Orange County Choppers
|Type||Privately held company|
|Headquarters||Town of Newburgh, New York
Orange County Choppers (OCC) is a custom and production motorcycle manufacturer based in Orange County, New York, that was founded in 1999 by Paul Teutul, Sr., and Paul Teutul, Jr. (20% ownership until 2011). The company was featured on American Chopper, a reality TV show that debuted in September 2002 on the Discovery Channel, which has contributed to the company's quick rise to fame. In 2007, Discovery Channel's sister channel TLC picked up the series in the United States and Canada. A new international headquarters designed to combine their production and retail facilities was constructed in the Town of Newburgh and opened April 24, 2008.
OCC's production facility was initially located in the hamlet of Rock Tavern, it then later moved to nearby Montgomery before moving into its new headquarters in Newburgh. The company also operates a seasonal kiosk at the Woodbury Common Outlet Mall in Central Valley, NY.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2011)|
OCC started as a sideline to the family's steel manufacturing enterprise, Orange County Iron Works, which was founded in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, Teutul Sr. began manufacturing custom motorcycles as an extension of his steel business, and in 1999 he founded Orange County Choppers. The company's first bike, "True Blue," was debuted at the 1999 Daytona Biketoberfest.
- Paul Teutul, Sr - Founder/Owner/CEO
- Steve Moreau - COO
- Robert MacD - CFO
- Lisa Nazaro - Head of Human Resources
- Jim "JQ" Quinn - Engineer/Machinist
- Rick Petko - Designer/Senior Fabricator
- Mike Amorati - Fabricator/Mechanic
- Nick Hansford - Mechanic/Assembler
- Skeeter Todd - Fabricator/Mechanic
- Christian Welter - Mechanic/Assembler
- Ron Salsbury - Vice President
- Jason Pohl - Senior Designer
- Evan Favaro - Fabricator
||This biographical section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
Sheet metal fabricator Mike Campo left on good terms in 2006 to seek new artistic work. In September 2007, fabricator/chief mechanic Vincent DiMartino and mechanic/assembler Cody Connelly left OCC and American Chopper. The two have since started their own bike shop, V Force Customs in Rock Tavern, New York not far from OCC's original shop. They also work closely with Paul Jr. Designs.
Minority owner/chief designer and fabricator Paul Teutul, Jr. was fired from the shop in late 2008. In January 2009, TLC served a notice of default due to Paul Jr.'s absence. Paul Jr. then returned to OCC briefly as a contractor, but left for good in April 2009. Paul Sr. then exercised a contractual option to purchase Paul Jr.'s 20% share in OCC and subsequently filed a lawsuit to force the buyout. After determining the language of the contract is too vague to allow Sr. to force the sale, the appellate court ruled on behalf of Paul Jr.
Paul Jr. started a new motorcycle design company, Paul Jr. Designs (PJD). After a one year non-compete clause ended, Paul Jr. opened a motorcycle shop in April 2010. TLC then commissioned a 7th season titled American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior which features both OCC and PJD.
OCC is known for the bikes featured on American Chopper where bikes are built around a theme or, increasingly, for specific corporate or celebrity customers. The company has built custom bikes long before beginning the Discovery Channel show. Additionally, OCC launched a limited edition production line of motorcycles in July 2007, priced beginning at $31,000. These bikes include design elements originally developed for bikes featured on the show.
The range of standard production bikes will be extended to meet worldwide (with particular attention to Canada and Europe) legislation for motorbikes over a couple of years. This means that the bikes will be sold commercially outside the USA for the first time.
One of OCC's most popular bikes is The Fire Bike, which was designed by Paul Teutul Jr., to commemorate the New York firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. The bike itself has been modeled after a fire truck, and an actual steel rivet from the World Trade Center has been integrated into the bike itself, mounted atop the bike's gas tank. Paul Jr. stated that the bike was named "343," the number of New York firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11.
The popularity of American Chopper led the United States Air Force to commission a $150,000 "Air Force Bike," first put on public display in March 2005. The motorcycle is ten feet long and is modeled after the F-22 Raptor, complete with Air Force symbol rims, riveted gas tank, Raptor exhausts and rear-view mirrors in the shape of jets. Air Force recruiters commissioned it as a public outreach tool.
