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Motorcycle Details

Harley Davidson Cafe Racers

1956 FLH Panhead


Description
Price : USD8,100 (Auction)
Date : April 21, 2022

This bike is properly titled in my name as a 1956 FLH Panhead with matching engine and title VIN numbers.

From what I was told, the bike was originally bobbed in 1969. For the next 20+ years it was a show and go bike, which underwent many changes. The owner then blew the top end, parked it, and lost interest. I purchased it as a barn find and have spent the last few years rebuilding every inch of this bike back to it’s former glory. As I write this there are less then 200 miles on the total rebuild, however if the weather improves I plan to ride it till it sells, so there may be a few more on there when you get it. This is for all intents and purposes a “fresh”, classic bobber. This bike runs as good as it looks and turns heads everywhere I’ve taken it. Where ever possible the original parts were used, even if they had a bit of patina on them.  Worn parts were all replaced as you would expect.

Engine:

The lower end of the motor was sent to Bone-A-Fide Restorations in Pekin, IL so that T-Bone could do a stock spec rebuild. All bushings, bearing, and seals were replaced, the cases were baked with Glyptal. All threads were chased, etc. One unique feature is the old school S&S cast aluminum oil pump, these are highly desirable and very reliable. The top end was in really rough, but usable shape. I rode the bike like this for a year and then decided I wanted a little more pep out of it bike so I tore it down to create what you see in this listing.
A set of hot rodded 1948 heads and a set of stock bore aftermarket cylinders were then sent to renown speed shop, Dragstews in Belleview, FL. Jesse rebuilt the heads correctly incorporating a set of shovelhead intake valves, matching the valve geometry to work with a Sifton 107 – “Crusader” cam, and adding super lightweight KPMI springs & retainers to match. The barrels were honed and setup with gapless rings to insure the best performance possible.

Finally the whole motor is fed by a rebuilt S&S Super E with a custom Dog Dish air cleaner. ( The original “Ham Can” air cleaner is included in the sale ).

The above build and hot rodding left the motor easy to start, (most of the time she is a one kick motor), but with a significant amount of added power. The gains translate to a total of 59.1 H.P. And 56.8 peak lbs of torque. Not bad for 65+ year old motor.

The exhaust runs thru a set of baffles hidden in the turn out tips. The bike is loud but not obnoxiously loud at lower speeds, if you really get into it, then it gets loud.

Transmission:
The transmission was polished at one time, I have shined it up best as I could, but it does show some wear on the finish. There is a small gouge on the shift cover, but that is purely cosmetic and is hidden when the bike is assembled. New bushings & seals were installed, and the transmission was set-up to factory specs, it shifts smoothly and neutral is easy to find.

The clutch friction plates are new and the steels were checked for true. The clutch basket is a BDL 1.5” belt drive basket, with the BDL 1.5” primary belt of course. I really like this setup as it fits nicely into the primary tins and is very smooth to ride. Between the new GMA lever assembly, new Barnett clutch cable, and a properly set-up mousetrap, the clutch can be pulled and held with one-finger, the way the factory intended!

The transmission drives a new Drag Specialties Speedometer with integrated Tachometer. I really like having a working tach on the bike, it just gives me a little more piece of mind.

Rear Wheel:
The rear wheel was disassembled, cleaned, and new oversize bearings were installed to bring it back to factory specs. It is wrapped in a new tube and a 16×5.00 Avon Safety Mileage MKII tire. The chrome on rim and spokes is still pretty nice and shined up well with only a few dark spots.

Front End:
At some point in the late ’70s/early ’80s the original owner decided to upgrade the front end a bit. He retro-fit a 35mm Kayaba front end from a 1974 FXR. The lowers were shaved and chromed and still look quite nice today. I replaced the old stock fork tubes with 2” over tubes giving a more balanced appearance. To get the stance back the way I wanted it I also installed a set of 3 degree raked cups. This kicks the front wheel out a tiny bit, lowering the front rails about an inch and returning the bike to almost level while restoring the geometry and improving the handling. Since the front end incorporates a single disk brake a GMA master cylinder was added ( matching the clutch lever. )

Front Wheel:
The front hub is chromed and looks excellent, unfortunately water was allowed to drip on the front tire causing a couple of rust spots to form on the rim and the spokes. (See the pictures)  I have polished it enough that it looks pretty good, but it would look better with a new rim and spokes. There is also a chip in the chrome on the top of the freshly rebuilt, brake caliper, you have to be looking to find it, and of course it could be replated. Finally the rim is wrapped in a new tube and a new Avon Speedmaster 21” tire.

