Motorcycle.com on “American Chopper”: Senior vs. Junior vs. Jesse James

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The infamous “American Chopper” TV juggernaut rolls on, with a two-hour special to be broadcast tonight and culminating with a live event on Tuesday evening in Las Vegas.

The interesting thing about this week’s shows is that I’m in Vegas as a guest critic of the builds, a three-team competition between Paul Teutul Senior, Paul Junior and the notorious Jesse James. Earlier today I got a chance to see the vehicles for the first time, and what a trio it is!

Check out our exclusive first looks at their builds after the jump.

James’ bike is the most conventional, with a traditional long-and-tall-necked chopper. Its unique aspect is a frame made of difficult-to-fabricate stainless steel, as is the one-off springer front end.

Paul Junior’s team has produced an aeronautical-themed creation, with its most distinctive touch being its giant 30-inch propeller-shaped wheels that gives it a caricatureish appearance. Another unique styling element is an exhaust system that’s routed through and out the sides of the faux fuel tank like a WW II P-51 Mustang.

Paul Senior and the crew at Orange County Choppers have produced the craziest contraption of them all. Picture a Can-Am Spyder using a pair of rubber tracks where the front wheels would be, plus a tracked wheel at the rear. If that wasn’t enough to set it apart, the pure electric powerplant surely will! Can a machine with three points of contact and no wheels be considered a chopper? Not in my book, but it’s undoubtedly a visually stunning machine different from anything we’ve seen before.

Joining me as on-camera critics are Keith Ball from Bikernet.com and Mark Boone Jr., who plays the role of Robert “Bobby Elvis” Munson in the “Sons of Anarchy” series. It’s been the highest-rated show ever on the FX network and is finishing its fourth season.

So tune in to tonight’s special on the build process of the individual machines on the Discovery Channel, then follow it up by checking out Tuesday night’s live special when you’ll see a glimpse or three of your humble Editor-in-Chief!

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  • http://accountants.infortworthtxlocalarea.com biffula

    First Sr. puts out that worthless child’s toy, the arabian horse bike, now this disaster? His doors will be closed by the end of 2012 since he won’t have the show to prop him up anymore.

  • BD

    I think Junior’s bike is the best of all three. Seniors bike isn’t even a chopper so it should be disqualified. I’m thinking WTF with Seniors bike! Jesse James bike is very good but if I saw his bike on the road I would say nice. If I saw Juniors bike on the road I would say WOW. Once again Junior has outdone himself! Its the WOW factor baby! Good luck Junior!

  • Chad

    none of these bikes deserve to be on tv.

  • carlos

    jessie same ol same ol

  • Paxan

    Jesse James sucks, he has no imagination…. He sounds stupid everytime he opens his mouth, he uses the word ” like” to much, read a book Jesse!!! Jr = untouchable design!!! Go team Jr!!!!

  • Gary Martinez

    My familey, that Paul jr has an imagination when it comes to building bikes that paul sr and jessie james could only. Wish that they could have when it comes to building bikes. Fall a sleep sr. And jessie and keep dreaming you could be like paul jr

    Keep it up jr.

    The Waldrons

    East Sacramento. California

  • Darlene J

    I just looked at the bikes. Jessie James is a classless individual. Talking all that smack and his bike is whack. It plum ugly. Paul Jr bike is awesome. Really you should not even put Jessie bike against Paul Jr. No comparison. And I don’t know what OCC built. PJ keep building great bikes!!! I loyal watcher of the show. DJ

  • john Morell

    Sr crew are like little kids,and the what they build for this build off against Junior and Jesse James.
    First Senior needs to grow up(his pick of a bike big.Zero#3
    Jesse James nice bike but,he did way to many drugs in his day and talk a big game.Thank god Sandra got away from that idiot,how she every saw anything there i don,t no??? #2

    Junior is more of a builder then the whole gang of them.
    #1 He needs to put his dad in the past forget about him,he not a man but a little boy in a old man’s suit.
    Junior is more a man then that sperm donor will ever be.
    Junior and his crew are men and the best builder’s and talk with there talent.

