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Choppers [Hardcover]

Mike Seate
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 4 2003
Recognized by their long forks and chopped frames, choppers have found new appeal among today's motorcycle enthusiasts and continue to inspire motorcycle customizers around the globe. Choppers takes a unique look at these classic pieces of twentieth century Americana. Written by experienced motorcycle writer Mike Seate, Choppers provides a comprehensive look at how choppers originated and evolved and what has fueled the current resurgence of interest in building and riding custom motorcycles. Early chapters explore the post-World War II bob job Harleys that predated the chopper. Interviews and historical photos detail the development of the chopper from its earliest days, through the outlaw longbike period of the 1960s and 1970s, to the twenty-first century chopper renaissance.

Product Details

Product Description


Military Writers Society of America Web site, May 2006 (circ. unavailable)

“Sometimes you see a book cover that jumps right out at you and grabs your fullest attention … This is the case for a great book for teenage boys called Choppers.”

About the Author

Mike Seate is a journalist living in Pittsburgh, PA. He began riding motorcycles at the age of 16, and 26 years later, has still not bothered to learn how to drive a car. His columns on city living appear three times each week in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and he has written hundreds of feature stories and opinion columns for motorcycle enthusiast publications, including Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Super Streetbike, Street and Strip, Classic Bike, Motorcycle News, Long Riders, and IronWorks. Mike has written a number of books, including Choppers: Heavy Metal Art, Technochop, How to Build a West Coast Chopper, Outlaw Choppers, Jesse James: The Man and His Machines, Suzuki GSX-R, Choppers, Streetbike Extreme, and Two Wheels on Two Reels.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the 1930s and '40s there were no billet aluminum custom parts. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars choppers rule! March 26 2004
Anyone who's a fan of customized motorcycles will dig this color history of choppers! Author Mike Seate, who writes for IronWorks, Easyriders and a few other bike mags, has pretty much nailed the chopper experience from its start to current heyday. From the TV stars like Billy Lane and Jesse James to the old skool builders who hand-built fabricated chopper parts from scratch, Seate's book covers it all in detail. There's some mind-blowing old photos and lots of trick European choppers most US riders have never seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars stretchin' out ridin' on March 26 2004
By A Customer
The worldwide popularity of choppers, be they powered by Harley-Davidson V-twins of imported multi-cylinderv engines, is not to be denied. And lucky for us we've got "Choppers" a fantastic, insightful guide to the stretch bike movement. Unbeknownst to most American bikers, the chopper was kept alive for decades in Europe and of all places, Japan, where dutiful gearheads emulated the longbikes they'd seen in magazines like Easyriders and Supercycle. In time, "Choppers" explains, that these imported choppers have come to nearly supercede home-grown versions for their mechanical ingenuity and just plain cool styling. Author Mike Seate, a favorite of mine from his articles in Motorcyclist and IronWorks magazines, lays out the goods on the chopper movement, tracing its origisn back to the immediate post WWII period of the bobbers and hack-jobs and follows it on a fascinating, well-illustrated journey through the psychedelic 1960s and beyond. There's even some boffo shots from behind the scenes at Jesse James' Discovery Channel special "Motorcycle Mania" to round out the complete chopper experience. Cool and full of enough eye-cendy to keep anybody in the garage for weeks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long Bikes Great Read March 23 2004
For anyone curious about the how, where and why of the worldwide chopper phenomenon, you can't miss with this one. My sons and I have built several show-winning choppers over the years but there is insightful information and well-researched backgrounds on the history of choppers in Mike Seate's book we never dreamed of. How did Arlen Ness, Jesse James and Indian larry get their start as motorcycle custom kings? It's all in here, along with some great old historical photos and hundreds of nifty, full-color shots from today's top chopper builders. A must have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Book About Cool Bikes Jan. 10 2004
By A Customer
I was hoping to find a suitable Christmas present for the two motorcycle maniacs in my life and both my husband and son loved "Choppers1" Packed full of interesting factoids about custom motorcycles and the peopel who build them, this book has become a prominent and permanent part of our coffee table collection. The research is excellent as the author, a respected journalist who has written for Cycle World, Motorcyclist and other enthusiast magazines, unearthed hundreds of rare old chopper photos, some dating back to WWII. A must have for anyone interested in learning about the legendary chopper.
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1.0 out of 5 stars inaccurate, god-awful waste of paper Jan. 10 2004
By A Customer
words cannot describe the utter distain and disgust I felt after thumbing through this piece of garbage. I recieved this attrocity as a christmas present, and only out of pure obligation, removed the plastic wrapping while a well-meaning relative looked on. This embarassment to motorcyclists everywhere, was chock-full of complete inaccuracies and half-truths. I suppose it would be a good addition to your library if you like the idea of people thinking that you're into bikes, even though you've never even sat on a chopper. Let alone, build or ride one. If you're the type of imbecile who would like this book, and then write a positive review about it, then my warning is most likely falling upon deaf ears. I wish more than anything that a negative score was possible with this review, because one star is far too much praise. So thank you Mike Seate, you ruined christmas.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unfactual attrocity Dec 30 2003
I recieved this book as a Christmas gift, which is the only way it would have made it into my house. It is full of historical inaccuracies, poor commentary, and even poorer analogies by the said author. How this person is even able to get anything published, especially something this awful, is quite beyond me. How about doing some actual research, Seate? I actually felt somewhat insulted by the blatantly piss-poor information this book has to offer. Topical errors and inaccurately placed photoghraphs are the norm for this publication. Now obviously, this is a great book for newbies and yuppies who have no idea how the chopper "subculture" came about, or who think that Jesse James invented the chopper for the sake of Discovery programs, as other reviews of this book have led us to believe. But for us few who know how it really goes down, this book is a heap and a joke, save for a few nicely detailed photos, hence my 1-star rating.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Chop Everything!
I had been searching for a book about the complete history of choppers for years and none had been published - until now, that is. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2003 by carl bickstaff
1.0 out of 5 stars absolute dreck
This book is god-awful, plain and simple. Anyone who knows anything about seate's alleged "journalism career" understands how much he knows about motorcycles, and would... Read more
Published on Dec 3 2003 by mark mcdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars socio-cultural origins of this strange art form...
This is a really fun and interesting book. Well written, highly literate, very informative, it gives you the skinny on the real origins of these bikes, their place in motorcyle... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by Ryan McNabb
5.0 out of 5 stars Killer old school and new cutting edge choppers
...Recognized by their long forks and chopped frames, choppers have found new appeal among today's motorcycle enthusiasts and continue to inspire motorcycle customizers around the... Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by "tbear160"
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old school and new cutting edge choppers inside this bo
Recognized by their long forks and chopped frames, choppers have found new appeal among today's motorcycle enthusiasts and continue to... Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by "tbear160"
5.0 out of 5 stars "Choppers" a cultural history
All too often motorcycle books devolve into long, boring lists of part numbers and degrees of valve timing. "Choppers" avoids this trap. Read more
Published on April 11 2003 by Lobotomy Boy
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