Evel Knievel Chopper
“The Gold Plated Bike”. That’s how Evel Knievel called this 1970 Harley-Davidson Sportster XLCH Chopper when he rode it 1976 for the Bicentennial Parade in Washington, D.C.
Many parts such as the pushrod tubes, lights, springs and countless nuts and bolts are indeed gold-plated or gilded. The typical seventies stepped high-backed seat is covered in golden velvet-like fabric as you would have found it in the lounges of a discotheque such as Studio 54.
Twin stacked square Cibie headlights, gold-plated of course, shine the way for night-cruising to the next party. The job of keeping up for a following sheriff is made easier by the oversize tail-light which seems to be sourced from either John Wayne’s wagon in “The Stagecoach“ or a steam train of the Union Pacific Railroad. The rigid frame tubes are hidden behind square fibre-glass covers painted in glittering 70’s psycho colours.
The whole bike really is timewarp to the decade that taste forgot. Of course this is not the Harley Evel really was famous for: the bus-jumping Harley XR750.
At least the engine in the chopper is the same type to an extent, it breathes through a genuine S&S carburettor and to ride it would be just a Dare-Devil stunt as jumping those buses.
Because this bike has never been touched and is genuine to the last nut and bolt and maybe even the air in the tyres.
Each of the photos is made by dozens of exposures blended together. Each one of those is hand illuminated with a small torch in order to highlight every detail and give them an almost three-dimensional quality.
© Frank Kletschkus – All rights reserved
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