• Paul Teutul Jr. left Orange County Choppers in 2008 after a heated argument with his father
• Paul Jr. opened his own bike-building business, Paul Jr Designs, in 2009
• Paul Jr. opened a new shop in Ship Bottom, New Jersey in October 2022
• Paul Jr. collaborated with German bicycle manufacturer Ruff Cycles to create the PJD Electric in 2021
• Paul Jr. released his memoir "The Build" in 2017 and reconciled with his father in 2018
It’s been a while since the Teutul family conquered reality TV with their “American Chopper” series and all the spin-offs which came afterwards. Nonetheless, while the family was once famous for being prone to trouble, drama and legal issues, they nowadays maintain a considerably more toned-down public life.
The best example of the latter is Paul Teutul Jr, who after stepping away from the family’s business more than a decade ago, has done a good job at setting up his own bike-building company, expanding it and making it profitable.
So what’s going on with Paul Jr.’s business nowadays? Did he open another shop beside his old one in New York City, and what other interesting deals and collaborations has Jr done in the industry? Stay here to know all the whereabouts of Paul Jr Designs!
Did Paul Jr. Open a New Shop?
Those who have been following Paul Jr know that he’s been doing very well business-wise in recent years. After opening its doors in 2009, his firm Paul Jr Designs had been working on a wide variety of bike building and customizing projects from Montgomery-based headquarters in Orange County, New York State.
That being said, the business finally stepped up its game by establishing a new shop in Ship Bottom, New Beach Island in New Jersey. The project was first announced by Paul Jr himself during a January 2021 interview with TheSandpaper.net, but took him and his team over a year to finish renovations to the space, a period throughout which he made it clear that he wasn’t leaving his Montgomery shop, but leaving the space as a working garage only.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey space would serve as a showroom for his creations and also as part of the extension of Jr’s family project, which included having moved to Long Beach in 2020, and establishing his wife Rachael’s boutique shop just next door. Building two apartments over the businesses’ building was also part of the family’s plans, though it’s unclear if this project has yet been taken to completion.
The Paul Jr Designs Ship Bottom-based shop was finally opened in October 2022, making it clear that business always looks great for Paul Jr., regardless of its location.
What Is PJD-E Electric?
Although Paul Jr Designs mainly focuses on customizing bikes including choppers, the company doesn’t refrain from trying risky but surely exciting projects, such as their e-bike project, in collaboration with the German bicycle manufacturer Ruff Cycles.
The latter has been barely more than a decade in the business, but has produced a wide variety of motor propulsion bikes perfect for those looking for something different. Their astonishing designs and technology-filled creations took the attention of Paul Jr., with whom they launched the PJD Electric project by fusing what both parts do best.
After being amazed by the work done at Ruff Cycles, in late 2020 Paul Jr. came up with the idea of building an electric bicycle inspired by his Build-Off Bike, known by “American Choppers” fans for being featured in the 2012 special episode “Chopper Live: The Revenge”. Ruff Cycles’ owner Petar Desnica immediately accepted the proposed project, and less than six months later, the PJD Electric was a reality.
I'm super excited to reveal the PJD-E electric bicycle, in an amazing coordinated effort with German eBike brand @RUFF_CYCLES. As you can see, I took inspiration from my #AmericanChopper Chopper Build Off 2 Bike.
— Paul Jr (@WhereIsPaulJr) March 25, 2021
As Paul Jr affirmed in the project’s video, the team dynamic between the companies was more than compelling, and turned out to be what he wanted: ‘this is a perfect example of German engineering meets American innovation and creativity’, he affirmed.
The project was officially launched in April 2021, and pre-orders for PJD Electric are still open on the brand’s website.
In early 2020, Paul Jr launched The Next American Innovator, a contest which focused on awarding and uplifting unknown talented bike designers and builders throughout the US. According to Paul Jr., the competition meant to show his gratitude to his industry and the opportunities it brought him in his beginnings, paying it back by offering other creators a platform to showcase their talents as well: ‘My ultimate goal is to provide these incredibly talented men and women with not only an outlet, but a platform on which to be celebrated and get the respect they deserve’, he told on a press release.
Eight contestants were selected for their talent, creativity and skills at innovating in the motorcycle industry, and proceeded to be featured on the project’s social media to bring them visibility. Two winners were selected through online voting, and each received a bike built by the Texas-based Chapman’s Paris Honda Yamaha company.
Besides having Paul Jr. as its head judge, there were other authoritative voices such as the motorcycle expert Freddy Brewer, builder and former “American Chopper” cast member Vicent DiMartino, motorhead and extreme sports YouTuber Adam Sandoval, along with racers, mechanics and journalists Ari Henning and Zack Courts, were of big help while offering contestants valuable and practical feedback during the competition.
Did Paul Jr. Collaborate With His Father?
Those who have been following the Teutul family for enough time, are well aware that the situation between Paul Jr. and Sr. was often not the best. From arguments caught on cameras to a gruesome legal battle off-air, there was a time when many thought that the relationship between father and son was too broken to be fixed.
Although the negative assumptions about both Pauls’ were admittedly on point for a long time, they eventually reconciled and worked together again for a brief time. Their collaboration was featured in the July 2020 two-hour long special episode “The Last Ride”, as they designed and built a bike for the ABC Supply Company.
Given that the old Orange County Choppers headquarters located in Montgomery were soon to be demolished, Paul Jr deemed it as an opportunity to work together again for one last time. However, not being in the same fabrication room for over a decade made their dynamics quite complicated, but in the end, they made the ABC Supply Company bike a reality, on top of having a memorable father-son moment for the first time in so long.
