Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 01-15-2020, 07:27 PM   #1
radarsonwheels
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Default Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

I had some deals fall thru and waited a long time for the right panhead- which unfortunately in my case basically only means I can afford it. My only dealbreaker would be bad numbers or a project that would cost more to finish than a running bike or fixer upper.

I love the look of those tight little pan FL bobbers like the japanese build but Iím 6í3Ē 280 so I wear size 14 shoes and donít fit right on stock panheads. So even though they look kinda goofy I find the chopper geometry pretty comfy. And it drops the price- canít afford original frame & tins bikes.

Looking at pics of the bike I thought it would be cool de-raked but in person it was surprisingly good fit. And Iím not a fan of the DNA springer and the frame is eh but the trail feels great- almost no flop. The build is tight and the motor is fresh and strong. It is basically ready to ride but needs some tuning and shaking down. I started it in the cold and took a quick enjoyable putt. Supposed to pick it up Monday.

So hereís some pics- Iím curious what the hive mind thinks about the build? Seems like itís a factory rigid frame and a paughco springer away from a really nice setup but itís always nice to not dump money into a perfectly good bike!

Radar
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:29 PM   #2
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Here’s pics
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

clean !
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:02 PM   #4
misfitJason
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Rad looking bike!
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wow.....didn't really see that coming
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:23 PM   #5
radarsonwheels
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I dig it too- can’t wait to get my grubby hands on it!

Of course I want a morris magneto and a chrome paughco springer but I won’t be spending any money on it soon especially since I can ride it as is.

I think de-friscoing the tank might get it looking good to me in the short term. I like the straight side view the least and the angle of the bars looks wierd to me too but felt pretty good which is as importamt ro me.
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If I drop the front of the tank at a certain point the tail of the tank will get a gap under it which I’ve seen before and looks goofy. It’s easy enough to make a bracket that drops the front mount below the top tube of the frame to try it out. It still has a mid mount petcock so it might increase the range too.

New frame or shortened legs with an OEM springer or even just a swap to a paughco would be nice but I should put a season on it first and keep an eye on that DNA for problems. I’m sure a hydraulic fork would give less trail and flop unless I found raked trees, but that’s probably the cheapest good looking option. Maybe de-raked neck cups would correct trail on a hydro...

Babbling now. just dreaming about finally getting a legendary panhead. Cut my teeth on shovels, rode a couple pans, never owned one. Going to get the title tomorrow AM, bike on monday. Fingers crossed it all goes smooth! Seller is a friendly respectful retired gentleman so I don’t forsee any problems.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

Not exactly my style but I do like it. That being said i am in complete agreement with you; i hate to take apart a perfectly good, functioning bike.

My advice to you would be to ride it until the wheels fall off which shouldn't be too long, it's almost 70 years old. Just kidding! Ride it now, save up your nest egg and call mvw. He had an awesome looking Springer in chrome or black. As far as factory frames go, sheesh.... they're going up in price weekly it seems.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

So I played mr potato head a bunch on the ipad. I discovered I really like a deeper tunnel or tiny tank and the tall risers plus medium apes donít mix. Just having fun- which one do you (anybody?) like? No super apes for me but it is a classic look. I think I like the deep tunnel wassel (or maybe 52-78 ironhead style) with drags or go cheap on cables & hoses and just replace the tank and put stubby risers
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

So I got the bike! It ran but not well.

I have to seal up the intake it showed leak symptoms and failed a pressure test- lots of soap bubbles especially on the rear. Just got new seals today, so that’ll be back together soon.

I started changing up the look and ergos to fit me and look better. I’m going with close to the bottom left mockup from the sheet of 8 versions posted above. I really hated that big round bottom late style sportster tank, and the apes were comfy but gave no leverage to stand on the forwards into nasty bumps. Plus the tall risers and pushed forward apes ruined the lines of the chopper frame.

So far I have a wassall mocked up, drag bars installed, and sealed up some nasty exhaust leaks with some beer can and copper hi-temp rtv. The pipes have to go though because the bike sits low and scrapes bad on right turns. Also the pipe mounts are kind of rigged and mickey mouse- p clamps and frame clamp tabs that don’t even bolt up flush. I ordered a flange and bend kit plus a doughnut for raw materials. I’m stoked to tig up something cool! I’m not sure if I want equal length shotguns or similar, or some kind of upswept goose type deal. I did some mock ups on photoshop but still don’t know.

I’m also considering a seat change. This one is ok but I want more lip on the back and maybe a frame mount instead of a sprung saddle. I like the scorpion style but dunno if I’m gonna go 2up and it looks better with the p-pad behind it. I do upholstery too so I will probably steal the foam off a swapmeet softail seat and make a pan and cover- maybe a tuck and roll deal.

I’ll post some pix in a response- the ipad posting interface is funky and don’t wanna lose all this typing
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

If I did it right heres pics of how it sits now, plus some mock ups of pipes and seats
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

Progress!

Swapped out a bunch of stuff, made some pipes. G5 magneto should be in the mail soon. Just about where I want her to be.

Thinking about making a new bracket to set the headlight lower, get a more sleek thing going.

Also making up a little round tool bag. Iím thinking about putting it down in front of the genny, or by the horn strap on the legs, or behind the sissy bar sitting on the fender, or under the headlight on the springer.

Comments & opinions welcome!

Hereís when I got it vs now. The photoshop mockups helped a lot deciding what I was gonna do.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

100% agree with the headlight.

I personally don't like real high headlights.. looks great on dressers or full on stocks... but chop/bob no. As a rule of thumb, I like the top of my light to sit equal with the top of the spring on a non raked frame.. it gives nice geomotry!
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:35 PM   #12
radarsonwheels
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

Thanks Rhysmort

Plenty of room to move it down, just wish chrome didn’t cost an arm and a leg. There’s always stainless or black paint!
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Just shook hands on a 1952 HD pan chopper

Bent the headlight bracket down some. I think I might go a little further. I also got a tool bag together, ordered a g5 magneto, and made a top motor mount carb support. The bar up from the top case bolt wasnít holding the carb rigid enough with the FNA kit which seals the intake really well but needs the carb & intake supported more. I swapped out the heavy teardrop for a little lightweight air cleaner too. Progress & shakedown runs then a week of rain.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:34 PM   #14
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Here’s some pictures
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