If you ever want to impress someone with your motohistory Kung Fu, bust out some knowledge on Panther motorcycles in the conversation. The name may sound like a Panhead knock-off company from the late 1990s but it's actually a species of bike that was built in the UK by P&M (aka Phelon & Moore) until the company dropped that moniker and just went with “Panther.” Which is probably why Andrew Ursich of Portside Garage made one for the Artistry in Iron show in Las Vegas last year.
It may or may not be your thing but this bike was bred to compete on the show circuit. When was the last time you saw an angled single-cylinder rigid done up in pink and gold leaf at a show? They're not common by a long shot. Panther bikes were made up until the 1960s and that angular mill also serves as a load-bearing part of the chassis.
Andrew was invited to Artistry In Iron in Las Vegas and decided to build this bike for that show. “I agreed to compete and set out to build the craziest show bike I could. I started by finding the Panther engine,” he tells us.
Having bagged his prey, Ursich constructed a frame jig, got busy fabricating, and had the two main ingredients for cooking up this rigid. What followed was a blend of archaeology, horse trading, and craftsmanship. Some parts were collected from swap meets, others from vendors, and what he didn't find he made himself. Eventually, Ursich found himself looking at a Panther M-100 mill cradled by his own rigid frame, with a Triumph gas tank over it, and a leaf-spring fork up front. It was a recipe for a pretty crazy machine but it needed some over-the-top finishing to pull it all together.
In Andrew's mind that meant engraving, engraving, and engraving. With a side of engraving. The engine was completely disassembled for polishing and... engraving. All of the engraving was done by Hernan at Engrave It Inc. He also took care of all the chrome and gold plating. While all of that was getting done Ursich completed the metal and body work on the frame. The chassis was sent to Danny D for paint and pinstriping.
All in all, the bike was finished in five months down to the last minute before its debut in Las Vegas. So far, the bike has won awards for the J&P Ultimate Builder show, for which it won 1st place freestyle, and recently Best of Show at David Mann Chopperfest. Yeah, I'd say Andrew Ursich did what he set out to do.
|Shop Phone||(310) 710-6981|
|Year/Make/Model||1949 P&M Panther|
|Build Time||5 months|
|Year/Type/Size||1949 Panther M-100 600cc|
|Year/Type||2016 Portside Garage rigid|
|Front End||Voodoo Vintage Leafspring|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Builder/Size||HD Wheels 18-inch|
|Colors||Murano pearl, pink, gold leaf|
|Paint/Graphics||Pink fades topped with pinstriping and gold leaf by Danny D|
|Hand Controls||Portside Garage|
|Foot Controls||Portside Garage|
|Taillight||After Hours Choppers|
|Seat||Machined aluminum finned with cream leather inserts by All Glass|