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#TheChopperTheRealStory

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Not all Civil Rights heroes wore a suit and tie. Cliff Vaughs was the bravest of them all, riding his Knucklehead chopper in Alabama in 1963, registering sharecroppers to vote, marching and protesting with the SNCC as a staff photographer, with Danny Lyon (of ‘The Bikeriders’). The 2nd pic shows Cliff being dragged by 5 National Guardsmen at a protest in Cambridge, Maryland in 1964, taken by Lyon. 3rd pic is courtesy the Easyriders Archive c1971. First pic is Cliff on the bike he designed for ‘Easy Rider’, the Captain America chopper (1968 - @Mototintype pic)

Chopper history! But for real, this is #KenjiEkuan’s original drawing for the #YamahaVirago! Straight up #factorychopper, too bad it took them a near-flop with a watered-down version to realize Kenji’s chopper was what people wanted! Then it was in production for a looong time. #JohnReed (#UncleBunt) built a prototype very close to this sketch. We’ll interview John for TheVintagent.com very soon for the real story behind the first Japanese factory chopper. #TheChopperTheRealStory

From @thevintagent Yo Bob! Among the early transitional bikes between ‘30s bob-jobs and post-war customs, en route to the chopper, bikes like these from Bud Ekins and Von Dutch that tweaked the style with pinstripes and more. This 1946 Standard was Bud’s, and was Homer Knapp’s first bike as a high schooler. Unmolested history, waiting to be revived. #TheChopperTheRealStory

Yo Bob! Among the early transitional bikes between ‘30s bob-jobs and post-war customs, en route to the chopper, bikes like these from Bud Ekins and Von Dutch that tweaked the style with pinstripes and more. This 1946 Standard was Bud’s, and was Homer Knapp’s first bike as a high schooler. Unmolested history, waiting to be revived. #TheChopperTheRealStory

From @thevintagent “They took a shot at us from behind, and missed.” The story behind ‘Easy Rider’ was one man’s lived experience crossing America on a chopper in 1963 - Cliff Vaughs. Read it on TheVintagent.com. #TheChoppertheRealStory [📸Easyriders Archive]

“They took a shot at us from behind, and missed.” The story behind ‘Easy Rider’ was one man’s lived experience crossing America on a chopper in 1963 - Cliff Vaughs. Read it on TheVintagent.com. #TheChoppertheRealStory [📸Easyriders Archive]

How cool is 'Sugar'? It's @shovelhead98Austin's birthday today, he's 72 years young, and I know he spent the day on his bike in NYC. Here he is c. 1971 in San Francisco visiting his buddy #SpadeGeorge, an epic duo, and the subject of the film @SugarandSpade'. Austin was a great help with my chopper book, and I hold him in the highest regard. Happy Birthday amigo! #TheChopperTheRealStory

Spies everywhere! My pal @danflatblack spotted #TheChoppertheRealStory at a "cool shoe shop in #Vilnius, #Lithuania." Cool is as cool does - thanks for carrying my book!

Why I bought it! Gorgeous pink psychedelic paint job on my '68 BSA chopper. The chassis is a horror though; ignorance of basic motorcycle physics means 2" of trail and a feeling like sandbags on the handlebars. Much as I love originality, I won't ride it until I sort the forks - choppers can be made to handle, as I wrote about in #TheChopperTheRealStory. Give me 6" of trail, and I'll be happy.

