A Lesson In Custom Building By a 21-Year Old Dutch

Paul1Paul2Paul32 weeks ago in Germany, my fellow European journalists asked me to meet with Paul and to look attentively at his custom chopper creation. So I met him front of his bike displayed at the Custom Chrome Europe Bike Show Series in Mainz, Germany. Only 21 years old, very tall (6.5″?) with still a baby face, Paul explained to me all what was involved in his build and all hand made parts he had to fabricate. I could not believe that this young Dutch could build so much by himself until his entourage and other journalists confirmed to me that his statements were not exaggerated, rather on the humble side. To add to my surprise, Paul didn’t invest more than 10,000 euros (about13,000 US dollars) of his own money in this creation.

Paul4Paul5Paul6Paul7Paul started working at L&L Choppers, possibly the largest chopper shop in Holland when he was only 15 years old while still attending school. He learned very fast how Swedish style high neck choppers, bobbers, board trackers, B-movie bikes were built. So confident about what he already knew that he started to build his first chopper in his garage when he was 17 years old. After 4 years of dedicated work to reach “building perfection” (he is very busy helping the crew at L&L Choppers 6 days a week), trying to build as much as possible by himself , the end result is the superb chopper I feature here.

Paul8Paul9Paul’s preferred bike style is old school choppers with some racing attitude. Budget being tight, he opted for a late style Sportster engine because he prefers the biggest cylinders to the ones equipping the older version. A custom frame of his design featuring single down tube with a curve, quite some stretch in the top-tube, 40-degree neck rake, able to accept a fat rear tire but keeping a narrow seat area was ordered in Sweden. A retro Springer front end holds a 23″ front wheel and for the rear Paul mounted a massive 18″ wheel. Gas tank had to be his own, and for this purpose he borrowed a welding machine and practiced tig welding in his garage during 2 weeks. After succeeding in shaping and welding this gas tank, including adding a piece of round stock following the same shape Paul got more confident, experimenting with all sorts of parts, from the simplest to weld to the most complex and delicate. The same way, he learned how to use a lathe and after many errors and trials was able to turn the coolest parts that you see now adorning his bike. It goes from a brass choke to axle tensioners to custom bolts to a multitude of brackets for front engine mount, license plate holder, etc …Then Paul hand made his set of pipes and oil bag just using simple tools that many bikers keep in their garages (check the end pipes)

Paul10 Paul11After a first mockup Paul realized that much more had to be done to make his chop look retro. So, he modified Panhead valve covers to fit on top of his Sportster engine, rounded the cylinders, chopped the cam cover and welded ribs on both the cam cover as well on the primary cover. The bike was painted by Ramon and the gold leaf and striping were applied by El Cheapo from Belgium. Look at the tech sheet listed below. Do you know many 21-year old who can do as much as Paul did on this bike? Builder prodigy? (photography copyright “Grizzly” for Cyril Huze)

Paul20Tech Sheet.

Owner: Paul
City: Opmeer, Holland
Fabrication by: Paul from L&L Choppers
Year: 2012/2013
Model: Vintage racer
Time: Four years
Value: Not for sale
Year: 2004
Model: Late Sporty
Builder: HD and Paul
Ignition: Alttman
Displacement: 1200cc
Pistons: HD
Heads: Adapted to Panhead valve covers, ribs chopped
Valve Covers: Real Panhead modified by Paul
Cylinders: Ribs chopped, bolt sleeves opened up
Cams: Stock
Cam cover: Chopped and ribs welded on by Paul
Coil housing: Magneto style by Paul
Carb: CV with vintage cover and handmade brass items
Air cleaner: Stainless by Paul
Exhaust: Paul
Primary cover: Ribs welded on by Paul
Year: 2004
Make: HD
Shifting: 5 speed, hydraulic clutch
Year: 2008
Make: L&L Choppers
Rake: 41 degrees
Stretch: A lot
Type: Retro Springer L&L
Extension: 4 inch over
Front wheel: 23 inch aluminum L&L, brass nipples, stainless spokes
Front brake: ISR calliper, bracket by Paul
Front tire: 23 inch off-road Shinco
Rear wheel: 18 inch Chrome L&L, brass nipples, stainless spokes
Rearbrake: ISR, bracket by Paul
Reartrire: Avon 180 x 18 Metzeler
Painter: Ramon
Color: Broken white
Type: Car paint
Pinstriping and gold leaf: El Cheapo Kustom Works
Chroming: Galvano
Bars: Paul
Hand controls: Modified Ducati controls
Front Clutch and brake Master cylinders: Paul
Throttle: Paul
Grips: Wood and brass by Paul. Open throttle by Paul
Gas tank: Paul
Gas tank mounting: Paul
Gas cap: Found in the trash bin
Gas level glass: Modified by Paul, found in a hydraulics shop
Rear fender: L&L flatbender chopped by Paul
Foot controls: Paul
Foot pegs: Wood and brass by Paul
Rear brake pump: HD, Modified by Paul
Rear brake Master cylinder: Paul
Taillight: Paul
Jiffy stand: Paul
Headlight: Bicycle, mounting by Paul
Battery box: Paul
Oil bag: Stainless by Paul, level glass inside
Seat: Paul
All brackets for copper lines by Paul, engine mounts by Paul, wiring by Paul and much more!

