Paul Sr. here from Orange County Choppers. OCC is a world famous custom bike shop, if you don’t know, I started in 1999. Me and my team of custom fabricators design, engineer and build unique bikes ‘n choppers. Orange County Choppers has been the center of the hit TV reality series American Chopper,​ which started with a bang in September 2002 on the Discovery Channel. As the oldest running reality TV show on Discovery, we continue to entertain millions of people worldwide on a weekly basis.

I'm also hosting a new podcast called Behind the Scenes at OCC. Me and the guys have been digging into decades worth of stories from the show and our lives. We had on Adam Carolla to chat about our time on Celebrity Apprentice, Guy Fieri to talk about when he met me and the crew. We dig into all of our craziest, and dumbest moments from the show. Basically everything they wouldn't let us air. We trash talk everyone from Billy Joel to Steven Tyler, only cuz we love them!

Anyway, Ask me Anything!! here and then go listen to Behind the Scenes at OCC. I’m not scared to say nothin. (Ask Joan!)

Proof: https://twitter.com/OCChoppers/status/1202684484421898253

Comments: 282 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

slapstart191 karma

How do you feel about one the arguments between you and Jr being part of a common meme?

OCChoppersOfficial266 karma

I actually think they are funny

The_all_mighty119 karma

Hey Paul, is there anyway we can get you on joe Rogans podcast?

Also thank you for all the great memories watching your show!!

OCChoppersOfficial155 karma

I would love to be on Joe Rogans podcast. I met him, he was a great guy.

lectroid118 karma

What's your relationship like these days with Junior and Mikey? It was kinda crushing to see you guys become estranged over the course of the show.

OCChoppersOfficial281 karma

Me and Mikey are closer than ever. He works with me every day. Jr and I are good personally just did not do well working together.

Nuroman102 karma

Do you ever wish the show would have been able to stick to showing the process of custom bike design and building, rather than delving into the work, family, and interpersonal relationships?

OCChoppersOfficial209 karma

I do wish it was more about bikes. In real life my passion is bike building. Also we filmed over 200 hours to get one episode, but often only my bad moments were shown.

CircleDog58 karma

Do you think that's had any effect on your or your reputation? Has it made you reflect on yourself differently? It must be hard to see essentially a highlight reel but only of those moments you might want to change.

OCChoppersOfficial163 karma

It actually is hard to watch sometimes and I do think it only gave people a narrow view of me. I am not saying I am always easy by no means, but only showing the bad without showing what lead up to it was hard to watch.

WorriesWhenUpvoted64 karma

What celebrities did you meet and flip your opinion on the most? Perhaps thought you wouldn’t like one that turned out to be cool and vice versa.

OCChoppersOfficial182 karma

I thought Bill Murray was just a funny guy on tv but when I met him he was even funnier in person. He was really just a cool guy. Billy Joel was the opposite. He did not want to have any fun

Do_What_Thou_Wilt61 karma

What's it like, knowing that 95% of the "custom bike" industry is basically still emulating many of the styles and designs you guys put out in the early 2000's ?

There's "classic choppers" and then there's the "O.C.C" style "mega-choppers". That didn't use to be a thing... now it is. Thoughts?

OCChoppersOfficial94 karma

Its flattering, Choppers have been around a long time, its nice to know we had a part in keeping the industry alive.

BreezePosts59 karma

Why are you doing an AMA?

OCChoppersOfficial156 karma

I think it is good for people to get information directly from me

SwisherforFisher52 karma

Hey Paul, I grew up watching you and your family build bikes & am a big fan. Was everything with Jr as bad as the show made it look, or was some of that pumped up for tv/ratings? I saw your response to another comment and it sounds like things are good between you guys now, I'm happy to hear that. Thanks for doing the AMA, wishing you and your family continued success & happiness.

OCChoppersOfficial93 karma

We definitely did not work well together, but I think it is probably really hard for most people to work with their kids. (or parents) There were good times too but in editing, they will take what they think is best for TV. Thanks for the kind words, appreciate it

solancer39 karma

Paul, loved the show growing up.

Me and my own father watched it all the time, it was a moment that i look back fondly on.

Was all the drama real? or was it highly "intensified" by the editing?

I know many hours went into each build and im sure there are some great moments on the cutting room floor.

