Biker Build Off is Back: Jesse James and the Teutuls Tonight on Discovery

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December 5, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

Remember when there were “Biker Build Off’s” on TV, when you would flip on the Discovery Channel and see a build off, Motorcycle Mania documentary or Monster Garage episode?

Most of those shows became watered-down dramas, featuring posers on 300 tire, 10-foot-long, solid-chrome choppers, with every Tom, Dick and Harry claiming they were a “builder.” Then the economy took a nosedive and in doing seems to have flushed out most of that nonsense with it. A good portion of the builders that remain have relied on their innovation and skills to create parts for the common man to use on an actual motorcycle on the road — not some billet-laden chrome turd that barely turns a wheel.

All this brings us to tonight where the Discovery Channel is bringing together three giants in the motorcycle fabrication field for the mother of all build-offs. Paul Teutul Sr., Paul Teutul Jr. and Jesse James will square off at 9 p.m. Eastern & Pacific Time, revealing their builds at the end of the show. Then you vote for the winner. That winner will be announced live at 9 Tuesday night on Discovery in the second segment.

Called American Chopper Live: The Build-Off, these back-to-back shows should attract a lot of attention from motorcycle riders and those who just like to watch. The Teutuls built an empire with Orange County Choppers, but when Paul Jr. left OCC (some speculation still points to a staged split), the show lost some of its ardor. Nonetheless, it is still awkwardly rolling along.

Meanwhile, Jesse James, the man who in my opinion started all this craziness with bikers on mainstream TV, is diving back into the bike-building spotlight. Arlen Ness may be the godfather of custom bikes, but Jesse James brought them into millions of American living rooms. After 100 episodes of Monster Garage, a couple of Motorcycle Mania documentaries and West Coast Choppers establishing itself as the benchmark for custom motorcycle shops, Mr. James become famous for things other than his fabrication skills.

He became a source of content for tabloids and websites across the country, with the focus being on his relationships. I never understood that. Personally, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass who Jesse James dates, or dumps. None of my business. I’m a fan of Jesse James because, to me, he represented the American dream. He built his empire with his own hands. He propelled himself to the top of his industry, self-taught, self-made.

After his torrid tabloid whirlwind, he pulled back from the public eye, wrote American Outlaw (it’s a good read — you should pick it up) and continued to hone his skills. He even went to Israel on a blacksmith apprenticeship. Mr. James closed up WCC and moved to Texas, setting up shop on his property.

I don’t really care who wins this televised competition because it really doesn’t matter. But I do think this is good for the motorcycle industry. Things are kinda boring in this industry right now, and this should spice it up. The Teutuls have remained fairly quiet about the competition to date, but Mr. James has not. Jesse has never been one to mince words and on a roll now, calling into question the abilities of the “cake decorators” and referencing their bikes as “shitty products.”

Discovery has put out a series of videos that document this epic smack talk, and Cyril Huze has a good interview with Jesse on his blog. For myself, I’m just not a big fan of the bike the Teutuls build. My preferences lean more toward functionality and soul in a motorcycle. And that pretty much discards the themed rolling clichés that come out of the shops in Orange County, N.Y.

I’m willing to bet that the general viewing public will probably be swayed by the whiz-bang gadgetry, the giant tires and TVs inserted in gas tanks that keeps people buying the OCC keychains from the gas stations. It doesn’t matter. Like I said, I don’t care who wins. I just want to see some bad-ass bikes. And welcome back Mr. James, I hope you’re here to stay a while.

Photos courtesy of the Discovery Channel.

Comments: 34 Comments | Categorized Under: Paul Jr. Designs

Comments (34)

Oh its a fantastic show. I have seen glimpse of it on YouTube its quiet interesting.

Think they should drive them to the show or to the destination No Trailer Queens!

Jesse James – The bike he built in the first build off was one of the coolest most functional bikes. Every biker wants one. No one builds them like he does.
Keep building with your Heart Jesse
Not for the cameras. You should have won both build offs.

Of course a chopper must look good to be a winner, but more important is the ride. Safety in how it handles, along with performance and reliability should be the most important factors. These bikes shouldn’t be judged by anyone who hasn’t riden the machine on different road conditions and in traffic.

