John Doran Lean Green Sportster Chopper




An urban legend among old bikers tell us green choppers are bad luck (or bad taste, depending on who you ask). I never really believed it, and looking at this stiff chopper from John Doran, I don’t think that is the case either. If he had, I doubt he would have shed all that blood and sweat to do it.

Originally a 2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster weighing in at 1200cc, you could tell it got a little work done. And you would be wrong on that point, technically.

There was a lot of work.

Not so much to the engine; aside from the air filter and hoses, it’s still a Harley-Davidson mill everywhere. This frame, however, is where the stock takes an abrupt turn in custom. John went after long and lean for this chopper, with copious amounts of classics thrown into the mix. Not only did it kick the neck out at a 45 degree angle, it also threw in the shocks and turned the rear into a stiff one like you’d expect on an old chop back in the 1970s. Doran gave it even more of credibility when he mated one of Bill Holland’s impressive long-beam front ends to said frame neck. At 9 inches longer than the stock length, it’s one of the main attractions of this bike and sets the tone for the rest of the project. Like any big star, he has a supporting cast that also makes the whole artwork shine. Check it out!

Who needs big mufflers when you can have clean cuts like these Paughco pipes?

Michael Lichter Photography

Bates headlights

Bates headlights like this are straight out of the classic chopper era.

Michael Lichter Photography

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That’s how you smile on a chopper, folks: Mouth shut. #nobugsinmyteeth

Michael Lichter Photography

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The devil is in the details and this paint job is pretty nasty. Check out the snowflake and stripes just below neck level on the frame.

Michael Lichter Photography

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Or on the battery box. John Moran applied the Candy Irish Green himself and it’s obvious, even on a small detail like this.

Michael Lichter Photography

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Hawk Rod’s white solo seat also pops against all that green.

Michael Lichter Photography

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