Than in 2021, Paul Sr. moved his business from New York State to Clearwater, Florida, where he also established the chopper-themed restaurant OCC Road House & Museum.
What Happened To The Show?
It’s been a while since the last time we saw new “American Chopper” episodes airing, but there’s a good reason for that. The original show premiered in 2002 and was a total success for featuring stunning and highly skilled bike builds and customizations.
However, while the Orange County Choppers’ staff was talented and hard-working, to say the least, many times the drama and personal issues going on between the cast overshadowed the work done in the garage. That situation came to its lowest point in late 2008, when Paul Jr. was fired by Paul Sr. in front of cameras after an ugly argument ensued between them. The original “American Chopper” saw its end not long after, and aired its sixth and last season in February 2010.
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Later in August that year, the spin-off “Senior vs. Junior” premiered, and showcased the activities of Paul Sr’s Orange County Choppers and Paul Jr.’s then newly-founded company Paul Jr Designs, as the men were unable to work together. The show lasted two years on air before its cancellation at the end of its fourth season. Another spin-off series “Orange County Choppers” aired from 2013 to 2014, but only featured Paul Sr and his business.
Although at some point it seemed that the show would no longer return, until the original series was revived for two seasons, aired from 2018 to 2019. The last time we saw the Teutuls on screen was back in 2020, with the special “The Last Ride”.
Did Paul Jr. Write A Book?
Paul Jr.’s creativity isn’t limited to bikes only, but extends to writing as well. That’s why in 2017 he released his memoir “The Build: Designing My Life of Choppers, Family, and Faith”, in which he recalls the most relevant stories about his career, building a business on his own, and his rough relationship with his father.
The latter was a touchy subject for Paul Jr., but as he admitted himself, it was an aspect necessary in his way to retelling his story and keeping it as real as possible: ‘The arguments, shouting matches, door slamming, and wall punching were no different from my life growing up with my father’, as read in a book excerpt posted by the website Design By Joyce.
As he recalled in the book, his own story allowed him to connect with other people who had complex relationships with their fathers as well. Nonetheless, the book went beyond those personal topics, and also showed how he passed from being fired on national TV, to building a successful business on its own and doing what he loves. All in all, Paul Jr.’s “The Build” is a worthy read for everyone, regardless of whether they’re fans or not.
How Did He Reconcile With His Father?
While the Teutuls’ relationship seemed to have reached a new low upon the release of “The Build” by Paul Jr., surprisingly that was the first step for father and son into growing closer to each other. Despite causing an uproar by calling his father ‘somewhat of a monster’ in his memoir, it seems that Paul Jr. used the right words to reconnect with his father: ‘I guess I was hurt, but you know, again, neither one of us want to live back there again. We sat down and talked about it’, as Paul Sr. admitted in a 2018 interview with The New York Post.
Although in the latter interview the Teutul patriarch affirmed that working together as father and son was out of question, Sr. and Jr. surprisingly teamed up in “The Last Ride” upon Paul Jr.’s suggestion and while some old differences between both men resurfaced as they worked together, they made it work out in the end.
Though Paul Sr. and Jr. aren’t on bad terms anymore, they don’t exactly have an ideal father-son relationship either, as Jr. affirmed in a 2020 New York Post interview: ‘It just hasn’t worked out that way and it’s not what I prefer but we’re not dealing with a perfect scenario’. That being said, he affirmed not being close to working with his father again, which is a huge improvement considering how complex their bond is.
Why Did Paul Jr. Leave Orange County Choppers?
While it would be impossible for fans of the show not to recall the moment in which Paul Jr. was fired from Orange County Choppers, not many people know why father and son had such an ugly argument at the time.
As seen in the “American Chopper” episode “Bomber Bike” from the sixth season, Paul Sr. was furious at his son for his apparent lack of punctuality. What was expected to be one of the usual father-and-son bickering moments, actually resulted in Sr. firing his son in front of cameras and staff, not without each of them bad-mouthing and throwing chairs at each other.
Paul Jr. wasn’t exactly fired from the shop, as he owned 20% of the business’ shares. He eventually went back to Orange County Choppers as a contractor, but the situation was too tense for both men to even be in a building at the same time, resulting in him leaving the shop altogether, and starting his design firm.
Talking about the reason which led to such a harsh argument, Paul Sr. affirmed that the real problem between him and his son was working together: ‘For 12 years we banged heads and it destroyed our relationship, destroyed our family’s relationship’, he told The New York Post in 2018, making it apparent that the issue had a long time coming and wasn’t just rage of the moment.
New Business & Future
Despite the enduring personal and career issues which ensued upon his firing from Orange County Choppers, Paul Jr. didn’t let those issues stop him. Back in 2009, a year-long non-compete clause stopped Jr. from working on bike-related projects with his newly-founded Paul Jr. Designs, but he found a way to channel his creativity by designing a dog park in Orange County, and collaborating with Coleman on a stove collection.
He went back to customizing bikes for a living, but at the same time, a harsh legal battle was going on with his father, resulting in him forcefully selling his shares of Orange County Choppers. However, Paul Jr Designs didn’t stop growing from then on, creating some stunning bikes in collaboration with local and international brands, on top of taking their creativity and passion for innovation to the next level.
All in all, it hasn’t been an easy or smooth ride for Paul Jr., but his efforts have successfully paid off for him and his business, and most likely will continue for many years to come.