John Doran's Lean Green Sportster Chopper

This bright green rigid is based on a 2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster

An urban legend among old bikers tells us that green choppers are bad luck (or bad taste, depending on who you ask). I’ve never really believed that, and looking at this rigid chopper from John Doran, I don’t think he does either. If he did, I doubt he’d have poured all that blood and sweat into making it.

Originally a 2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster weighing in at 1,200cc, you could say it’s had a little work done. And you’d be wrong on that count, technically.

It’s had a lot of work done.

Not so much to the engine; other than the air cleaner and pipes, it’s still a Harley-Davidson mill throughout. That frame, though, is where stock takes a sharp turn into custom. John went after long and lean for this chopper, with copious amounts of classic tossed into the mix. Not only did he kick the neck out to a 45-degree rake, he also tossed the shocks and transformed the back end into a rigid like you’d expect to see on an old chop in the 1970s. Doran gave it even more chopper cred when he mated one of Bill Holland’s awesome long girder front ends to said frame neck. At 9 inches over stock length, it’s one of the star attractions to this bike and sets the tone for the rest of the project. Like any big star, it has a supporting cast that makes the whole work of art shine too. Check it out!

green sportster chopper

Who needs big honkin’ mufflers when you can have clean slash cuts like these Paughco pipes?

Michael Lichter Photography

Bates headlights

Bates headlights like this one are straight outta the classic chopper era.

Michael Lichter Photography

riding the green sportster chopper

This is how you smile on a chopper, folks: Mouth closed. #nobugsinmyteeth

Michael Lichter Photography

flake and striping on motorcycle

The devil’s in the details and this paint job’s pretty wicked. Check out the flake and striping just below neck level on the frame.

Michael Lichter Photography

green battery box

Or on the battery box. John Moran laid down the Candy Irish Green himself and it just pops, even on a small detail like this.

Michael Lichter Photography

white solo saddle

The white solo saddle from Hawk Rod pops against all that green too.

Michael Lichter Photography

gold striping and graphics on the Sportster tank

Check out how the gold striping and graphics on the Sportster tank seem to sprout out of the brass petcock and fuel line.

Michael Lichter Photography

low life gas cap

“Low Life” may or may not be how the cops describe John; all kidding aside, that's what he named the chopper though.

Michael Lichter Photography

brass foot controls and pegs

More brass! Namely, in the footpegs and foot controls.

Michael Lichter Photography