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Cruiser Blog

Paul Jr. Wins American Chopper Build-Off

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
It’s over. The grand question of our time has been answered. Paul Jr. has won “The Build-Off”.

Paul Junior Build Off Bike
Paul Jr. won the American Chopper Build-Off with ths bike, the PJD crew taking inspiration from a P-51 Mustang.
Paul Jr. Designs beat dad's Orange County Choppers, and that rascally Jesse James, in the much vaunted Discovery Channel American Chopper showdown. A live show from Vegas revealed the Build-Off rankings, which had Junior besting James for the win.

The valorous PJD creation followed an aeronautical theme, taking inspiration from a P-51 Mustang fighter. James’s build was a bit more conventional (at least in custom chopper terms) with a low seat, super high apes, and raked out Springer front. As for Senior… His strange fire-spewing cross between a Can-Am Spyder and snowmobile was deemed least “chopper”-ish of the bunch. Or to be more accurate, the least popular amongst on-line voters. (See all three bikes in our Cruiser Editors preview blog American Chopper - OCC, PJD, JJ - Who Wins?)

The nasty rivalry between the Teutels and James has been the story arc of American Chopper of late. The live show got the all three builders on stage for the final results. The show had its awkward moments, as the crowd at the Hard Rock Café venue were clearly on the PJD side (boos for Senior and James at times). The reunion of Junior and Senior was notable in particular, as they reputedly hate each other’s guts – depending on how “real” viewers deem the reality TV feud (seems genuine to me though, as it's hard to believe a fake feud would include a real lawsuit).

So congratulations are in order? Paul Jr. is more popular than an angry father who turns against his son on cable television. Junior's also more loved than the bad boy who publicly humiliated his popular Hollywood A-list wife. Bravo.

