Move Over Orange County Choppers, Here Come The Quebec Choppers

If choppers from Quebec make you think of helicopters, then you’re on the wrong track entirely. Choppers are those people who customize motorcycles in the most luxurious and sometimes fantastic ways. More and more people are becoming aware of this movement through programs such as American Chopper on the Discovery Channel.

The Orange County Choppers from Orange County, New York, are perhaps the best known choppers but there’s a thriving chopper industry across the whole of North America. The Montreal Gazette yesterday had a major article in its Business Section on Zeel Design, a now-famous Quebec chopper manufacturer. Its owners, Michael Long and Beno?t Marleau, are world-renowned with their custom bike, the Phenom, which carries a price tag of $200,000 US. In 2005, this chopper beat 350 competitors from around the word to take the Rat’s Hole Best of Show prize at the 2005 Daytona Bike Week attended by 600,000 people. This has earned Zeel Design a spot in the 2006 International Biker Build Off competition in Florida in March this year. The bike has already been exhibited in Germany and Britain.

Surprisingly Quebec’s road regulations prevent some of these choppers taking to the road here, although they would be legal elsewhere in Canada and most of North America. Zeel Design is in discussions with the SAAQ on proposed amendments to the highway laws pertaining to motorcycles. It’s too late for another high-profile Quebec bike builder. That’s Mitch Bergeron who moved his business from Marieville, Quebec, to Palms Springs, CA some four years ago.