“Dead Pan” 1951 Panhead Chopper

This past April’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Austin, TX again did not disappoint. There was a wide variety of early-era to current motorcycles in all styles.

One of the impressive bikes was the custom “Dead Pan” that was made with a 1951 Panhead by The Forge out of Loveland, CO. We contacted the shop to get more details. Josh (fabricator) and Mike (owner) were the two builders.

The Dead Pan has a 21 inch front rim, 16 inch back rim, back drum brake, no front brake and slap shift foot clutch, which is a good starting point for a classic looking chopper. But this isn’t “just another” chopper; there was a lot of thought put into building the bike and a lot of skill to designing and fabricating this many one-off parts.

The first part of the build was the Springer front end that Josh had envisioned for a long time. The brass that was added to the front end was a starting point for part of the overall look of the bike. The FL motor and 4-speed tranny were rebuilt by Carl’s Cycle Supply. The motor, tranny, and frame all match.

The majority of the bike was handmade: gas tank, rear fender, seat, oil tank, bars, foot pegs, controls, rear brass cover plates, kicker petal, and high chopper exhaust were are all built by Josh. Other details include the headlight from Panic Cycles, rear taillight After Hours Choppers, and BDL belt drive system. Although the hidden gas cap came about by accident, Josh decided to go with it this way and it looks good.

Josh finished the bike of using a hand copper plating technique. As you can see, all of the work really paid off.

For more details go to the The Forge’s website.

Let us know what you think on the Lightning Customs Facebook page.

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