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Another chopper: The DPP Bijlmer Expres

We already had a chopper yesterday and one of them. We had seen the machine before. About thirty years ago? Not as famous as Ness or Indian Harry, but we still read 'Diks Paint Chopper' engraved on a crankcase cover, the chrome of which had come loose from his background.

A traditional Dutch chopper

In the meantime, the hardtail with its Yamaha TR1 block with its tank modeled after a horse's skull (?) Looked enormously American. And 'American' is for us: chrome shiny and plastered with the American panacea for designers: 'Bondo'. Polyester filler so.

For the show. Not for the "Go!"


The idea that this project was made as a show model for everything that once was in a catalog takes shape in the equally warlike 'cap on the fuel cap'. That part is a transfer piece over the normal fuel cap and is fixed with a few hexagons. That was the easiest solution. The same approach has been used for the dingests at the end of the axes. The construction of the front fork is opposed to an example of how much effort a technician, artist, or blacksmith can put into a front fork with a short rocking arm and two inner spring elements. And the thing must weigh 100 kilos.

Brakes? Ho!

The brake drum that is spoked in the front wheel has the size of a jam jar. There is a standard Yamaha drum on the back that could cause a delay. A very careful estimate of the bicycle geometry there at the front indicates that a reasonable normal steering part of the bicycle has been gambled. We will forget the ground clearance in curves.

During a long and pleasant telephone conversation with Dik van Wijk, it turned out that those footrests had more than a suggested gardener's background. They had actually been pitchforks. The sharp 'beak' above the engine and the spikes on the rear fender? All for the art and the beautiful. And actually life threatening. Strangely enough, the whole thing with ergonomic sitting proved to be not extremely fold.

Diks Paint still exists

And Dik van Wijk remembered our photo model, the “Bijlmer Expres”, the show chopper that he built in the first half of the eighties based on new TR1 blocks and a whole bunch of more moderate choppers with the same frame and block. Those specimens were all neatly driven and delivered with a license plate. All in all, such 130 copies were built and sold.

And, indeed, the Bijlmer Expres' was the show piece for at fairs. The block has run the full zero kilometer. The link with Highway Hawk also became clear: genetic technician Dik van Wijk was deeply involved in the product development of Highway Hawk. That made him so busy that he stopped producing his own build engines in 1994. Now it is a bit quieter at Highway Hawk and Dik van Wijk is busy in the scooter world and approachable for other assignments.

And what now?

This chopper has since been adopted for what it is: a paragon of what was done in the wildly innocent eighties of customizing and chopper construction in the Netherlands. The result is of good quality and aesthetically successful for people who are not horrified by it. And what is it worth?

thanks to Venema Classics

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