ChopCult Photo Contest: The Next Big Thing


Leave one in the mainstream spotlight for long enough and eventually EVERY underground movement will be co-opted by the same mass-market it was founded to rebel against. Few social phenomena mirror this paradox more consistently than the chopper scene.

From its birth after WW II, there hasn't been an icon at the forefront of "the biker movement" that society at large hasn't clamored to emulate. From Brando's greaser in "The Wild Ones" to Fonda's hippy in "Easy Rider" to Sandy Bullock's blue-collar boy toy at the turn of this century, every decade or so Madison Avenue feeds another pre-fab rebel into the ravenous jowls of low society for mass consumption.

In his blue jeans, skate shoes and open-face helmet, this year's anarchic archetype is the flannel-clad skate punk. His rise to the throne was confirmed when Harley-Davidson cast our hero in a rash of viral videos like this...

To see just how popular today's new-school biker look has become, pick up any celebrity rag at Piggly Wiggly. Right next to Suri Cruise's Pilates instructor and Brittney's snatch you'll see Hollywood's current poster boy for social consciousness AND civil unrest: The Inglorious Basterd himself, Brad Pitt, in full Sinners kit.

I don't begrudge The Sexiest Man Alive for getting his chopper on in any costume he chooses. If I made 20 million dollars per film, I'd wear a pink denim jumpsuit and bring my dog to the next DicE party in a sidecar made from a petrified whale testicle. My real concern is for the hard-core chopper freaks who kickstarted today's look in the first place. How many more celebrity bikers will pile on before Pendletons are old hat? And when that day comes, what will The New Look be?

If you’ve got a look that makes a statement, we want to see it. To enter the ChopCult Trend Humper Sweepstakes, upload a photo of your favorite biker kit here. We'll pick the best photo on September 15 and add 2,000 ChopCult miles to the winner's odometer.

Have fun, gentlemen, and don't take me or this too seriously. Remember--it's just the Internet.

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Comment with Chopcult (47)

Commented on 9-2-2009 At 11:54 pm

what a joke! they ust have to go and ruin every thing we love dont they.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 03:26 am

Fuck, I wish I could see the blocks it. I can remember when I bought my current pair of Vans. I think I paid $24.99 for them. They're all beat to shit and in desperate need for replacement but you know what? Cuz it's "cool" to wear them now they're fuckin $50!!! I can't wait till it's NOT cool to dress the way I do so that I can afford to dress myself again. Fucking fashion.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 04:48 am

That's one really, really good actor - maybe he was just focusing on the drags coming up later in the shoot, as opposed to the officially sanctioned, harley-licensed, willie approved "drag bars".

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 06:20 am

FWG. Fuck Willie G.!

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 06:36 am

That ad makes me want to puke. I like how he rides into the shop to wrench on his brand-new all stock bike....fucking lame.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 06:41 am

what a fuckin' joke! i think the qcb thing that says "fuck you, we do ride" hit the nail on the head. i walked into a HD house 2 years ago, tried to buy a USED softtail, they did everything they could to talk me out of it, everything from insurance will be too much for you, to your too short to ride that big of a bike.

FWG and FHD!

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 06:56 am

The UNcool is ALWAYS cool!

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 07:01 am

all cool stuff will be trendy at one time or another.

when i was younger people cried about skateboarding becoming popular, they did the same with punkrock and it has had times when it was "the" thing, when it was dead there were still lots of people doing it.

years later people started crying when hotrods became so popular, especially the do-it-yourself ratrods which people have been doing for 50 years before it was "the" thing.

skateboarding, punkrock, tattoos, flannels (forget about the grunge surge already?), chuck taylors, vans, choppers, ratrods, and the list goes on.

what i always like is the people who change because now it's trendy, like they started it, isn't that the most trendy thing you can do. i remember being 14 this was 1984, skating down the street and seeing a chopper pull up to light, what caught my eye the most was the fella was wearing a pair of low top chucks, a leather with bands painted on it, flannel daggling down and a punker chick on the back, i knew some day that's where i'd be, long story longer, yes it's popular now, but for some it's been happening for years, and for some it will continue happening for years, don't panic, when the next big thing hits the masses will migrate

