Cherokee chopper

Wednesday, February 1st 2006, 10:24 am
By: News On 6

She's sleek, sexy, one-of-a-kind and just about every man would love to have her. All dressed up in black leather and fire orange, she's on display at the Cherokee Casino in Catoosa.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler introduces us to a national TV star. The eagle has landed. With jaws dropping and eyes popping, the Cherokee Casino unveiled its one-of-a-kind secret weapon, a custom-built chopper that took 188-hours, four sets of hands, and 500 pieces to assemble.

When Cherokee Nation executives went to the motorcycle world's hottest personalities with their idea in 2004, they knew the crew of Orange County Choppers could take their pick of projects. David Stewart: "So when we talked about the Nation and the history and the elements and the theming and what all they could bring to the table in the form of art and a motorcycle and cultural history, Paul Sr. liked it, and he said 'let's go.'"

Stewart says it took time to get OCC's design people up to speed with Cherokee traditions and culture, but once the artists got it, the Cherokee Chopper came to life.

“My heart's actually beating really fast." Lana Hartig calls herself an "idiot fan" of Orange County Choppers, having seen every episode. She says the Cherokee Chopper stands alone. "The thing that makes it OCC is the attention to detail. This absolutely looks nothing like the fire bike. Looks nothing like the other bikes that they've made. I think it represents the Cherokee Nation 100 percent."

David Stewart: "I think it's the gas tank. You know to take metal and make it look like an eagle's head is extremely difficult and they acknowledged that. And also the paint job on there. The tail feathers of the eagle on the rear fender and then the arrowheads on the front fender. Those guys at American Chopper are artists, and that motorcycle's just beautiful."

A Cherokee artifact, soon to become a permanent fixture in the tribe's ever-evolving culture. The Cherokee Chopper will go on tour, and then go on permanent display at the Cherokee Casino Resort in Catoosa.

Cherokee Nation officials tell the News on 6, Orange County Choppers will have another unveiling and major giveaway at a date "to be announced."

We're told an Oklahoma City company makes the frames for all OCC choppers.