Panhead

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5914
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Panhead

Post by Prof » Tue May 14, 2019 9:11 am

Crowie just picked up a nice Pan from Victoria. It has been on club regio in Vic and now needs to be number checked for regio here in SA.
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Pipes are straight out and need to baffled down to 100decibels... which should be just possible with out having to go to mufflers. He eventually wants fishtails which I will order in shortly. Primary drive is an open 1½" belt and needs covering. Although it doesn't legally require a rear chain guard we'll put one on to keep the grease off his back. Pre 88 bikes handlebars in SA can be up to 380mm off their mounting point and these apes come well within that if measured from top triple tree. Technically they can be measured from their 'point of attachment' which is actually the risers. Post 88 bars must be with in 380mm of the lowest part of the seat... a pretty stupid rule that does not allow for possible 300mm difference in rider height.
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It also needs a few other fixups like a dipper switch, new brake light switch and a horn.

I have a couple of other jobs do finish first and then we'll get on with this and put it through its number check.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
Posts: 780
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Panhead

Post by El Skitzo » Mon May 20, 2019 10:04 am

Very nice!
'65 Triumph Chopper (project)
'64 Triumph Chopper (project)

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5914
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Panhead

Post by Prof » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:00 am

We got onto Crowy's pan some time back and I am just catching up on posts.

Bike was from interstate and had been on club regio. Number check at Lonsdale Motor Reg Checking station now required.

A number of jobs to be done to bring it to SA roadworthy standards.

Neat little horn added into original mount. I have HD horns from that era, but Crowy wanted it unobtrusive.
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OE style horn button with wire inside bars. I usually use screws, but Crowy wanted pop rivets...
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Cover removed to connect horn wire to ignition switch...
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The tins on the back of the forks were flapping in the wind and were attached on the outer edge with an ugly mix of bolts. Stainless button heads and washers solved that problem. Attaching the inner fixing was a bit more tricky and involved drilling and tapping holes for 5/32UNC. There is very little thickness of metal up there so we didn't have much room for error. A couple more button heads did the trick.

Bike had no high/low beam switch, so we set up an on/on toggle on the back of the right tin. Wire to headlight was cut and hooked up to the switch and high low wires added in...
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Brake light switch was cactus, so added in a new one...
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Wiring to taillight was damaged, so new wiring run. The drum braked HD's have the drum bolted to the hub. To remove the wheel and long hex bar is used to unscrew the bolts, so the wheel can be withdrawn without touching the chain or brake linkage. A great idea. Drum/sprocket set up is separately mounted to axle plate, so it stays in place as axle is withdrawn.

Note lift up rear guard section for ease of wheel change. The modern fad of 'tail draggers' cheapskate and don't have this feature, to a tall lift is needed to change a tyre... just great out on the road!!!
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Two inch belt drive was open and needed to be covered. I originally made the punched alloy side cover to get Rayne's first panhead chopper registered, so this got modified and a stainless top cover made...
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Rear mount...
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Front mount, a bit longer to find a bolt we could use...
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Same for the bottom rear. Crowy planned to remove this once regio'd, so I didn't make mounts super pretty, but he has decided to keep it on now for good...
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Final job was to quieten the bike. Slash cut pipes were square cut and a set of mufflers I keep for this purpose were added. Header pipes were covered in wrap and very rough, so Crowy wanted new ones anyway, so no big deal cutting them up a bit...
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When Crowy called Road Transport about registering this bike in SA he ran into a big problem. The VIN numbers on HD's until 1960 were the engine numbers only... no frame numbers. Consequently he was told unequivocally that the bike COULD NOT be registered without a frame number!!!

Panic on his behalf! I call Road Transport and get same answer. OK. Let's argue. I point out that this frame could not have a frame number because it is pre 1954. If it had a frame number it would be a dodgy frame. "Can't be registered with out a frame number". If I stamped in a number wouldn't that be illegal? "Ah, Yes" So it can't have a frame number, but needs to be registered. "Can't be" This is an original frame. We would destroy the collector value of the bike if we stamp in a number. There must be some way around this.

"Well; if you can prove it is an original frame, it might be possible, but there's no guarantee."

Ah! We are getting somewhere methinks. I go to computer and start researching. HD frames of this era had forged parts, steering head, sidecar mounts, axle plates etc... and they have part numbers. My research at this stage only identifies that there are numbers on the sidecar mounts and above the top engine mount. The top engine mount has been modified. No number there. However, a magnifying glass and torch reveals a faint number on the right sidecar mount. Victory...
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I have since found out more info and this diagram shows ID/part numbers on the forgings and other parts of the frame. The axle plates on Crowy's frame quite clearly show numbers...
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Anyway, problem appeared to be solved and we headed off to Lonsdale.

Our turn came and immediately the frame number issue came up. I was well prepared with a folder of photos and printouts off the net. Inspector finally seemed convinced... but still spent an age with his torch scrutinising the steering head on both sides and along the fork tubes looking for a frame number. Very funny really. He finally conceded defeat and disappeared with his paperwork. 10 minutes later was back to say bike could now be registered.

I asked him if he knew that a lot of 70's Honda CB750's, 450's, 500's etc in SA also were devoid of frame numbers. This is because Carcycle, the SA Honda dealers didn't bother to stamp the original numbers off a bent frame when they replaced it. I have two in my workshop and have seen a number of others.

He didn't know and then made the comment, "You know a lot about bikes". Crowy jumped in with, "If you want to know anything about Harley's, he's the man!" Which isn't even vaguely true of course, but it had it's effect.

To finish off, I handed him my folder of info to put in their filing cabinet for future reference as this issue was sure to come up again. Unbelievably, he would not take it, saying,"Oh we don't need that"

I could not believe the stupidity of such a response. How many other blokes are going to get the same ignorant statements about frame numbers and some of them will give up for sure.

On a final note, the funny thing about the inspector looking for those illusive frame numbers around the steering head. Our whole success was based on the fact that this was an original frame and putting frame numbers on it would destroy its value. That steering head had been raked slightly and plated which should have been obvious to anyone with a bit of understanding of motorcycle frames! Duh!

I have photos of a very happy Crowy at with his paper work at the establishment, but they are inaccessible atm.

We had some further jobs to do on the Pan, including new pipes and a better seat mount, More on that soon...
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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