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Firecracker - Section 2

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Place the forks, bearings and hardware on the bike, and get the front wheel in place (Photo 11). The chopper should be straight, and the bottom bracket should be positioned high enough for adequate ground clearance once the cranks are installed. If all went well, it's just a matter of putting the other components on the bike to complete the build.
Photo 11 - Assembling the basic bike.


To make the original handle bars a little more "choppified", the cross bar that was once used to hold the crash pad was cut (Photo 12). This instantly turns the BMX style handle bars into chopper style handle bars. Grind the leftover metal from the cut area, as it will be sharp.
Photo 12 - Removing the cross bar.


I like to assemble the entire bike before painting, just to ensure that no other welding or changes are necessary (Photo 13). Little things like fender mounting brackets can wreak havoc on your paint job if you have to weld them in place after the fact. So far, everything seems to be working out perfectly. Paint time.
Photo 13 -The chopper is assembled.


The Firecracker was painted red, of course (Photo 14), and the original blue trimmings were kept, as it accented the bright red quite nicely. A fatter rear tire was also found on my scrap pile, but other than that and the extension tubing, all of the bike is original. Not bad for a few hours work, and $5 for spray paint.
Photo 14 - The completed and painted FireCracker chopper.


Kids can master a chopper faster than the old boy crowd, maybe because they have not tasted the pavement as much as we have, and the fear factor hasn't been ingrained in them yet. Photo 15 shows Brayden ripping down the laneway on the Firecracker, totally fearless of the ground below!
Photo 15 - Brayden takes FireCracker for a spin.


Thumbs up, buddy! In another decade or so, this dude's ride will probably have spinner rims, a custom frame, and a price tag comparable to that of a house. Yep, once stung by the chop fever, there is no escape! The young dudes love choppers.
Photo 16 - Dude, it's a go!

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