Dixie Chopper bike on display at Business Center

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If you've never seen the custom motorcycle Orange County Choppers built for Dixie Chopper or just want to see the shiny green-and-gold chopper up close again, you have an opportunity to do so right now.

The Dixie Chopper Bike was built by the OCC gang on the popular "American Chopper" TV show using Dixie Chopper lawn mower parts. It has been featured at Bike Week in Daytona and the famed Sturgis (S.D.) Motorcycle Rally as well as at lawn and garden industry shows and Dixie dealer open houses across the country.

That is why it is seldom home here in Putnam County -- where, by the way, every Dixie Chopper mower that has ever cut grass has been built.

The motorcycle is currently on display in the lobby of the Dixie Chopper Business Center at the Putnam County Airport off Ballard Lane on Greencastle's East Side. The bike will remain on display there through mid-January. The hotel and conference center are open every day except Christmas.

Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.

No ordinary motorcycle, the Dixie Bike is one of an elite few built by the ingenious yet delightfully dysfunctional Teutul family of Orange County Choppers fame. It features components of the world's fastest lawn mower fabricated into one of the world's coolest motorcycles.

It is the only bike OCC has ever made with dual spinners on its front and rear wheels.

And here's the kicker: Those spinners look just like lawn mower blades.

The engine is actually a 32-horsepower, air-cooled production variety that is used every day at the Dixie Chopper plant in Greencastle. The carburetor, however, was bored out to create a 90-horsepower motorcycle engine.

Millions have watched on national TV as the bike was conceived, assembled and unveiled in a two-part episode of "American Chopper" that has been rerun dozens of times since its initial national TV exposure. The footage began with the Teutuls touring the Dixie Chopper Coatesville/Fillmore plant.

Dixie Chopper Vice President Jeff Haltom said having the OCC Bike built was all about product awareness and helping drive customers into Dixie dealerships nationwide.

"We want everybody to sit on a Dixie Chopper before they buy a lawn mower," he said. "We feel, if they sit on ours, they won't buy anything else. We build -- hands down -- the best, baddest lawn mower in the industry."

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