Egret. A Tribute Chopper Built By Bill Dodge In Memory Of Close Friend John Green.

Egret1Egret2Egret3Egret3bisOn Wednesday May 14, 2014 I had to report on the passing of John Green, the producer of all Easyriders Events, the famous winter V-Twin Bike Shows and summer Rodeo Tours. A very gentle and courageous man that I knew well, he was relentless in promoting the talent and business of all builders. Many of today’s household names, because of his encouragements, owe him to have been able to start a career in the custom motorcycle industry. Among his many friends, a special one named Bill Dodge. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Green asked his wife Jene’s to give his personal 1952 Harley Panhead to Dodge when he would be gone. An assurance for Green that Dodge would give his beloved bike a new beautiful life.

Egret66Egret66bisEgret33fourthEgret33terThe job of a Custom Builder is to build your bike like he would do it for himself, with the same passion and professionalism. In this case, even more. During every minute of the build, Bill Dodge wondered if Egret would be what John Greene would have wanted and cherished. Knowing both men, I am pretty sure that they “talked” to each other during all the steps of this build, exchanging ideas, discussing the most intricate details. A complicity and same passion for the chopper culture that death can not destroy when friends are real friends…

Egret5Egret7Egret8A complicity about the philosophy of building choppers that can be summarized in a few words. Keep it simple, clean, functional, fast and bitchin’. Egret is all this, a very pure and solid chopper built such a way to emphasize the beauty and performance of the 52 FL Panhead engine fully rebuilt by Bill Dodge himself and coupled to a 1946 H-D tranny. Both are cradled in Dodge proprietary Bling’s rigid frame to which is attached a Bling’s super skinny narrow glide front end. For most of the other parts, don’t even try to guess the manufacturers. They are made by Dodge in-house in his Daytona Beach shop, including the chain primary drive system. On this Chopper, no chrome. Just the noblesse of polished aluminum and stainless steel.

Egret4Egret9Egret12I hope the photography gives you a full idea of the amount and quality of hand-made work involved on each square inch of this tribute Chopper. Regarding details, I want to attract your attention on the bars whose engraved lines have each a very special meaning, summarizing John Green’s life. Born in 1960 (6 marks), single line is middle of life, marks 1 and 4 represent year 2014 when he passed, the gap at the end meaning Green left us too early…

Egret30Egret31Egret32Egret33Egret35Egret37Already emotionally charged, the choice of the final paint job was kind of imposed to Bill Dodge. Initially, painter Willie in Deland, FL was asked to go for a light baby blue. Then, driving back with the painted parts, Dodge saw a colony of Egrets flying just front of his pickup truck. He slammed on his brakes, stopped, realized that his chopper creation looked like an Egret, should be called Egret and should be adorned with the bird’s beautiful snowy white color. All parts were immediately returned to the painter for a new coat of paint complemented by light yellow pinstripes drawn by Hell Cat. The Egret bird has enjoyed legal protection in the US over the last century. The Egret Chopper will receive the same affective protection from his builder as long as Dodge lives. Egret built by Bling’s Cycles. (photography @ Horst Roesler For Cyril Huze)

41 Responses to “Egret. A Tribute Chopper Built By Bill Dodge In Memory Of Close Friend John Green.”

  1. 1 P. Hamilton Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Great chop!

  2. 2 Blackmax Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Damn Fine Looking machine
    built for the best of reasons
    Ride On !!!!!

  3. 3 Ray Meynard Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Very Dodge. A beautiful sled.

  4. 4 JohnyLetGo Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Love the details. Great craftsmanship.

  5. 5 Danny Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:22 am

    The pure definition of a chopper. Very well done.

  6. 6 Aumann Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:23 am

    I love this bike. One of the best bikes Bill ever builds. And the inspiration the Egrets stand for, is all in this awesome Blings-Bike. Glad to have him as friend!

  7. 7 chicagojohn Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:32 am


  8. 8 marc mazerolle Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Very well built, clean, crisp and all business, nicely done.

  9. 9 Jay Horton's Private Shop Mar 30th, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Beautiful bike. Dodge does some very fine work in my opinion. Later Jay

  10. 10 Pam Mar 30th, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Nice job Bill. John would be proud.

  11. 11 B.A.J. Mar 30th, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Not so sure about the knobby tires, I guess its the “in” thing now.

  12. 12 Carrie Repp Mar 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Bill you are an amazing builder and a true blue friend. John would so love his bike. Like him, you’re one of the good guys.

  13. 13 Dave Blevins Mar 30th, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Very nice bike.

  14. 14 live2rideaglide Mar 30th, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    That’s a chopper. Awesome build.

  15. 15 Hot Rod Mar 30th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t get the knobby tire thing he does over and over. Is he building on/offroad bikes?

  16. 16 B. D. Mar 30th, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    This bike, while an acknowledged tribute build, seems as close to un-rideable as any. The knobbies, mentioned repeatedly above, are just one of the questionable attributes of this bike.

    I always thought that motorcycles should be ridden, or at least be rideable. With no air cleaner, no suspension, no padding on the seat, no front brake or fender, etc. a bike like this that cannot be ridden much. I guess the choice of impractical tires fits the impracticality of the rest of the bike.

    It has nice lines and pretty paint and chrome, but this is not enough to make for something that I would ever want to own or ride.

  17. 17 Mdkuder Mar 30th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Very Nice!

