Johnny Pag's $4099 Custom Chopper
By James Grahame
The Johnny Pag Spyder 300 retails for a mere $4099 ($4999 in Canada). It's the brainchild of California custom bike designer Johnny Pag, who has been crafting expensive one-off bikes for celebrities since the early 1970s. Johnny Pag spent many months over the course of several years in China, overseeing the development and production of this amazingly affordable head-turner. His son JR traveled alongside him to China and oversees sales operations in North America.
The 8 foot long Spyder 300 is guaranteed to attract attention wherever it goes. It's powered by a liquid cooled 300cc parallel twin based upon the classic Yamaha Virago 250 design.
Don't let the small displacement fool you, this bike is capable of cruising comfortably at 120 km/h (75 mph) and gets 60 mpg. The 5-speed transmission drives a 16" x 4.5" chrome alloy wheel on the back, and the entire package weighs in at 360 lbs.
The front forks have a 42 degree rake which will feel a bit wobbly at low speeds until you get used to it. Riders report that things smooth out at cruising speeds. It's available in five paint schemes - my favorite is basic black.
All in all, the Spyder 300 looks like an interesting low-cost bike for casual weekend riders. For those looking for something slightly more modern, the company plans to introduce the Johnny Pag Sport in 2009, likely with the same 300cc engine.