Monday, August 31, 2009

Captain America: A Chopper Profile


Captain America Chopper Specifications

* Year: 1969
* Class: Early Chopper
* Owner: On display at National Motorcycle Museum
* Builder: Cliff Vaughn/Dave Ohrt
* Model: Captain America
* Frame: Harley-Davidson
* Forks: Telescopic, 12-inches over
* Rake: 42 degrees
* Rear susp.: Hardtail
* Front wheel: Spoke, 21-inch
* Front brake: None
* Rear wheel: Spoke, 16-inch
* Rear brake: Harley-Davidson, drum
* Rear tire: 120 mm
* Engine: 74-cubic-inch Harley-Davidson
* Exhaust: Cliff Vaughn
* Trans.: Harley-Davidson, 4-speed
* Paint by: Cliff Vaughn

The Captain America chopper is well-known for
its appearance in the film Easy Rider.


It's perhaps the best-known chopper in the world, and to many, the Captain America bike from the film Easy Rider defines the breed

The bike shown is not a replica; it is one of two identical choppers originally built by Cliff Vaughn for use in Easy Rider. This is the one that was wrecked at the end of the film. The other was reportedly stolen, likely sold for parts by a thief unaware of its significance.

After the filming, the wrecked bike was procured by actor Dan Haggerty, who began rebuilding it but never finished. It was then sold, the restoration being completed by Dave Ohrt. The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has graciously loaned it to the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa, where it is currently on display.

This example of the Captain America bike started life as a 1951 Harley- Davidson FL. The frame was chromed but is otherwise virtually stock. So is the engine. Added were extended forks, ape-hanger handlebars, upswept fishtail mufflers, "peanut" gas tank, and tall sissy bar, all of which grew to define an early chopper.

29 comments:

Dr.John said...

As a kid I read Captain America comics.

Thom said...

Okay I want that one LOL. I like it. :)

Baron's Life said...

Dr. John...o do I , so Do I

Baron's Life said...

Thom...not sure if you can get one...

Phivos Nicolaides said...

So beautiful indeed!

Baron's Life said...

Thank Phivos

Danny said...

I read recently that there is some debate about who really built the bikes and if the one in the museum was ever in the movie. It is a cool looking bike though. I see a replica rolling around KC every once in a while.

George said...

This is really a neat bike. I'm glad it was restored and can be viewed at the museum.

Canajun said...

No question it's an icon - and a beautiful one at that. But I actually preferred the bike that Dennis Hopper rode. Don't know if that one's still around or not.

PatnWilton said...

The frame being chromed is interesting. Although I sure wouldn't want to have to polish something like that on my own bike. LOL

Dave said...

just fantastic, the classic chopper icon, if only they were for sale at an affordable price, I just love all that chrome.

Cheers,

Dave..

montieandme said...

This is a beautiful Bike, how I would love a ride on it, such a shame one was stolen, nice post..

Missy said...

It is done :)

Lance said...

Baron, nice post. I remember seeing the Easy Rider movie when I was a kid. I wasn't into mc's then, but it must have had an impact. That's interesting that Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams) had a hand in the restoration.

Baron's Life said...

Danny not sure...and it's something to look into...the replica would be nice

Baron's Life said...

George...it's a piece of history

Baron's Life said...

Canajun...don't know either, worth looking into from a historical point of view...

Baron's Life said...

Patnwilton...I'm with ya 100%..not to mention the road hazard created by the glare...it could cause at certain angles

Baron's Life said...

Dave...Thye are never affordable mate

Baron's Life said...

Linda...and such is life..thanks...glad you liked it

Baron's Life said...

Missy..Thanks

Baron's Life said...

Lance...yeah me too I saw when I WAS a spring chicken...but it's Steve Mc Queen that got me hooked on riding

Giest said...

I know it's a replica, but the original bikes, both the Captain America bike and the Billy Bike were designed and built by an African-American bike builder named Ben Hardy. Food for thought. :)

Koorosh Angali said...

Wow! I finally sat on the original Captain America Chopper yesterday. It now belongs to my friend, Gordon Granger, a car, motorcycle, and art collector who took me to his storage room with all these magnificent cars and motorcycles in it, including a 1940's Indian Chief. Not only he allowed me to sit on Captain America, but he himself took some pictures of me on it. BTW, he also has two of my paintings in his collection (which is really cooooool)!

viagra online said...

It's a wonderful bike. the idea of base the design in Captain America was the best that could have, and the result is fascinate. I would like to have a similar one as soon as possible.

Tadalafil said...

My father bought a motorcycle exactly equal than this one, but he don't wanna lend it to me because he says it's a piece of collection.

Anonymous said...

There are no original Captain America Panheads in existence. Ben Hardy, a black bike builder from California built both of the two that were built for the movie, one was destroyed at the end of the movie, the other was stolen. Any Captain America you see is a replica, Dan Hagerty had nothing to do with any restoration, as there was none. This information was documented by Jesse James in his show "The History of the Chopper" and verified by SugarBear, who worked with Ben Hardy.
End of line.

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