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 07:23 am

that is no actor. that's the dude from powerplant choppers, that's his shop

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 07:29 am

Who really cares about who wears what to go ride? Honesty, if you get worked up that someone is stealing your look then you have too much time on your hands. Stop surfing the net, stop reading the tabloids, get on your bike and go ride.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 08:07 am

Amen brother...I have been wearing the clothes that are currently cool since I was 14 and I am 37 now. My wife says the look I keep saying is not a look is because I am a skater and I feel like I need to make a statement and look like a bum. How does that make ya'll feel? Go Powerplant Choppers!!!! Flannels and Vans Rule!!!!!

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 09:03 am

I'm with Fred. Who cares? Besides, vans and helmets suck. Sure I wear em, but I don't like to. Really, who wants to wear a helmet? If there weren't dumbass drivers everywhere no one would wear one. And everyone knows that vans suck now. If you don't, then you never bought a pair when they were under 30 bucks and you could actually skate in them. Seriously, do you guys even ride bikes?

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 09:17 am

this is all really about conformity. people adopt a "uniform" to fit in with their chosen social group.

take that iconic photo at the top of the page. which of the three characters do you think most reflects an individual streak?

what passes for cool for most people is simply the desire to blend in and not stand out or outwardly reflect a point of view they might have to defend with others in their group.

of course, if you have no individual point of view, enjoy the unform of your choice.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 09:42 am

Very well said rhythmOil. From where I come from we wore a certain type of clothing because it was cheap and that is what we could afford. Pendletons are not cheap. I recall buying flannels at the goodwill for 4 bucks a pop while my Dad would get Levis and chuckies at the military base exchange for next to nothing. It was blue collar wear all the way and nothing about it was conformity cause I couldn't afford to conform as a kid.

True non-conformist lack the fear of being alone.

Seriousness aside, I'm looking forward to seeing some pics of the next "style".

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 09:46 am

IT IS WHAT IT IS......its all what you make of it...

get over it! really.. come on guys!

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 10:48 am

Ya, Id agree the pitch for the Iron 883 is nothing but lame, the bike itself isnt bad. Im not gonna hate on B-rad, most people that can wipe their ass with 100s arent going to risk their rich ass riding a chopper. Especially something rigid with some class. When I see Matthew McCon-a-gay or Hugh Grant on a kick start shovel, then Im going to worry.

"Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed and sold to the people you hate.” -Mr Jalopy

Just keep riding!

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 10:55 am

I am just glad I didn't buy one of these like I planned when I first got my license. I bought something else in the meantime and am now looking for a solid donor bike for my "first build".
I agree that trends come and go. In high school I spent a lot of energy trying to stay ahead of cool. As soon as the kids started wearing what I did, I threw my clothes in the "Goodwill" bin. It is not worth my time. I have been dressing in plaid and Converse now through two decades now. I bet that I will be out of style shortly, but will be "in style" again in another 20 years. Only recently I finally decided to follow in my uncle's footsteps and start riding motos despite my family's protest.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 10:59 am

The one thing this really means is that we(the old skater turned biker-whatever that means) are getting old. Myself included(turned 37 yesterday). But you know what? Skateboards, bicycles-riding around town with a tall can, cool cars and motorcycles, punk rock(or whatever your cup of tea is) will allways be cool to you if it is truly what you love. I allways tell my wife when we are at a great punk show, car/bike show or whatever it may be. Man it is these places where i feel the most comfortable. These are my people. Keep doing what you love. You are who you are. Fuck the rest. End rant.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 11:03 am

"I change by not changing at all."

Willie Nelson

"Nothing endures, but change."


"There's a monkey riding a minibike on page two of this photo contest thread."

