Tag Archives: Batcycle

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: The Build-Off and Chopper Live

5 Dec

December 5, 2011
December 6, 2011

Dec. 5, 2011
In this two-hour special, Senior, Junior and Jesse James compete in a no-holds-barred three-way build-off to determine whose bike reigns supreme. The winner — determined by viewers, in a vote immediately following the show — earns bragging rights as the best bike builder in the world.

Dec. 6, 2011
We reveal — live from Las Vegas — who YOU chose as the winner of the three-way build-off.

Wow, it sounds like Discovery got it right this time.

I plan to do both parts in one post, so after Tuesday’s part I will simply update this entry to include both shows, so check back here tomorrow for part two.

PREDICTION: Paulie wins the vote. I am not saying he will build the better bike, but I think that history shows this is a popularity contest.

(And as I typed those words, Vinnie said “this isn’t a popularity contest, vote for the best bike.”) Senior later, in a clip from the aftershow, even said that he’d get his ass-kicked in a popularity contest. He predicted Jesse James first, Paulie second, OCC third.

Discovery is treating this like a boxing match, a lot of trash talk and video packages. Paulie said that OCC stepped up their game to compete with PJD, and Jason Pohl- who appointed that tool OCC spokesman?- talked some nonsense and total idiocy about an OCC flamethrower. I say let him design the bike, OCC will lose for sure. (“An OCC flamethrower would have at least 10 to 15 foot flames.” Just shut up.)

Jason then said that he was disappointed with Paulie’s bikes, that all look the same and are too dependent on the paint scheme. OK, he has to be trolling the net, that is what everyone says about his bikes. That’s what I say about his bikes! I see references here and there to Jason taking acting lessons, to Jason getting involved on message boards. I have no idea if any of that is true, but I am sure he knows that the internet hates him. And he has not done a single thing to make himself more likeable. He gets less likeable every second of his life.

In the second hour, Jason, in a strange and obviously staged segment, said that “someone told him” there were videos about the build off on the “internet” and if you saw it you know I am not lying- he put air quotes around “internet.” Ugh, give it up, Monkey Boy.

Meanwhile, Jesse James sounds more and more like a complete jerk every time he opens his mouth. His short first  segment involves him talking about thumbs in his mouth and up his ass. I am having trouble listening to him, and not because they have to bleep every third word he says. Does he think cursing makes him cool? Someone please tell him he isn’t 13 any more. And listen to his slow speech. I don’t know him that well. Does he always sound half-stoned? He grunts, he does strange voices, I have no clue what his story is.

All the teams want to be unique, want to be original, want to win. Paulie has a WWII P-51 Mustang fighter plane brought in, Senior wants to ride in on something no one will recognize, Jesse James want to build something the Teutuls can’t even turn on.

Paulie's inspiration

Early indications are that Jason has not designed a motorcycle. It has tractor treads on each side. Do motorcycles have tractor treads on each side? He’s designed it so the driver lays down on it, like the Bat-cycle from The Dark Knight, and yes, I think he is putting flamethrowers on it. At least Jesse James said one thing I like: I’m building my bike based on a  motorcycle theme.” HA! Take that, Jason. (Seriously, I give that quote of the year because it so perfectly sums up all the problems with OCC.)

He also said that his bikes are built to last and OCC (and PJD too, I guess) build show bikes that are good to look at and start-up on TV but won’t stand real use. He may be right.

PJD’s design, at the 9:30 mark, is too early to tell what it will look like but they are making progress. They are going to be running the exhaust through the gas tank and giving it a single-sided front fork to look like landing gear. As the show goes on and it develops, I am really starting to like it.

At OCC, they are talking about a flame cannon and napalm, and the design looks very much like something that is clearly not close to a motorcycle.

Jesse James takes some time out to shoot an assault rifle.  Yeah, he’s cool. Stop trying so hard!

Jason's wet dream

Meanwhile at OCC, Senior- again!- says that Jason’s drawings do not translate well to reality. So I say- again!- why keep letting him design? He doesn’t know motorcycles! Now I am just some guy at home blogging about the show, but I would think that not knowing jack shit about motorcycles would be a problem in Jason’s line of work. Good thing Senior needs his boots licked.

Back at PJD, the Discovery/American Chopper website got its 9,000th plug when Vinnie and Mikey went there to see Jesse James bike pics. They are really trying hard to get viewers to the website and aftershow. And I have to say- not interested.

(It is now 9:50 and I’d usually be wrapping things up but there is still another hour to go.)

Mike gets on the OCC thing for a test ride and while I do think it is going to be cool, I say they should lose automatically because they are not building a motorcycle. (To be fair, I am not sure there are any rules to this, and it is a “build-off,” not a “motorcycle build-off,” but since these guys are all  motorcycle builders I thought that was implied.)

The more I watch, the more I am starting to think that I am going to vote for Jesse.

