Zodiac: The Envy of Seattle - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 07-05-2015, 06:31 PM   #1
ericthebeard
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Default Zodiac: The Envy of Seattle

Greetings,

Intros: I'm new to JJ, but have been lurking, searching, and reading throughout the years. Doing researching and ogling various build killer threads. And here I am starting off my own first project.

Bike story: Found this awesome deal locally on Craigslist. The dude selling it listed a pretty vague ad for a '55 pan and basically said I'm not posting a price or any shit. Just come look at it and make an offer. So I did and I snagged it up. There's a pretty dope story to go with her, I'm the fourth owner. She used to be in full period resto form, but then the owner switched it up. Here's how she sits now (to my current understanding):

Untitled





Deets:
-'55 Pan engine, full S&S internals rebuilt, Super E carb, S&S oil pump
-Matching-numbers '55 trans, Baker internals
-Shovelhead split tanks
-Evo contorls
-Newer (Evo?) front end, dual discs

I love swingarm bikes. No plans to hardtail her. I am probably going to ride her as-is (after addressing some issues from sitting for a while, details forthwith on that work) and lean as much as I can about her habits. But then tear into the style and start to make it my own.

But I will say. I am new for sure and this progress will be slow going. Hopefully people here can assist with bumps and trials along the way.

That's all the shit I can think is valid for now.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

I like electronic ignition and disc brakes as they make riding enjoyable to me not exciting. I leave exciting to the younger folk.
You'll be happy with dual front stoppers but not as cool as a guy running rear only.
Please say you paid way too much to make us looking for a Pan feel better.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

I like the balance struck on this machine, its very close to what I'd do on my own:
Points ignition, kick only, basic wiring and systems....
-but-
Disc brakes, Cycle Electric 12v alt kit, new engine guts, sealed chain...

Not interested in a spool front, but may change over to a single disc with a good (and less visually massive) 4-pot caliper. The REAL sex-machine it will become is going to probably evolve with an 18 rear and 21 front. Narrow it up, but not a lane-splitter.

I, in fact, feel like I stole this machine. I have been trolling CL and EBay for a while (and even threw out some bids for cone shov's and a genny shovel, but lost or didnt make reserve). Trust me, I am poorer than yesterday. But, fuck. Cannot believe I have a pan in my garage right now...

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Old 07-05-2015, 09:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

She already started marking her space on the way home.

My life forever now:

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Old 07-06-2015, 12:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

What happened to the motor number? How do you know that it is a '55 ?
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

That's part of the saga. Basics:
Dude A steals the bike from Dude B, the first owner, in the 60's thereabouts. Dude B is apparently a legendary nut around the parts, files off the VIN and rides it like that for years. Later, after A and B made amends and A legally owns the bike, he gets pulled over and the cop sees the filed case. I guess back then you could get a "state assigned" VIN thats a replacement for the original. So there's a little official metal tag next to the old number area thats "55FLXXXX". She's titled as a 1955 HD FL with the same VIN.

Bill, the owner I bought her from, picked the bike up from the local legend. He had lost his leg crashing the bike and had it mounted up over his fireplace like a stuffed Jackalope. From the 1996 Iron Horse feature on the bike, written from the guy I bought her from, "What my extensive research after getting the thing home revealed was that it was a heavily modified, patchwork, clusterfuck daily rider that had been in a mondo wreck."
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Bill did as close to a period correct restoration as his budget would allow, and that version of the bike was in the mag:

Untitled

He then got tired of the barely-stopping brakes and hardtail ride. Apparently at that time a dude rolled into the Monroe swap meet with a pristine '58 swingarm frame, so he bought it up and started the conversion to what it is now.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

That bike is desirable just for the story around it alone. Congratulations!
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Nice bike sounds like you did good.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Saw that thing on craigslist forever, Glad someone finally picked it up. Excited to see what you do with it.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Quote:
Originally Posted by VonWegener View Post
That bike is desirable just for the story around it alone. Congratulations!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie Pete View Post
Nice bike sounds like you did good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobberadam View Post
Saw that thing on craigslist forever, Glad someone finally picked it up. Excited to see what you do with it.
Thanks everyone for the support. Def in the deep end now.

I have a "style notebook" on influential builds and build details. I began to write it all out with my plans and chopper pics, then I got logged out and lost the whole thing. Poop.

Suffice to say, I've done a lot of "mental chopping" for my eventual bike. And even after I lay out my super cool-guy elaborate plans, I just need to stare at the bike for a while and let it guide me...
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

A tasty beverage always helps me stare...
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAWS View Post
A tasty beverage always helps me stare...
If I keep doing I end up seeing two panheads in my garage.

Perfect.

Which reminds me...
Before my major involvement with motorcycles I cut my get-shit-done teeth on sailboats. I lived on sailboats for close to 8 years in Seattle, starting with a 1934 sloop (all wood, obv). The sailing and boatbuilding community has "sitting and staring at the thing" down to a codified art:

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Old 07-09-2015, 10:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Alright, question time, round one:

I am planning on embracing the wide-glide front end with the 16" rims. Switching it over right now is outta scope and I actually think I am going to prefer the look. This bike was never going to be any sort of lane splitter.

I would like to fit a front nacelle like this one as well as cowbells, Cherry's pan from Basara Japan (pre crash):



Because of the mashup nature of my initial build, I don't know whether my later model trees can mount one... Here's what I'm working with:



I am pretty sure all I need are those side mounting holes on the trees and I'm set. But can anyone verify before I hop on EBay and tear down this rabbit hole?


Second question: I love the look of the flush mounted headlight on Cherry's bike. I imagine he has to have either a) some sort of internally aligned or adjusted light so it actually illuminates something useful for riding at night rather than just pointing uselessly skyward or b) he's a crazy fucker and just rolls with a aesthetics-over-utility headlight.

Thoughts? I am trying to think of how I could mount internally aimed light in there... like a projector moving independently of the nacelle-mounted lens and bezel.

I took off the front fender last night (+50 choppular points for me) and continued the "long staredown" with the bike, looking for it's style...

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Old 07-09-2015, 12:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

The fork nacelle mounts too those holes in the sides of the top and bottom trees, the fork shrouds mount to the bottom tree, see pic, I think you may need to replace your bottom tree, as for the headlamp, could be made to work ok, but whether it functions properly, ??
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Cool bike by the way
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:01 PM   #17
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Rock on, thanks for the example pic.

So for the cowbells that flange (with the downward fasteners on the cowbell top) is part of the lower tree?

Theeese gonn looook guuuud

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Old 07-10-2015, 03:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Yep, the flange the cowbells fasten too is part of the lower tree, hth
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Gotta love that J style!
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:09 PM   #20
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Gotta love that J style!
YES

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