OCChoppersOfficial72 karma

The footage was real, but you are correct. They film over 200 hours for one episode which is 42 minutes. So when you do the math there is a lot that winds up on the cutting room floor. you can be sure if it had drama

it was kept;-)

Smokin86monte39 karma

Do you think you are going to bike week Daytona 2020? Big fan

OCChoppersOfficial70 karma

We plan on it. I am down in that area a lot these days. thanks for watching all these years

AG24681037 karma

Last I saw the show, you moved into a huge facility. Impressive growth for you and the brand. Are there arenas beyond custom bikes that the company will grow toward? Congrats on all the success

OCChoppersOfficial64 karma

We are doing some restaurant and family entertainment stuff, We have a small museum as well as the shop.

It has been really good at times, and really tough at times. Thanks for the kind words

mccoymade35 karma

You had a hard life before finding success. Despite your past demons you always seemed to be a hard worker. What would you attribute to this strong work ethic? Do you see that work ethic of years past fading in today’s youth as computers and automation take over?

OCChoppersOfficial70 karma

a lot of my success was from being afraid to fail. I only knew one way and that was hard work. I was always told as a kid that I was going to be a failure, so it motivated me to prove I was not. I do see a big decline in today's youth and its scary. People want to come in and work 3 hours but get paid for 8. one thing I learned is if you give people things for free, they expect more of it

v_sho_v34 karma

Have you seen the South Park episode on Harley riders, and if so, what did you think?

OCChoppersOfficial60 karma

I did not but I will look for it

largefarva240434 karma

If you had to a guess a number, how many doors would you say you have smashed on the show? What was your favorite destruction/prank skit?

OCChoppersOfficial85 karma

50 doors for sure. Always love the fun stuff. When the guys from my name is Earl came to visit they were taking a nap in my office and we broke through all doors at same time. the look on their faces was priceless

Earthicus30 karma


OCChoppersOfficial117 karma

always be a defensive rider. take the rider course even if you think you know how to ride.

WolfsLairAbyss26 karma

How do you feel about being a meme?

OCChoppersOfficial53 karma

I think they are pretty cool

TheNewJasonBourne26 karma

Do you think your business grew too fast as a result of the popularity you received from the show?

OCChoppersOfficial54 karma

Yes and it had some serious growing pains. I always tell people be careful what you wish for.

NY1255023 karma

When You and Joan will be having fried spicy tuna roll? Greatly miss you guys :)

OCChoppersOfficial23 karma

we will be in for one soon!

clauge22 karma

Did Rick leave on good terms and do you ever talk to him?

OCChoppersOfficial67 karma

Great terms, he came and helped us with a recent build/show. Great guy I miss him. he was commuting back and forth alot of hours and had a second kid so he got a job close to his home. We still talk and text

polux120 karma

When was the last time you've built a motorcycle by yourself?

OCChoppersOfficial55 karma

about 4 years ago I did one for myself by myself

zapattack32219 karma

Hi Paul. It has been known that you and your son have had some tough times and had a falling out. Recently you two have re-connected and seem to be getting a long well. What was it like to finally have your son back and to work together with him after all those years?

OCChoppersOfficial39 karma

It is great to reconnect. It is better that we don't work together anymore. A project here and there lets us just have fun

rickyroyale16 karma

How awesome was it to be on King of The Hill?

OCChoppersOfficial31 karma

I loved it, one of my favorites

8urfiat14 karma

Has your relationship with Vince gotten any better?

OCChoppersOfficial20 karma

I don't see Vinny at all

OrangeConeMedia13 karma

I've got some great pictures of me, my wife, and you and Paul when you guys unveiled the Dodge Challenger at the Chicago Auto Show press days, and now my office is here at GoDaddy in Tempe where I look at the GoDaddy chopper all day long. How in the world do I go about getting a Paul Sr. autograph already? LOL Love you guys!

OCChoppersOfficial20 karma

Nice, that was a cool bike. Email Joan at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) and we will make sure you get that.

xrsman13 karma

Hey Paul! Always loved the show! I was reading that more filming was happening. Was that for a one time special, or will there be another season?

OCChoppersOfficial24 karma

At the moment it is for a two hour special, we may consider another season to follow

pohlerussell11 karma

I aspire to build my own bike someday, what tips or reference material would you recommend for someone who hasn’t done it before?

OCChoppersOfficial24 karma

there is alot of good info on you tube these days. first you need to figure out what style bike you want

azscorpio1911 karma

What do you want people to know about reality shows?

OCChoppersOfficial41 karma

most are scripted but ours is not;-)

Dan_Biddle10 karma

What was the favourite project you worked on whilst making the show?

