What is a chopper? Basically, choppers are motorcycles well known for their long angled front forks, huge handlebars (ape hangers) and sissy bar back rests for passengers. Chopper motorcycles are usually customized cruisers or custom bikes built from scratch. They're oftentimes loud and flashy. One doesn't make or purchase and ride a chopper to avoid attention. The rider usually loves it.
This type of motorcycle originated in the United States in the 1950s. Two well known bikes that have been seen in films were customized Harley Davidsons.
Choppers really are very different from many other bikes on the road. While these types of motorcycles may look similar to others at first glance, upon closer inspection, you'll notice that the chopper is usually lower to the ground than the others and a good bit lighter as well. Many choppers have had their accessories pared down to reduce weight as well as wind drag.
People who ride choppers love speed and the best way to obtain that speed is by reducing much of what the rider perceives as unnecessary from the bike itself. Instead of increasing the size of the engine for more horsepower, reducing the weight of the bike has been shown to be effective in picking up some additional miles per hour. Through the years, riders have customized many brands of motorcycle, such as Harley Davidson, Honda, Triumph and Yamaha.
If one had to guess, the most pronounced and noticeable feature of a chopper motorcycle is its front fork. Generally at a 45 degree angle, this fork serves a few different purposes. First, it looks cool. Second, it creates tension on the steering mechanism of the motorcycle, reducing the risk of wobbling at high speeds, thus having the bike lose its grip on the road. The front fork angle lowers the bike down and also lengthens the wheel base.
Choppers come in a few different varieties today. These varieties are:
Classic - Simple and common chopper that focuses in a lighter frame and pared down accessories;
Pro-Street - A classic style with a larger engine that puts out more horsepower;
Fat Bob - This type of chopper includes luggage bags on both sides of the bike that usually cover the rear wheel. It also includes a distinct passenger seat for additional comfort.