Spud’s 1949 Harley-Davidson Panhead

You don’t get more old school than Spud and his 60-year-old Panhead.

IT ALL started whilst Spud was on holidays in South Australia. A mate had another mate’s bike sitting in the shed in pieces and was thinking about selling it. With Spud getting wind of this, he made up his mind there and then to buy it; and so the deal was done, there and then. Spud brought the bike, along with its bits and pieces, back to Perth to rebuild it to its former glory, with the exception of a few modifications to make it a more practical bike to ride, but retain its old school characteristics.

Spud took it to his mate, Paul at PM Custom Cycles, where it sat around in the workshop for a couple of years, collecting dust. The bike had previously been chopped and changed around a bit during the ’60s and ’80s so the pair finally decided to start from scratch.

Once back to a bare frame, they noticed the odd crack and broken weld on the frame so Darren, from Parnaby Welding, was given the job of giving the frame a make-over; to get it ready for its new lease of life. He did the job with no probs at all.

Darren had the frame powder-coated for Spud. The headlight, handlebars and fork legs were also powder-coated

Work then began on the motor. It now has Delkron cases and the bottom-end beefed up, a decent set of heads which he sourced from Branko on the NSW Central Coast. He also chose a S&S carby and manifold. This is a tough, reliable powerplant.

Spud decided to get rid of the foot clutch and hand-gear shift, opting for a later model hand clutch and forward controls for easier gear shifting.

Paul from PM Custom Cycles hand-beat the belt guard and also ran the rear struts inside the guard to clean up the arse-end.

It is still running a FLH front-end with a drum brake; the rear has been updated with a PM brake.

Hollywood Paint and Panel took care of the paint work.

The wheels were re-chromed, re-spoked and re-laced with stainless steel spokes. The hubs were powder-coated black and turned out a treat thanks to Budgie from Spoked Wheel Services.

You can’t get much more old school than Spud. He owns an antique shop out in York about an hour’s ride from Perth where some of the pics were taken.

Spud’s now very happy with his 60-year-old Panhead. He thanks all involved in the build, especially Paul from PM Custom Cycles who put in many hours of hard work as a good mate does.

And many thanks to Taneal for being our model on the day.

Pics & words by Gazza

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