Reaching Cloud 9 On A Chopper










Isn’t refreshing to see a Chopper among a see of Bobbers, especially when it is a Chopper looking like…a true Chopper. 100% Finnish style, but of course inspired by the California Choppers of the late 60’s, it was built in Finland by a shop called “Flying Choppers” and recently got a 3rd place trophy in the European AMD Championship. The 3 winners being invited to Sturgis, you will see “Cloud 9” in South Dakota in August. I am sure it “doesn’t turn well with others” on the twisted roads of the Black Hills, but it may become the king of the highway 90 between Spearfish & Rapid City during the next Sturgis Rally. Flying Chopper Motorcycles (photography Horst Rosler)


11 Responses to “Reaching Cloud 9 On A Chopper”

  1. 1 Grayhawk Apr 27th, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Your right on about the true chopper look, always did like it. Nice detail from their web site pictures. Another time machine and they will get the true chopper feeling rolling across 90 near Sturgis with those narrow bars and tires along with that extended front end, his elbows may be knocking together from the gusts of side winds.

    I always did like a fork brace cross piece for stiffening with that long a front end as it will flex and bounce a bit. Not to mention the stresses just below the neck on the small diameter frame down tubes where the cross frame member ties due to the combination of rake and extended rise. Nice looking Chopper.


  2. 2 rock star Apr 27th, 2009 at 7:36 am


  3. 3 Sheriff Apr 27th, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Readers of the blog might remember the premiere June 08
    This is the 2nd invite to Sturgis

  4. 4 Jeff Nicklus Apr 27th, 2009 at 9:36 am

    From an engineers stand point, I cringe. From the love of the old choppers side of me, I love it! Ahhhh back to the days of some good ol’ front end flop!

    Over & Out,


  5. 5 Paul Apr 27th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    The way a chopper should look. With the proper tail & rake the front end should not flop. Ask Sugar Bear. He knows.

  6. 6 Sugar Bear Apr 28th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Unfortunately, I do not believe it will “turn well with others” as stated, and it has to flop and glides don’t work at those angles and yes, it will need a fork brace for extended riding. I know how to fix all of the above ….. 🙂 . Sweet looking bike!!!!

  7. 7 Grayhawk Apr 28th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks Sugar Bear I was hoping you or Pat Kennedy would get in on this posting as A lot of builders are getting back into this style for good or bad and should not have to go through all the pitfalls already expierenced in the past least not forget the inexpierenced/unsuspecting end customer looking for cool. Kickstart used to have a basic rake/trail chart in their little book for the basics that a least tell ya if you build outside the recommendations of the chart your not necessarily building a rider. Not knocking the bike as I like choppers and the detail is commendable in the above bike and not seeing exact specs on this build it just looked and breathes like bikes we built in the 60’s and 70’s that bounced, flopped, flexed and shuttered at speed and had frame failures athough metalurgy is better now. Form and Function is primary. Thus my two comments.


  8. 8 fuji Apr 28th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    This front end setup is a crap your pants happening when you least expect it . Been there and almost had the big one .

  9. 9 dragon Apr 28th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    had one of the old school like that back in the 70s and did have a couple of big ones lmao

  10. 10 Nicker Apr 28th, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Sugar B,

    I’m with Paul on this one….. Don’t think it has to flop.
    Got a 12″-over chop out in storage. It never did flop.
    Haven’t ridden it in years (plate tag says ’93).
    The only issue was front end flex, on a bumpy road would making it walk to the outside of a turn.
    Other than that it handled just fine (5×16″ -n- 1.75×21″) no fork brace necessary.
    Smooth as a Caddy on the freeway.

    Wasn’t much into engineering rake & trail when i built back about 1975, but i was smart enough not to use a kicked out head-set.
    To get the motor back down to a stock position the frame was sectioned and the neck rotated up & back.

    Just went out & measured the neck rake…. it’s at 47 degrees.

    Not really sure since that’s the only 12″-over scoot i built,
    but IMHO a big part of flop is about jacking up the CG by raising the engine and not kicking out the neck.

    On the other hand, i could very well be wrong…

  11. 11 Sugar Bear Apr 29th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I agree with Paul also, Nicker,…..”with the proper rake and trail the front end should not flop”…… I don’t believe this is true in this case however. Those forks look to be 20″ over or more, which is a different geometry from what you dealt with. I understand what Dragon and Fuji are talking about. The longer the tubes, the more flex you have and you get into the tweeking.

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