A shop named Chopper Kultcha (phonetic pronunciation of word Culture in a British accent), located in Abu Dhabi (it’s in UAE, or United Arab Emirates), managed by a custom builder whose name is Mario Kyprianides (it’s Greek Cypriot), wo is amazing bike show judges in Europe with a bike called “Courtesan” (who you can almost describe as a high class “hooker” to serve Kings), is worth some explanation. Mario grew up in the south of the UK, followed his parents who immigrated to the UAE in the late 70s chasing good and easy money, came back to the UK to study and graduate, then settled again in Abu Dhabi…He is a 3rd generation builder, his grand dad in the 50s buying a lot of military bikes (Harley, Indian, BSA etc) and converting them to civilian models. His father continued the tradition and little Mario got the bug around the age of 8 as soon as he succeeded fixing and riding his first moped. Well the rest of the story is more typical of what you hear about many builders. A few friends asked him to tinker with their bikes, and since he was very good at it many friends and accessorized bikes later he entered the bike building business…
And Mario to mention to me that contrary to the stereotype, rich Sheiks (I know, it’s a pleonasm) are not the only ones to buy high end custom motorcycles, but also a lot of expatriates making very good money in UAE (almost always the reason why they move there). Back to the “Courtesan” name, Mario told me “I decided to use this name because I wanted to build an old school type bike but at the same time very sophisticated in its own way. A Courtesan was intellectual and seductive so I believe one goes with the other hand in hand. I found an old brothel coin in Deadwood a few years ago, which i placed in the center of the hand shifter. On the coin there is the writing “Good for all night”. Coutersan is based on a modified 93″ Shovel motor (S&S cylinders and balancing, STD flywheels, BB Racing connecting rods) fitted with copper oil lines and cradled in a Maximum Metalworks frame massaged to Mario’s taste with wishbone down tubes and goose neck, supposedly also a very popular look in the UAE .
The “Brass Winged” effect is the main design line all over the bike and you can notice some nice details like the fuel port hole at the bottom of the gas tank, the under transmission oil bag and the tricky exhaust. For the rest this “Courtesan” is dressed with some of the best parts of the industry like RRW wheels (21″ front, 18″ rear) slowed by 4-piston HHI brakes, Metzeler tires (90/90 front, 200/50 rear), a 2″ Tech Cycle primary drive with Bandit clutch, Italian Kustom Tech foot controls, a Fab Kevin taillight, an air ride spring seat from Paul Cox upholstered by Duane Ballard, etc.
Mario Kyprianides travels quite a bit to the US when he is done with collecting gold trophies in Europe major shows (see the VIDEO of Mario receiving his most recent 1st place trophy at Harley-Davidson European Bike Week in Austria). So, you may see “Courtesan” up-close in February in Cincinnati at the Dealers Expo or March during Daytona Bike Week. Chopper Kultcha