American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior

Reel Film News is proud to bring you a review of the premiere episode of American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior, airing August 29, 2011.  At the end of last season’s American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior we ended with two things:  1) a biker build-off between the two companies, and 2) the initiation on Sr.’s part of a potential settlement in their case.  We all know that when all was said and done Paul Jr., and Paul Jr. Designs (PJD) beat Paul Sr. and Orange County Choppers (OCC) in both the popularity and the amount of money raised for the charity.  But now we get to see what happens with the settlement offer.

Please be aware that spoilers are ahead, so if you want to be surprised, click here now.

In tonight’s episode, titled The Settlement we begin with FIST Enterprises.  It stands for Fingerprint Identification System Technology.  They have a biometrical swipe sensor that starts cars, boats, RV’s and of course, motorcycles.  It’s a very secure system and unique to the individual.  Paul Jr. is going to incorporate the technology so that the bike starts when the finger is swiped.

They have a test for PJD.  They’re going to drive a car in with the system and if PJD can start the Mustang within 10 minutes, they get to keep the car.  Vinnie starts immediately working on the car.  In order to start the car he has to find the brain, or unit that’s going to start the car.  But FIST has hidden the unit well.  And does Vinnie get the car?  If you want to know the answer, highlight the invisible text.  No. Mikey gets into the car and since he’s the only one that’s programmed in, he drives away with ease.  No, Mikey doesn’t get to keep the car.

Paul Sr. has been hired by Hard Rock to build them a bike.  Hard Rock has put together a moving museum in a trailer and they invite Sr. and crew to take a look at it for some inspiration.  The piece that people seem to really freak out over is the red zipper jacket worn by Michael Jackson in the “Beat It” video.

American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior

Hard Rock explains that the reason they started with the memorabilia is when Eric Clapton gave them his guitar and then two days later Pete Townsend sent over a guitar with a note that said his guitar was as good as Clapton’s.  Jason seems to take interest in the guitar for inspiration.

Paul Jr. talks to Vinnie about possible settlements.  He explains that Sr. originally took the position that no matter what Jr. had to sell his shares.  But the appellate court decided Jr. could keep his shares.  Jr. says that the only interest he has in the company is the ownership and it’s become more of a burden than anything.  Vinnie feels as though it’s in Paul Jr.’s interest to sell.  But one demand Jr. is determined to make and get is that he wants the “Black Widow” bike.  It’s the first bike that Vinnie and he had ever worked on and the bike and memories are extremely important to Jr.  Personally, along with most likely the majority of everyone reading this probably feels as though that bike really does belong with Paul Jr. in his shop.  It was his theme and it started off the American Chopper Series.  Rachel, his wife told Jr. in a previous conversation off camera that he really does need to get that bike.

Mike starts the build on the Hard Rock bike.  He starts mocking the bike up so they can begin putting sheet metal on it.  Both Mike and Sr. really like the frame.  The main feature of the bike is a big chrome guitar that runs into the seat.

PJD starts by putting the frame up on the lift.  He wants the bike to be tough.  The company’s colors are black and red and Jr. has some ideas in mind.  They have free-range on creativity, but Jr. explains that when all is said and done it has to scream the company.  The tank isn’t going to be a big tank, but rather on the small side.  Everyone feels the total package is a bit compact.  The tank is 26” long but it still feels short on the bike.  Jr. says that everyone should think 50’s hotrod.

Now we’re back at OCC, but at the original shop.  Sr. explains that a couple months back they ran into some issues with their loan on the OCC headquarters building and now they’re in foreclosure.  So now they’re looking for some new space to build for the company.  So, one of the ideas is to move back to the original building.  But with the late spring snow there’s some damage to the original building.  There’s a massive hole in the roof.  Actually, it appears the whole roof in parts has fallen down.  There’s a lot of damage.  But with the damage, it has taken this building off the table as a location to use.  Sr. is just going to get the original building fixed and sell it.

American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior

On fabrication day 3 over at OCC they’re on to the exhaust.  They ring-roll a long piece of exhaust pipe so that each of the pieces will have the same radius.  Rick comes over to help Mike.  Rick is tacking the pieces to a flat piece so that when they cut it, they can get the right cut.  Rick points out that while a design can look good on paper, it doesn’t always work out in the real world.  The pipes are making the bike much too wide.  They make an adjustment and it looks better.

On fabrication day 2 over at PJD, they’re working on the reverse curve of the tank.  It’s a difficult task but they manage it.  Brendon is going to finish the sides of the tank and they’ll be able to look at it.

The biometric reader arrives and they all take a look at it.  Jr. is thinking of mounting it right into the gas tank.  Paul Jr. is working on the front end.  The front end looks “beefy” and it’s not like anything on the market.  They’re not running a front fender, but Jr. insists it’ll look good.