I think thats bs that jessica james the cry baby gets more time and sr as well. They all agread to six weeks. They still couldnt win with the crap they built

Jesse you fabricate beautiful bikes and my eyes that’s how we d that’s how we do it but r but remember 1 thing never s*** cu cuz karma is a b*** God God bless goo good luck

i dare winner of show to fill your bike up same time as me and i will do 100 mile on full tank , yes it is a motorbike jess was only bike on show the rest were no more than a one of show bike . sorry did i say bike the only thing i saw . when is the last time jr got his hands dirty ha,,ha,, the truth is u s a . ocp and jr i do not think of motobikes but a waist of time jess is abike builder like / indan larry true bikers and builder

A bike is made to ride and Jessie’s was the only one i would even think about getting on. They should throw Sr. off the air for building that whatever it was. It was a total disgrace to the biker world and i think Jessie said it best when he pointed out that that is not a bike

All i give a sh** about is geting my next bike up its all tv bullsh** bikes are built on back pourches the old ladys kitcken and living rooms all over the usa thems the real deal to me

Thanks for the insight. It brngis light into the dark!

Garvin, you’re as warped as Jesse – if your attitude represents what the sport of motorcycling really is then all this J&P catalog crap is not worth my time. I’ve had motorcycles for over 45 years and see nothing impressive in Jesse’s arrogant and vulgar rants, guess that’s how you bad ass bikers like to live. I’m from Iowa and grew up near Anamosa and I am too old to think he deserves any respect period – some talent but all mouth. Engineering wise his bikes suck. The Monster Garage output was crap. Poor Jesse is missing the camera $, maybe your article will incite a few more derelicts to bitch about PJD.

Put all three in there own shops ,give them a pile of tools and metal and see who can build a bike.

The next time I hear someone say Jesse James builds from scratch I am going to punch them. What a joke. The guy built nothing more than what the other guys built. He also built a bike that was your standard custome motorcycle. I liked the bike but when you are building for a T.V. show for looks, not rideability, then you need to build something for it. James bike was average at best in the customer world. He also had a whole crew of people helping him, Just like the other guys did. Not quite sure why people are buying into this guy. He is a scumbag and his customer bikes are average. Way better builders than all 3 of them. At least Jr. Showed up and built a really nice looking bike.

Jessie was the only bike that you could ride for any distance. Sr so called bike was a yard toy, Jr bike is only for looks! Lets be real RIDE TO LIVE/LIVE TO RIDE. THATS WHAT its all about riding so I my book Jessie is the winner……….

OOps… fell asleep. I realize that shows like this keep motorcycles in the news and help generate interest in our sport, however, and applaud the sponsors and advertizers who contributed.

YES I DID LIKE THE WINNER. SR DIDNOT HAVE A BIKE. JESSE WAS TO OLD SCHOOL. WHAT I LIKED THE MOST WAS SR AND JR HUG EACH OTHER. MAYBE THIS MAY GET THEM BACK. NOT IN THE SAME SHOP BUT TALKING. AT LESS I HOPE SO LIFE IS TO SHORT TO BE MAD.

The Show is called “American Chopper” .. Subtitled “the build off”. Of course the Teutul’s are gonna win! Paul Sr. disqualified himself so Jr. took the win. James should thank these guys– cause no one else cares for the loud mouth ignorant sound clips from this thug. I like his bike– but if it rolled down the road, I wouldn’t take two looks at it. He’s made this bike 100 times before.

If you build a bike in which you have to lean to one side just in order to see in front of you because your front fork is so f*ckin tall it’s a fail. That’s a show bike. You’re not gonna ride it very far. Jr looks like he went a little overboard with the way his bike looks but out of all 3 that’s the only one you can really ride for any distance.

What type of rim did jesse james use on his biker build off bike?

I think that Paul SR should be eliminated! He didnt even build a bike. It is a cool looking machinge but its not a bike. PAUL SENIOR WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!!

i think jr the only one with brains his old man aint got a clue brain dead. he should of said I hope my son wins. what a jerk and jesse is just an ass hole. he thinks hes the shit hes agood builder but wrong attude he needs to grow up!

thanks for sharing your work. I can say that I’m a new person when it comes on bikes and motorcycle, and I really love my brand new one. Now I’m planning to buy a motorcycle helmet can somebody help where to but and what is the best?

