Cool Things Made in Miami: Chopper Nation
Could Miami become the Detroit for choppers?
It will if Victor Cabanas, founder of Chopper Nation has anything to do with it. Because most choppers are hand made one-off customs requiring hundreds of hours to build, average prices hover around $60,000 and go up from there. He, like Henry Ford, realized you could open up the market to more buyers if you could reduce the price of the product. Henry Ford did it through the invention of the assembly line.
Victor Cabanas is doing it by replacing time intensive sheetmetal work-- such as pounding out gas tanks and fenders by hand-- with "stamping" those items from steel presses-- just like they do in automobile plants around the world. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "You can have any car in any color as long as it is black." Chopper Nation will get you onto a chopper for as little as $25,000 as long as it is black-- the company's bare bones introductory model.
For those with more discretionary income, the sky is the limit. At the top of the line is a chopper pictured here that uses nitrous oxide (NOS) for an added kick Despite using interchangeable parts, paint jobs and accessories like the NOS package still make each bike a custom.
More things we like about Chopper Nation:
- They make their own distinctive frames that include a twisted downtube. Many custom bike shops-- including the Discovery Channel's famous Orange County Choppers-- buy their frames already pre-made.
- The location. If you live in south Florida, it couldn't be easier to get to their facility. It's right on the west side of I-95 at NW 108th Street.
- They will be introducing a "soft tail" design at a comparably low price.