1949 Harley-Davidson Panhead
Andy Janzen's brown 1949 Panhead has come a long way since he bought it.
By Jake Knoerr, Photography by Jake Knoerr
Have you ever heard the story about the old lady bitching about some rusty pile of parts that strangely resembled some form of a motorcycle, asking why good money was wasted on such a mess? Well, if she would just hold her comments until the project was completed (which she never seems to wait for...) then she'd see the dazzling custom that's hiding underneath all that rust.
Many of us have lived this scenario quite often and still never learned our lesson, if there was a lesson there to be learned. But Andy Janzen didn't succumb to this; he went and bought a running Panhead...smart man: Instant gratification. Of course, this is the bike you see here; however, it didn't look like this at the time of purchase. The original bike was a somewhat whiter shade of pearl, with fatbob tanks and other assorted frilly trappings-which at the time probably made that owner happy. But that was then, and now that it was Andy's bike, things and parts were going to change. The end results are presented here (although as soon as these pictures were taken some changes to the bike were afoot).
The first striking feature that got our attention was the asymmetrical stripe running down one side of the tank and fender in gold leaf. The Root Beer Brown color really brings the sheetmetal to life, while the stripe directs attention to the lines of the classic Sportster tank and English-made ribbed fender. The frame is an authentic Harley-Davidson Wishbone with a constructed Panhead engine, based on a set of STD cases with Truett & Osborn wheels on the inside. S&S jugs with Wiseco slugs are topped off with a set of STD Panheads. We like STD's Panhead features, like the three-bolt-flange exhaust ports for leak-free pipes, but they also sport the Shovelhead-style intake ports for improved flow over the stock T-style manifold. We have to admit, we're suckers for the Custom Cycle Engineering Finned Covers; there is just something sexy about polished ribs.
By Jake Knoerr
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