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Rants & Raves Index
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Editorial opinion only presented in a humorous vein...

Cycle World Wakes Up After 40 Year Nap – Discovers Choppers!

Or Why Von Dutch Doesn't Like You.

Cycle World magazine, long the province of Ducatis, Aprillas, Elephants and other bizarre Euro-sport bikes I can't even pronounce awoke from a 40 year coma and decided that choppers actually exist. And they did it in the most unusual manner possible – one of the editors / contributors bought a Von Dutch chopper off eBay and decided to rebuild it.

Yes, you heard me right – this guy spent $3300 on a 550 Triumph Tiger Cub that apparently belonged to the famed Von Dutch – pin stripper to the Gods. Now, for those of you who don't know jack about Von Dutch except that his logo seems to on the tit-tops of lots of teenage girls these days, we can say this with impunity – Von Dutch would not like this idea. How can we say this – well, Von Dutch didn't like much of anything, so why would this be any different?

Known for not wanting to set foot in a car, Von Dutch lived most of his life in self-imposed poverty and had a habit of insulting most people around him. When he wasn't pin stripping, he was making guns and other bizarre weapons – most of which were stolen upon his death. Here's a news flash – Von Dutch wouldn't have liked you, he wouldn't have liked me and her CERTAINLY wouldn't want his chopper in the hands of the editors of Cycle World.

The strangest part of this saga is that Cycle World (to my knowledge and I'm a subscriber) has never featured a custom chopper and has always taken the stance that bikes were meant to be ridden as delivered from the factory. They have never featured an article on how to rake a frame, or how to add fork slugs to tubes of how to wire for ape-hangers. In fact, I'm relatively sure the term “ape hangers” has never even appeared in this staid magazine. BUT, now they're rebuilding a Von Dutch chopper.

I dunno, perhaps they should start out a little more low key – like an interview with Hammer from the Horse BC or maybe they could actually build a bike from scratch using parts from the JP Cycles catalogue – it just seems like taking the first dip into chopperdom with a Von Dutch original is a little like making your first confession directly to the Pope. Let's learn to crawl before we run a marathon, guys.

There are those that appreciate the genius of Von Dutch, and Big Daddy Roth and Robert Williams, but if you read anything about the times at Roth studios – you'll realize that Von Dutch was the king-hell problem child amongst problem children. Roth was creating cars like the Mysterion, Williams was doing off-the-wall drug induced paintings and advertising for Roth in an environment that more often resembled something from Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid Acid Test than any kind of functional business – but that's how genius operates (or so I'm told). We know for a fact that these guys were 100% off the wall for the late 50's and early 60's and THEY couldn't handle Von Dutch.

So now we're going to have the Cycle World Von Dutch chopper – I really hope they buried him deep, because if he every catches wind of this he'll come back from the dead just to spit in their faces and call 'em assholes – because THAT'S part of the genius of Von Dutch.



- Warren Fuller