  • Nathan Schehr

    I think it’s unanimous… Jr’s bike is by far the hottest creation to come out of any custom shop. Sr’s got something cool but by no means a bike or even look enjoyable to ride. Jesse James is a fag and his bike is horrible. I can’t believe discovery even let his POS on the show. That’s embarrassing for them I’m sure and even more embarrassing for Jesse talking all that smack, grow up and grow a pair loser! He can’t even see over the handlebars haha. Go Jr! I support you and your creativeness and capabilities!

  • Gage Dorrance

    My opinion is that all 3 builders created some awesome machines for this build off. But…..when it comes yo wow factor, I say Jr. & Company’s P-51 mustang themed bike wins hands down! Good luck Jr.! And…..hopefully you and your dad will see past your differences and reconcile someday soon.

  • Doc

    Jesse’s bike is the only truly functional bike that you could actually ride somewhere on. Those other guys put together a couple of cartoon toys.

  • Vinny LaMoriello

    I think all of you don’t know what talent is sr. contraption is way out of the box but innovating,
    jr. bike is a theme bike that he had to have a plane
    to copy from and a sheet metal guy to make the tank
    the front end and swing arm was made from a outside
    soure with talent even the frame, still a great bike
    J.J. is TALENT he bilt every component on that bike
    from rar metal that is a master peice of a bike and
    would run rings around jr bike.

  • http://blog.motorcycle.com/2011/12/05/motorcycle-category/custom/motorcycle-com-on-american-chopper-senior-vs-junior-vs-jesse-james/ Tazz

    Sr needs to grow up..u dont destroy family.. what you get is the likes of Jesse James distructive persona..
    Jr..he ranks the best of the best..
    Sr. what ever you call it .. not a bike.. its a spin off
    the three wheeler skidoo pos.. and not classified as a bike.

    Jesses bike is just that.. just a bike.. where was the rassle dassle and a new bike…just the same jesse.. youve shown you have not learned a thing over the years..

    Jr.. Very nice bike.. theme bike too boot… and YES jesse you can ride this bike…

    mind you both seats are not very comfortable for long rides.. I think but then again…lol..

    JR you rule and you will always will… dont take $%@#$# from the other two.. or anyone else..

    tazz

  • Vinny LaMoriello

    Tazz are you afraid someone is going to hurt little
    Jr. feelings…lol…
    The only one with the real talent in jrd is Vinny and
    Jr knows it.
    Jr needs to grow up and stop being a cry baby, I would
    like to see if he would of made it with out occ and I’m
    not a big fan of occ
    I rather see Jesse, Indian Larry,(RIP)…

  • davo

    Jesse: Stuck in 2001
    Sr.: Not even on this planet, dont listen to anything Mike A has to say,if he likes something, do the opposite!What a dumbass
    Jr: will win, I have never seen anything like his bikes, always outdoes his self, i wish they would take some of my ideas and use them on a bike

  • Dea Nelson

    Popularity contest or not, Jr’s bike is still the best one. When you see his work, you know he has put “All of himself ” into it. His crew runs like a precision piece of art. They use their energy to build beautiful things rather than try to “out insult” the others. Jr was sincere in his commercial, we all knew that. It showed where the class truly lied when the other two put their two cents in. Rick needs to assess his situation and realize his worth, so that he can make an educated and professional as well as personal decision on where he really belongs. With Jr.
    I’m sure it will be not well recieved , if even read, that Senior has finally fallen over the edge, possibly to the point of no return when he put that cut out of his son in a car and blew it up. that wasn’t even funny. Very hateful. Very hurtful to watch. You created some great kids Senior, it’s too bad your so blind that you can’t see what your doing to your relationships with them, as well as, us, the public. Your comment “maybe now we’ll have some healthy competition” when you and Jr. settled your law suit, awesome. You shook his hand like a man who truly meant what he said. It would have been awesome to see you follow thru with that attitude for your son. Very Sincerely, Dea Nelson

  • Nevik

    I like jr.’s bike alot. I dont think jesses bike is anything special at all. I do like seniors but it really isn’t a bike at all.

  • Jim

    I don’t know what’s up with the narrow minded chopper fans, but Senior’s creation is very cool IMHO – for f##k’s sake, we see plenty of themed choppers and we know OCC can do them if that’s what you’re looking for. I for one can’t wait to see more out of the box thinking.

  • http://gmail James E.Davis Sr.

