Piss Flippah – Choppahead’s 1957 Triumph

Published In The July 2015 Issue

Article By: Milwaukee Mike Photos By: Jay Fortin

Feature 1a

The bike you see on these pages may not have started its life in the United States but it was one of the many Brits that found a home here in the 60’s. Because of the extensive amount of re-do that this machine has endured from the boys at Choppahead over in Massachusetts it can now be considered an American machine. The whole process started years ago when the boys got a commission to build a bike for their friend Johnny Bang Bang over in the deepest wilds of Rhode Island. That bike called the ”Thunder Rat” came out perfect for what Johnny was looking for but it was also time for Johnny to step up his game so he came to his new friends Jay and Big Truth and said the magic words…“Here is a bunch of money- build me something awesome!” And as these photos are evident the guys at Choppahead hit a bulls-eye. Johnny had only two criteria before this whole endeavor kicked off, the engine had to be a pre unit Triumph and there could be no visible cables on the bars for that uber clean look. I got to see the beginnings of this bike when I was out to visit the shop last November and knew then that the bike you see before you was going to be something beyond special, I was right and that’s why its not only here but on the cover. The whole procurement process started when the boys bought back a project they sold to an old apprentice at the shop, Sander Cowie Charest, that’s right boys and girls, ”Beertje” from the hit show “Kinderen van Waterland” in the Netherlands. Seems he had wandered this way to the eastern shores of the U.S. and because the financial rigors of fatherhood were draining his wallet it was time for the pre unit to go, so it came back home and became the humble beginnings of this stunning creature. So from there the Choppahead boys did their thing, they went in the direction of a simple and clean chopper with many ornate touches to accent the proper parts of the bike. Case in point is the immense amount of engraving on the entire motor; its one of the first things you notice because of the detail and quality craftsmanship that John Huff spent on it. Next would be the luxurious paint job laid down by Kandy Man, it is quality work indeed and was the perfect way to cover the actual shelf fresh axed tank and old 30’s spare tire carrier that is pulling double duty as the rear fender. The next thing is all the shiny Browns plating covering the front end, handlebars, pipes and of course that mile high sissy bar with a no shit real deal bayonet welded in as the capper. All this put together makes a big dish of chopper pie a delight to feast on with your eyes! Next to come would be the meat and potatoes of this machine which is the in house rebuilt 1957 Thunderbird motor, which Jay has gone through and redone from the ground up. It sounds as good as it looks. Because the Choppahead boys are of the school that pretty is useless unless it actually rolls, that is my theory as well, so the engine got a .60 over bore to give the motor a bit of extra oomph and a rebuilt Lucas magneto delivers the hot spark and new Amal Carb aspirates the fuel and the cut up/trimmed down pre-unit cover shows off the guts of the primary so the world can see it spinning. The spinning of the rolling bits of the bike are handled by the 16” HD rear hoop laced into a stock Triumph hub for the back and a 21” spoolie in the lead both are shod in Avon Speedmaster rubber and laced with black Buchannan spokes by Gary over at Gary’s Custom Wheels.

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After all that there is still all the proper custom touches such as the aluminum domed end oil tank that the boys produce in house. Next Choppahead produced an in house seat pan that is covered in hand tooled leather by Jay Fortin, who is obviously a skilled hand with leather but also has immense skills with a camera as is obvious by the images gracing these pages.(Thanks for pulling double duty Jay!) The exhaust was also fabricated in house at Choppahead headquarters and a pair of old Paughco fishtail tips that had been hanging on the wall for some time were given new life. The handlebars were designed by Choppahead but built by good friend Arie Vee over at Vee Manufacturing. To cap off the top of the Big Twin is a replica re-chromed inline springer. The tail section is a weld on Choppahead hardtail added to a cleaned up stock front loop again all done in house at Choppahead. I hope y’all are paying attention and can see that Choppahead is a onestop shop for all those chopper needs folks! Any way back to the bike, the taillight is a mini Lucas style mounted on a Choppahead light/ plate bracket. The final touch is that sissy bar, the boys were going to use an old school one that was against the wall in the parts hoard but decided instead to build a new one out of hex stock and point the AK-47 bayonet up as the 3rd prong because 99% of the rest they had ever seen always has them pointed down. So with all that being said I think the Choppahead boys have once again hit the mark square in the center. Well done good sirs. If you happen to have need for some custom parts or need a high quality bike either redone or built from scratch head on over to www.choppahead.com and check out the eye candy, I think you will be very pleased. And don’t forget to tell em Cycle Source sent ya. Assistant Editors note… Just wanted to say thanks to Big Truth and Jay for staying stand up cats in this world filled with well lets say…sometimes not! Appreciate it y’all and hope to see ya again very soon

Cycle-Resources: Choppahead 16 Jenney St. New Bedford, MA www.choppahhead.com

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Owner: Johnny Bang Bang
City: Backwood Of Rhose Island
Fabrication By: Choppahead
Year: 1957
Model: Triumph T110
Value: Much
Time: 7 Months
Year: 1957
Model: T110
Builder: Triumph rebuilt By Choppahead
Ignition: Lucas Magneto
Displacement: 650cc
Pistons: .60 Over
Heads: Single Car
Cam(s): Stock
Carb: Amal 930
Air Cleaner: Mini-Velocity Stack
Exhaust: Choppahead
Primary: Triumph- Open Chain
Year: 1957
Make: Triumph
Shifting: 4 Speed, Right Side Shift
Year: 1957
Make: Triumph Front, Choppahead Hardtail
Rake: Stock
Stretch: 4”
Type: HD Big Twin, Inline Springer
Extension:: None
Triple Trees: Harley-Davidson
Front Wheel: Spoolie
Size: 21”
Front Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Front brake: None
Rear Wheel: HOG Rim, Triumph Hub
Size: 16”
Rear Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Rear Brake: Triumph
Painter: Kandy Man (NH)
Color: Plenty
Powdercoat: Goodhue’s Powdercoating
Engraving: John Huff
Chroming: Brown’s Plating
Bars: Vee Mfg – Custom
Risers: Biltwell
Hand Controls: Internal Throttle & Clutch
Gas Tank(s): Axed Alien
Front fender): None
Rear fender): Early Ford Spare Tire Cover
Seat: Choppahead Seat Pan
Upholstery: Jay Fortin
Foot Conttols: Choppahead
Oil Tank: Choppahead
Headlight: Bates Style
Taillight: Choppahead Lucas Style
Sissy bar: Choppahead Reversed Bayonet
Photographer: Jay Fortin

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