Orange County Choppers would have just been like any other motorbike repair shop in the US if it hadn’t been for the rather tempestuous relationship between owner Paul Teutul Sr and his son, Paul Jr, and the fact that someone at the Discovery Channel spotted that their antics would make a great TV show.
That TV show, "American Chopper," was on the air from 2003 until 2010, before returning in 2018, and even survived the breakdown of the Teutuls’ relationship, and Paul Jr’s decisions to set up his own business.
Not all of the custom motorcycles the team created on the show were a complete success, however, and some of the most unattractive and cringe-worthy Orange County Chopper bikes can be found on the list below.
15 Christmas Bike
Making a Christmas version of anything is a sure fire way to make it tacky and vulgar – as it proved when the Orange County Chopper boys set out to make a Christmas motorcycle.
As if the novelty reindeer antler handlebars aren’t cheesy enough, the bike is even towing its own mini Santa’s sleigh.
14 Snap-On Tools Bike
A lot of the bikes made on American Chopper had been commissioned by commercial clients, which meant that the team didn’t have a lot of say when it came to colors and design.
Even so, the red and white motorcycle they made for Snap-On Tools was a particularly uninspiring piece of automotive design…
13 Police Bike
The Orange County Choppers team were delighted to be asked to design a motorcycle to pay tribute to the men and women of the New York Police Department.
The only problem is how do you make a custom police bike that doesn’t just end up looking like a regular police motorcycle?
12 Yankees Bike
Sports bikes have not always been a big success on American Chopper, and the New York Yankees custom motorcycle which the team put together was no exception.
On the plus side, this was the bike that brought father and son back together for a new series, when it was in need of some restoration.
11 Caterpillar Bike
The Caterpillar motorcycle was another bike which was made for a commercial company – in this case, the company which makes construction site equipment and workwear, including the famous boots.
Caterpillar’s logo is bright orange, and the Orange County Choppers really went to town with this color when it came to their custom design.
10 Lance Armstrong Bike
Aside from the fact that former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong has seen his reputation take a bit of a dive in recent years, the custom motorcycle which Orange County Choppers made for the US sports star included some unusual features, such as an actual bicycle saddle instead of a motorcycle seat.
9 Dragon Bike
The Dragon motorcycle which was created by the Orange County Choppers team in the first season of American Chopper for a Chinese client.
Hopefully, this client was a larger-than-life character as the bike was certainly an over-the-top design – and even looked as though it would have been awkward to ride.
8 Siemens Electric Bike
The guys at Orange County Choppers love their gas guzzling hogs – which makes it all the more unusual when they take on green projects like the electric motorcycle they built for Siemens.
There may be nothing intrinsically wrong with the design, but it is clear that their hearts were not in this particular project.
7 Geico Bike
Insurance company Geico asked the Orange County Chopper team to design a custom motorcycle which embraced their bright green color scheme and their cute lizard mascot.
However, cute isn’t a natural fit with the Teutuls and their buddies and the final bike ended up being a bit of a design disaster.
6 B2 Bomber Bike
Commissioned in 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of the first flight of the B2 stealth bomber, this project should have been perfect for Orange County Choppers – and yet the end result looked more like something that an elementary school pupil might have made in art class than the work of a high-end motorcycle repair shop.
5 The Ferrari
When we think of Ferrari, class, and luxury instantly comes to mind. Most would associate a bike with those types of features.
This bike is a poor representtion of that and it toally misses the mark. It just looks like an average bike most of us would pass without any hesitation.
4 Statue of Liberty Bike
The Statue of Liberty was a much more deserving subject of a custom motorcycle from the Orange County Choppers.
Even Lady Liberty couldn’t quite inspire the team, and the motorbike they produced to mark the statue’s centennial looked rather unfinished thanks to its polished bronze finish, which actually looks nothing like the oxidized green color of the statue itself.
3 Go Daddy Bike
The Internet hosting company was another of the businesses who got themselves a bit of cheap publicity by commissioning Orange County Choppers to make them a motorcycle in their lurid green and orange corporate colors.
As with a lot of the corporate gigs, the team ended up having to obey strict rules about what they could and couldn’t include.
2 Australia Bike
If you were going for a world record for the number of clichés on one motorbike, then the Australia motorcycle created by Orange County Choppers would have to be in with a shout.
From the kangaroo images on the bodywork to the boomerang handlebars, this bike ended up looking like something Crocodile Dundee would ride.
1 Chesapeake Energy Bike
Last but by no means least, is yet another of Orange County Chopper’s attempts to go green – this time with a motorcycle powered by natural gas for Chesapeake Energy.
Again, while the technology may have been cutting edge, the appearance of the custom bike left a lot to be desired.
Sources - Orange County Choppers, Train Web, The Grizzled, Motorcycle Views