    I think that all the rides are great, but Sr. needs to learn to make a bike, instead of a track ride. If he wants to compete in a bike bild off. But still I think it’s one hell of a ride. Jessie I think he needs to shut his mouth, and learn to make a ride just a little bit out of the box, instead of the same old stuff. I’ve been to your shop years ago, and still the same old shit. But still I think that is the best you can do, It’s just like some of your race cars, and you going up against brent, and getting your ass kicked. Junior you’ve got my vote, I think you put your heart in to it, right along with all the guys their at PJDs. I hope you win.

  • Big E.

    Paul JR. your the man keep making those bikes you definitely know what your doing!

  • me

    hey idiots its a biker build off. the only real bike is jesses. i dont like jesse myself but the other 2 are not bikes. if you dont ride you should not judge. jr bike is a work of art and i would take it for my art collection ut i would not ride it it looks ridiculous. as for seniors my kids would love it. jesses is a machine i could put a 1000 miles on. im sure most of you have never ridden so i understand the confusion. they should have had the rules like the real build off and had them ride them 600 miles and i would bet jesse would be the only bike to vote on.

  • Vinny LaMoriello

    I agree with (me) it should of been a real build off
    with the ride and have the vote done by true bikers at a bike week not in a casino with a bunch of want to be bikers

  • cellini

    Frist of all Jr you and your crew are the best I love watching your show keep up the great work I am a fan for sure. ………….jesse go away man you put a bad taste in everything . Sr puts out some great bikes but I think he’s seen better days.

  • P.L. Ridgway

    WHAT THE HELL !! Who came up with the rules for this build-off, was it design? Usage or how weird can you get? True Jr. who I believe was the true designer of the father and son team came up with an incredible bike if it was to be won with looks only. And Sr. who failed because he listened to an IDIOT to design his mechanical brain fart! But Jesse James built a machine that encompassed all the points for a proper build, it can rode more than twenty to thirty miles, He created a true chopper, and it is mechanically sound a bike I would ride across country! So who is the true winner they all are – they got paid big bucks and we’re the loosers for getting caught up in the show because that is what it was, a predetermined show. ( p.s. I still like Jesse James he will tell you where to go in a split second and so would I if you don’t like it SUCK WIND !! he’s is a true bike building master considering he did 95% of the contruction himself.

  • http://shalbleib.com scott halbleib

    zzzzzzzzzz

    paul sr. needs to fire jason if if he wants to keep the place open. hire me. they put out the same old trifling sh_t week after week. not sure how a snow mobile was supposed to compete. and that horse bike may be the ugliest thing ever!

    jesse built the same ol same ol. nice craftsmanship, but dated look. nothing unique.

    jr’s is pretty cool, but the wheels are way too big and I think he over did it w/ the rivet gun

  • http://motorcycle.com Kevin Duke

    “American Chopper” has never been about building usable motorcycles that can be ridden across country. It’s always been about constructing theme bikes with a big wow factor, with bonus points for craftsmanship. That’s why I chose Junior’s bike. I think the wheels are cartoonishly too big, but the overall design is pulled off really well.

    Sure, you can go farther on a tank of gas on Jesse’s, which is the best bike for actually riding, and its stainless frame and front end took real craftsmanship, but it looks like plenty of other choppers we’ve seen before. And at least Junior’s bike has a rear suspension and its rider doesn’t have to look through the handlebars to see ahead of him.

    Senior’s bike isn’t even a bike. It’s a really cool design, but it ain’t a motorcycle.

  • Steve K.

    If there are any true bikers out there that enjoy riding, braving the eliments and pulling bugs out of your teeth, I have just one question to ask.
    Which bike would you take for your own?

    Sr’s-Futuristic zero carbon footprint snow machine/atv

    Jr’s Truly beautiful piece of bling on 2 wheels that belongs only in your living room on a pedestal.

    JJ’s Old style one off chopper that will turn heads while you ride it from coast to coast.

  • Troy S.

    Jesse James all the way!! that is my opinion. jr. bike looks gat as hell with those hugh ass tires on it. Jesse James bikes are original with a twist to it, and nnot to mention cool as hell. Sr. bike? dont know what to say but? dumb as hell! like what the hell happen! if this contest was build an all terrian vehicle then he might win. NOT AT A BIKE SHOW!!

