Is It The New Chopper?

Naumann1Naumann2Naumann3Naumann4Naumann5Naumann6A pair of 26″ wheels on any custom bike has the ability to provoke some very strong reactions. Lookin awesome or ugly? Rideable? Show ride or only show bike? “52 Stick” (name of this contraption still not explained to me) was not built only for trophies. Believe it or not it was built and paid by a client by the name of Johannes Drecker who is as happy with the bike itself than with the 10th place trophy won at the recent AMD World Championship Of Bike Building.

Naumann7Naumann8If I feature this bike it’s not only because I know that it will create the debate about (too?) tall wheels but because it illustrates what many builders in the US and Europehave loved to build during the last couple of years. Will the combo small rake/short front end/tall wheels/new retro styled parts define the “new chopper” of this decade? I let you judge. But if during the next 12 months more clients order this type of custom chopper, you can be pretty sure it will be the case, at least for a couple of years. A building trend that will live in parallel with the root and neo-retro bobbers built using re-purposed parts. One year from now, let’s evaluate if the tall wheel manufacturers have redefined or reshaped the custom bike building business. (photography copyright Frank Sander for Cyril Huze)

Naumann10Naumann9Name of the bike: 52 Stick
Builder Name: Michael Naumann
Owner Johannes Drecker
Year: Custom Model 2012/2013
Engine Make: S&S Cycle Knuckle Style.
Frame: Custom built with 38-degree rake
Front End: W&W Springer type
Wheels Front: 3,5 x 26 by Rick’s
Wheels Rear: 3,5 x 26 by Rick’s
Tires Front & Rear: Vee Rubber, 120-50-26
Brake Front: Beringer
Brake Rear: Kustom-Tech
Painter Ingo Kruse

57 Responses to “Is It The New Chopper?”

  1. 1 Alan Jul 8th, 2013 at 7:53 am

    like it

  2. 2 Jg Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Beautiful bike , wrong wheels

  3. 3 Reyn Mansson Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Undeniably aesthetically pleasing metal sculpture representing an idolized vision of motorcycling. Tenuous connection to a streetable vehicle though.

  4. 4 BobS Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    It’s awesome. But it is the new show bike, not the new chopper. Just my opinion of course but I will always think of chopper as two wheel versions of hot rods. Something a guy put together by himself out of parts and then rides. If you’re not riding or driving it, it’s a showpiece, not a chopper or a rod. Personally I would love to see the tracker look used on a great riding bike.

  5. 5 takehikes Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Nice craftsmanship but otherwise what a waste…wagon wheels belong on wagons and that ain’t nothing but a show bike which means it ain’t no chopper. Choppers get ridden, hard and often.

  6. 6 Jay Horton's Private Shop Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Beautiful! gut gemacht! Later Jay

  7. 7 ValueTeck Enterprises LLC Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Nice Artwork!

  8. 8 Woody's Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Like Bob said. Not “The New Chopper” just the latest fad. Like the spinning rims on lowrider cars, it’ll be a brief (but very visible) spike on some chart, but that’s it. The cool thing is the folks making good money supplying “big rim” stuff will be positioned to make equally good money selling “put it back” kits for many bikes in 2-3 years tops. Win-win for the industry. ☺

  9. 9 calif phil Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:06 am

    The wheel design is cool but the size is ridiculous.

  10. 10 Rodent Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Nice bar hopper

  11. 11 Brother Tiberius Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I’m not sure if build competitions ever consider the question; “is the bike ride-able?”

    This is pretty.

    It doesn’t strike me as ride-able.

  12. 12 motojefro Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Once again, nothing new.

  13. 13 Terence Tory Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    A front 26″ with a /50 profile on the rear would not work right anywhere but on the 8-ball table green.There is a reason H-D started the 16″ wheel trend on the road over half a century ago:small diameter fat wheels work.I hope people don’t get the impression that it is a viable road bike and want to build something like it.Show bikes belong on big wall posters like in the seventies:More big posters please!

  14. 14 Seven Jul 8th, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Nice! but I see nothing “new” about it. “Choppers” were not about a bunch of expensive custom parts. They were about “chopping” the stuff off you did not want or need.

  15. 15 bigitch Jul 8th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    if your a skinny person and maybe of short height it would look good to be riding one of theses.

    but if you are a tall person and your pant size is greater than your age then you will look like a clown at the circus on one.

    based on this direction of custom building, the next new “chopper” will have beach bars and look like a motorized schwinn bicycle.

