The Chopper

A chopper is a motorcycle but not the traditional type. Choppers are motorcycles that have been radically modified by the owner or even the manufacturer. Choppers are motorcycles that have a few less features than a regular motorcycle. The chopper came into existence following World War II when soldiers came back to the United States and began modifying their motorcycles. The soldiers removed any part of their motorcycle that was unnecessary, too big, too ugly and too heavy. The parts that were removed were the fenders, the front brakes and turn indicators. Most motorcycles also have a spring saddle, but not choppers. Choppers have the spring saddle removed from the frame so that the driver can sit as low to the ground as possible. Most choppers are made with a v-twin engine.

The main reason for redesigning and editing a motorcycle into the form of a chopper was to prepare the bike for dirt track racing and even mud racing. Removing all of the heavy, unwanted and unnecessary parts made the bike lighter and easier to handle in a high speed race. The large front tire is replaced with a smaller one and so is the headlight and the fuel tank. Most motorcycles have a large fuel tank but choppers have a smaller fuel tank to lighten the load of the bike. As required by law, almost all choppers across the country have to have protective bars for the driver installed. Those bars, which are on the back of the bike and stick straight up in the air, are often referred to as ‘sissy bars.’ More often than not the ‘sissy bars’ can be seen over the driver’s head when looking at a chopper from the front of the bike.

The reason for returning soldiers from World War II to work on their motorcycles was that the majority of them had been trained by the United States to work on automobiles and heavy machinery while in the armed forces. They were trained to repair these vehicles while on the battlefield and while at the camp in case of breakdown or other technical problems. Almost all of these soldiers weren’t even mechanics before joining the service.

There are a handful of companies across the country and the world that produce choppers. Jesse G. James’ West Coast Choppers, Orange County Choppers, Indian Larry, Falcon Motorcycles, Warlock Motorcycles and Von Dutch Kustom Cycles are just a few companies that manufacture chopper motorcycles.

Where did the term chopper come from? Well, when the servicemen originally began chopping up and welding the frame of their motorcycles the term chopper was born. Choppers are not only popular in the United States but have become wildly popular in Australia, where ATV and dirt bike racing is also incredibly popular among the sports fans. Choppers have become so popular in the United States that even bicycles are being manufactured to have the look and feel of a chopper motorcycle. So now, even kids can ride a chopper if their parents don’t own one.

Protective Motorcycle Clothing – To Wear Or Not to Wear?

Who wears Protective Motorcycle Clothing? Manly Men?… Or… Wimps?

Wearing protective motorcycle clothing… or not… is something everybody has to decide. There are several directions that the thinking that goes into making that decision can take you.

What’s your hide, and the other pieces and parts of your carcass, worth to you? Is it more important to ‘Look Cool’…

… or… remain whole?

Many years ago, an old Cowboy once confided in me; “Brian, there’s a thin line between Macho… and Stupidity… and son… I gotta tell you… you step across that sucker, way too often!

I have to admit that I’ve resisted acquiring much in the way of protective motorcycle clothing. But, at some point a fella has to accept that maybe a little discretion is in order… and take those few steps required to help preserve the good looks the Boss upstairs blessed him with!

I can’t help but agree that helmets reduce that absolute sensation of Freedom I get on a motorcycle. Wrapping my head in a plastic bucket is not my favorite thing… But that dislike is outweighed, in my mind, by the vision of somebody having to pick up the mush that used to be inside my skull, with a stick and a spoon!

The feeling I get when I roll without a motorcycle helmet is so superior to wearing one, that I can sometimes have considerable difficulty strapping on that particular piece of protective motorcycle clothing…

But… I take those couple of moments considering the possible consequences of not having it in place… seasoned with a thought or two about the other people, on the road, that a motorcycle rider has to contend with… and on it goes.

Your Brain pan is not the only part you have to protect either. You’ll want to consider the other pieces and parts of your carcass that are vulnerable, when considering protective motorcycle clothing.

All the parts that smack the ground if you’re sliding, or tumbling along, after you dump your motorcycle are in need of protection. Shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees… all can stand a lil’ shielding from the assault made on them by hitting the asphalt, at 45 mph!… or quicker!

Many is the story where a biker had to drop his ride… to avoid simply slamming into the side of some bozo on 4 wheels… and then got up and walked away, with only minor scrapes and bruises. A story that wouldn’t get told if he’d chosen ‘Macho’… over good, quality, protective motorcycle clothing.

