История чопперов

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История появления чопперов неразрывно связанна с байкерским движением. Считается, что современное байкерское (чопперское) движение зародилось после второй мировой войны. Множество молодых людей вернулось домой, но далеко не все смогли найти себе место в мирной жизни. Через некоторое время возникли неформальные клубы, а одним из непременных атрибутов их участников стал мотоцикл.

Чоппер (от англ. chopper), в его современном виде, сформировался благодаря постоянному желанию байкеров модернизировать своего железного коня, сделать его удобнее и круче. Многие фронтовики успели опробовать европейские байки, которые были легче и удобнее массивных американских Harley-Davidson и Indian. Следует отметить, что американские производители отличались крайним консерватизмом, и не видели необходимости изменять проверенную конструкцию. Единственным достойным решением для байкеров стало изменить свои мотоциклы самостоятельно.

Из серийных моделей сначала стали удалять все лишнее с точки зрения настоящего байкера. Естественно, все изменения вносились с вполне конкретными целями. Во-первых, мотоцикл должен был показывать хорошие результаты на популярных в то время байкерских соревнованиях, во-вторых, быть удобным на шоссе и, в-третьих, выглядеть максимально круто.

Первоначально такие мотоциклы назывались “бобберами”, они получили несколько характерных особенностей, которые перешли потом к классическим чопперам. Очень характерно использование разных колес, переднее имело больший диаметр, нежели заднее.

Нежелание байкеров использовать обязательные в то время ручки для пассажира, привело к появлению sissy bar – высокой спинки, поддерживающей заднее крыло. Очень узнаваемыми стали высокий руль, удобный на шоссе, и гнутые выхлопные трубы.

После массовых беспорядков в двух калифорнийских городках, в которые переросли соревнования Американской Мотоциклетной Ассоциации (АМА), за байкерами закрепилась репутация асоциальных элементов. Попытка АМА очистить свою репутацию, привела к тому, что наиболее хардкорные байкеры покинули ее ряды. Это сказалось на дальнейшем развитии байков. Гонкам стали уделять меньше внимания, основные усилия были сосредоточены на том, чтобы сделать мотоцикл удобным на улицах.

Мотоциклы были избавлены от всего лишнего, даже аккумулятор порой меняли на магнето (прибор, преобразующий механическую энергию в электрическую). С рамы удалялись все выступы и крепежи, чтобы сделать ее легче и изящнее. Самой характерной деталью стала сильно наклоненная и вынесенная вперед передняя вилка. Высокий руль был заменен на руль, выгнутый назад, благодаря чему посадка становилась еще удобнее.
Для того, чтобы придать мотоциклу еще больше индивидуальности, их раскрашивали во все мыслимые цвета, особенно популярны были орнаменты из языков пламени. Кроме внешнего вида и конструкции рамы, самым разнообразным модернизациям подвергались двигатель и трансмиссия.

После выхода в прокат фильма “Easy Rider” (Беспечный Ездок), в котором романтизировался образ свободолюбивого байкера, этот класс мотоциклов приобрел массовую популярность. Чопперостроением стало заниматься множество людей, порой далеких от байкерства. Крупные компании не оставили без внимания рост популярности новых байков и стали выпускать комплекты aftermarket. Используя эти наборы можно было быстро и без особых усилий превратить в чоппер практически любую фабричную модель.
С появлением в начале восьмидесятых фабричных моделей Harley Davidson, массовая кастомизация приходит в упадок. Дорабатывать мотоциклы вручную стали только энтузиасты, как и на заре байкерского движения.

Наталия П. Медведчук, Журналист BCM.ru

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