CHRONICLE

HIS­TORY OF THE DIG­GER

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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.”

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