When we scored a 1950 Panhead motor on the cheap that had been through hell and back, we originally wanted to slap it in some sort of old H-D roller of the same vintage and get to riding it as soon as we could.
After further review, the old engine definitely needed to be blown apart and checked to see just where all of the oil was pissing from. After a closer inspection, the cases were spider-webbed with cracks, which actually can be welded up without much issue. The internals up top weren’t that worse for wear, but a few bottom-end parts were worn beyond use. Hell, the engine is 63 years old, so in the scheme of things that’s not too bad.
While opening up a few catalogs for the various parts needed for the engine rebuild, the idea struck us; let’s build this bike completely via mail order and show our readers how we did it!
Sure, it’s easy to build a bike from a catalog when you are hucking together a TV-styled billet-clad Mc Chopper, but we desire to build something that could be worthy of a Street Chopper cover bike. Something that wreaks tradition and looks like a bike our readers would ultimately lust after.
After a bit of convincing, a deal was struck with our pals at V-Twin Mfg. where we will be allowed to order the heft of the parts directly from their big book to show you just how easy it is to get your hands on the right parts and how well they actually work in the real world. Incase you don’t know, V-Twin Mfg. has a massive 4-inch-thick book filled with remanufactured restoration and performance parts for Harleys from the ’30s all the way up to present models, so they have what we need for sure.
Along for the ride with V-Twin Mfg. are Morris Magneto, Rivera-Primo, Custom Cycle Engineering, Avon Tires, James Gaskets, Lowbrow Customs, Kickstart Cycle Supply, FMA, Death Science, and Haifley Bros. who are all gladly donating other “Street Chopper approved” parts for the bike.
We have many friends of ours who are always willing to lend a hand, so Jeff Leighton, Chopper Dave, “Skullneck” Dave Singrey of Davey’s Welding, Chris Richardson of LA Speed Shop, Aki at Hog Killers, and others will all be called upon at some point in time to aid us when needed. Yes, it’s nice to have such friends when we get in a tight spot.
Powering the build is various tools and work items from the likes of Lincoln Electric, Ranger Lifts, Porter Cable, and Harbor Freight.
Before the next issue hits the stands, you can peep the build progress with up-to-the-minute web updates at streetchopperweb.com as well as posts regarding the build on facebook.com/streetchopper and daily tweets on twitter.com/streetchopper. STC