Paul Sr. talks with Steve over the negotiations with Jr. and explains that Jr. wants the Black Widow bike as part of the deal.  He says he has to look at it what the value is to him and the company.  It seems like Sr. is willing to give the bike up if it’s a deal breaker.

At OCC on Fabrication day 4 they’re working on the handlebars.  Mike and Sr. get everything where they need it to be.  They’re waiting on Jim to finish up the new spikes on the top of the handlebar.  Jason doesn’t appear to be too happy with the new handlebars.  The original design was to have the guitar the main focus.  Rick is now a bit annoyed and tells him that if there’s something he really feels important he should mark it out on the sheet so they know.

American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior

The seat is now complete on the Hard Rock bike.  Everyone likes it.  Jim gets the guitar base finished and they begin to bolt it down.  Rick tears it down and they ship it off to chrome and paint.

On fabrication day 4 at PJD, they’ve got a headlight that’s sticking out too far.  Jr. wants to get rid of the old-school feel to the bike.  Brendon mounts the biometric device into the gas tank.  Vinnie works on the exhaust and although it’s not too hard, it’s a tedious exhaust to complete as there’s a lot of cutting.

At OCC they start assembly on the Hard Rock bike.  Jim made a Hard Rock logo and they install LED lights in it.  It looks really cool to me.  Just like the restaurants.  Sr. helps mount the tank as the finishing touches are put on the bike.  The exhaust looks awesome and when they get it on, they fire up the bike and it sounds great.  There’s a lot of chrome on the bike and its simplistic color of black works perfectly with the LED lights and the chrome.

There’s just a little left to do on the FIST bike.  They mark what is to be chromed and what is to be black or red.  And it’s off to chrome and paint.

OCC is down in New York City in Times Square at the Hard Rock Café to unveil the bike.  It looks awesome.  The crowd loved it including the military that was there for the unveiling.  The Hard Rock executives love it and it goes over well.  They loved the guitar and the Hard Rock logo on the back of the bike.

Next we go over to Paul Jr.’s house as Mikey arrives.  It’s the day Jr. is supposed to sign some papers to end the lawsuit.  Mikey came over for moral support and to have coffee with Rachel and Paul Jr..  Paul Jr. seems a bit uneasy.  He says he’s fine, but you can see it in his face.  Mikey feels that if this goes through it will be a big relief for the whole family.

Our last segment deals with the settlement and the attorneys.  Sr. agreed to buy Jr.’s share for what he believes is a fair market price.  It’s not what he wanted to spend, but he wants it over and in the long run it will pay off.  He also agrees to throw in the Black Widow bike.  Sr. and his attorney wait for Jr. and his attorney to arrive.  It’s just a matter of signing the papers. 

American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior

There’s a bit of an awkward hug between father and son.  Jr. places his arm around Sr., but Sr. doesn’t.  Read into that however you want…  Sr. seems to hope that this is the beginning of a newfound relationship.  The settlement is signed and both parties say that they feel good about it.  The keyword there is “say.”  I advise to just look at their faces and see whether or not their eyes and expressions really reflect the words used.

I have to say from a personal perspective that it must tear apart a family when family members sue each other.  The rift within a family that it must create doesn’t just affect the parties involved, but rather the family as a whole.  Clearly, Mikey picked sides.  I’m sure that Sr.’s mom was upset, as was the entire family.

I’ve long felt that when family member’s do business together, that chances are it will cause at the very least tension within the family.  Business is business and family is family.  Only in rare occasions is a family not affected at all.  I’m sure some of you reading this will disagree completely and I love examples that prove it wrong.  But remember, for every one story or example I get from one side, I get an equal number if not more from the other.  That’s the great things about opinions…everyone has one.

I, just like all of you am extremely excited to see the new season begin.  I’m sure we’re in for some great episodes and some amazing bikes being built.  Competition between OCC and PJD will build, but what I’m hoping for is that the fabrication of a personal relationship between father and son will begin.  Only time will tell.


  • Paul Jr Fan says:

    Great synopsis – can’t wait to see this premiere! So glad they moved the start up a week.

  • brad says:

    I live in South Dakota and can name you 20 family run farms worth $10 million or more that have little business tension. Of course the patriarch in these operations isn’t an egotistical asshole. I can also name a few operations that have completely split the family, but these have arisen from disputes among siblings not parent and child. I think OCC biggest problem is Senior is a self important ego-maniac, who had a lot less money than he thought.

  • David Philio says:

    Thanks can’t seem to get enough.

  • noah says:

    How much did Jr receive from Sr?

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