Other television appearances
Paul Teutul Sr. was a contestant on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice Season 12 Episodes 1-10, (This is actually the 4th "Celebrity Apprentice") whereby all money raised goes to charity. He was fired on the episode which aired on April 22, 2012 (Episode #10)
The Teutul family appeared in the My Name Is Earl episode "Stole A Motorcycle." In this episode, it is discovered that Earl Hickey had stolen an OCC motorcycle with the help of his brother Randy. They had found the motorcycle outside the OCC garage with its keys left in the ignition. While intoxicated, Earl and Randy lose the bike. Randy finds the motorcycle and returns it to the Teutul family. At this point, Paul Sr. finds out that the keys had been in the ignition, and Mikey admits to having done this.
The Teutuls also appeared in the show King of The Hill as a family including just Paul Jr., Paul Sr., and Mikey.
Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. make cameo appearances in the movie Wild Hogs.
Orange County Choppers also appeared in Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's motorcycle tour documentary Long Way Round (originally shown in the UK on Sky One) where the Teutuls and various OCC employees rode with them to their final destination New York.
In April 2009, QVC, in honor of the OCC's tenth anniversary, had a studio/remote show. Paul Sr. was in QVC's studio in West Chester, Pennsylvania selling various tenth anniversary merchandise, while his sons were in Orange County at the soon-to-open OCC World Headquarters showing bikes and the new facility.
The three Teutuls appeared in another TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus 8. In Bikes & Trikes, Jon goes to OCC and helps design and build a motorcycle for himself and Mikey designs a motor-scooter for Kate. Paul Sr. and Jon are seen alluding to each family's discord. Mikey and the others coach the nervous and unadventurous Kate on her first motorbike ride on the long driveway at the Gosselin's home. Kate donated the pink scooter to a charity auction for the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the Hershey Medical Center, where her sextuplets were born.
The Orange County Choppers held a series of free music performances within the retail store.P.O.D., Candlebox, Saliva, Red, 10 Years, Fair to Midland, and Framing Hanley have performed. On April 25, 2009, Smile Empty Soul and Earshot performed to celebrate the decade of the company's work. Additionally, OCC in October in conjunction with RED/Sony released a classic rock compilation CD featuring some of Paul Sr.'s favorite songs titled OCC Rocks. The CD also includes original music from The OCC Band, which features four of the shop's employees. Black Label Society performed a concert in the retail store to promote their album Order of the Black.
Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster
The Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster is a Zamperla Motocoaster installed at Darien Lake theme park in Darien Lake, NY. The MotoCoaster is Darien Lake's first launched coaster, and is Zamperla's first motorbike roller coaster to be installed in the United States, though a different model with horse theming was installed at Knott's Berry Farm at the same time. The roller coaster was announced in January 2008 and opened in May 2008.
The coaster is the same model that was prototyped outside Zamperla's factory in Italy.
The MotoCoaster is located near the Darien Square area of the park, between Boomerang and Twister. Orange County Choppers built a custom motorcycle inspired by the ride and the park.
- Starr, Michael (April 7, 2010). "Hog brawl". New York Post.
- "BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Performance To Be Filmed For Upcoming Episode Of 'American Chopper'". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- Applebome, Peter (December 25, 2005), "Our Towns; Just Regular Hard-Working Guys, Welding Their Way to TV Fame", The New York Times, retrieved 2010-04-05
- Eyvazzadeh, Dave (September 18, 2009), "OCC Goes Green With a Hybrid Chopper", Wired (magazine), retrieved 2010-04-05
- Kelly, Howard; Lichter, Michael; James, Jesse; Leno, Jay (2009), S&S Cycle Presents Today's Top Custom Bike Builders, MBI Pub. Co. and Motorbooks, ISBN 978-0-7603-3603-8
- McGregor, Ewan; Boorman, Charley; Uhlig, Robert (2005), Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World, Simon and Schuster, pp. 234–296, ISBN 0-7434-9934-4
- Marshall, Alexandra (21 September 2003), "Born To Be Mild", The New York Times, retrieved 2010-04-05
- Murphy, Meghan E. (March 27, 2010), "Choppers' Paul Jr. ordered to stay away from the shop", Times Herald-Record (Middletown, New York), retrieved 2010-04-05
- Scheller, William G. (2005), American Chopper/Orange County Choppers: The Fine Art of the Custom Motorcycle, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, ISBN 0-88363-117-2
- Weichselbaum, Simone (August 13, 2009), "Charged up hog's mean & green: Orange County Choppers unveils custom-built electric motorcycle", New York Daily News, retrieved 2010-04-05