The Chopper 73, Part 1

Concept and design on our custom Super73 ebike chopper project.

Jake Keough of Highwayman Garage mocks up a pair of real Schwinn bars, but we’ll need a 7/8-inch set to work on the build.
Jake Keough of Highwayman Garage mocks up a pair of real Schwinn bars, but we’ll need a 7/8-inch set to work on the build.Morgan Gales

This bike was meant to be customized. From the second I saw the tubular frame and the long, flat seat that held the battery, I knew the Super73-Z1 was ripe for a chop job. The lines of the frame were reminiscent of an old Schwinn Stingray, so I wanted to do a ’70s-style chopper bicycle-inspired build. Something really far out and sort of ridiculous, like the kids trying to emulate chopper style of the time. Tall bars, sissy bar, extended front end, and lots of sparkle—this bike was going to be totally unique. It would be polarizing, like most radical customs are.

Schwinn’s Lemon Peeler, from which we are drawing our inspiration.
Schwinn’s Lemon Peeler, from which we are drawing our inspiration.Morgan Gales

I had known from the beginning that I wanted to partner with my friend Jake Keough over at Highwayman Garage. Jake used to travel the world racing bicycles professionally, and now runs a hot-rod motorcycle/chopper shop out of Oceanside, California. Jake’s build style lined up with my vision here, and the more we talked about the design and final product, the more we both realized we were on the same page.

The first step was finding a specific model we could take inspiration from. Jake had the Schwinn Lemon Peeler in mind, and upon showing me some photos, I couldn’t agree more. We would send the frame off to be powdercoated sparkly yellow, upholster the seat with flaky white vinyl, add tall bars, the extended fork, and a sissy bar and a few other little pieces, and, boom, the Chopper 73 is done. In theory at least…

Using some bricks, a steel tube, and an Invader wheel he had lying around, Jake plays around with stance on the Chopper 73 to get an idea of how we want the final build to sit.
Using some bricks, a steel tube, and an Invader wheel he had lying around, Jake plays around with stance on the Chopper 73 to get an idea of how we want the final build to sit.Morgan Gales

So now the frame is off being powdercoated, the forks are being made 28 inches over stock length, and the sissy bar has been fabricated and installed, waiting to be sent off to powdercoat. We put on a set of 18-inch apehangers that are as similar as we could find to old Schwinn bars, and they look great—the vibe is already starting to come together.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we get all the parts back and start to assemble this wild echopper and realize everything we forgot!

More info on the Z1 and other models at super73.com.