Sr. should be competing in a snowmobile build off so it comes down to Jesse and Jr. I love choppers and Jesse built a great bike and the most practical one to ride across the country. Jr built a beautiful bike but got into the thyme building once again. His bike is an eye stopper but not a practical bike to ride. Sr. didn’t disappoint anyone with his none stop yapping and putting his son down which in my books makes him despicable. Jesse says it‘s not about winning it‘s about him loving his bike but I have to call him on that.. I’m not a Jesse James fan and for sure not a Sr. fan but I am a Jr. Fan. With that I would pick Jesse’s bike as the winner. .

Wow The old man didn’t build a bike, Jrs has too much crap on it and Jessies Bike was a big let down. Hey Jessie where did all that help come from? The only thing I liked about the whole show was Jrs Tank. Jrs metalman is Awesome!

It’s funny how Jesse critizes Jr & Sr.but he help create this whole biker-build-for-tv genre! I agree that some of those bikes from OCC & PJD are not pratical but if they generic bikes OCC, PJD or even Jesse would not have a show! The best builder in my mind was Indian Joe from Brooklyn..period. Jesse keeps on with the insults, ok I get it, ‘ur da real deal’ and those other kats are ‘cake decorators’. Where do I genuflect now, all hale Jessi James.geez

Jesse is the only one that is building a bike somebody can ride or would want to.

Paul jr,will win the build off.it’s time for him to get the respect.jessie is a jerk and he will come in last

i agree with you kacy 100 percent 1.paul jr 2.gas monkey 3. paul sr 4. dickhead james

I myself thought the OCC show was a bunch of BS drama. if Sr. came bellowing at me as I was working he’d probably have gotten a hammer or wrench between the eyes! I didn’t mind the actual mechanics & Mikey WAS funny, then again I haven’t seen any of their shows in almost 5 years now since I dumped my satellite dish.
I’ve always liked Jesse James’ bikes & shows. I think he is an inspiration to many younger do it yourselfers & hope-to-be-builders. I don’t blame him for most of the “drama” that make a “reality” show & think it was late in dumping Monster Garage, even though I loved the show. I also think his personal life is “his” own, I don’t know what is going on at home, but as I said it’s his not mine.

I WAS looking forward to the build off until JJ decided on the theme. Okay so he failed with Kat and has”switched” sides. But to try to turn on the teutuls with naked cakes??? He really needs to keeps his sexual preferences to himself. Unless he is trying to get a Cable gig on a new show called ” The *** *******” Why go teutul when you can go pretty.Whats next powder puff biker build offs?

I will be watching tonight although I think Jessie is a Jerk He will probably win. Indian Larry is Gone He is the Best ! Billy Is in Prison. in my oppinion the best one left is Trevelene Rabanal!

if i were going to ride a bike i would much rather ride a bike from paul jr’s shop it has way more of an eye appeal than that ugly piece of shit that jesse is gonna try to put out it looks like a glorified crotch rocket not a harley paul jr wins again hands down and if jesse wins he shouldnt be proud he had to take twice as long

I completely agree, I remember thinking when the Tuttles fist started, they did nothing but order parts and assemble them. Hell back in the 70′s I did that and took it a step further doing my own paint something they have never done. I don’t consider myself a high level custom bike builder for doing what almost all bike owners do at one point or another. Mr. James has been building from scratch for as long as I can remember frames, wheels, tanks, etc. etc.
About the only things he buys is the motor and tires, and yet builds something that is useable, hell most of the young Tuttles stuff isn’t even street legal, flashy comic book stuff, built my others in his shop, and not useable. They all have lots of personal baggage, but the show is about the bikes or should be

Pat, I believe you summed it up! Like you, I’m not a fan of the stuff coming out of the NY drama club. I watched a couple episodes when it first started, but have not had any interest since. Jesse is a great fabricator, and somehow his ‘cake humor’ was lost on the NY guys. I don’t care who wins either, but I’ll watch if nothing else is on, and proveded I’m not already falling asleep.

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