Caterpillar's Chopper Unveiled

September 28, 2010

 Caterpillar's Chopper

If you watch the Discovery Channel, the statement, "I'm gettin' aggravated," can only be associated with one program — American Choppers. By now, most of America has heard those words, as barrel-chested Paul Teutul Sr., with walrus mustache and biceps like picnic hams, points his finger in the face of son Paul Jr. and complains about lack of progress in the Orange County Choppers (OCC) shop. If Paul Sr. got aggravated as "Junior" and crew designed and built the Cat Chopper, it paid off.

Black pipes terminate in a diesel-like vertical muffler, complete with rain cap, and the Caterpillar-yellow front hub looks as if it were lifted right off a D11's sprocket drive. The chain case replicates Cat's "hi-drive" undercarriage, and the rear fender, complete with "bucket teeth," looks ready to dig.

The Teutuls were on hand at Caterpillar's Building Construction Products Division in Clayton, N.C., last month to introduce the roaring machine to the shouting appreciation of the facilities' 1,200 employees and guests. The introduction was the capstone in the Division's grand opening celebration of its new 10,000-square-foot visitor & training center.

The Cat Chopper build will air on two episodes of the Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" series this month. The Teutuls toured a Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., and operated a 124-ton D11R Carrydozer for inspiration on the chopper's design.

Paul Teutul Sr. called the chopper industrial and tough. "It's masculine — like me," he said. "Some are pretty and don't look like you could ride them. This one looks like it wants to go down the road."

OCC's chief designer and fabricator, Paul Teutul Jr., said, "it's definitely the biggest, toughest and most rugged bike we've ever done."

The chopper goes on tour May 1, with more than 30 appearances at Cat dealers around the country.