This story originally ran in the January 2008 issue of Street Chopper.
I hate yellow choppers, I really do. If yellow needed a ride to the hospital, I wouldn’t give it one if my head was bleeding. However, the color looks good on this Harley-Davidson Knucklehead chop. This is a classic build if ever there was one and its coolness totally overrides my distaste for a certain primary color. Most of this machine is the original article from the factory and most of the rest of it is classic chopper parts from when those parts were the latest and greatest, like the 1950s Anderson footpegs.
It’s a ’47 Knuckle (motor and frame), origin: unknown. What is known is that in 1988 Fred Wright and Mike Kaplan both wanted to buy it from the original owner. Money makes the world go ’round though—Fred had it, Mike didn’t. Although Wright got the chopper, he let Kaplan ride it once shortly after purchase.
This nod to good sportsmanship was par for the course between these two longtime friends. Mike and Fred met years before when Wright was wrenching scoots in Berdoo (a.k.a. San Bernardino, California), back when Kaplan was a kid. Later on they ran into each other again and became best friends, working in their shop for 15 years.