The struggle over the "fork length"


1973: Four years have passed since Peter Fonda and Denis Hopper as "Wyatt" and "Billy" dreamed their dream of freedom and adventure. The ideals of the flower-power generation appear to have survived, but not the desire to emulate the two heroes from Easy Rider.

But how can we realise the dream of chopper riding in Germany? It was commonly held to be impossible that a bike with a long fork would ever pass the requirements of the Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV). The resistance and rejection of innovation was too strong amongst the inspectors. They were however motivated not by technical requirements, rather a rejection of the milieu who sought to give expression to their need for freedom. They did not want to help the usually "long-haired, leather-clad bikers" to express their world view.

Whilst countless bikers became resigned and buried their dreams of a "Chopper - Made in Germany," a group of people in Schauenburg, North Hessen, looked seriously for possibilities to realise a home-grown motorbike concept.

Initially, it was necessary to procure the TÜV accreditation for extended fork tubes. What was mocked as a hopeless undertaking, in the end had to be approved by the experts, after the technical requirements had been proven by world-wide recognized inspection agencies. The company "AME," founded in 1973 managed to do so, and paved the way for the implementation of the new Chopper-bike projects.

A start had been made.

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