Jesse James Closes Down West Coast Choppers

10/16/2010 @ 9:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

This one hits us out of the blue, but according to Cyril Huze, Jesse James has shutdown for good his custom chopper business: West Coast Choppers. If true, it’s not clear what will become of James’ Long Beach based company, but it looks like West Coast Choppers’ frames and parts will be produced by Daytec and Belt Drive LTD respectively, and sold through Custom Chrome. More info as we get it, but considering this news is hitting us during the weekend, we don’t expect to hear much before Monday.

Source: Cyril Huze Blog via Basem Wasef; Photos: West Coast Choppers

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  • Probably an impulsive emotional decision, my guess is that he’ll be back.

  • irksome

    Probably a rational business decision; my guess is America’s chopper fascination is all done.

  • CZ


  • Tom

    America’s love of overpriced underperforming poseurmobiles has come to an end. They were bikes for a time of easy credit and low self-esteem. I haven’t done the market research to validate this, but I think that there is a considerable market of Americans who would buy an American made bike that was special (like a Ducati) but not a chopper or cruiser. I sure as hell would and I finally have the disposable income to buy one so long as it were priced around (lower than) a Ducati. West Coast Choppers will not be missed by many.

  • import

    Tom, America made those bikes. They were called Buells. No one bought them either. Maybe Erik will have better luck now that he is out from under the HD banner.

  • Sean

    Too close to call! While you are all correct, it indeed could be a rash decision. Jesse James isn’t exactly Warren Buffett.

  • CP

    Buells were garbage. under performing, overpriced, and ugly as sin. Then they payed off DMG so they could run almost twice the displacement of it’s competitor’s Japanese made sport bikes to make a name for themselves as a “performance” company. I agree with Tom. the US needs a national brand like Ducati. HD almost had it with their short term ownership of MV Augusta too, but MV is back in the hand of the italians.

  • froryde

    @ CP: No matter even if HD still owned MV, MV will always be considered an Italian company and Italian brand.

    As much as you hate to admit it, Buell was the closest the US came to having an national performance bike brand (and probably will be for a while).

  • Tom

    froryde, you are probably right about Buell being it for a while. However, CP is also correct n the Buell’s were subpar in their engines and design – although I still think that the Buell Blast was the ideal beginner bike that has been made in my adult lifetime. There are a few Buells that I have seen here in Japan and they all have crap seats, but over 20,000K so the Japanese must love them. Buell’s also had a design that most people didn’t grab on to but Buell’s biggest problem was always being sold at HD dealers where the faithful would not touch them and non-HD people simply will not go. I went to some HD dealers near West Palm Beach a few years ago looking for a Blast and you’d thought I had come in as a Muslim terrorist!

    Ducatis are beautiful and so are MV Agustas – you are right about MV always being an Italian brand but HD could have taken things it learned there and applied them to Buells……but, HD chose, once again, to be losers. HD has no design aesthetic and they think that every American bike must only have a V-Twin.

    There could have been an American sport company if Eller had gotten Indian and if Excelsior-Henderson hadn’t had the rug pulled out from under them. I still think that there is a market of Americans who want to win and would support an American company that cost a little more than the Japanese bikes if the US bike were well engineered and aesthetically beautiful. I think that the Americans could never compete with the Japanese on price but we certainly could compete with the Italians on engineering and design.

  • jesse closeing down the west coast shop!!!! say it anit so? ive alwas been a big fan of jesse work and alwas will be tell the day i die! when the time came to watch occ or west coast choppers or monster garage i was glued to the tv wacthen jesse and his crazy and sick biker build off.if i’d had a chance to build a bike with jesse i quit work and leave everything behind and go do it! oh well guess that will never happen will it your #1 fan

  • Dave

    Don’t know why his shutting his doors “hit you out of the blue”, when he had announced a month or so earlier that he was moving to Texas to be close to his estranged wife and the kid(s) they had together.

  • Greg

    Good riddance! I wish nothing but poverty and unhappiness on this racist dbag……..

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  • As a ex-GP motorcycle racer, I have generally dispised harleys or anything that looks or underperforms on paved roads. I have raced pupose built racing 125 and 250cc GP bikes in the US, Europe and Japan. But Jesse James motorcylces sparked my interest in artisan motorcycles. He is an artist who produces works of art. His designs are unconventional yet graceful.
    One look at designs like The Radial Engine bike he built demonstrate his genius and just how radical his designs can go. His less radical designs leave me in awe in their compactness and simplicity. The organic look and feel of his designs are obviously the result of hand-worked materials that make me want to own one. His respect for Ducatis and MV Agustas demonstrate his openmindedness and respect for performance oriented manufacturers and designs. I don’t look at his motorcycles as such, rather I look at them no differently than a sculpture.

  • Shovelman

    For Greg, who are you to call Jessie James a racist dbag. He works for a living like alot of people don’t, and hide under the minority banner and are racist exempted. Probably fits your description Jackass!

  • lutherG

    @shovelman: perhaps the phrase “like a lot of people don’t, and hide under the minority banner” might seem ok to you, to the rest of us it sure looks bigoted. As to american sport bikes, I think indian could have become this except for the fact that every owner has tried to reproduce it as the 53 chief which really ran the factory into the ground. The 101 scout,and sport scouts of the 30’s were smoking hot little machines, and with overhead valve kits could match the horsepower produced by the sporters of the 70’s.

    Eric Buell is an amazing egomanic, and his bikes are quite possibly the ugliest on the road.

  • OH I’M SO sorry…I actually thought u were dead…
    New the name, not the face , and I just saw u baggin out pilgrams….m.m.m.m. how funny.
    why cant u play the trumpet? yeah I get IT…
    Who r u…and what else can u do?
    jesse james homemade toolboxes…What colours are they in.
    I have to agree… that bike u designed…ahh..I LIKE IT..
    Im sure This chick was on the radio…(oz) talkin bout u and what u do…u know…If ur the guy resting from s.bullock… she was atellin all about ur…package and how it works… Some hoe bags …I hope u dont give a shit…or did u just set it all up..
    need to make a coffee… wanna check some of those tatts, no I not tryin to tune u…
    Yes… mysterious… you have one of my grand fathers names.
    im not trying to give o.winfrey shit…she does that all by herself…
    Can:t u get a replacement shift…she stay way where she is u come down under give me one of ur custom made tool boxes… that sounds much more feesible than a potential terrorrists attack…

    Where the remote… shes on the right now..

    I should’nt talk to strangers..

  • ray

    you guys all ssuck you dont even know jessee i help put hes figer 8 cars together sandra was eight behind him thats why she went to txas they bouth had houses there out of the bull like you all go jessee and sandea stay happy f cal