The Chopper craze is far from new. In fact it was absolutely huge right through the late '60s and '70s ... along with decked out V8 Panelvans and loud Disco music.

This bike with its long springer front end is a classic example of the chopper style that took hold in the late 1960s and exploded in popularity in the '70s, fueled by the awesome biker freedom-loving motorcycling movies like Easy Rider.

It's also a prime example of the type of bike that was all but legislated out of existence in the early '80s by wankers that sit behind a desk and wouldn't know a clutch lever from a brake cylinder.

This chopper began life back in 1977, when Kenneth Baumgarth decided to turn his 1968 Sportster into something a bit more stylish. Four years later he was finished and the result was bloody brilliant.

Typical of many custom Harleys of the day, only the Sporty engine in this machine was built by Harley-Davidson. The rest was either laboriously hand crafted or obtained from aftermarket parts suppliers.

The bike features a custom-built rigid frame with custom sheet metal body parts, all created by Denver's Choppers, which is still building classic raked choppers to this day. There are no welds or joints showing anywhere and the sheet metal of the prism tank is painstakingly contoured and moulded into the frame.

In addition to the superb external work, the engine cases, connecting rods and flywheels have been polished, intake and exhaust valves have been enlarged and high-performance cams bolted up.

A close look at the bike reveals that like many customs of the day this bike has no front brake and any potential pillion would have to be careful not to get burned by the dramatic, upswept pipes while perched on the back.

Practical concerns weren't always a high priority for chopper artists as forks got longer and longer and ape-hangers got higher and higher. There was some pretty wild rides made in the '70's.

Eventually these radical machines prompted many state legislatures to step in and regulate fork lengths, handlebar heights and other motorcycle modifications. In the end, it was those laws that took the extreme edge off a cult bike movement that is seeing a fantastic renaissance three decades later and shows no sign of slowing down.

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