Before Choppers, there was Bobbers... and Short Chops...
On this page you will find a collection of photo albums showing Harley Ironhead Short Chops.
Ironhead SHORT CHOPPERS - Photo Galleries
Just for clarity, and with all due respect to anybody's own personal opinion, once a stock bike or Bobber has the rake of her front fork increased considerably, we call her a "Chopper".
Among Choppers we see two groups: "Long Choppers" and "Short Choppers". The latter are also referred to as "Short Chops":
By "Short Chop" we mean a short Chopper.
In general terms, we would define a Chopper as follows:
A Chopper is a motorcycle of which the rake of the front fork has been increased to a rake which is considerably larger than the rake of the original stock motorcycle.
By "rake" we mean the angle that the front fork makes with the vertical.
The rake can be increased by either increasing the length the front fork, or by increasing the rake of the frame by chopping it and rearranging its geometry, or by playing a trick in the triple trees, or by any combination of the foregoing.
So, in our mind, as soon as a stock bike or a Bobber has her rake increased, she's not a stock bike or a Bobber anymore. From then on she's a Chopper.
However, not all Choppers have those extremely long front forks. A Short Chop does have an increased rake and/or a longer front fork, but all within limits. It is like a Chopper that looks a bit like a Bobber.
Read more about Short Chops on the "Bobber Republic Info Pages"!
Choppers and Short Chops - For Example: Easy Rider
Peter Fonda's "Captain America" has the really long front fork of the classic Chopper. The original Harley Panhead cradle frame was raked to 45 degrees and the length of the front fork was increased by 12 inches.
While nobody doubts whether Peter Fonda rides a Chopper, a lot of people don't feel so sure about what Dennis Hopper is riding.
WikiPedia on the "Harley-Davidson Panhead engine" page: "The Captain America chopper used by Peter Fonda in the movie Easy Rider (1969) had a panhead engine, as well as the bike ridden by Dennis Hopper's character."
That "bike ridden by Dennis Hopper" is nicknamed the "Billy Bike" and has a much shorter front fork. According to Dennis Hopper, his bike was more practical and workable than the more extreme Captain America.
This Billy Bike is what we would call a "Short Chop".
Ben Hardy - Master Chopper Builder
Both the Captain America Chopper and the Billy Bike Short Chop were built by the legendary yet unknown bike builder Ben Hardy from Los Angeles, CA.
Check this out:
Clymer Service and Repair Manuals
Even if you have no intent to get your hands dirty - these books are a joy for every Harley Davidson fan!