  16. 16 BC Jul 8th, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Great workmanship! Very cool thing, you’re not going to ride it to Sturgis, but to the local bar and blow everyone’s mind. And with a knuckle in it it’s just that much better!

  17. 17 A 1 MIKE Jul 8th, 2013 at 11:19 am

    the lines and workmanship are awesome! great bike

  18. 18 Anton Jul 8th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Strarting to trend chock out stellan egelunds huslter(wcc winner) bike and say you dont dig..

  19. 19 Tooj Jul 8th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I truly hope that this is not “the new chopper”. Nothing chopped there at all. There’s a reason for a bigger contact patch and you certainly won’t see this oversized board tracker racing any time soon. Nor will you see it out running two wide and tight with a pack.

  20. 20 ChopperKulture Jul 8th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Very nice Bike Mickael!…congratulations and fuck the haters!

  21. 21 jerry head Jul 8th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The question should be asked are they durable to take the pot-hole laden roads we have? I hit a lane divider once with a 21′ front spoke wheel and a 16″on the back. Needless to say the front wheel cratered, broke about 10 spokes dented the rim but didn’t flatten the tire, the 16″on the back had no damage at all, so I was able to limp home. The 26″ wheels look rather fragile.(must be Italian)

  22. 22 RUB Jul 8th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    always cracks me up when someone doesn’t agree with the sheeple or thinks something is fugly , their a hater …………..workmanship is fantastic , bike looks goofy . just sayin

  23. 23 dmj Jul 8th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Fancy board tracker, but where are we going to find a board track. Really nice motor. Mostly show, not much go.

  24. 24 aaron Jul 8th, 2013 at 1:42 pm


  25. 25 Shifter Jul 8th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Superb flowing lines. Like very much.

  26. 26 SIGFREED Jul 8th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Is it ‘The New Chopper’?


    1. Is it rideable? NO (check).

    2. Does it have good suspension? NO (check).

    3. Can it corner above 15 mph? NO (check).

    4. Can it stop in time? NO (check).

    5. Does it offer a reasonable riding position? NO (check).

    6. Is it street legal? NO (check).

    7. Will it stay intact if ridden hard and long? NO (check).

    8. Is its fuel tank of a practical volume? NO (check).

    9. Can mere mortals afford it? NO (check).

    10. Is it of any practical use? NO (check).

    Hell Y_E_S_!! It is ‘The New Chopper’…


    Absolutely it is a gorgeous mantlepiece – would it however not be refreshing to see something, as nice, that answers ‘yes’ to at least 8 out of the 10 questions above..?

  27. 27 Brandon Jul 8th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Problem is Sigfreed is the only one to make the answers. So, who care?

  28. 28 Rob Jul 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I agree that the quality of the workmanship is all there, but as far as the “New Chopper”…I think not. The giant wheel fad will go the way of the 300 rear tire in a couple of years.. The classics style, whether chopper or bobber will always remain the constant. The “New Styles” will come and go just like designer clothing.

  29. 29 Blackmax Jul 8th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
    and what is one man’s garbage, is another man’s treasure !!!
    Wise words to live by…….
    I’m in agreement with Reyn masson & BC, This is NOT my cup of tea & I do think it’s fug-ugly!
    But if you like it, YOU buy it & more power to ya. I’ll still give you the high sign as I ride by ……

  30. 30 FXDX805 Jul 8th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Great art, but you are not going to ride this thing anywhere. It does look good gettin pushed on and off the trailer though.

  31. 31 Motodavide Jul 8th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The bike would be perfect with an 18x 150 on the rear.i am no hater.i love these motorcycles, but lately if I see another skinny shovelhead with 70’s paint I will puke.and these are the bikes I loved and what I grew up with and dreamed about.pick up any mag and there all the same again.wewere all glad to see the fat tires fade but now we are trending again.thank god for the classics , vl’s, wl’s,wishbone knuckles,my old mans pan.they will always be awesome.roger goldammer did it with the red bike ,killed the fat tire, we need a trend killer , end these silly 20 something rears.

  32. 32 Mike Greenwald Jul 8th, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    So many old school influences, including the 26s. Look back 100 years or so and you will see many things brought forth. Clean and uncluttered. Nice bike.

  33. 33 john reed Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Nice little bike Michael.

    Its not my personal choice but I am curious, you said a 26″ with a /50 profile on the rear would not work
    and I wondered why.

