When the late biker Blues musician and film maker Charlie Brechtel was coming up with Rough Boys, he had a brainstorm that involved spicing the biker movie up with a side plot involving a long lost golden chopper. The idea was that viewers of the film would be able to enter a raffle and actually win this legendary long bike. But then the movie’s executive producer, Dennis Sanfilippo asked Charlie, “Who’s gonna build this special chopper?
That’s when I made a few well-placed phone calls. First call was Ron Paugh, owner of Paughco Motorcycle Accessories. Once Ron was told the idea of this bike build and the movie connection he was all in. The second call was to Mondo Porras of Denver’s Choppers. Mondo jumped all in when he heard Ron was involved. Both companies have been in the motorcycle industry for over 50 years; Paughco is known for making everything you need to build a custom or classic Harley from the ground up, they even do their own in-house chrome plating. Mondo is the Godfather of choppers, famous for his extended Springer front ends in the proud Denver’s Choppers tradition as seen in the 18-over Springer on the Gold Chopper. Both companies are in Nevada, Paughco is in Carson City and Denver’s Choppers is in Reno. Together, they offer the perfect pairing to create the unique Golden Chopper on these pages.
This post focuses on Paughco’s and Mondo’s involvement with the glorious panhead that you can win! From frames, tanks and fenders, to custom exhaust, handlebars and much more, Paughco is your one-stop-shop for custom, OEM, obsolete and aftermarket Harley parts, all manufactured in their enormous facility and made in the USA. We caught up with project leader Steve Massicotte along with bike builder and fab specialist Kyle Brewer. Paughco is famously the place where “old school never went out of style” and this Golden Chopper is proof of that ideal.
Thinking back to the fateful day that I made those phone calls, Steve recalls that Ron decided on a classic rigid chopper similar to the one he and the crew built to be the cover bike of Paughco’s 50th Anniversary catalog. “In talking with Mondo, Charlie and Dennis, I explained that the problem with giving away an old school custom chopper is that they are often difficult to get registered unless they have a pre-1969 Harley motor,” Steve says. “The older Harley registration Title numbers were linked to the motor numbers rather than the frame.”
With that in mind, Steve went to S&S Cycle and discussed the challenge. “Dave Zelma and Scott Hakins at S&S suggested that we use older Harley cases and S&S would supply all the internals so that we have a brand new motor in this bike with old cases that can be used to title and register the motorcycle.” That solved, Billy at B&B Racing had a set of 1962 Harley Panhead cases with title and proceeded to build the motor and rebuild the transmission.
With the motor and tranny in the works, Steve and Kyle and Mondo got together to plan the overall style and build theme. They decided on a 4-inches up, 2-inches out rigid chopper frame and then created the special one off 1960’s-style Mustang-inspired long thin gas tank from Paughco’s 830 tank shells. Meanwhile, Mondo at Denver’s built the 18-inch over Springer front end. Most everything you see here is from Paughco. Kyle hand built the wild sissy bar, handlebars, exhaust pipes, seat brackets and more. Details include the one off custom hand-made ’60’s chopper-style seat by Bob Jr at LePera while Scott at BDL supplied the clutch and belt drive and Tyler at Michelin handled the tires.
Since this legendary chopper from the movie Rough Boys had to be GOLD, Steve went to Old School Jim for the metalflake paintjob. Jim also painted the Paughco 50th Anniversary chopper. He has a true understanding of the old school look. Though this chopper has the classic 1960’s long bike look down, it benefits from a new motor and such intricate details as a stock OEM 1967 hydraulic rear brake and period correct 1969 Honda front brake made to match the look of that long Springer.
Once Steve and Kyle got the scoot assembled, they took it to Mondo’s shop in Reno so he could do his magic on the custom wiring on this winning ride.
And speaking of winning, YOU can win this dream bike.