Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Update - Gas Monkey's FRED

* I have since discovered where FRED is really from and how poorly the original owners were treated by the producers of 'Chopper Live: The Revenge'. The update is near the end of the story *

Meet FRED, which is an acronym derived from: Fvcking Ride Every Day.

FRED, a pink 1967' Harley-Davidson FLH 'Pan-Shovel' or Generator Shovel, is Gas Monkey Garage's entry in 'Chopper Live: The Revenge' show on Discovery Channel. The show may be over (FRED didn't win) but I still feel the need to vent my frustration and dismay over the winning bike, show format, contestants and well... pretty much everything else associated with the telecast.

Is this an advertisement for GMG, fvck no. I've never met the owners Richard Rawlings or Aaron Kaufman.

Nor had I heard of them or their show 'Fast n' Loud' until I watched the 2012 revenge biker build off show on Discovery.

However what I do know for certain is their bike is the epitome of what a chopper is, and should have won... hands down! So why, you may ask is this bike so special and what makes me such an expert? Well, I'm no expert and have never claimed to be one.

But I do know bikes. And as the saying goes, if you look up the word 'chopper' in the dictionary, the picture they'd probably use would be of FRED. So, in an effort to be unbiased and impartial, I will remove myself from the equation and submit for your viewing pleasure the following 'chopper' description I lifted from Urban Dictionary.

Definition: A modified, customized motorcycle, typically a Harley Davidson, although 'back in the day' Indian, Triumph and BSA motorcycles were chopped and these days Japanese motorcycles are being transformed into choppers.

The term "chopper" comes from the origins of motorcycle customization. Unnecessary parts were (sometimes literally) "chopped" off to reduce the weight of the motorcycle and increase its performance for racing.

Rear fenders were "bobbed" (where the term "bobber" comes from), front fenders, crash bars, saddlebags, windshields, head and tail lights, kickstands, mufflers, etc. were all discarded to improve the machine's power-to-weight ratio. Forks were extended to improve ground clearance and later raked to compensate for better stability.

Contrary to popular belief, a chopper is not simply a motorcycle built with long forks, a stretched frame, chrome and billet crap and a gazillion-color $10K paint job.

All right, before we go any further, here are the other bikes in the build off. Top left: Jesse James formerly of West Coast Choppers. Bottom left: Paul Teutl Jr. of Paul Jr. Designs. And bottom right: Paul Teutl Sr. of Orange County Choppers.

Final Urban Dictionary passage: True choppers are generally built from another motorcycle or motorcycles, by the owner of the motorcycle and modifications are done to the builder/owner's desires and usually done on a budget.

And that's exactly what GMG did in building FRED.

This is what FRED used to look like... and that's where the story of FRED really begins.

(Left to Right: Pam, Jeff, Dale & Dale's Son)

*UPDATE: This is a 2008 picture of the bike which was originally owned by Dale Walksler of Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. He then sold it to Pam and Jeff Huggins at Biker Rags.

Here is (in Pam's own words) the story, of how Gas Monkey Garage and the producers of 'Chopper Live' got their mitts on FRED.

Oh, and in case you didn't hear... Paul Jr.'s monstrosity of a bike won the popularity contest.

Oh, one final note.
While Jesse missed the build off deadline and Tweedledee and Tweedledum fought like little girls, Aaron of GMG rode his entry (the only builder to do so) to the show in Vegas.

And that's the epitome of FRED. Despite sleazy TV producers, a fast talking show host and a brainwashed, 'chopper ignorant' reality show loving audience.. a pink bike stole the show and proved hands down, for true bikers... it's all about: fvcking ride every day.

Ace ♠


PAMO said...

Thank you for this post and the reference to my post on Fred.

I enjoyed reading your take on the whole build off as well as reading your blog.

Nice! Thanks again.
Pam from Biker Rags

russell subritzky said...

A real bike ..you cant beat the generator shovel..as it was the lastof the real harley's..i had a 69...