  34. 34 Mazz Jul 8th, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Cool bike, the kids and I of my after-school youth program started building a BSA based low long chopper/bobber using two 21 inch wheels with Avon Speedmasters about 3 years ago. We hope to have it done by the summer of 2014. Hopefully it will still be “in style” by then!!
    The look is very cool. The frame on this bike is very cool as well, have seen this type of frame before on bobbers, to me, they are always cool. Nice project!! I am going to show it to the kids in my program, they should get a great kick out of it.

  35. 35 Terence Tory Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    john reed.I think a /50 profile would have very little tire carcass flex and shock absorption on the rear of a rigid bike.Supercars with similar ultralow profile tires often puncture and also damage the rims.There is a good reason most H-D’s have /90 profile tires on the rear:they work.The long narrow contact patch on the other hand would probably work very well in regard to lateral grip and directional accuracy.Horses for courses for horsepowers.

  36. 36 Waldo Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Nothing new here. I was at the Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, NY and saw a huge wheeled bike built in the 1930s! To top it off, it had two, side by side V twin engines! Here’s a link to the picture I took of it:
    And anyone who hasn’t been to the Motorcyclepedia Museum is missing out, big time!

  37. 37 Broadway lee Jul 9th, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I Wouln”t call it a chopper by any means of the chopper world BUT a Hopper as in Bar Hopper rolling trophy and I gotta figure conversation starter if any of those things fit into your daily ride plan !! I’d rather see that on a trailer heading to a bike event then the street glides and such I seem trailered to events these days

  38. 38 baggerdude Jul 9th, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Is this the new chopper? God, I hope not!

  39. 39 Rick Lossner Jul 9th, 2013 at 7:14 am

    One bike that won’t be in my stable .. on those wheels at least

  40. 40 cooldaddy51 Jul 9th, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Nice example of metal art. Not intended as a rider. Just about anybody trying to ride it would look like a monkey f……n a football. Park it in a man cave and invite over the bros to circle it with some brews while nodding their heads ,yeah thats ahsome ……….alright lets get back to the game.

  41. 41 tim.S Jul 9th, 2013 at 8:34 am

    The Bike looks like it is not really meant for riding just for show. It does not appeal to me at all. It hurts my back to just look at it. The builder obviously had not thought of the riding aspect of a motorcycle but just went with a weird theme just like some of those stupid Orange County Chopper’s that Paul Sr makes that have the handlebars way out front along with other non practical and dangerous add-ons. A waist of money.-Tim in Mi.

  42. 42 Gator Jul 9th, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I think “52 stick” must mean, two 26″ wheels = 52. The “Stick” either means the single down tube or because it’s about as skinny as a stick. I don’t care for it.

  43. 43 Shaz Jul 9th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    This is awesome!!! Killer lines, awesome engine, the details are incredible, well done!!!! I find it amusing at the amount of people that bash the big wheel designs or the fat tire, or the long rake or the short rake or the skinnyness. Have you ridden this bike or a bike with dual 26″ wheels? NO. Have you ridden one with just one 26″ wheel or maybe a 30″ wheel? NO. But you must have ridden at least many miles on a fat tired bike right? NO. Oh so you don’t like the look and it “must not be ride-able” because you don’t like the look of it right? YES……. before trading it I rode my 10ft long, 48 degree raked, rigid frame, 250 rear chopper on 300-400 mile days. Dirt roads, mountain roads, twisty roads, straight roads, beat up roads, high speed, low speed, and even the speed limit (sometimes). Yet every time I stopped someone would say “woah you can’t really ride that thing, it’s more of a bar hopper show bike right”, yeah if your bars and shows are 340 miles apart. Just because YOU can’t ride this daily or see yourself or anyone riding this daily doesn’t mean it isn’t a daily rider or capably of going cross country. Check out James Patience and his cross country ride on a 30″ bagger, looks pretty fun to me, and I would ride the sh*t out of this 26″ board tracker

  44. 44 Pat Simmons Jul 9th, 2013 at 10:46 am

    At Sturgis last year I saw quite a few custom bikes with the oversize wheels. (Some, believe it or not, with even bigger custom fabricated wheels!) Guys, and gals were ridin’ ’em around, and seemed to have no problem. They almost look completely retro, like an old bone-shaker bicycle. Not really my thing, but I appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to come up with something this tricked out. It would be a kick to ride something like this, and is a great rally bike for sure! Good job!

