To hear Danny G tell it, his ’55 Pan/Shovel is the shit. “It’s an original Mike Olson bike, so it started off pretty badass.”
Anybody who knows Olson knows he builds bikes really well. Everything Mike does is usually 100 percent top-notch shit. Except this one. This one (at first) was destroyed with cheesy cartoony paint, shitty swastikas, and just pretty much overdone lameness. “If you throw cartoon swazis on it, you have shit,” he told me. Well, there’s good shit and bad shit, isn’t there? “It has a stroked shovel motor, it’s fast as shit.” Danny boasted.
Mike Olson didn’t choose the design motif for the bike. He’s a great chopper builder who only makes several motorcycles a year and he takes massive pride in his work. A paying customer chose to ruin it.
See, There are a lot of douchebags in the world, and some of them have enough money to really mess up a project. Olson is a one-man show, so it’s a shame he spent four to five months on this embarrassment for a paying customer. “It was the only bike that’s ever left Mike’s garage that he never wanted to show off,” Danny said. “I don’t think Olson would have taken on this ordeal unless the old owner duped him into it or he just really needed the cash.” What’s more, the jackass client rewarded Mike’s hard work by crashing it three times and letting it rust outside in the rain.
Vindication showed up when Danny got his hands on the beat-down scoot. When he got it, it was all beat up and totally unridable. Tons of rust needed removal, it needed a new clutch, and the front fork seals were blown out. He says, “The first place I brought it was back to Mike Olson. Our deal was that if he helped me make it what it should’ve been, and I’d do it justice. Danny was so serious about remolding it in the image of a Frisco chop that he made the painter redo the flames five times because he didn’t want any of the flames touching. Flames are timeless on a shovel like that. They were cool in the ’70s and they’re just as cool now.”
So are Pan/Shovel motors. When he tore the suicide clutch off of this bike in favor of a normal one, Mike Olson wasn’t exactly supportive of the idea—until he saw Danny putting the motor through its paces with fast cornering and wheelies. Danny loves the way the bike handles and with its ample ground clearance it corners really well.
Having tossed the bad shit, kept the good shit, and added his own shit, Danny G was convinced this bike was the real shit. Mike’s old shithead customer might disagree, but then again, he’s probably full of shit. SC