Bizarre Bikes is a segment that looks into an unusual motorbike to see how it was created. Customised machines are a common sight in the industry and they can come in a range of shapes and sizes. One of the weirdest is the Omega Chopper, created by Finnish designer Itso Katavuopio. The bike brings together Finnish mythology with an unconventional body.
Death and rebirth
The Omega Chopper was designed for the custom Scandinavian motorbike scene and Katavuopio based it on his homeland experiences. The frame was made out of hydraulic tubing and covered by handmade 1.5 mm sheet metal. First shaped on a Pullmax, the sheet metal was finished off by being hammered into shape. The frame and fuel tank were moulded with lead. The Omega Chopper possessed a 600 cc 741 Indian engine, Harley-Davidson M-18 Linkert carburettor and a Wico magneto.
As Katavuopio was a silversmith, he had experience of working on finer details. This could be seen in the Flying Eyeball headlight that took nearly 100 hours to finish. Many of the bike’s finer details symbolise death and rebirth, due to the old Finnish custom of warding off evil spirits. For example, there’s an hourglass component that’s meant to represent time running out. There’s also a cross and omega symbol on the frame to symbolise rebirth.
The past meets the present
The connection to death can also be seen in the overall design. The Omega Chopper had an ornate appearance linked to old horse-drawn hearses that can still be found in some small towns in Finland.
Katavuopio described the process. “A lot of the shapes come from old hearse wagons, and there are lots of symbols of death on the bike: hourglass, omega, cross and so on. But there are also symbols of rebirth. I have tried to make the bike timeless, so that it could be ridden in the future, past or present…There is also a bit of humour that might be difficult to find, but it’s typical for us Finns. Life is not so serious after all. A bike is one way to try to understand life and death.”
The Omega Chopper is certainly a unique motorbike that can be admired for its artistic design.
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