Motorcycles 1955 Harley-Davidson FL - Perfect Panhead

22:36  27 february  2017
22:36  27 february  2017 Source:   Street Chopper

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Bill started this project by purchasing a complete running '55 Panhead . The bike was clean and functionally sound, but in it's '80s-style guise complete with disc brake, Wide Glide, and Fat Bob-style tanks, not at all what Bill was looking for in his personal ride. '55/H-D/ FL . Fabrication.

The Harley - Davidson FL is a model designation used on Harley - Davidson motorcycles since 1941. The FL prefix is mostly applied to Harley - Davidson 's large-framed bikes, including the current Touring series, and also the Softail series, especially those with traditional styling, 16-inch front wheels

1955 Harley-Davidson FL | Perfect Panhead© Provided by Bonnier Corporation 1955 Harley-Davidson FL | Perfect Panhead

It came from the middle of the century

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Bill Mize, the owner of this "fine" early-style chopper is one of those guys who just has his finger on the pulse. You might not suspect this from a guy who calls Sioux City, Iowa, his home, it not being an epicenter for cutting-edge custom motorcycle culture, but Bill's always had a knack for knowing what's cool, usually long before the masses. Bill is a lifelong skateboarder, and in the '70s when most people were doing handstands to the Beach Boys, Bill was down with Dogtown-vibe Bert slides and Black Sabbath. He was punk rock before people had even heard the term. He's raced BMX bikes, held an AMA Expert road-racing license (and used it), been a competitive triathalete, raced road bikes (bicycles this time) in Europe and Mexico, and if that's not enough he somehow found the time to dial in a perfect '50s pad (as in house) and build an impressive stable of rides over the years, including a few trendsetting Sportsters and a couple of hot rods for good measure. All this by the age of 45.

Wicked 1955 Chevy Street Shaker Packs a Punch

  Wicked 1955 Chevy Street Shaker Packs a Punch Regardless of where you grew up there was always one particular car in your neighborhood that ruled the streets. You could hear it coming from a 1/4-mile away as it wound through the gears accented by a nasty exhaust note glazed with attitude. It was the car that haunted your sleep and made you daydream while sitting in math class of someday being the lucky holder of the keys. For Mark Rogerson of Alymer, Ontario, Canada, watching his older brother, Tim, wrench on many of the area's most notorious hop-ups in the family driveway gave him plenty of incentive to follow a high-performance path.

VIN #: 55 FL 4782. Transmission: Mileage: 0.

1955 Harley Davidson FL Panhead Original Frame. 1955 Panhead in perfect condition.-Rebuild in 2010. Original frame with all mountings.-Original heads modified for unleaded fuel.-Mallory Ignition, S&S Super E Carb, 12 Volt alternator.

Most people would rest on their laurels after all this activity and comfortably slide into old age, but Bill figured it would be a good time to start racing mountain bikes and to build another chopper - which brings us to the bike you see here. When it comes to bikes, Bill is quick to give styling credit to the early bikes of the local legends, the El Forasteros Motorcycle Club. In his words, "Their worst bikes were cooler than anything we'll ever build."

Bill started this project by purchasing a complete running '55 . The bike was clean and functionally sound, but in it's '80s-style guise complete with disc brake, Wide Glide, and Fat Bob-style tanks, not at all what Bill was looking for in his personal ride. The first order of the day was to strip everything down to the bare frame. The "save" pile consisted of the motor, transmission, and straight-leg frame, all of which showed to be '55 vintage, possibly that way since birth. The "sell" pile consisted of... well, everything else. A Harley VL springer with later-model front legs was modified with a 1-inch stem and mated to the '55 frame. Sun aluminum rims in 18-inch and 21-inch were laced via Buchanan's stainless steel spokes to an original star hub out back and a swap meet spool hub up front. The rims were shod with a vintage Pirelli 400x18 and a genuine Avon 2.75x21 rubber, respectively. Next, a new old stock Wassel accessory gas tank was mounted along with a new old stock English ribbed fender.

