Roger Bourget is a chopper kind of guy. When he started his Bourget's Bike Works shop in Phoenix almost a decade ago, his early bikes were mostly low-slung, raked-out machines with massive car tires on the rear -- just like the original choppers of yesteryear. Jump forward about 10 years, and 12 to 15 different models of BBW bikes, and Roger has stayed true to his styling influence. Except for the Beach Cruiser, every other BBW to roll down the pike has had a little or a lot of chopper influence in its stance. But none proclaimed its true lineage back to the early-'70s bikes that inspired Roger to start building in the first place. Until now.
The birth of the Retro Chopper took place after Roger was cleaning up his home office and stumbled on some very old chopper magazines. Roger looked at the radical styling and distinctive stance of those early-'70s bikes and decided that he could build a chopper with all of yesteryear's cool and all of today's technology.
Since the only things not made in the BBW factory are engines, transmissions, primary assemblies, and tires, Roger still had all the equipment necessary to begin the next day. His first order of business was to design a new Springer for today's bikes -- beefy and strong, but styled similar to the old days. His 18-inch-over version more than met the requirements.
Roger knew he wanted to build a rigid frame, but not just the basic triangulated shape that populates the market these days. Instead, he came up with a version that hides the seat post, adds rigidity with a multi-layer rear section, and incorporates the rear fender. Geometry for his new creation was set at 6 inches up and 3 inches out with a neck that rides at 47 degrees. Radical is a modest description of the chassis.
To roll the chopper around, Roger went into the parts room at BBW and carried out a pair of his own wheels, a 21 for the front and a 15x9 out back. The BBW wheels were fit with a Dunlop front and a 230 Avon rear. BBW calipers and rotors were added to finish up the shiny rolling stock.
Motivation for a chopper needs to have V-Twin lineage, so Roger yanked a 113 out of his stock room. All BBW motors are built in-house with a complete S&S; package and assembled with attention to each detail, ensuring every last ounce of horsepower makes it to the back wheel. Similar to all of the other BBW models, Roger's new Retro would have a five-speed transmission made from an STD case and gears connected to a Rivera beltdrive and clutch assembly.
When Roger first decided to do a coffin-style tank for the chopper, he thought about mounting it high on the frame. After looking at it for a few minutes, he pulled it off and tossed it aside. He then began building a coffin tank that blended into the frame. He filled in the rear section (some might call it a fender) with a little more metal, and finally designed a chin spoiler that integrated into the frame.
The chassis, along with a skinny front fender was sent to Deano's for some paint and graphic work. When it came back, a set of BBW bars and controls, along with its forward controls, were added. A BBW seat and taillight were added and Roger went out for a ride. When he came back, he was so into the Retro that he decided to make it a production bike -- now everyone could have one.