2001 Assembled PanHead Rigid
by David Fontenot
This is a motorcycle that was built by someone who apparently
was looking to learn a lot of special
Information about fabrication, riding, painting, bending, saving
money, and kick starting !!!
I had acquired an S&S Knucklehead case, 84ci stroker and i
decided going to a panhead was better suited to my taste. I went
Panhead..... Now money was getting tight and patience growing
thin, I sat down and figured out what I had to do to get the Pan
heads on the S&S knuckle bottom end. I did the reading and found
that the knuckle and pan bottoms are the same except for the
lifter block screws. I mounted the lifter blocks and redrilled
screw holes. I bought new Gary Bang STD Pan heads. The heads fit
great with all the pan parts like the cam , lifters and
pushrods. The next thing to do was to drill the oil return holes
for the pan head down into the side of the cylinder wall on the
case. S&S had a great instruction article on doing this, i
followed the directions and it all worked perfectly. I did this
very slowly and made sure I measured properly more than once and
everything worked perfectly. Now I had to get the motor to fit
in the knucklehead repro frame. I found out that the frames are
different heights. I did this by flattening the backbone a
little to fit the pan covers . It fit perfectly....
The next thing I had to deal with was using a front fender. I
hated every front fender I saw except the british style. One
problem was dealing with a springer fork. I needed a fender that
rode with the wheel and didn't look like a dirt bike fender. I
started drawing up styles and after a couple tries I came up
with the style I have now. The fender would be suspended by two
small leavers that hang from the rear fork where the old fender
mounts are located. Next , this would keep the fender from
moving side to side.
The fender struts would connect to the axle and brake drum to
support the fender. I found that Harley had this same type of
movement on the new springer models. After some small
adjustments it worked perfectly.
Seems lotsa folks are trying
their hand at building bikes these days. We see everything from
the so-called "Pros" on TV to the guy in the garage down the
street making do with what he's got.
Who does a better job? Who builds the real working-man's
chopper? Anybody with heart, soul and the guts to just jump feet
first into a project of their own design.
David Fontenot is that kinda guy. He just sent me his story and
all these great pix, so I felt I had to share. While not a
radical chopper - this bobber shows a whole buncha class and
style. And one thing is for sure, this is Davis's bike through
I published his story for you all to read just as he sent it to
me. He took the pix.