 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

      I don’t think they gave a deadline. You should be fine.


  3. Aaron December 11, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Just my $0.02…

    This build off is like two different build off’s in one. On one hand you have a new style chopper in an older style theme vs. a traditional 60’s chopper. On the other hand, you have two sport bikes to compete against one another.

    PJD – All style. As a hot rodder by heart, I love the theme, however, the fabrication in 2012 pales in comparison to 2011. I speculate this has to do with the original timeframe of 6 weeks, and the last minute idea to have another build – off, as compared to last year. The metal fabrication really sets this bike apart from the rest. The smoothness of the sheet metal is similar to older Arlen Ness designs. Definitely a PJD design using the same Pro-Street, collector box exhaust, big tire design as as shown on other builds throughout the year. Without knowing who was the builder, or watching yesterday’s show, any follower of AC can pick out this bike as Jr’s. That can be good or bad as it has brand recognition, but is also repetitive enough to be redundant. Some of the extras like the hood ornament, and the “Made in New York” cover are over the top, and not necessary. With the V8 painted on an engine cover, and using a header exhaust, this bike would have had a much larger impact if an actual V8 engine was used, instead of a standard 2 cylinder. On TV the style of the bike will really project well as will the red rims, with the faux-white walls will really pop when contrasted with the satin black paint. Since the build off is an offshoot of AC, Jr should be the favorite.

    FNL – Nice bike, and built with the resources they had available. As a life-long resident of Milwaukee, I really appreciate they used a vintage HD, and chopped it in true “chopper” style of the 60’s and 70’s. This bike fits their style of work they normally like to do with their cars. With really only Aaron and possibly 1 other helper, completing the bike within the 6 week time frame needs to be commended. They did everything they could. Really simple bike, which I think wil be drowned out by the machining and fabrication of the competition. Moreover they modified an HD frame and did not manufacture or purchase a new frame. To some viewers, this discredits their bike, as the other 3 builders made or had made to order a frame. The pink and white will pop on TV, but will their work project well on TV? I don’t think so. Moreover this bike has been done by others, can be done by a mechanic in their own garage. What makes this one special? Good effort, but I think they finish second.

    JJ – This bike build off is two parts – design and fabricate a bike, and completed it within a time-frame. JJ did not complete the bike within the original or extended time frame. Therefore, this bike should not be considered eligible for the “win”. A cafe racer is out of the box thinking for JJ, and that is a welcome sight compared to last years stale design. By the looks of the pictures on the website, the bike now looks completed, just in time for the live show tonight. JJ talks about all the fabrication done on his bike, but if the person in the 1st row cannot see the intricate work, what good is it for a made for TV build off? Moreover JJ’s attitude is off-putting, which in a popularity contest like this build-off, will hamper him. The bike design looks like a Buell. Since OCC also manufactured a sport bike, JJ’s bike will be visually compared to OCC first, then to the others afterwards. Obviously JJ did not know OCC would produce a similar sport bike design, but it is still a negative. Providing he is not DQ’ed, I do not think he will finish higher than third.

    OCC – WTF is that? The proportions are all wrong, like it is 7/8’s scale. If JJ’s bike is a Buell, OCC’s is a Buell Blast. While riding the bike, Sr. towers over the bike. Moreover the front fork is way too massive and wide for the style of the bike. Look at JJ’s bike for now to create a front end for this style of bike. The lack of color is a real negative. The red shown on the drawing should have been followed, as all the machined parts blend in together when looking at a distance. In the same vein as FNL, OCC used all their resources available to create the bike. Unfortunately the result is what an unlimited budget and a skilled CAD and CNC programmer can produce. Where is the hand metal fabrication? This skill set sets apart the haves and have nots. OCC failed in this aspect. There is no hand fabrication, other than the exhaust pipes, which extend too far. For a company that is Orange County Choppers, building a sport bike for a Chopper build-off is ridiculous. OCC has lost their vision. At least OCC actually made a motorcycle this year.


    • Rachel Dalmation December 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

      I liked the wooden prototype. They should have built their build-off bike out of some wood like teak. Round off the sharp corners, sand it, and hand rub the finsh. They would win the competition hands down, even with the Industrial Designer’s design. At least they prototyped their bike instead of building themselves into a corner using the Industrial Designer’s drawings.


    • bmj2k December 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

      Great post!
      The OCC “vision” seems to be “lets do as much as we can with our expensive tools and show off how we can overbuild a bike.”


      • Aaron December 12, 2012 at 1:08 am #

        Thank you for the compliment. I have read your blog for years, and finally had enough to say.


  4. Michael Skrzenski December 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    FNL chopper = Wow, that Rich dude is even more less hands on than Senior..never thought that would be possible. Unimpressed with the bike…Its basically someone’s old bike? The hardest part for them was finding the bike.

    OCC “chopper” = Flo Jet bike..nothinng more, nothing less.

    JJ “chopper” = Even putting my pure dislike aside for JJ and somewhat being impressed with how he talks about bikes, that thing he came up with is awful! Also, who the hell believes that whole two week delay thing wasn’t planned by Discovery. Also, if you have been following the Chopper Live blog on Discovery, JJ hasn’t even arrived in Vegas as of this morn. This just screams his “I-break-the-rules-tough-guy” image that he wants and so does Discovery. In many ways, despite all his talk, JJ is more Hollywood then all the other teams comibined.

    PJD = God, I want to like his bike and there are some parts, like the exhaust, I really like. But it is not a great bike in my eyes. But it certainly isnt his worse.

    My prediction…Senior wins. As I mentioned on this awesome blog (which it really is) over last year or so, Senior spent $$$millions$$$ on his image…tonight it pays off for him and his new hamburger joint.

    Good luck to all the builders! (Not really!)


    • bmj2k December 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      I really think that, for Senior, this is really a test of his new p.r. team (as you point out) but he has a pretty lousy bike to overcome.
      Much as I dislike Jesse James, and I think his bike is awful, I really think he knows more about bike building than anyone else on the show, or at the very least he sounds like he does. Too bad he made a poor entry.
      If they lose, the FNL guys have a built in excuse- they are mainly car guys.
      This is Paulie’s contest to lose, and since the American Chopper audienece seems to love what he does, he has a great shot at it.


  5. Go Fast December 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    I can builded a better Shovelhead Chopper in my own Garage than Fast and Loud and actually build it instead of walking in and saying, How is it going.


  6. Shawn Sparks December 12, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Interesting finale tonight. With all of Jesse’s talk about not caring about what anyone thinks and no prize money involved-he sure does seem to want to win the build off. Sr’s bike does look like something out of the movie Tron. It looks very piece-meal with no flow. FNL guys built a decent enough bike but I don’t see how they expected it to have a realistic chance at winning. Jr. is the fan favorite. These build offs seem to come down to a popularity contest. Jr’s bike was good, but predictable. Jesse and Sr. get their asses kicked once again!


  7. Danny February 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    The FNL/GMG bike was the best out of the the four.Simple and affordable with basic tools, no gazillion dollar CNC machines or computer renderings to ‘get a theme’ for an idea.They built their bike on time AND drove it 1300 miles to Vegas to show it off.
    The rest were nothing more than trailer queens. Plus they do not look like they would even be comfortable riding in the first place.

    I agree with others that this more of a popularity contest then anything else. I bet most that vote may not even ride a bike in the first place.


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