OCChoppersOfficial35 karma

There were so many, but I have to say working on the Christmas bike with Mikey was in the top ten for sure

duelingrando9 karma

Outside of the talented builders that have worked at O.C.C. who is your favorite custom bike builder? Indian Larry was always a favorite of mine.

OCChoppersOfficial37 karma

I would have to agree on Indian Larry. I have a great book of all his best builds. Man is a legend and had a great

influence on our industry

jough229 karma

Do you find it weird that Metallica's James Hetfield and you look exactly alike these days?

OCChoppersOfficial25 karma

I wish I was as young as him he has alot more hair than I do

I_Have_Nuclear_Arms9 karma

I have a couple Panhead choppers... I thinks it's a good mix of reliability and aesthetics if you're going to use older technology.

What's your favorite older Harley engine? Have you ever considered going back to more traditional builds given the popularity of older, traditionally built bikes at shows like Born Free?

OCChoppersOfficial32 karma

I would have to say shovelheads. All of my personal bikes are either shovel, pan, knucklehead and one 1937 flathead. All my bikes are traditional choppers. No wide tires or Evo. Our last ten bikes were traditional. For me, I would rather build only traditional.

Eagle20248 karma

Hi Paul, will you and Paul Jr. be building a bike together this season? Also, what are the odds of getting a pic with you if I visit the shop?

OCChoppersOfficial29 karma


We are doing a bike together for a two hour special. if I am in the shop when you come in I would be happy to take a pic

Stemar06106 karma

What’s up Sr. ! My father and I are long time fans! Do you think you’ll ever come down for Bike Week /Biketoberfest again?!


OCChoppersOfficial16 karma

Hey we are in the area a lot, I hope to make it there this year. Thanks for staying with us all these years

Stemar06107 karma

Sounds awesome! Hopefully we will see you there this upcoming year.

Also wanted to say we stopped in at the Caddyshack restaurant in Saint Augustine to see the Caddyshack bike. It was upsetting to see that it looks like they aren’t taking care of it, hasn’t been detailed and had a flat. Tried to reach out to Bill Murray but hadn’t gotten a response. Sick bike that needs to be taken care of.

Looking forward to the 2-hour special in January!


OCChoppersOfficial20 karma

If it was anyone else but Bill Murray it would bother me. I will have to get over there and fix that flat

DragonborReborn6 karma

What’s your favorite Dinosaur?

OCChoppersOfficial13 karma

Snorkassaurus AKA Dino

RedEd895 karma

You always seemed to get more pleasure out of putting up railings than you did bikes. Appreciate OCC had the TV show and huge amounts of success but do you ever wish you just to stuck to putting up railings?

OCChoppersOfficial23 karma

I always loved it and still do. I put some in for a friend last week. Tough question because I also always loved cars and bikes. It was for sure a simpler life

mostly_unhappy5 karma

Hey Paul! Im a huge fan of the bikes that you and your son have built over the years and I loved the show. My question is this. Over the years, the "chopper" style bike rapidly declined in popularity for bike builders and owners and, in my opinion at least, almost "overnight" was replaced with the "big wheel baggers" that you commonly see out on the road today. Did this transform the way your company did buisness at all? Did your sales decline in the custom bike market? And lastly, does OCC build any custom baggers today? I feel like when your show came back on air after its departure for a while, the interest in the bikes that were being built just wasnt there as much.

Anyway, love the show and all that OCC has been a part of over the years and I hope you continue to do what you do.

OCChoppersOfficial19 karma

Hey baggers are cool, just not my style. Choppers never really go away. The bike industry took a hit across the board for a while but has really picked back up. Thanks for watching all these years

azscorpio195 karma

What tips would you give for someone who wants to learn how to ride but has only ever been a passenger?

OCChoppersOfficial16 karma

I always recommend that you take the rider safety course, it is well worth it.

Trooper19114 karma

Hey Paul Sr.

Was a big fan of your show as a kid (and still am), which made me purchase the American Choppers video game as soon as I saw it on the shelves. Did you ever have a chance to play the videogame before it released? I was hugely disappointed by the game, since I thought the potential (building and riding custom bikes) was HUGE at the time.

OCChoppersOfficial17 karma

Thanks for staying a fan. I did not ever get to play that game. sorry to hear it was not good. maybe we should work on a new one.

stercrazy743 karma

Out of all the themed bikes you ever built, which are your top three favorites?

