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 and through.

I published his story for you all to read just as he sent it to me. He took the pix.


-Warren Fuller