Harley-Davidson Swing-Arm Panhead

"The beauty of building a bike like this is using parts I had sitting around or parts from other bikes I could modify to fit," said John.

I BUILT this chopper to the era of a ’70—’73 model bike. For example, the forward controls are floorboard converted to foot pegs. It has the original, old, round swing-arm which lowers the bike about 1.5 inches. I went with a Kraftech drop-saddle frame for this build. I wanted to go back to the days of true choppers; the era works with this frame nicely. 

The colour of the frame is chrome powder-coat. I wanted something to tie in with the Harley racing orange that I painted the Sporty tank and Fat Boy front guard that I converted to fit the rear of this bike. 

The oil tank is a stocker with a FX battery cage carrier. 

Handlebars are ’73s with the original type switch-blocks. I fitted indicators purely for a safety aspect.

It has a ’73 tail-light with the original glass lenses. 

The front guard is a standard black Narrow Glide guard on a Narrow Glide 35 mm front end. 

The front wheel is a chrome spoke chrome hub, 19 inches, while the rear is a 16 inch wheel. I used 11.5 inch rotors front and rear with Harley calipers. The shocks are standard FLH type 12 inches. 

I have a few brass bits on the bike including upper push-rod tubes and kick-pedal. 

I fully re-built this 1951 Panhead engine. It’s been stroked, new pistons with a top-end rebuild. I converted it to a 12 volt genny with a electronic regulator. It also has chrome engine cases. I fitted a Super B carby which has the old Pan running like a dream. The exhaust on the Pan is an original two-into-one, Dick Allen made system. Dick was making chopper parts through the ’70s and passed away in ’83. 

It’s running a belt drive primary with a tin cover with a four-speed ratchet top gearbox. 

Overall it’s just a simple bike, nothing extravagant about it. Just like they were in the day. The beauty of building a bike like this is using parts I had sitting around or parts from other bikes I could modify to fit.  

Harley-Davidson Panhead

Photos by Rod Cole; story by John

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One Comment

  1. Beautiful bike mate – if I win the lottery then I’ll get back to you…. I am in England !

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