Jesse tries to repair his image by spending some time with his daughter. Nice spot. Did anyone else think it odd that his daughter is so fluent in German? Maybe I am on the wrong track. Is Jesse James German?

But for all I’ve gotten on Jesse James, I say he is right when he says he is building a bike, that you can’t build a bike by computer, that a motorcycle is more than a fancy paint job.

And I have to give Senior a point. The website is taking votes on the best bike when the bikes are not even close to being built. Why? What’s the point of that? Everyone on the show spent a lot of time telling us this is not a popularity contest (meaning they are afraid Paulie will run away with the vote and turn this into as much of a joke as the Cadillac Build-Off) and then they take votes based only on popularity? C’mon Discovery, you can’t have it both ways. NOTE: I just went to www.chopperlive.com and official voting is not going to start until this show ends.

OCC tests the flamethrowers (sigh, really?) and they have the nerve to talk about technology in the same segment. Yes, a lot of tech went into this build, and yes, it is very high-tech under the hood, but I will go out on a limb and say that they will never build a bike with a flamethrower again.

At the 10:35 mark, Jesse James got a delivery from OCC- a bunch of Paul Senior toys, showing that at least someone at OCC (I’d bet it wasn’t Senior) could take a joke.

And after a short two-minute segment they went right back to commercial. Seriously! A commercial break, two minutes of show, a commercial break. What’s the deal with that, Discovery??? In fact, throughout the show, there were more commercials than usual, and shorter segments with longer breaks, and short breaks popped into the show almost at random.

Senior couldn’t even keep a straight face when talking about how they are about to use their Batcycle thing to blow up a car with cut-outs of Jesse and Paulie in it near PJD. Mikey heard the noise and said “I think it’s Santa.” I got a legit laugh at that.

Anyway, OCC tested the thing and it was very cool but I still say they lose because the other teams built motorcycles. (And yeah, Jason screamed like a mental case again for no reason during the test.)

When the PJD bike was complete, I had a hard time deciding if I liked it. The design was obscured by the highly polished finish. I need to see the pictures online.

Jesse’s bike was cool. It was a good-looking bike, but I didn’t see anything special about it. I feel like I could see a bike like that anywhere. On the other hand, that may be the reason it could win. It is a classic bike, unlike the things the Teutuls built.



The live show starts and your host is Mike Catherwood because Baba Booey was busy at a car wash opening. The crowd was really hot, and not from the flames shooting out of Senior’s not-a-motorcycle. when they were introduced, Senior got pretty good applause, Jess James got more, and it seemed like Paulie got the most but it was hard to tell because the crowd was miked pretty poorly.

As you’d expect- and I am not knocking the show- it began with a long package of clips highlighting the rivalry between the trio. Personally- and again, not a knock, every live show like this does it- they are clearly going to pad a 1/2 hour show into an hour and 2 minutes.

Senior on stage said that “Jason designed something over the top and that’s what we went with.” That’s OCC’s trouble right there. When he said “Jason” someone in the audience yelled out something but I couldn’t hear it. Senior got a laugh out of it.

Jesse James on Jr.’s bike: “I remember when I built my first copper bike with rivets.”
Jesse James on Sr.’s bike: “That’s not a motorcycle, but I’d ride it.”

I haven’t timed it but at 9:20 I’d bet the show vs commercial time is close to 50/50.  A whole lot of commercials.

While I like that they are giving us the result right away instead of making us wait months, we just saw the show last night so the clips all seem boring and repetitive. But again, every show does that.

Jr. on Jesse’s bike: “When I first saw it I was disappointed.”
Jr. on Sr.’s bike: “Senior’s bike isn’t a bike. It has some innovation but it just isn’t a motorcycle.”

Junior had the class to bring all of PJD on stage with him. Catherwood said to Vinnie “you do a lot of the real work.” Yep!

(And after 7 minutes of show, they plug another show and go to a commercial break, then come back to a song by Bush. Thanks a lot for the 10 minute bathroom break, Discovery.)

At 9:43 Senior and Junior hit the stage and, after a package of greatest hits… commercial.

When the show comes back, the Teutuls watch the clip where Senior and Paulie go nuts and Paulie got fired. Senior is smiling,
Paulie looks uncomfortable. At times, listening to his father, Paulie looked grim. And when Paulie spoke, he spoke about his father, not to his father. He clearly wasn’t comfortable, but both Paulie and his Senior hugged and said they loved each other. It seemed real and Senior seemed a little emotional. I’m sure some of you will call me out on this, but it looked real to me.

And then Jessie James joined them. and he talked as much shit to their faces as he did on TV. Neither Sr. or Jr. looked happy and Paulie and Jessie got into it a little.

And finally, there was a winner.

In third place, as expected, Paul Senior.
In second place, Jessie James
And the winner, Paulie, who again brought all of PJD up on stage with him.

Senior walked across the stage and hugged his son, and that was it. Put it in the books.

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