Chopper Kultcha

courtesanchopper11courtesanchopper2courtesanchopper3    A shop named (phonetic pronunciation of word Culture in a British accent), located in Abu Dhabi (it’s in UAE, or United Arab Emirates), managed by a custom builder whose name is  Mario Kyprianides (it’s Greek Cypriot), wo is amazing bike show judges in Europe with a bike called “Courtesan” (who you can almost describe as a high class “hooker” to serve Kings), is worth some explanation. Mario grew up  in the south of the UK, followed his parents who immigrated to the UAE in the late 70s chasing good and easy money, came back to the UK to study and graduate, then settled again in Abu Dhabi…He is a 3rd generation builder, his grand dad in the 50s buying a lot of military bikes (Harley, Indian, BSA etc) and converting them to civilian models. His father continued the tradition and little Mario got the bug around the age of 8 as soon as he succeeded fixing and riding his first moped. Well the rest of the story is more typical of what you hear about many builders. A few friends asked him to tinker with their bikes, and since he was very good at it many friends and accessorized bikes later he entered the bike building business…

courtesanchopper4And Mario to mention to me that contrary to the stereotype, rich Sheiks (I know, it’s a pleonasm) are not the only ones to buy high end custom motorcycles, but also a lot of expatriates making very good money in UAE (almost always the reason why they move there). Back to the “Courtesan” name, Mario told me “I decided to use this name  because I wanted to build an old school type bike but at the same time very sophisticated in its own way. A Courtesan was intellectual and seductive so I believe one goes with the other hand in hand. I found an old brothel coin in Deadwood a few years ago, which i placed in the center of the hand shifter. On the coin there is the writing “Good for all night”. Coutersan is based on a modified 93″ Shovel motor (S&S cylinders and balancing, STD flywheels, BB Racing connecting rods) fitted with copper oil lines and cradled in a Maximum Metalworks frame massaged to Mario’s taste with wishbone down tubes and goose neck, supposedly also a very popular look in the UAE .

courtesanchopper5The “Brass Winged” effect is the main design line all over the bike and you can notice some nice details like the fuel port hole at the bottom of the gas tank, the under transmission oil bag and the tricky exhaust. For the rest this “Courtesan” is dressed with some of the best parts of the industry like RRW wheels (21″ front, 18″ rear) slowed by 4-piston HHI brakes, Metzeler tires (90/90 front, 200/50 rear), a 2″ Tech Cycle primary drive with Bandit clutch, Italian Kustom Tech foot controls, a Fab Kevin taillight, an air ride spring seat from Paul Cox upholstered by Duane Ballard, etc.

Mario Kyprianides travels quite a bit to the US when he is done with collecting gold trophies in Europe major shows (see the  of Mario receiving his most recent 1st place trophy at Harley-Davidson European Bike Week in Austria). So, you may see “Courtesan” up-close in February in Cincinnati at the Dealers Expo or March during Daytona Bike Week. 

13 Responses to “Chopper Kultcha”

  1. 1 Oct 26th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Indian Larry Lives on alive and well, or at least his designs do.

    Steve Carr

  2. 2 Oct 26th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    saw this fetured in back street heroes mag a few months back
    lovely bike.i realy like it
    indian larry style for sure.

  3. 3 Brandon Oct 26th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Pretty good but too much influence from other builders. Nice finishing touches.

  4. 4 Pole Oct 27th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    I saw this scooter on Custom Chrome show in Germany and love it since.
    Amazing details: hot and cold water faucet knobs on top of the springs, split rocker box covers, brass piping, tank and fender bolted with butterfly nuts like old barrel , whole mill done with 12 point stainless bolts, some pieces like spoke nipples – gold plated (!), bullseye fuel gauge, Courtesan pattern in leather of seat and painted on primary belt, just to recall few from memory.
    Top quality of paint, plating and finishing.

    What I like most – it is a real RIDE, not an art job with two wheels, half engine and half gallon tank (no offense to anybody). In the crowd of motorcyclelike sculptures, non rideable things which look like their place is in art gallery not on the road, this one is unique, beautiful creation, but real bike the same time.

    Mario – respect!

  5. 5 Oct 27th, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Sure larry stuff…..and repeative….seen similar bikes before…..but quality seems to be good.

  6. 6 Oct 27th, 2009 at 5:42 am

    I saw the bike the first time at the AMD Show an was very impressed of the metal work an the fine finishing. I am very glad, to be the photographer of this real riding bike.
    Please…. more of this cool stuff

  7. 7 JefR Oct 27th, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Some great work from Mario!

    First of all I’d like to point out that I can’t say that “Courtesan” is really my sort of bike (I prefer more drag inspired and back to basics styling with zero chrome and satin black paint – you get he picture) so my comments are purely based on the quality and practicality of the bike.

    The attention to detail here is spot on – it’s the little finishing touches that set it off as well as the quality of plating, paintwork and engineering in general. I’ve not seen “Courtesan” other than in BSH and on the web but I think that the fnishing touches and quality would be even more apparant up close.

    From what I can tell, and as Pole also mentioned, it’s not just a piece of art, it’s a real bike that can be ridden in a practical (relatively – it’s a chop remember) way. I guess more practical in the UAE than the UK but well and truely ridable anywhere. I hope to see a whole lot more coming from Mario and out of Chopper Kulture in the future…!

  8. 8 Oct 27th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    This is an incredible bike. Mario does nothing but first class work. I was happy to be a small part of this project and am looking forward to working with him again.

  9. 9 Bigalyts Oct 27th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Line and Top Shelf. He probably Built it for a Client, not on Spec ! But, who knows how much Denero’s?

  10. 10 nicker Oct 28th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Gotta love that classic paint job.

    From a fading memory…….. very reminiscent of Art Himsil


  11. 11 Oct 29th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Hey! Great job, Mario and congratulations on your win at the H-D European Bike Week!! We at CCI are very proud to have been able to include photos of this award winner in the Jammer section of our 2009 Summer Update…true Jammer style. Keep up the great work; can’t wait to see your next creation!!

  12. 12 Hexe Nov 3rd, 2009 at 2:17 am

    I met the builder of the Courtesan at the European Bike Week and was really impressed of all the technical details of the bike. The style and the finish is perfect and you can really make advanced trips with the bike as Mario showed us in the Austrian mountains. Great work, Mario!

  13. 13 Nov 4th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Congratulations, Mario – on a bike well done. Not only a very cool bike, but I wonder if anyone realizes how much more difficult it is to be doing this kind of work where you are doing it? Much more difficult to communicate with other builders and vendors, and virtually zero local resources either. Looking forward to seeing your next bike.

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