Harold McGruther

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 11:12 am

Frankly I don't get it. It seems to have hit a nerve since there are so many well thought out comments, but really, motorcycles are so much more interesting than clothes and passing judgement on who wears what. The whole concept feels very seventh grade girl to me. Can we talk about something else?

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 11:30 am

Winston Churchill: Quotes about Perfection
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

There ya go ...the same ol same ol is just that old .... I was a biker kid getting dragged to all the biker rallies and such when I was little and then a skater when all you heard was skater fag yelled and no one liked you I am 34 and found my way back to bikes ...they never really left I just got into other things when I was in my teens girls cars parties on and on ...what I am trying to get at I guess is you should change in your life from time to time you will see things in a new light or angle ....Don't get frustrated with it is just the way it is .....The corp asshats are gonna jump on shit and make trends out of it always been that way always will be ...exploited

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 12:04 pm

I worry somewhat about this trend taking hold is the tendency for the host subculture to be swarmed by the followers, saturated by imitators, and then left relatively desolate when the spotlight focuses elsewhere while those true to the faith pick up the pieces. It happened to punk, it happened to graf, it happened to import cars, and it has been in a constant state of back and forth in skate culture. In principal, I agree with "fuck them, I do it for me", but it hurts to watch people to don't give a shit about the soul of something that I care about exploit it for their image - personal or corporate. But let the hipsters bail. Those who leave it never loved it.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 12:39 pm


Frankly I don't get it. It seems to have hit a nerve since there are so many well thought out comments, but really, motorcycles are so much more interesting than clothes and passing judgement on who wears what. The whole concept feels very seventh grade girl to me. Can we talk about something else?"


Commented on 9-3-2009 At 12:57 pm

Who gives a crap. Just ride.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 01:33 pm

Stuck at home this afternoon so here's my 2. I suppose you can't blame harley for goin after what is this generations biker. They've done it for years. What companies like Biltwell and so on have fostered is just that, a new generation, that's why everybody wants in. I mean, how many flamed skull tshirts can you sell once the 5 year olds have them. Not much edge or rebelion on a preschooler. (Debatable) This is part of the reason EDR 4 never materialized, as I understand it. To be straight, when I see the striped 'Brando" shirts and emo pants so tight they are cutting off circulation, I wonder a little. But as I don't care what YOU ride, I don't care what you wear. Wouldn't catch me dead on a harley, or a brando shirt, or a lot of other sh!t. But it just ain't me. harley has sold the "be independent" thing forever. But the truth is, they want sheep. It should be clear. Somebody asked me the other day, how can you identify a real biker. I said it doesn't really matter what he's wearing, but he should have some tools or random nuts and bolts in his pockets.

Here's a couple more really bad harley vids.

CHeck this first one at 50-54 seconds in. Pretty sure its a tranny.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 01:43 pm

Try this one for the first link above

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 01:51 pm

This dead horse keeps getting kicked. When OCC made their first bike and others started copying it the same bitching was going on. Instead of whining themselves, they jumped on the bandwagon and made a ton of coin. What do you think a company (MoCo) should do? They are in the business for ONE reason: to make money. If this means following the latest trend, so be it. If any one of you got an order for 5,000 of a particular 'custom' part you made for your bike from the MoCo, would you turn it down because you did not want them stealing your 'cool' or your 'culture'? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Those wise ones keep saying it: it is about the ride and the individual. Heck, you should be flattered that the MoCo is copying you, it means you have established something that others want. No easy task.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 02:16 pm

"Have fun, gentlemen, and don't take me or this too seriously. Remember--it's just the Internet." --Mcgoo

So don't take the article too seriously... Fads come and go. No need to be insecure because joe shmoe down the street decided to trade in his polo and sandles for some chucks and a flannel. He will be on his merry way towards some other trend in 6 months time.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 02:24 pm

i cant wait to see what people come up with for the "next style" shots haha! as for me dickies and a hardcore shirt is probably what i will be wearing in my coffin, been dressing that way since i was 8. i think there is a ton of truth in that willy nelson quote. thanks for posting that i really digg it. two thumbs down to the inverted curve called the new vans price to quality ratio.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 05:26 pm

Look here I got a pink fuckin pony, how's that for fashion crashin?
I, like many of you have been ridin for a great many years and
have seen all the hot new now looks come and go more than once,
if you want to be trendy and cool I could give a fuck less,it's how you
carry yourself when your doing it that might cause a guy like me and many
of you to think if your lame or not
ok adios

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 07:07 pm

Be different... be the same.
I wonder if HD is gonna have a booth at the warped tour.?

