'American Chopper' father-son bike builders will never work together again, son says
LOS ANGELES – A year ago “American Chopper” star Paul Teutul, Jr. earned the title of ultimate bike builder by winning the first ever “American Chopper Live” competition in Las Vegas.
This year his dad, bike builder Paul Teutul Sr., wants revenge. Junior says that's fine with him, as the two will not be building bikes together ever again.
“I think things are better than they have been in the past, but not where they could be,” Teutel Jr. told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “I think we’ve ended up with the idea that we can’t do business together. Ever. Hopefully things get back on track with that in mind. In business, we have little hope for a relationship.”
But it’s not just father and son going up against each other in this year's “American Chopper Live,” which premiered Monday night. Bad boy (we're talking really bad) and “Outlaw Garage” star Jesse James is putting his skills to the test in the live competition. Teutel Sr. for his part insists Jesse isn't that bad a guy.
“I really got to know Jesse at the ‘Biker Build-Off’ last year and we hit it off right away," he said. “We were a lot alike. We like our privacy, we both love cars and motorcycles. He’s a real deal guy and it worked out very well. He recently built me a car on his show – it’s a good relationship.”
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Yet despite the long-standing show’s success, Teutel Jr. said the stereotypes about biker culture are hard to kick.
“There’s always a misconception about the motorcycle community, I think the stigma still exists but I think our show has helped that quite a bit. I think it has opened people’s minds to say, ‘Hey these are just regular people.’ I love design, I love motorcycles but I am just your regular guy,” he insisted. “We’ve also taken bikes and applied themes that are for corporations, charities as well as individuals, celebrities, and athletes. You don’t have to love motorcycles to love what we are doing.”
And while “American Choppers,” which started simply as a documentary a decade ago, has provided Teutel Jr. and his dad with a prominent platform, he warned aspiring reality stars to be careful what they wish for.
“We’ve had a great time, but it has been rough. There has been a great opportunity there but have seen shows in years past that there are pitfalls to, so I guess you have to measure and see what it is that you want out of it and make sure it doesn’t get away from you,” he added. “Especially today. Reality television 10 years ago, there was not much on in the genre unless you were winning something. One of the cool things is that we inadvertently created a whole genre of television. We didn’t know what we had until people started to appreciate it, we thought people would think we were crazy. But it was just the opposite.”
Part 2 of the “American Chopper” special airs on the Discovery Channel on Tuesday at 9pm ET.
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.