OCChoppersOfficial12 karma


Christmas bike

Fire bike

Hallucion3 karma

I watched all the OCC episodes when it was on Discovery.

Why did you argue with you son so much?

OCChoppersOfficial10 karma

we have different work ethics. it is hard to work with anyone who does not share your values. there were good times to they just did not make the show,

tucker_frump2 karma

What Up Paul! I don't get out like I used to, shit Bro, I'm gettin old and the last time i was out, by the time I hit three hundred miles on a 600 mile round trip putt. I'm ready to camp, lol. You know I'm gonna catch hell for this, but... I realize if you're going cross country we'll you put in what you can. Anyway, How far do you still feel is a reasonable day's scoot for OMF's?

Safe travels Amigo!

OCChoppersOfficial15 karma

I think 300 miles is a good day. As we get older we realize its not about the destination it's about the ride

gbimmer2 karma

I was always a fan of your work though I'm personally into 4 wheels more than 2 myself (mainly because I know me and I know I don't want to become a giant red smear at 120 mph...).

One thing I've always wondered about these types of shows: just how much is scripted? Do the producers create situations that cause drama? Did the pull that shit with you guys? If so did that contribute to the strain between you and Jr?

Oh and because fellow gear heads like seeing what each other are working on here's my current project:

Project car progress https://imgur.com/gallery/QACnzqL

(It's getting a 9" rear, 4-link, and a 500hp coyote)

Ok. So I showed you mine. What's your current personal project?

PS: my wife wants me to build her a bike. I'm thinking cafe racer for her (120 lbs, 5'4"...) Any advice on what to start with as a cheap base?

OCChoppersOfficial11 karma

I love the early style muscle car. 68 was a good year for Mustang. good luck with it. I think you are better off with a small bobber style

thedudeintx822 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA. Big fan of you guys up there.

I was wondering if there was some little known metal fab technique that is your favorite that people should look into?

Hope your doing well and wish you continued success.

OCChoppersOfficial9 karma

stick welding is my fav

HobbitFoot2 karma

What would you make if it had to be stationary?

OCChoppersOfficial15 karma

wrought iron railings:-)

clauge1 karma

Have you guys ever built a dirt bike?

OCChoppersOfficial10 karma

Not a real dirt bike, the closest we came was for Gander mountain

Paradoxmoose1 karma

What would you say was the biggest difference between reality and what ended up being presented on the show?

OCChoppersOfficial7 karma

It was all real, it was just what made the show, They film over 200 hours for an episode but only 42 minutes make the cut. What that means is you could have 199 hours of good times and great bike building but the bad times and heated arguments might be the only thing anyone sees.

Paradoxmoose1 karma

Hey Paul Sr., what grinds your gears these days? It's been a while since I got to see your pet peeves on TV!

OCChoppersOfficial9 karma

I would have to say that has not changed much. Not working and expecting to get paid still bothers me. Love people who want to work for what they get. Thanks for watching

neildmaster1 karma

So, are you and Jr not working together? If so, is your mental health better now?

OCChoppersOfficial16 karma

We do not work together and both our relationship and mental health is better. we just do a few projects together its better that way

socalking191 karma

Hey Senior! Just wanted to say hi and want to thank you for being an inspiration to a whole new generation of bike builders! Been watching the show since day one and can’t wait for more awesome episodes! Hopefully all is well with you and the family! A huge shoutout would be the best thing ever! Also if there was one person you would love to build a bike for who would that be?

OCChoppersOfficial10 karma

If I would have had the opportunity to build a bike for Dennis Hopper it would have been my dream. since he passed my next choice would be for ZZ top. Thanks for the kind words I appreciate it

socalking193 karma

Dennis hopper was a legend! A taildragger inspired caddy bike would be perfect for billy gibbons! Thank you very much for the reply! Do you think Mikey would do an ama next?

OCChoppersOfficial6 karma

I will have Mikey do the next one with me, we still work together and it would be a lot of fun

Claudethemutefromgta1 karma

Hey Paul, do you ever wish Jesse James was your son instead of Paul jr.?

OCChoppersOfficial19 karma

Family is family and you love them. Jesse James is an amazing craftsman

jncc-8 karma

Do you think that shows like OCC contribute to making America dumber?

OCChoppersOfficial12 karma

I think it lets people see what really goes into a build, it shows the struggles of hard work and building a business, and it shows that working with family is not easy