Frame:
The original frame was totally rusted out and so a new Edlund straight leg, replacement frame was ordered. This frame is the closet you will find to an original Harley frame, pretty much an exact clone, check out their website to see what I mean. When prepping for this bike I decided to leave all the original brackets and tabs on the the frame in case you should want to return this bike to a stock configuration. There are a total of six small tabs welded on the frame, five for the seat and one for the upper rear fender mount. All can be very easily removed to return it to a stock configuration.
Molding of Frame:
Normally I would have welded plates in at the neck and the seat post area to make molding the frame easier, but in order to keep this frame as clean as possible, I used a different bonding technique which uses a steel mesh and long strand fiberglass to give a non-destructive and long lasting surface. Should you want to return to stock a simple glass bead or corn husk blasting will remove the fiberglass and free up the mesh.

Electrical:
The bike was already converted to 12 volt when I got it, the solid state voltage regulator was relocated behind the transmission to clean up the look. Next an old tombstone taillight was retrofitted with an LED panel and a really cool, clear Harley DOT lens. I was told these were tested in early Harleys being shipped to Europe, totally modernizes the look. The housing has a bit of patina to it, I liked it so I left it, but it could be rechromed easily if you want everything “perfect”. The headlight is an antique Unity spotlight from an old firetruck retrofitted with an LED Daymaker clone headlight. The LED lighting, front and back, makes sure you can see where you are going and lets others see you from the back. To that end, the brake light works when either the front or rear brake is applied. The old manual timer was rebuilt back to factory specs allowing accurate timing and reliable operation. A 15 amp circuit breaker is located under the battery, if the bike were to ever develop a short, it can be set to ignition only mode and will let you get home. The wiring harness is new from front to back with properly soldered and insulated connections everywhere. A battery Tender connection is located behind the seat and the appropriate Battery Tender will be included in the sale.

Leather Work:
I worked with Jarod over at Hard Luck Designs in Lancaster, OH to create the design for the leather work. He then took it from there and created the beautiful work you see in the photos. All four pieces were fabricated together giving a uniform finish to them. The seat pan is mounted on a set of mini-shocks giving a surprisingly smooth ride. The pillion pad is meant more for protecting the fender when you have a sleeping bag or other load strapped to the sissybar then for a rider. In a pinch a smaller person could ride back there. If you do tend to have a rider along, Jarod can easily make you a new wider pad. I only ride solo so this was all I needed.

Tins:
The gas tanks are new, reproduction, early style 3.5 gallon tanks. These have the cool fuel shutoff on the top. That complete mechanism is new as well. The rear fender is from Gasbox and is really a nice heavy-duty piece. Front fender origin unknown.

Paint:
All paint, primer, surfacer, sealer, and clears are House of Kolor. Utilizing only one brand throughout the process gives the best finish and highest durability possible. In painting this bike I was looking to recreate the original feel of the period ( yes I am that old ), but with a slightly modern twist.

The paint is hand buffed to a very high gloss and then Zaino polish was used to to make it jump out in the sun. You cannot really see it in the picture, but the base color is an off-white with gold flake in it making it an almost cream color that shimmers in the sunlight. Think sand in the sunlight.Life has changed and so I am now ready to see someone else enjoy this bike.

Please check my feedback and bid with confidence.
Inspection can be scheduled, but please no tire kickers and absolutely no free rides.
Delivery within 200 miles of Chicago can be scheduled all others must make their own arrangements to pick up the bike.

Thank you, but no trades

Motorcycle is sold as is, no warranty stated or implied
This bike is for sale locally and this auction will be ended if it sells.

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