Not sure how the folks at Discovery Channel will top things next season. My advice: Trim the Shark Week budget and bring back the PJD/OCC/JJ hatefest, but kick things up a notch with Bret Michaels and the dad from Jon & Kate Plus 8. And does The Situation ride motorcycles? If not, he should. Get them all together, voting each other off the island every week. Seacrest, make it happen!
Post Tags: OCC Choppers, Jesse James, Paul Jr.
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apoelultras79 January 18, 2012 10:36 PM
Why did they fight?? The bike looks really cool!! The wooden wheels and everything! It's fantastic!
sidebar78 January 18, 2012 02:27 PM
Jesse built the same old tired CFL choppers for life frame,same old tired gas tank(it was great in the 80's and 90's)it looked like the Copper Canyon bike and so many others he's built.I expected so much more from him as he was trying to revive his career.Paul Jr.built the type of bike he is famous for so I don't knock him,(you hire a dog house builder don't be surprised if you get a dog house and not a gazebo.)Sr. is a lunitic, he knew he couldn't compete so he built something he couldn't be graded on.or so he thought.Jesse's Real competition is in prison for being stupid,Billy Lane.if Billy was there he'd of taken Jesse back to school.as for rideability, I personally wouldn't ride any of those show boats (I like me too much for that) been riding since 1965,rode a lot of junk and uncomfortable bikes,just wiser now.here's a thought for you rough riders,you can't ride if your dead
quincyk January 10, 2012 05:04 PM
I mean. lets look at the Paul Jr. design in ten years and see if you dont think it belongs in a Disney parade ridden by Snow WHite. I like the Frisco chop better but Sr.'s machine rules! Hope I don't anger anybody here.
quincyk January 9, 2012 02:22 PM
prince valiant would be proud to ride this bike.
quincyk January 9, 2012 01:59 PM
I see a horse drawn carraige by Paul Jr. Designs. It really looks limp wrist.
lil'remo December 10, 2011 11:43 PM
Paul Jr. and Sr. create bikes for companys that want bikes for show not for actually everyday use so to sit there and say "oh there bikes suck b/c they are not rideable" is ignorant. Now if they were making bikes for the everyday person to ride then sure, but they are not.... They are meant to look nice and I'd say Paulie did the best job.. Surprised noone mentioned Paul Sr. bike to be unrideable; That one more than the others seems to me as the least managable..
GaryS December 9, 2011 09:33 PM
And explain to me the wooden propellers in the wheels.
What World War II plane (besides the Piper Cub) had a wooden propeller?
GaryS December 9, 2011 09:22 PM
A P-51 has six exhaust pipes on each side, because it is powered by a huge V-12.
The Titan T-51 Kit Plane that Paulie Jr based his bike on has four.
The rivets on the T-51 that Paulie was inspired on are not found on a North American P-51.
If you don't believe me, take a ride to your nearest Air Museum or Air Show and look at a real P-51.
GtrBldr December 9, 2011 06:36 AM
Kabwebdev; Jeez, what did I do to you? The idea of a commentary is to express one's opinion, and that's all I did. I didn't insult you or your viewpoint, so I don't see how I deserve the vitriol and personal attack. Pedantry aside, two of these vehicles fit the technical description of a motorcycle, but neither is very practical. Ok, it was a design competition, but if you're going to have a box design competition and your design has no bottom, is it still a box? If I were to design some fantastic-looking guitar which made fabulous sounds but needed a new set-up or a new battery after every song, would anyone bother? I have a lot of respect for Paul Jr. as a designer. I do think that his bike is a work of art, like nothing anyone has done before, and as such deserves to win the competition. But in my opinion if you set out to make an artistic statement based on a practical machine, it seems to me important to retain the utility of the platform. I mean, all he needed to do was figure out a place to stash a couple more gallons of fuel! In both Junior's and Jesse's bikes, utility was sacrificed on the altar of appearance, which, to me, detracts somewhat from the achievement. You'll notice that I have taken pains to qualify all these statements as personal opinion. If you want to express your opinion about the build-off please do so, but to attack me personally is just mean.
Kabwebdev December 9, 2011 01:08 AM
@GtrBldr It seems you need to make sure you sound halfway intelligent before you start posting comments. I'll explain, don't worry. First off, with your comment regarding the bikes looking like artwork; the entire point of the build off was for the over all appearance and look of the bikes. It wasn't for rideability. Or anything related to the way it runs. That is how the majority of the build-offs used to be, but this one was not. Finally, for your motorcycle definition; please explain where you got that one. You just described about every vehicle that rolls and has an engine. I'll give you a definition of a motorcycle, though, for your future reference. A motorcycle is "a single-tracked, two-wheel motor vehicle. Please, before you start throwing your big words out there, and explaining your feelings; leave your opinions out of the topic when they have nothing to do with it.
GtrBldr December 8, 2011 06:26 PM
Seems to me that they all missed the mark. In industrial design, form must follow function or what's the point? Jesse James slagged off Paul Junior for a pitiful fuel capacity (legitimate gripe, btw), but he built a bike no human could ride for more than 20 minutes or so. Junior's bike is a striking example of design, more art than transportation, but with a 1-gallon fuel supply and metal seat is really only rideable from bar to bar where people can stand around and gawk. Senior... well, Senior let a computer game-playing nerd design a totally absurd, pointless toy. He lifted nary a wrench nor pencil, yet stood on the stage in Vegas taking credit and sharing none. People marvel that Jesse James built his bike all by himself, but that wasn't true either; he had help from local guys and never mentioned who built his engine; none of them did or ever do. What is a motorcycle? An engine surrounded by a rolling chassis with a seat. Yet the engine builders get no credit. James is a really good blacksmith who keeps repeating the same theme, Junior is a talented designer who needs to remember what he's designing, and Senior is just a businessman who let his design guy indulge his Halo2 fantasies. Sad waste of a pool of talent.
surfer2biker37 December 8, 2011 05:29 PM
I thought Paul Jr. kicked "trash talking" Jesse James asbestos. I like Jesse,and some of his antics were funny, but I think he over did the anti Teutel thing. Plus his bike looked impossible to ride, unless you were at least 6'4". Paul Jr's tribute to the World War ll "Cadillac of the Skies" was genius. I liked the rivets and the whole look of the bike. Jesse's feeble attempt at a put down fell on deaf ears. Jesse made great bikes in the 80's and 90's. It's time for him to come into the 21st Century, quit being Mr. Hollywood Tabloid dude and stop talking like an old poor loser. I.E. "Why in my day sonny, men were men. We used M-1's and still beat the German's and the Japs. You kid's nowadays, with your M-16's, Stealth Jets, etc. still wouldn't have a chance against us." Be yourself, but learn what "the people" want. And so it is written.
DIEHARD888 December 8, 2011 04:38 PM
IF that gas tank comment is all that Jessie can muster to down PJDs masterpiece then he needs to go back to the drawing board and come into the 21 century . If PJD wanted to make that bike hold 3 gallons or 4 my guess is they could easily do it with minor reconstructive work and leave the tank in the same place. They did what they did to make that bike achieve a specific look . Heck anybody here ever have a V-Max ? Tank was what about the same and under the seat ! the faux gas tank was an air-intake . If you rode the V-max wide open you might make it 30 miles --faster than all get out but still you get the point .
Mitch December 8, 2011 03:04 PM
grvtyjnky, IMO All of them were good in there own way but when was the last time you went to a competition custom bike show where "ride-ability" was a major judging factor if at all? The main point of a custom show bike is how it looks. If good handling, comfort, and ride-ability was a qualifying factor in this competition then all 3 would have failed. And as for the Biker Build Off series remember each team was allowed to bring a support vehicle with as much gear & gas as they needed so PJR's bike still would have technically qualified even under those circumstances.
Brettdaman December 8, 2011 11:12 AM
Oh, get a grip "grvtyjnky." Are you really as nieve to believe that JJ could ride that boring bike 1000 miles. Sure, it has a bigger tank and is a more "streetable" bike, but that riding position would destroy your body in about 30 minutes. He couldn't even see past his 1960's ape-hangers. I have respect for what JJ does, and it is a very nice bike, but to sit here and say he could ride it that for or even daily for that matter is ridiculous. Sure, OCC and Jr. build some trailer queens that are just for show, but they are also building bikes behind the scenes for the everyday rider. They also do a lot of charity work and employ a lot of people. I don't see JJ contributing anything to the community except tabloids.
wildpig December 8, 2011 05:39 AM
whats amazing is the tv producers and JJ -go build a car -- an prolly OCC actually think the average rider really likes thier nonsense,, after 50 yrs o ridin--i think i represent the typical long term rider ,, something that is custom yet rideable will always get respect-- not the bs eye candy the art people make. btw-- yalls prices -- occ jj are beyond stoopid.
1234567 December 8, 2011 02:32 AM
That hole thing is so much crap. The peaple in las vegas are all stupid hillbillys. and all the peaple that voted for pjd are the same With no sense at all as to what a true fabracator and real motorcycle builder can do. I have a bike that would kill pjd amd occ's crap piles Not only does my bike have real design work and real enginering and things they could not think of. I have built bikes togather with my friend and seen many occ bike shows on tv and have seen big mistakes they have made when they are assembling there cycles on tv.the ones I saw were such bad mistakes the person riding that bike will be in for a big surprize some day.
leward18 December 7, 2011 11:10 PM
I agree, there should've been a standard to ride the bikes from one state to another like the old biker build off's. And anyone who dislikes Jesse James because he cheated on his ex Hollywood wife are totally missing the point. This is a chopper build competition, not a popularity contest. Any voter dissuaded by personal issues of the builders should stick to lolly pop & gum drop gossip shows. And if you so happen to own a motorcycle..........sell it.
GaryS December 7, 2011 08:02 PM
"PJD creation followed an aeronautical theme, taking inspiration from a P-51 Mustang fighter"