I try to avoid crap like that video because it makes me ill.

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 07:09 pm

I don't know about anyone else but I wear what I do because it's relavant to my lifestyle. Besides, If we just keep doing what we do this bullshit will all blow over, just like disco fellas... This won't suck forever. It is frustrating, but fuck em. -Chop or Die-

Commented on 9-3-2009 At 07:38 pm


Commented on 9-3-2009 At 08:55 pm

Marketing= Devil

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 07:35 am

I agree with most everyone above about how this thread has turned into a bitch fest and not really at all what it was intended to be. I,m not that old but I've been riding for more than two decades and seen fads come and go. I remember when hot pink was the shit in the 80's and when baggy motocross leathers were cool and not tucking your leathers into your boots because that's how they did it in the latest free ride video that LBZ put out! As far as that goes I guess I followed some of those trends because that was the only riding gear they sold at the local dirt bike shop. I don't have any pictures but when cordaroy pants and afros become cool you won't see me wearin that shit, I 'll be the weird guy in the peanut shell helmet and dr. marten's. Sorry that's just who I am!

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 10:07 am

I think its time to bring the ass-less chaps and mesh tank tops back!!

Whos with me?

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 10:35 am

This is a cool vid, make sure you have the sound turned up.

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 10:35 am

This is a cool vid, make sure you have the sound turned up.

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 10:36 am

This is a cool vid, make sure you have the sound turned up.

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 12:20 pm

heres the deal. wear what you want. build what you want. also, if we start wearing said assless chaps and mesh tanks......that'll be in the next harley commercial and we can allllllll laugh.

Commented on 9-4-2009 At 06:25 pm

Pretty sure the moco isn't going to make rigid bikes with rabbit ear bars and girders anytime soon. I don't wear the uniform, more than t-shirts, jeans, and hoodies are a uniform. I've never bought anything from the dealer with the exception of some intake seals, so they really don't bother me. If people want to buy them, cool, now I know what not to build/ride.

I do get a laugh when I see someone pull up on an $9000 flat black sportster though... coulda got a used one for $3K and got some spray paint buddy... just sayin.

Commented on 9-5-2009 At 02:56 pm

How many times do we have to go over this?

There is no such thing as "ass-less chaps". They're just CHAPS. And they have no ass by design. If they weren't ass-less, they would be called pants.

Thank you, and this thread is for the gheyz.

Commented on 9-5-2009 At 05:39 pm

I grew up skateboarding and riding BMX, I wear what is comfortable and affordable. I don't care that they snaked our "look" cause when they find somthin else to copy I'll still be cheap and lazy, my bike will still be being chopped slowly, and god willin I'll still be skating pools and rippin ditches.

Commented on 9-6-2009 At 07:23 pm

Thats cool I wish every one had the same exact bike as me. Isnt that what building your own bike is about right?

Commented on 9-9-2009 At 06:08 am

ha..i feel the same way as some of you. I have $6 Airwalks, 3 pairs of them. I went back to buy more, now they are $19.99 and up. Converse All Stars and One Stars, have sky rocketed in price. I used to pay like $20 a pair, and now placed like Hot Topic and them sell them for $40 - $50.

People dress in costumes now for riding, where I just wear what I normally wear everyday (besides a helment and gloves, I dont wear those normally).

Commented on 9-9-2009 At 06:13 am

hey just means we are all accepted by society right

Commented on 12-16-2012 At 04:47 pm

Really? We're discussing fashion? Is this project runway or Chop Cult?

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