Chopper College Boot Camp

by derek on June 18, 2007 · 26 comments

Chopper College

In the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune, there was an article in the Chicago Magazine about a new business venture located in Harvey, IL called Chopper College.
As many of you are aware, I ride a 2002 Harley Softail and have an interest in learning more about how to maintain my own motorcycle. However, given my recent mishap with installing my new battery maybe I should give up on that dream. 😆
This is where Chopper College comes in and instantly grabbed my attention. The school is run by three guys that have a good deal of experiencing wrenching on motorcycles even if they may be young by some people’s standards. They all have formal trade school training for motorcycles and are building quite successful careers. They have built bikes for some interesting people including bands, tattoo businesses and top politicians.
Right now they are offering a 3 Day Chopper Boot Camp. In this boot camp, you will learn how to build a custom chopper from the ground up. The beautiful thing is that there are no requirements as to your mechanical ability so I shouldn’t have too many problems with my limited skills.
According to their website, they typically meet four distinct types of students.

  • Industry Pro :: You already own a bike shop and work on bike projects
  • The Novice :: You know nothing about building a bike and do not have the skills but are ready to learn
  • Sick of the Rat Race :: You’re in a totally unrelated career but looking for a new career in custom bike building
  • Show Me The Money :: You have skills but lack the knowledge on how to get the most for your money when building and selling bikes

Personally, I fall into a couple of those categories as I would classify myself as The Novice and Sick of the Rat Race. Right now I do not have the mechanical skills but am ready and able to learn quickly. In addition, I am currently in the IT field but would love to have a successful career combining my passion of riding motorcycles with my new skills of building motorcycles.
If you have ever thought of building a custom chopper or are interested in learning more about it, I encourage you to check out the Chopper College website and learn a little bit more about what they have to offer.
Unfortunately their website is really pretty poor and has been loading extremely slow for me. Maybe I should contact the guys behind Chopper College and try to barter my services for tuition to the college, which runs $1150 for the 3 day boot camp.
Speaking of the tuition, right now the $1150 is out of my budget for unplanned expenses so I am experimenting with the *Buy Me A Beer* plugin but I have customized it to allow you to help me pay for Chopper College tuition.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

derrikd June 20, 2007 at 11:57 pm

I didnt realize you have a motobike. I have a Triumph Thruxton, although I hardly ever ride it…


derek June 21, 2007 at 12:08 am

Yep, I’ve got the Softail and I have my kids hooked on their Honda CRF50.
I’ve always liked the looks of the Triumph bikes but I have never actually ridden one. Maybe I should plan a ride out to your area and take your Thruxton for a spin! 😆


skadamo July 30, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Do you live in IL? I’m in Elgin. Where do your kids ride the CRF? I will be buying my son one soon. Rocky Glenn Offroad park is probably the closest but kinda small. Looking for options.
I am interested to hear how the school is. Did you get enough donations to go?


derek July 30, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Yes I am. My kids ride out in Wedron at Fox Valley Off-Road, which is quite a bit out west of the Chicago suburbs.
I haven’t come anywhere close to enough donations to attend the school, not by a long shot. I’ve heard great things about them and if you decide to register, please tell them you heard about it here.


James R. Pollard 007. May 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

What is this?……a “monochopperlithicycle truimph thrrrrrruuxxxxton” show?…..:D


bismut June 29, 2007 at 9:56 am

I am still dreaming of owning a big bike one day (500cc and over)especially those model from Harley. Harley is quite expensive here. As for now, I have to stick on reading other bikers experience.


derek June 29, 2007 at 11:32 am

bismut, thanks for stopping by. Where is here? I looked on your site and didn’t see anything about where you are.
Just so you know, the dreaming never stops! 😉 I’ve got the Harley now but have so many things that I would like to customize on the bike but don’t have the money to do that.


bismut June 29, 2007 at 8:11 pm

Here is in Malaysia. The G has imposed 100% tax on big bike. I can’t afford to buy one. Will only buy Japanese made bike like Yamaha Virago where it’s cheaper. I hope by end of this year, I will be able to get the bike.


derek June 29, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Ouch! Now I understand why having a bigger bike is more difficult to achieve. The way I see it, no matter what type of bike it is you can have fun riding and should enjoy yourself just the same.
I hope to hear from you and see some pics once you get yourself a bike!


Joe Cheray July 14, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Ah the fog gently clears from my brain lol very cool. Great info.


derek July 14, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Hopefully I will be able to scrounge up enough money one of these days to attend the class as I too think it is very cool.
Are you into bikes at all?


Joe Cheray July 14, 2007 at 11:43 pm

I am a wanna be enthusiast I guess you could call it that. You can disagree but to me I still like a Harley. I also don’t think that crotch rockets are very safe I have seen way to many accidents with crotch rockets as opposed to other bikes at least here in my city. So yes I am into bikes. If I could afford cable I would watch West Coast Chopper every week.


derek July 15, 2007 at 11:40 am

Joe, I would never disagree given that I own a Harley. 🙂
As for the comment about crotch rockets being less safe, I think that is the nature of the bike. The people riding those bikes are more into the speed and pushing the envelope, unfortunately many of them do not have the riding skills to go along with that and they push things too far.
I’d like to have a garage full of different bikes but that is something I cannot afford so I stick with my Harley and love every minute of it.
You should check at your local library to see if they have the DVD versions of the cable shows, they would be a little older episodes but you could still get your fix!


Cesar May 11, 2008 at 8:53 pm

I wish I had time to go to Chopper College!


ryan@truck driver jobs August 6, 2008 at 12:46 pm

i wish i had a bike… they look so fun. sure beat driving a semi all day long.


derek August 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Lol, funny you say that because I have always thought driving a semi would be enjoyable – although not with the current gas prices.


Susan January 9, 2009 at 8:56 am

I would suggest checking out Chopper Tech. A real school, with state certification and affiliated with College of Lake County. (And mmore affordable). You won’t be disappointed.


derek January 9, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Do you have experience with Chopper Tech? Their classes do seem to be quite a bit cheaper. Now, if only I could convince them to let me attend the class in exchange for writing up a review about the courses here on the blog!


Dan March 11, 2009 at 1:03 am

It looks so cool when I see a person riding on a bike especially the Harley Davidson bike, wew, one of my biggest dream is to own one of these bikes. Nice Sharing. Thanks.


Krystian@Hotels Hastings October 7, 2009 at 1:30 pm

People amaze me with their business ideas every day.
Thanks for sharing mate, very interesting indeed.


Custom Chopper Kits November 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Holly crap. This is exciting to say the least!! This has been something that I have been looking for and to see that someone is finally offering this has gotten me so excited.
.-= Custom Chopper Kits´s last blog ..Chopper Fenders – Choosing The Right One =-.


modifbike December 30, 2009 at 10:49 am

nice website iam interested with your article…
.-= modifbike´s last blog …Racing Boy 2010 Sports Rim Models (Black) =-.


John Wall December 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Chopper College was created in response to the growing niche market for shorter and more intense learning environments, the push to expand ones’ skill base, the ever popular demand for custom bike building, and the move towards a ‘green’ mode of transportation. The theme of the school is to provide boot camp style classes for a myriad of types of hands on instruction.


Ricky March 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Website looks down. Anyone know if this class is still around?


derek March 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I did some looking around and it looks like they bolted the Chicago area and are now located in Minneapolis. It appears to be the same guys behind it, as I’ve noticed the name of the top dog on their twitter stream as being the same guy I emailed with when this post was originally written.
You can find them here: Chopper College 2020
I’d love to hear confirmation from the guys at Chopper College that this is the same group but it appears to be them.


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