  45. 45 ian Jul 9th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I have built 4 bikes in the last few years all with matching 23″ wheels – have to say they have all ridden well and have had no handling problems – much of which is due to the excellent Avon Cobra tyres you get for that size wheel. Not sure I would ever want to go up to 26″ – but love the look of the build and the quality – the brake alone is class. Nice work.

  46. 46 martin twofeather Jul 9th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Good luck,good style,sweet ride……

  47. 47 Pest Assassin Jul 9th, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    bar hopper!! YEAH right!!! It may work for a bar hopper if you don’t mind puking after each ride as every seam or defect in the road jars your guts out!

    maybe the Brits made them do it!?!

    No doubt it’s a great looking bike, great for looking at. The new chopper, I don’t think so. A bike to ride more than once, I don’t think so. A bike to ride once, just so you can say you rode it, maybe, I wouldn’t mind trying to ride it on a long glass smooth straightaway or a large & smooth velodrome.

  48. 48 drew Jul 9th, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Nice but not a chopper

  49. 49 Iron Horse Jul 9th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Not a fan of the tall, skinny wheels, but to each his own. Workmanship looks spot on though.

  50. 50 Andygears Jul 10th, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Not much different from what Jesse Rook was building ten years ago. His stuff was innovative, without the tall wheels. This seems contrived to sell the “Now Available” wheels.


  51. 51 hk Jul 10th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    i find it very interesting that all of you had the time to try and ride this bike in person ,,,,,since you are convinced it doesnt ride and nothing works and its just art.Such lazy minds.

    I woudlnt call it the new chopper because it isnt a new idea at all ,board trackers on big wheels was the fad years ago and its still a trend .

    the new chopper is the bagger. Chopped up ,modifed stock bikes with upgrades and cosmetic alterations …but im sure the purists only have one way to define that .

  52. 52 Terence Tory Jul 10th, 2013 at 9:35 am

    hk,Motorcycle engineering is a science,art is a learn-ed experience.They are two different spheres entirely.Many experienced motorcycle experts can deduce numerous aspects and dynamic attributes of a bike without actually riding it,by merely by perusing it’s layout and components.”Lazy minds”such as yours tend to make broad all encompassing presumptions based on assumptions.

  53. 53 john reed Jul 10th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    You are obviously pretty smart but I cant figure our what your area of expertise is.
    Recently you questioned the Mission motorcycle frame.
    Dismissed the ducati diavel which looks cheap and nasty amongst other things.
    proved that you know about the handling of 3 wheelers,
    said Indian courts are corrupt and Cartoon characters detracted from Russel Mitchells bikes
    You told me why a 26″ with a /50 profile on the rear wheel would not work
    and that many experienced motorcycle experts can deduce numerous aspects and dynamic
    attributes of a bike without actually riding it.

  54. 54 Terence Tory Jul 10th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    john reed,I’m a polymath in a post post modern world.I strive for something along these lines:

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

    Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)

    I’m a jack of all trades,and master of more than one.I rely on reliable reference,my direct experience and the close opinion of expert advisors,and not just my mere opinion.

  55. 55 burnout Jul 10th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I agree with Mr Heinlein’s statement also. Thanks Terrance Tony. You are like most of us on here, big ego and even bigger (loud) opinions! Has anyone rattled Boss Hawg’s cage lately? peace

  56. 56 nitroglide Jul 11th, 2013 at 8:07 am

    If you pay for it , build it or own it , I presume you can call ” it ” whatever you want to and that is ok with me. But the term chopper has for many years referred to the chopping of original factory bikes , a practice begun by guys riding in the 50s -60s. I am old enough to remember taking a stock flh pan and
    removing the front fender, cutting the rear one even changing the front forks ( 40s springer ) homemade sissy bars etc. Works of art like this bike, beautiful in form , design and fabrication , in my mind could never qualify as a chopper unless we are ready to redefine the term itself. Every time a bike of this type is featured the same debate begins , Is it a chopper?, Is it rideable ? and so on and so forth. The reality is , it is what it is , despite whatever you call it. If you pick up a rock and decide you want to call it a tree , that will not make it a tree. Motorcycles , especially customs are all about individual expression. A bike of this type will never be a chopper to me , but if you want to call it a tree , so be it. None can deny the beauty of the build.

  57. 57 Autobeschriftungen Dec 20th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Nice example of metal art. Not intended as a rider. Just about anybody trying to ride it would look like a monkey! 🙂

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Cyril Huze