Panhead Choppers Of 2017 Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom Show | Street Chopper
Jeff G. Holt

Panhead Choppers Of 2017 Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom Show

The Yokohama show gives up chopper gold

It’s been said by many a biker that the Panhead motor is the most beautiful engine ever built. There’s a reason so many of us love Pans. Look at the thing: The lines and shape of the rocker covers really work together. Naturally, there were a lot of them at the Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom Show in Japan this year. I had the great privilege of being able to attend this awesome event and harvested galleries of all kinds of custom motorcyclery for the readers of Hot Bike and Street Chopper.

You have to wonder if the design crew behind the Panhead knew just how legendary their creation would become in the decades after it was created. Panheads came into prominence in the 1940s and continued into the 1950s, which were definitely great times for the hot-rod movement. When the last Pan rolled off the line for the 1965 model year, though, consumer demand had shifted away from what it represented and the Shovelhead took over production duties up until Harley-Davidson was bought back by company executives in the 1980s. All through that, though, the Pan remained the most recognized and respected motor in the Big Twin family. Here are just a few of the Panheads we came across at the 2017 Yokohama show.

sweet n low chopper

That’s the kind of sweet ’n’ low I like with my coffee.

Jeff G. Holt

custom panhead chopper

A solid custom job from nose to tail. The proportions fit together perfectly, making this Panhead an excellent-looking chopper.

Jeff G. Holt

dirt racer chopper

Part dirt racer, part chopper, all custom.

Jeff G. Holt

panhead chopper

Oh, yeah, we’d have run a feature on this Panhead back when Tom McMullen ran the magazine. Believe it.

Jeff G. Holt

panhead chopper

What pulls your attention more on this chopper: the curves or the paint? That’s what you’ll ask when you see this bike in person.

Jeff G. Holt

Tuxedo Sam 1949 FL rigid chopper

The Tuxedo Sam 1949 FL rigid chopper, looking a little bit like the cartoon character of the same name. Only in Japan would you find a chopper named after one of Hello Kitty’s friends. At least, that’s what I'm guessing inspired the name of the bike.

Jeff G. Holt

green panhead chopper

That’s how you go green in the chopper world, kids.

Jeff G. Holt

panhead chopper

It’s bobbed and stripped, but you can’t really pin this Panhead down into one particular class of classic chopper and that’s part of what makes it cool.

Jeff G. Holt

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