Monday, January 18, 2010

BiG BiKE #1, Part 3 The Daily Trike

A lot of dudes hate trikes and I understand some of their reasons, but there was a time when they were very popular.

I was just a kid when this scene was taking place and I was really into trikes. One guy that was a big proponent of them was Ed Roth. Roth's trikes were some of my favorites and still are, but one of the my all time favorites from this period was this trike built by Jim Breo.

It's just right. Anyone into vintage choppers has to love the look of this trike.


Just before or right after this was published, I witnessed this trike tooling down the Ventura Freeway from the back seat of my parents car. I forget the exact timing, but the trike itself, was permanently etched into my young impressionable brain.


This shot really shows off how tasteful and well proportioned this trike is. Are "Indy" type tires still available today? Again, can you believe what you could build for $800 back then?


Contrary to what the upper caption says, Servi-Cars are essentially rigid, those rear springs don't do much more than cushion the rear seat.


Too many trikes had poorly executed back seats or boxes. For some reason, the wooden office chair fits nicely with the bare bones chopper look. The Ripple label reminds me of the days when Annie Green Springs and I, would go over to Boone's Farm for a good time,... but that's another story.


Super-swoopy is right. This is one nice photo of a 45 engine. I could stare at it all day.


Circa 1970. I was so jazzed by this trike that I made my own version by cutting up a Revell CHP Shovelhead model and making it a 45 flathead trike. This shot was an attempt to make it look real. I still have this model, but in it's later guise which was inspired by Roth's Mail Box.

12 comments:

drsprocket said...

Chris, in the early 70's when I lived in L.B. one of the crew I rode with had a '36 80" VL (total loss) stuck in a trike with big tires like that. When the lower end had to much oil and started to smoke he'd pull a rod that open a valve, for lack of a better word, and dump the excess oil on the road. You never wanted to ride right behind him. He also would try to shoot the gap between cars like us two wheelers. That caused him a few bent rear axles. Mickey Thompson makes a similar tire if not the same ones. rich

Chris K said...

Doc, Sounds cool to me. I remember hearing about VL's and those oil dumps. Lane splitting or finding holes in traffic on a trike are some of the drawbacks.

Keith said...

Love the trikes! I wonder if the current H-D trikes will look this good if someone tries chopping one?

Chris K said...

Keith, Probably not. A new trike will take a lot more effort to look good. The old chops and trikes were basically stripped down and chromed out bikes. Strip a new bike of it's tanks and body work and the chassis and such ain't all that pretty.

Grumbler said...

The late Chris Bunch was a terrific editor for Big Bike and Choppers before he became a SciFi author. Had a ton of Easyriders, Choppers, Big Bike, and Street Chopper magazines until I got married in 1981. Sold them all for $200.

drsprocket said...

Grumbler, Chris was a friend of mine. Few people knew that before he became the Editor of Big Bike he was one of the early Green Beret's to fight in Viet Nam. Actually a squad leader. Never talked about it much. It was something we had in common. Sadly, I believe it was the effects of Agent Orange that finally took him. He also wrote for Rolling stone for many years. He's missed.

Chris K said...

Thanks for the info guys.

過年 said...

Hello~happy new year............................................................

steveb said...

Man, how the heck did you manage to keep your stuff (your model specifically), intact after all these years? After a zillion moves to here and there and back, i think i must have left a trail of my stuff all over the country...

Chris K said...

I'm a So Cal native and didn't move around much. Have now been at the same house since '86. I did store some stuff at my parents house at one time. Even my brothers are sometimes surprised at some of the things I've kept so long.

Grumbler said...

drsprocket - would've enjoyed meeting Chris Bunch back then. The 4F on my draft card kept me out of the military.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how little is available on Chris Bunch during his Choppers Magazine / Big Bike Magazine days . Does anybody know what years he was editor of these publications? If you do, please let me know. Thanks (delyddon@msn.com)