  18. 18 JW Mar 30th, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    John would be very pleased!

    And the DOT legal ‘Dual-Sport’ tires are bitchin! They ride great!

  19. 19 Nils A. Mar 30th, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Some people will never understand this thing, but that is ok… not everyone must like the same things, but this is real Love for two real wheels and pure passion one/for the road!!!!

  20. 20 Chris Mar 30th, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Frankly, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of people declaring bikes that don’t have all the comforts of an Ultra Classic as unrideable. Will it give you a beating? Sure. Will you get to your destination with a visceral attachment to the machine that you’ll never experience on a full blown bagger? Darn right.

    I’ve ridden cross country on rigids with crappy seats and I’ll admit, my body was beat up. But guess what. Those are the experiences that linger in my memory banks and stand out as the most enjoyable rides I’ve ever taken.

    Floating along barely attached to the road is a heck of a lot easier on my spine and kidneys, but frankly those comfy rides are long gone and so are the memories. It’s the experience of being connected to the machine and to the highway that makes me feel alive.

    Bill, that’s a beautiful bike, a touching tribute, and you should be proud. I’d ride the snot out of that bike and love every minute of the beating I took doing it.

  21. 21 chop Mar 30th, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds like B.D. does not know about Chopper history or has even experienced the joy of riding a bike like this. Do yourself a favour, ride one before you pass judgement. Riding a bike is like having sex, this is trim, neat and has great looks. I would love to bounce on it, rather than an armchair (Bagger).

  22. 22 domino Mar 30th, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    @ B.D. … You must be young … okay, so I am on an FXR now, but my friends and I grew up riding machines like this, a lot, and long distances.
    Times have changed, as they should … The motorcycle enthusiasts before me were a lot tougher than me.
    I give huge credit to Bill for building a beautiful bike … That thing is freaking awesome!!

    Domino Dave
    p.s. Thanks Chop for saying it all….

  23. 23 TJ Martin Mar 30th, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Simple . Straight forward . no unnecessary frills . Clean as a chopper can be. Nothing missing . Nothing added on for effect . Sum up ? One seriously clean classic chopper . Not knowing the man I think I can still say … one heck of a fine tribute bike as well .

    You done your friend proud Mr Dodge … you done your friend proud

  24. 24 Heavy Metal Mar 30th, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Beautiful work as usual from Bill Dodge, going to look good on the show circuit. The knobby tires have always been a head scratcher for me but hey, it ain’t my bike.

  25. 25 the homie big rick Mar 30th, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    This is one of the hardest bike in the game, built by one of the coolest guy out there.

  26. 26 Mack Mar 30th, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    @B.D. ….oh it’s rideable …we race them across the country every smokeout in a thing called the “stampede” ..look it up …it may not b rideable to you ..I’ve ridden one just like it .with many others from the east coast to the west coast and back many a time ….I kinda think rolling coaches are unrideable like the saying goes:
    “Riding a bagger is like getting blown by a dude ……it feels great until u look down and realize your gay”
    Most excellent work Bill ..almost perfect good stuff!!

  27. 27 The Wizard Mar 31st, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Very Nice work !, Rideable, Clean, minimalistic and made with the Spirit !
    It`s a Motorcycle
    Peder “The Wizard”

  28. 28 Wilhelm Mar 31st, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Very clean machine. Great stuff.

  29. 29 bill d Mar 31st, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Thank you all for the kind words. ..Respectfully Bill D

  30. 30 GunG-Ho Mar 31st, 2015 at 7:11 am

    simpel woeste chopp crazzie fiets

  31. 31 DAYTONA DONNIE Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Nice Job Bill the simplicity of the build ..also great to see you incorporating the fresh talents of our area with Willy’s paint ….

  32. 32 BlkBkr Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Sometimes simplicity is the most difficult thing to accomplish, Well done Sir.

  33. 33 Cochise Chops Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:48 am

    2 thumbs up!!!

  34. 34 BCinSoCal Mar 31st, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Very nice bike that looks like a real bike, not a stereo equipped juke box going down the road, music blaring, movie playing on the TV screen, load of clothes going in the washing machine fitted in one saddle bag……….love this bike, but still WTFs up with putting knobbys on a street chopper!? Bike looks cool, knobbys look lame….

  35. 35 Jeff Nicklus Mar 31st, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Bill, Very nice bike….John would be proud!

    Chris: Well said buddy!

    Over & Out,


  36. 36 grmp54 Mar 31st, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Very cool ride!

  37. 37 pokergolf420 Mar 31st, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Simply beautiful. Nothing there that doesn’t need to be.

  38. 38 Martin Twofeather Mar 31st, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Great job Bill what a perfect piece of work….

  39. 39 Hillbilly Jim Mar 31st, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    You did it justice.

  40. 40 Ray Llanes Apr 6th, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Cyril, great job on the story and the pictures and brining this beautiful bike forward in this article. I was able to see this bike and had Bill Dodge show me all the special details that are part of this very special motorcycle. Pictures simply do not do this bike justice. Thank you for sharing this very special piece of motorcycle art.

  41. 41 Ray Llanes Apr 6th, 2015 at 7:54 am

    B.D. You haven’t a clue. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear to be stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. If you knew the man who built and rides this bike you would know that he would never build a bike he wouldn’t or couldn’t ride. These bikes are built by men for men. So when your balls drop perhaps you can ride one too!!

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Cyril Huze