Malem-malem belajar sejarah permotoran, bor.
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Repost from @thevintagent A gem of the #ArtRide exhibit - was this a 1930s @HarleyDavidson JDH twin-cam #Cutdown, or a new build? I can't tell, but it looks right. The Cut-Down is the rootstock of all custom motorcycling, and the first-ever custom style (meaning replicable - there were even instructions in @PopularMechanics!), before American Class C racing spawned the Bob-Job in the mid-30s. Originals are really rare, but they exist! Lowered, shortened frame, a tank altered to suit, with everything lightened and lowered. #TheChopperTheRealStory
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#doyanmotoran #motor #motoran #motortua #motortoku #Harley #harleydavidson #chopper #custommotorcycles #oldskull #oldschool

#Repost @thevintagent (@get_repost)
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It's a year since #CliffVaughs died, and 3 years since I flew him to LA for a reunion with the bike he designed, the #CaptainAmerica chopper from #EasyRider. Cliff's life story deserves a book, with an arc from school in Boston, a stint in the Marines, Graduate school in Mexico, media creation in LA, the chopper scene, civil rights work in the South with his chopper, media work in LA, Associate Producing Easy Rider, filmmaking, escaping the USA to live on a boat in Panama, piracy, gun battles with police, a boat jacking, and finally, some recognition for his work in the '60s. He died happy, with love in his life, which was a good end, but too soon. My work with his story isn't done, and as time passes, I reflect how remarkable it was that we met, and I could include interviews in a book about chopper history (#TheChopperTheRealStory) and even call him a friend. Cliff was a complicated, controversial dude, but that's what made him interesting. [📷wet plate photo I shot on #MulhollandDrive, @mototintype]

It's a year since #CliffVaughs died, and 3 years since I flew him to LA for a reunion with the bike he designed, the #CaptainAmerica chopper from #EasyRider. Cliff's life story deserves a book, with an arc from school in Boston, a stint in the Marines, Graduate school in Mexico, media creation in LA, the chopper scene, civil rights work in the South with his chopper, media work in LA, Associate Producing Easy Rider, filmmaking, escaping the USA to live on a boat in Panama, piracy, gun battles with police, a boat jacking, and finally, some recognition for his work in the '60s. He died happy, with love in his life, which was a good end, but too soon. My work with his story isn't done, and as time passes, I reflect how remarkable it was that we met, and I could include interviews in a book about chopper history (#TheChopperTheRealStory) and even call him a friend. Cliff was a complicated, controversial dude, but that's what made him interesting. [📷wet plate photo I shot on #MulhollandDrive, @mototintype]

An outtake from my Chopper book - a rider in Stockton CA ca.1950 with a Norton International bob-job with cool paint and lots of extra chrome. How it was done in the day! #TheChopperTheRealStory

A gem of the #ArtRide exhibit - was this a 1930s @HarleyDavidson JDH twin-cam #Cutdown, or a new build? I can't tell, but it looks right. The Cut-Down is the rootstock of all custom motorcycling, and the first-ever custom style (meaning replicable - there were even instructions in @PopularMechanics!), before American Class C racing spawned the Bob-Job in the mid-30s. Originals are really rare, but they exist! Lowered, shortened frame, a tank altered to suit, with everything lightened and lowered. #TheChopperTheRealStory

Pink Panther! For once, omfg is apropos; @portsidegarage started with a Panther motor, built the rest from scratch. Mid 1960s style custom with gold plating and gun engraving everywhere, a classic style beautifully crafted. Reminds me of the two c1970 Arlen Ness Sportsters in the collection of the Oakland Museum, which impressed me as an art student ca.1980, when I was no fan of choppers. It was the artistry and unique design vocabulary of early customs that led to my book 'The Chopper; the Real Story.' They're as uniquely American as jazz, Beat poetry, and rock n roll.

Happy Birthday! Motorcycle legend 'Fass Mikey' Vils turned 70 last weekend. After building a prizewinning Triumph custom - the Brute - he joined 'Big Daddy' Ed Roth's fabrication team in 1967. He and Dick Allen experimented till they found the right geometry for a chopper to handle properly. His Panhead chopper was inspected by Yamaha's engineers, which helped defeat a gov't push to ban choppers, and ushered in the Cruiser style...Mike is a Cannonballer too, and crossed the USA twice on the 1913 Excelsior seen in our MotoTintype print birthday present. What an awesome human. "Go fast and take chances", and "let 'er buck" are fave sayings. Featured prominently in my book 'The Chopper; the Real Story'.

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