30 Responses to “A Lesson In Custom Building By a 21-Year Old Dutch”

  1. 1 LenNY Sinnet Apr 8th, 2013 at 7:58 am

    absolutely great bike clean, classic with great lines.

  2. 2 Debbie Eyges Apr 8th, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Beautiful work! 21? Think of what he will be doing in the future. Can’t wait to see more of his work!

  3. 3 Moore Sensible Apr 8th, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Wow. What a beautiful piece of work. We’ll look forward to seeing more of this young man’s work in the future. And again…. wow.

  4. 4 Jay Horton's Private Shop Apr 8th, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Superb !!!! Later Jay

  5. 5 Dave Blevins Apr 8th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Oh that’s nice. Very good attention to detail and fit.

  6. 6 ValueTeck Enterprises LLC Apr 8th, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I like what I see there.

  7. 7 Wallie Apr 8th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Ben benieuwd wat je maakt als je 30 bent.
    Prachtig. Ga zo door.

  8. 8 Francisco Apr 8th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    This kid is “The Next One”

  9. 9 TodT Apr 8th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Very nice design! He should be proud of his work. Apparently he’s got the spine of a 21 year old as well….

  10. 10 Izadore Apr 8th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Are the DUTCH! AAnd I don’t mean Van Dutch!

  11. 11 bigitch Apr 8th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    must be no bugs in holland (no eye protection)

  12. 12 domino Apr 8th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    The nice thing about getting older is to see the younger builders come full circle… I love the “Digger” style of Ness & McCann of the 70’s… Very nice/tasteful bike Paul…

  13. 13 Lol w Apr 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Absolutely stunning!! Fantastic achievement

  14. 14 wtbiker Apr 8th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    A nice injection of youthful talent into the custom bike industry. Hope there will be many more to come . Great job!

  15. 15 Iron Horse Apr 8th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Absolutely a stunning bike. I would have liked to have had even a little of that talent at 21. Way to go Paul…can’t wait to see the next one!

  16. 16 MADrider Apr 8th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Nice work this kid will be one to look out for in the future. Amazing that this guy did soo much at such a age in his life .

  17. 17 nicker Apr 9th, 2013 at 12:51 am

    He certainly captured that early Ness look.
    Hand made stuff… excellent….
    A “retro copy”…. call it old time “scooter folk art.”
    Nice to see….


  18. 18 Sportster Mike Apr 9th, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Great Bike, 21 years old? I hate him already… (only joking)
    and on THIS occasion I’ll let the pipewrap slide cos the rest of the bike is brilliant

  19. 19 Tom Apr 9th, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Hopefully this kid doesn’t get caught up in reality TV and stays focused on bikes. Tha’ts the coolest thing I have seen this year.

  20. 20 rags Apr 9th, 2013 at 7:42 am

    awesome, great looking

  21. 21 Drew Apr 9th, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Great to see a new generation of skillful custom motorcycle builders.

  22. 22 John E Adams Apr 9th, 2013 at 10:45 am

    No words – just amazed -;0)

  23. 23 burnout Apr 9th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    WOW! Great bike! peace

  24. 24 SIGFREED Apr 9th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Fantastisch – wat is haar naam..?

    PS: if the build took FOUR years – then the lesson may well be from a 17 year old. Not too shabby for a bona-fide bad-a$$ custom, from someone who may not have had the need, for a full facial shave every day…

  25. 25 Olive Oil Apr 9th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Just gorgeous !!

  26. 26 Martin Twofeather Apr 9th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    It’s a 10 for sure,great dedication and perfect job…..

  27. 27 Andygears Apr 9th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Beautiful bike, skillfully created.

  28. 28 Mcfreeak Apr 9th, 2013 at 4:59 pm


  29. 29 krugger Apr 10th, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Well done Paul, this is a high quality work!!!

  30. 30 Kevin Boyle Kustoms Apr 12th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    heel mooie fiets…gaaf!

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Cyril Huze