Shoe's Rat Chopper

I started with an old AMEN frame. AMEN is short for "American Motorcycle ENgineering." There is an AMEN Chassisworks in business today. I emailed them and discovered that they are a different organization. The original AMEN is apparently out of business.

I had the old frame kicking around for years. Many of my friends thought that my chopper project was a myth because I took so long to get started.

Problem #1 was compiling the necessary parts. When I finally had the money for the extended forks, I ordered them from Forking By Frank. I then needed to locate an oil tank that would fit my frame (the original Honda wouldn't fit). I don't believe that you can buy them new. I finally found an oil tank which I believe is Santee, but I made it fit my AMEN frame. Plus I needed to find many other parts (which I won't list one by one). People don't realize how much money is needed to build a chopper. Even though I bought the original bike for 50 bucks, the whole project cost just under a grand by the time I was done. If I gave myself minimum wage and included my labor, the total would be a lot more.

Problem #2 was that the frame was starting to stress crack in the front and needed to be welded. My friend Rob "Mad Max" welded on the gusseting to the front frame rails.

Here is the bike completed. Originally it had a 2 gallon peanut tank. You can see how the tank sits at an extreme angle on the frame. The result was that 2 gallons of gas wouldn't actually fit in the tank once it was mounted on the bike. Only the lowest part of the tank was functional.

Eventually I installed a 3 1/2 gallon mustang tank. I think that tank was on the bike for 2 years, but somehow I never took a picture. Again, because the tank sat at an angle, I could only put in about 2 gallons of gas. It was kind of a pain having to run from gas station to gas station. One year Harry and I rode from Rochester NH to Bar Harbor ME and back. It seemed like I was always stopping for gas.

In 2004 I installed 5 gallon fat bobs. A few days later, which happened to be the day before Laconia Bike Week, I crashed the bike and seriously bent the forks. The white line added to the photo (above) shows where the forks would be if they were straight.

This is how my bike looked the first day of Bike Week. Bill Chadwick of Crown Point Motorcycle straightened out my front forks that morning. He's a miracle worker! His shop is located on Crown Point Rd in Strafford only about 6 miles from the center of Rochester NH. His shop's number is (603) 335 - 1700.

Bulldog, Scooby, and I put the bike back together that day.

This is my chopper later that same day. While we had the front end apart we installed a fork brace. It steers MUCH better now.

Here I am on my chopper the next day at Bike Week in Laconia. It has been a faithful bike. I will post more pictures here as I make changes to it.

If you need help with your chopper project, feel free to contact me. I might be able to help you with parts (or even a wrench if you are local).

God bless you!