Now we get to the bottom of the story, even your butt needs protection 🙂 sorry… I just couldn’t resist that one… Do a little googling about that… and I’m confident that some of the ‘Road Rash’ photos, that will turn up, is going to send you motoring, credit card in hand, liver quivering, to buy the latest, thermonuclear, protective motorcycle clothing for your kiester!

You’ll soon find that there’s no particular shortage of motorcycle gear to protect you. There are even a few outfits building ‘inflating’ motorcycle vests and jackets that instantly wrap you in an airbag you wear!… should you part ways with your motorcycle.

Motorcycle Leather or Fabric Jackets, complete with built in padding and shields to offer protection against impact and abrasion… synthetic or leather, Motorcycle pants, over pants, strap on shields and pads, underwear made to be abrasion resistant, and chaps and motorcycle gloves; the list of protective motorcycle clothing is nigh on to endless…

I’m the first one to admit it… I much prefer riding ‘Free’… Nose to the wind… unarmored… But, I can only shake my head when some guy comes roarin’ along, just sunglasses, muscle shirt, shorts and flip flops. No helmet, no gloves, hell, not even sleeves!

Then there’s the other guys… haulin’ their wives or girl friends on the pillion behind them… Just as unprotected… Not a piece of protective motorcycle clothing to be seen between the pair of ’em.

Knowing what would be… should either bike get cut off… and they have to drop it, just sends a cold shiver up my back.

I may be able to make that decision for myself… and live with the consequences… but should anything go wrong… having to look at the lady I carried, unprotected, is simply something I’m unwilling to do.

Make the decision to protect yourself… and then acquire the proper protective motorcycle clothing to keep you whole.

A set of Protective Motorcycle Clothing can change a really ugly wreck… into some minor scrapes and bruises… and provide fodder for some fine motorcycle touring ‘war stories’… sippin’ a coke at a stop on your next poker run!

… and the truth is… The gear they’re building now-a-days… carefully selected… actually looks pretty ‘Cool’ … so, now you’ve got no excuses!

Cowboy Boots For Men

Whoever said that women were the only ones who could afford to be choosy about their footwear, while the guys would wear drab stuff all their lives. In recent times, fashion footwear for men has reached an all time high; and the variety of footwear available is simply mind boggling. Then again, keeping in mind the need to look fashionable even in times of bad weather, say during cold winters or rains, boots are the ideal option. In recent times, men’s cowboy boots have made massive leaps in fashion, and we intend to tell you about some of them. In case you are confused about so many choices, or want t know what would suit you the best, here’s the latest about men’s cowboy boots. Read on.

You know that style wise, there are several basic types of cowboy boots, which differ in terms of design. One of course, is the classic Wellington boot, the original cowboy boot. Then again, we have the Hessian boots, with a V-shaped cut in the front part – often lace or tassels are hung from this part, for the old Western look. We have the high heeled Horsemen boots; another similar type is the Cavalier boots, more expensive and the same high heel quality. In general, men’s cowboy boots are available in many varieties – different types of heels, material (pure leather or synthetic or faux materials), colors (from the classic brown to colors such as silver and purple!) and so on. One of the major innovations, of course, since the 1950s has been the change from square toe boots to round toe boots, although the former style has come back strongly in recent years as part of the retro cool fashion.

Then there are ‘cowboys’ for different uses – sports boots, called ‘risk taker’s boots’, Eskimo boots for cold weather. Both of these boots have thick soles and protective pads to protect your feet from sudden injuries/bitter cold climates. Then we have the ‘Executive boots’, ‘Funky Leather’ boots, and Worker’s Hiking Boots.

In general, leather boots are the best, as leather is perhaps the best material to use for men’s cowboy boots. It keeps your feet warm, does not wear out easily, and most importantly for men perhaps, you do not need to clean them that often.

Finally, do you know about Uggs? Well, the same company that wowed the fashion world with its trail blazing, ‘real ugly’ boots for women, endorsed by the likes of Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker, are back, this time with Uggs (!) for men. these boots are remarkable in that they are ‘apparently, and deliberately ugly’, and a throwback to the original cowboy boots, those which were worn first by Australian sheep shearers. Later on, they were taken up by aviators to keep their feet warm, and finally by Australian surfers from the 70s onwards. This time around, the list of endorsers for Uggs goes like this – Justin Timberlake, Harvey Keitel, Ronnie Wood, Brad Pitt and so on. Need we give more encouragement?