Paulie Jr was inspired by a Titan T-51 kit plane that some hobbyist built.
The rivets on the bike were inspired by a kit plane with a Rotax motor.
No P-51 Mustang had rivets like that.
P-51's rivets were flush.
grvtyjnky December 7, 2011 06:58 PM
Right on Justin, Both Jr & Sr put together trailer Queens, they haul there bikes to an event, unload the the Queens and get to much glory for thier work, I don't think any of thier bikes would make it from Seattle to Sturgis, I make the ride every year.
grvtyjnky December 7, 2011 06:51 PM
Discovery screwed the pooch on this one, way to much emphasis on the fueding, and not enough good bike building, jesse did more fab than both Jr & SR , Hell Sr never turned a single wrench on that "what cha ma call it". and didn't see Jr doing much fab either.
grvtyjnky December 7, 2011 06:35 PM
You know what, they should have been required to build a bike that was road worthy, have them all meet about 1000 miles from vegas, and rde to Vegas together with there posse. Like the old Biker Buildoff. I know Jesse's bike would be the only one to make it. Hell Sr's bike is not even street leagle, and I know I would not stop every 50 miles and wait for Jr to put a gallon of gas in his "Fuel cell", let alone ride on that hard ass seat ..
thudbumpboom December 7, 2011 12:38 PM
The last paragraph says it all. By adding JJ Discovery boosted the Douchebag factor. If you read the mail after the results were announced it was obvious that most people didn't realize they had been had. That they had done exactly what Discovery wanted, gotten all hot and bothered over a reality show. James never did figure it out if you watched the clips of James talking about how he got involved and why his bike is a basic chopper. For all three of them it was a paycheck. Senior is floundering. I have no idea what the heck that thing was supposed to be but I doubt very seriously it is street legal. He could always get a Lawn Boy mower attachment to drag around and get some use out of it. Junior seems like the only one of the three that isn't a bit brain damaged. So ya, add Jon and the Situation and some more retards and get a big tent and maybe an octagon ring and get more ratings. Let the fan pissing and moaning begin.