1936 Harley-Davidson EL - Art's '36 Knuckle Head

  1936 Harley-Davidson EL - Art's '36 Knuckle Head An Exercise In Restraint The advent of multiple television shows where bikes are pounded together in just a few days has definitely had an effect on the psyche of the American bike builder. Looking at the bare frame and cases of this 1936 Knucklehead, Art Hendey "Knucklehead" Jr. thought that it might be a good idea to enter the AMD Pro Show looming in just 17 days' time. After all, if those wacky TV show bikes can be done in 10 days, why not a fully-restored, period correct EL? Departing from his usual chopper motif, "Junior" went in a new direction with this machine, going for a super-clean look with minimal mods like a vintage 21-inch front rim and sweet gold-leaf paint. While Art did the assembly and fabrication on this total custom restoration, he actually had quite a bit of help. Responsible family man that he is, he got his two daughters involved with the project for a little togetherness while he buried himself in his work. But when you're the offspring of a guy known as Knucklehead Jr., you do a little more than deliver screwdrivers.Twelve-year-old Amanda polished and cleaned parts on this spotless antique, while 10-year old Briahna reportedly did the valve job! While the Hendey family wrenched away in the garage, friends assisted in various ways.

Selling my '55 Panhead , fully restored. Less than 500 mi. since engine was rebuilt. Numbers match. 1-2 kick bike, 4 spd trans. Bored .40 over, tuned by Green Devil Garage in VB. Pics show it all

This bike is perfect in every way. Even the most picky buyers will drool over this bike. This bike is on display in our showroom. ,995. Bike looks brand new as it was on the showroom floor in 1955 . ,995. 1950 harley davidson FL 74" panhead . Only test miles since ground up no expense

Tom Fugle handled the upholstery chores covering the original Bates solo seat in old-style leather and stitch as well as whipping up one of his custom, tiny pillion pads. Bill mounted passenger pegs made from cut-up Sportster pegs with ball bearings welded to the ends; after all, no self-respecting chopper pilot can own a bike that he can't put a chick on, in this case the chick being Bill's lovely wife, Mollie.

Exhaust chores are handled by vintage Superior pipes and mufflers. That's right: mufflers. You should try it sometime. Rounding out the accessory list is a set of Flanders bars mounted to risers of unknown origin; a Barnett throttle twists the wick. The sissy bar is a modified swap meet item and a homemade shift lever stirs the four-speed trans through the time-honored rachet lid top. As we stated before, the motor and transmission were basically stock and in good working order to begin with, so Bill left them alone except for the addition of solid lifters, a Roth carb cover to keep the birds out, and a 1-1/2-inch beltdrive behind a stock primary cover.

Paint was laid on by local painter Brent Elsen. Bill chose to go with a black frame in case he wants to change color in the future, but the tank and fender got the business with some Candy Green and a bitchin set of silver fish scales straight from the little pages of Roth's Choppers magazine. The end result is a sanitary minimalistic bike with the striking profile that lit the fuse forty-something years ago and continues to ignite passions to this day.

Just in case you're the type who considers these bikes to be impractical, let us assure you that these old motors are more than up to the task of hitting the road and taking you where you want to go, just like they were designed to do over half a century ago.

Spied: 2018 Triumph America Cruiser .
Prototype Bonneville-based cruiser caught on camera in near-production form. It’s no surprise to see that the chassis and engine are straight from the Bonneville Bobber (see our Bobber First Ride Review here). The frame, which hides its rear shock under the seat and eschews a conventional swingarm in favour of a triangular structure to give the look of a hardtail, appears identical to the Bobber’s except for the addition of a rear subframe strong enough to carry both a pillion and luggage. Since the Bobber is strictly a single-seater, with no subframe at all, it’s a fairly significant alteration.

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