Texas-based American IronHorse, founded in 1995, produced custom bikes on a production line. The company struggled with a changing economic climate, replacing its founders with a new board of directors and then reorganizing completely in 2007. The company trimmed its line substantially, to just five models, for 2008. The Texas Chopper, one of its top sellers, was one of the few to make the cut—and it was only made for one more year before the company folded.
The standard engine was an 1820cc air-cooled V-twin, but buyers could opt for an S & S 117 or 125 engine, fed by a carburetor with an OHV-pushrod configuration. The 1820cc offered 110 bph and 115 lb/ft of torque. The engine works with a six-speed chain-driven transmission; final drive is belt-driven. American IronHorse reworked its clutch in 2006, so shifting in the 2008 models is smooth. Stopping power for the 701-pound machine comes from double disc four-piston calipers in front and single disc four-piston calipers in back.
The 2008 Texas Chopper features the classic chopper look: a long wheelbase—in this case 84 inches long—a stretched frame, raised bars, and an extreme 43-degree rake. A 25.5-high-inch leather seat snugs up against the 3.5-gallon fuel tank, and the chrome V-handlebars are roughly shoulder height. Though the chopper looks likes it has a rigid rear suspension, in fact it has a twin-sided swing arm—with a two-inch stretch to complement the overall look—and an adjustable spring pre-load shock, although a buyer could opt instead for a Progressive air-ride suspension system. A telescopic fork provides front suspension.
Clearing the road by just four inches, the chopper rides on a wide 300mm rear tire. Given its torque, experienced riders recommend a light hand on the throttle until the bike is facing the direction the rider wants it to go.
American IronHorse offered 18 different base paint options, ranging from Atomic Green to Race Reddi red, and an array of graphics designs, so each buyer could customize the look of his or her bike. Since the custom paint package came with the chromed engine, rims, fork, pipes, and belt guard, the Texas Chopper provided plenty of bling.