"Easy Rider Bikes"
By Dave Brackett
Most of you that are my age, 66 years old, remember the movie "Easy Rider", and the bikes that were used in the movie. My favorite was the Captain America Bike, ridden by Peter Fonda. It has been featured over and over for years, and replica bikes are now available.
In the fall of 1969, the movie studio that made "Easy Rider" contacted AEE Choppers and wanted us to build two duplicates of the Captain America Bike used in the movie. They sent us many photos of the bike and we proceeded by getting two rigid frame panhead Harleys. We tore them down and ordered all the parts necessary to duplicate the original bike. The frames, tanks and fenders were sent out to be painted following the original design.
When the frames returned, we added AEE parts or custom made parts to fit each application. Parts were chromed and assembled to match the desired look. This was not a difficult task, since the original bike was made mostly with off the shelf parts. It did not take long to finish the two bikes, and they were shipped to the studio.
It is my understanding that the bikes were used for advertising purposes, and were placed in theater lobbies around the country, to promote the movie studio. This project was rather boring, as we had to duplicate something, rather than being creative and making a custom chopper, but it did allow people around the country to see the Captain America bike, even if it was a copy.
There was a lot of interest, as the bikes sat in our show room for a while, and some thought we built the bike used in the movie, but that was not true. It was fun duplicating what many refer to as a part of history, and the culture of the 1960's.