A South African motocross mechanic I once knew used to describe poorly tuned dirt bikes as "running like a Dutch chopper." I'd never ridden a Dutch chopper before, but when the opportunity to go for a spin with my friends Paul DeJong and Maurice The Flying Dutchman amid the windmills presented itself last summer, I grabbed my raincoat and hit the bricks.
This is not the first motorcycle of Paul DeJong's to be featured on ChopCult. The owner of Holland's top BMX emporium may be Dutch, but H-D black and orange runs through his veins. In addition to this '67 Sporty, Paul and his wife Carry own a Buell, an '86 XL street tracker and another old ironhead.
To keep Eurocentric spoke sniffers off his back, Paul rides the Leirop and Valkenswaard GP tracks near his home on a KTM two-stroke motocrosser. Weather permitting, Paul's also been known to take his son Boyd's electric trials bike for spin. About the only thing with a motor Paul won't touch is a time clock. "The Coach" has his priorities, and working 9 to 5 isn't one of them.
It rained for most of our two-hour ride through southern Netherlands, but not enough to ruin the day. This is one of two Hoodlum Society bike checks from Aarle-Rixtel, and both stories will break on CC in days to come. In addition to these features, I got to hang out with action-sports photographer and chopper fanatic Maurice Van Den Tillaard. The Flying Dutchman agreed to do a "21" interview, and to share dozens of his inspiring photographs with CC readers. Maurice's story is a good one, and his stunning photos are among the best. Thanks to both Nederlanders for making my Dutch swing such a treat.
Bike builder/owner: Paul DeJong
Bike name: Avy's Bike (Paul's two-year-old daughter)
Frame year, make and model: 1967 Harley-Davidson Sportster AND
Frame mods: Bolt-on hardtail
Motor year, make and model: Harley-Davidson XLH 900
Fork year, make and model: 1986 Harley-Davidson XLH1100
Fork mods: Stiffer springs, thicker oil, Honda CB500 triple trees, Timken tapered steering neck bearings
Front wheel specs: V-Twin mini drum 21-inch wheel, Pirelli Enduro tire
Rear wheel specs: Harley-Davidson Sportster 16" with drum brake; Firestone Champion deluxe 4.50" tire
Bodywork and tins: Coffin tank, Duane Ballard leather works on Biltwell solo seatpan
Painter: Royal Jack Custom Paint
Custom-fabbed bits: Made the '86 Sporty legs work with the Honda steer tube and trees; tweaked Universal MX clutch levers to operate clutch and brake; lots of old bicycle parts got turned into motorcycle parts on this bike: axle spacers, BB spacers, brake cables turned into throttle cables, that kind of stuff
Thanks: Duane Ballard for finishing the seat in time for McGoo to deliver it. Thanks to the Biltwell guys for hooking me up
Check out the Euro chopper scene on Paul's blog