I’ve long been a fan of custom Harley-Davidson iron clad in copper, whether it’s just the wheels, a few parts sprinkled throughout the motorcycle, or the bodywork all done up in the stuff. When I saw this 1969 Shovelhead chopper built by Johnny Branch of Branch Engineering, you can imagine why I dug it.
Not everyone likes copper choppers as much as I do… What I think we can all agree on, though, is that hand-built motorcycle parts are just plain cool. Johnny built this chopper by hand, including its rigid frame, springer front end, sheet metal, and the front wheel. Working out of his Southern California shop, he turned raw metal into completed parts that are now all metal finished, either nickel- or copper-plated.
Bolt-on parts for stock Harley-Davidsons and Indians are the backbone of our industry in many ways. They always will be; not everyone has the skills it takes to do what Johnny’s done with this Shovelhead. That’s all the more reason to like this bike. Well, that and the copper finishing. I could go on about how much I like this chopper but instead I’m going to let the infamous Michael Lichter’s killer photography do my job for me. I’m sure you’d much rather look at it and see for yourself.