Write by:Bryan Harley
For one article, the writers here at Motorcycle USA are relinquishing their editorial driver's seat and are putting our readers behind the controls. Instead of reading articles about who we deem newsworthy, we gave readers the opportunity to tell us who they'd like to see featured in a custom builder article.
In our Online Biker Build-Off, we introduced five custom builders we met at the Laughlin River Run - Count's Kustoms, Big Bear Choppers, Copr Choppers, Thunder Mountain Motorsports and Sik-n-Twisted Psycles - and asked you to vote for your favorite. The results are in, the votes are counted, and the winner by an overwhelming majority is Copr Choppers for its custom, ground-skirting bike, Ground Pounder.
We first met Copr Choppers' owner, Tony Martinez, in Laughlin at the 2007 Custom Bike Show. Martinez was there as the reigning Colorado Biker Build-Off champion. The Ground Pounder was battling a Big Bear Chopper build for the title, only to be edged out of the top spot by a mere half point. After that, the Ground Pounder began a six show streak of "Best of " honors, giving Martinez confidence heading into Sturgis for the 2007 World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
Ground Pounder's streak of victories came to a close as two board tracker-inspired bikes took top honors. These retro-cool custom bikes have been a hot commodity since Roland Sands came out with his KR V-5 Boardtracker. But Martinez still put himself out there and gained recognition for Copr Choppers. If you're going to have a victory streak ended, there's no shame in being deposed by the likes of Chicara and Goldammer.
Martinez got the custom bike building bug about four years ago. He had been working on and modifying Harleys for about 12 years, but it was his first full-blown custom chopper, Blade, that breathed life into Copr Choppers as a business instead of a pastime. Martinez opened up shop in '05 and has been producing award-winning bikes ever since.
"After I saw how many shows I won with that one bike, I decided to stop buying other people's products and to start making my own," Martinez said.
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