HISTORY OF THE DIGGER
What is damn true is that by 1976 magazines like Street Chopper had more and more fully realized digger bikes on their covers. Very long and low, digger chops were svelte, with coffin or prism gas tanks teamed with girder front ends, wild paint, and, in many instances, lots of engraving on the cases and rocker covers. Combined with superchargers, turbo kits, racing carburetors, and motors foreign and domestic, these were the collective symptoms of digger fever. To get the long and low look for the digger, they were usually built with low gooseneck frames and would have a big rake to the fork. The frames also had chopped backbones so that they could be lengthened for the long look. Lastly, there’s that curious name: digger. Back then, the dragsters that inspired these bikes were also called diggers.
Although the digger era faded out by the mid-1980s as riders turned toward fatter bikes, the digger influence never truly went away. Look closely at a pro street chopper and you’ll still see a little bit of its digger ancestors in it. HB
“ALTHOUGH THE DIGGER ERA FADED OUT BY THE MID1980S AS RIDERS TURNED TOWARD FATTER BIKES, THE DIGGER INFLUENCE NEVER TRULY WENT AWAY.”