10 Best Choppers From Born-Free Past

Our gallery of the best choppers from past Born-Free shows

Born Free tricycle with red cover

Killer trike!

Staci Wilt

Choppers have been thumbing their raked-out forks at convention from the get-go. Think about it: No other style of bike embodies the rebellious nature of motorcycling more than a chopper. Several factors boosted their popularity over the years, from 1%er clubs to Hollywood; the counterculture classic film Easy Rider not only helped entrench the style’s mystique in motorcycling lore, it also spread their coolness to the mainstream with the iconic red, white, and blue Captain America chopper. Builders like Sugar Bear and Mondo Porras have been pioneers of the movement since the ’60s, and these wizards of rake, trail, and geometry have worked their magic on super-stretched front ends that don’t pogo or flop, a task few have been able to accomplish. To this day their forks are a coveted commodity.

If there’s one show that celebrates the spirit of the chopper, it’s the Born-Free Motorcycle Show. When founders Mike Davis and Grant Peterson first started their little shindig, it resonated with the same anti-establishment undertones that riding a chopper does. Many credit Southern California as being the birthplace of choppers, and the scene continues to thrive in these parts; you’ll see more stretched-out scoots at the show than just about anywhere else. The photos we’ve compiled in this montage from past Born-Free shows are proof in the pudding.

And the countdown has begun for this year’s show. It’s Born-Free’s 10th anniversary, so the celebration is guaranteed to be epic. The festivities kick off Wednesday night, June 20, with a Born-Free Book Release pre-party at Chris Richardson’s The House of Machines Los Angeles. The Born-Free party train will carry that momentum into Thursday night with some good old-fashioned hooligan flat-track racing. The Fox Stampede, presented by BF10 and Harley-Davidson, features everything from pull-start minis to tank shifters to open twins, and will be held at the Industry Hills Expo Center from 4 to 10 p.m. Then it’s time for the big show, June 23–24, out at Oak Canyon Ranch, 5305 Santiago Canyon Road. As always, Hot Bike will be in the thick of things, so give us a holler if you see us wandering about the show.

1970s vintage chopper

One seriously far-out chopper with an original ’70s model of the bike!

Staci Wilt

JP Rodman Knucklehead Trike

JP Rodman’s Knucklehead Trike was insane.

Ed Subias

Epic long bike

Epic long bike!

Ed Subias

Born Free motorcycle ride

What it’s all about.

Ed Subias

Mammoth-Sized Gallery From BF7 – Photos By Ed Subias

fuzzy saddled motorcycle

Don’t know if it’s the turbo or the groovy King and Queen saddle, but this one leaves us feeling all fuzzy inside!

Ed Subias

high necked green stretched springer bike

From its high neck to its molded tank to its stretched springer, this is one clean machine.

Ed Subias

vintage boardtrack chopper

A vintage boardtrack chopper? Always cool to see someone doing something a little bit different than everybody else.

Ed Subias

born free long chopper

As Sugar Bear would say, “If it ain’t long, it’s wrong!”

Ed Subias

Born free attendees blue chopper

Sometimes the coolest choppers aren’t even in the show.

Ed Subias

Chopper with twisted downtubes

Thanks to Indian Larry, twisted downtubes never go out of style.

Ed Subias