  • dottie

    What happened to old school bike show offs..Build and Ride to the event..no doubt Jesse’s Bike would of made it to the show if ridden all the way there..Jr. sorry but i dont see your bike going long distance riding, beautiful but not practical on the road..Jesse your truly and Artisan of your trade..tough, and old school.

  • http://yahoo susan sullivan

    I am a Jr. fan, but, I felt he was going to be really challenged with Jesse’s. I was expecting Jesse to win before I saw the bikes. I watch Biker Build off and that was my guide line. When I saw Jesse’s, I thought, I don’t have to ride a bike to know that the handlebars were so high, that he would either have to look under them going down the highway, or around them. Sure enough,he had to look in between the bars,and then when the camera was behind him going down the highway, it showed how he was having to veer his whole head either to the right or left looking around the handlebars. It was bizarre the way everything from the side view went straight up. Even the guys that build choppers could see that was not safe. I have never seen them build bikes to that extreme. They always are able to see clearly over the handlebars.
    In reference to Jason. He was hired to draw what Jr. told him to draw, not, have the knowledge to actually build one. Jr. would catch Jason’s mistakes if he decided to add something or suggest something while Jr. would be sitting there. This way it didn’t end up out on the floor with Rick and Mike. Now Jr. is not there. So Sr. tells him to start drawing bikes as if he knows how they will turn out, and know what will work and not work before he hands it over to Rick and Mike to build. He was not hired to know that. He needs to find another job that will hire him to draw, and have the fabricator to be in charge as Jr. was.

  • K1

    listen up!!! first let’s get Sr. out of the way , how do you let jason run with the ball on something as important as a bike build , especially against Jr. and Jesse that’s #1. What Sr. built isn’t even a bike it’s a hybrid flamethrowing snowmobile. Sr. you trust Jason’s designs but you gave Jr. hell , your done simple and plain!!! As for Jesse you have to give Jesse credit for being able to build a bike but it’s the same ol old school bikes that Sr. is always building , are you kidding me where is the creativity in design. Jesse’s bike wins for rideability but comes in last for creativity in design and i’m not a Sr. fan so it hurts to say that. GO PJD!!! When it comes to imagination and creativity PJD has it on lockdown , my personal favorite is still the GEARS of WAR bike but the latest bike is still a work of art on hard to top. Exhaust out of the tank thats sick!!! What’ next boosters and thrusters?

  • Marques Rane

    It seenms by all the comments there are a large number of males that have terrible relationships with their fathers. Sr. has his faults but Paul owes a great deal to him. Now that he has his own shop there is a realization that he has to be on time and set and example for his employees. Previously that was not the case. He is/was the creative genius of the family, but Sr. brings the work ethic that 21st century men often lack. Overall they would be more successful together. Now if they can just do something with Mikey(what a waste!). Political correctness creates this type of male. He has had a safety net his entire life.

  • http://www.kabalyero.net Kabalyero

    LOL! The build off was done in American Choppers so obviously design will be a factor since American Choppers is a show about building Themed Bikes.

    Now, if it’s Biker Build Off then the rules might have been different. ;)

  • http://yahoo susan sullivan

    I hope they incorporate the Gears of War into there games. Even the one OCC built looked right out of Gears of WAr. Jason was influenced by Jr’s. I knew once he saw that he would go nuts!! This is his kind of world. Jr. has shown the discipline, confidence to be an owner, boss, ask opinions of his other workers, and will incorporate them,and how to instill work ethics into his men instead of threatening, reminding them who signs there paycheck, you better pick my suggestion, or agree with me before you have your own opinion style of running a business. He said, ” You may be the best at what we want working for us here, but, if you cannot get along, and want to cause disruption, as we have all experienced from a previous worker, then I do not want you working here. It is all about we work as a unit, and we all think alike in getting the best product out there with no disruptions or fueding among us. WE have had enough of that in the past.”

  • wildbill

    I was fed up with jr and sr.’s escapades of b.s. arguments last year and will not rerurn this year. too much talent is available now.

  • Ralph Dettwiler

    Get a life and get off the show Sr.,you have ruined it for many former fans.You dont know when to shut up, and help is what you need. You sure are not a role model.Bikes may look good, but then you will do it all to make money along with your greed and high ego.You are a sad man.