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1962 Harley-Davidson Panhead

bartlett0815

Registered
Hello all,
As hard as I tried to outrun it, a 1962 Panhead followed me home today. I'm already into old bikes. I own a 1944 WLA so I know a few people in the old bike world. One of my antique bike buddies (who is a bit of an antique himself) has a couple of Indians also has his dad's '62 Panhead and since I'm also a '62 we've joked over the years about my birth year bike. Our discussions have turned more serious recently and today I went to his house just to look at the bike (which I've not seen in years) and chat a bit about things. He made me an offer which I couldn't refuse so I loaded a pickup load of spare parts and went back home to get my trailer. I had no intention of buying the bike today but the time turned out to be right for both of us. It was a Daytona Beach PD bike that his dad bought sometime in the 60's. At some point Pop converted it from hand shift to foot shift, boosted the compression and converted to 12V so he could add a starter. Fortunately he saved all the parts. It got ridden very little until Pop died and my friend brought it down to NC from MD. It was last on the road in 2013. I intend to convert the hardware back to 1962ish and ride it unrestored. Does anyone have any good advice on repair/maintenance of the Panhead?
Thanks,
Kevin in NC
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
Re: 1962 Panhead

I was riding a 58 Duoglide before I was born.Literally in moma's belly.
To this day when my dad cranks it and it sits there idling with the timing retarded a bit,it about lulls me to sleep. At 84 he is having a issue kicking but still can crank it if it doesn't flood.
It to was a police bike until my dad got it in 1964.
The hand-shift is on the opposite side from a Indian.post a pic when you can.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
At 15 dad wouldn't let me have a bike. I later found out that this was based on his first and only ride in 1936 on a friend's new knucklehead. So the story goes he endoed it into a corn field on the west side of Dubuque.

But, nothing was said if a trans case, a wheel, a frame and so on came home based on my meager earnings from after school $1/hour jobs. After a couple years of scrounging, a panhead chopper left the garage under it's own power. I wanted it low and it had a '46 knuckle fame and as a Harley purist knows, a pan won't fit in a knuck frame as the top end is a bit too tall. But putting a jack in between the lower rails and the backbone then heating the seat post joint until the braze joint softens allows you to lift it 1/4 inch to swedge the pan in. Oyeah I was hell on wheels burning off $5 used tires with hair below my shoulders.

It all came to a rationalized halt a couple years later. After riding it all day (prolly a whoppin 200 miles) , one night I was heading home and I actually got off it and walked that torture rack across a set of railroad tracks. A couple weeks later I sold it. edit: Well so much for the KC plant. I know three engineers there that will be out of a job.

I bought a Honda. What a revelation. Starts on one kick, doesn't leak and doesn't leave ya stranded. I never looked back at that primitive junk called Harley. Yeah, Harley has been good to me as I put a couple million dollars of equipment in Milw, York ,and KC.

After 640,000 miles of riding bikes periodically I get nostalgic and ride a Harley. And it quickly hits me. They're still the same primitive crap I once walked across a set of tracks.
 
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uglyblue66

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/07/2018
There are motorcycles, and there are "bikes". A big difference! :D
My dad built his first harley at 14 out of peach baskets and has rode them every since. He is 84 now and when he hit 65 he bought a small Yamaha. he says it is far easier to ride at his age.
But it sounds like a moped with a tater in the tail pipe.
I can't ride a 2 wheeled object,I don't have the balance for it.But if I ever do get to put a trike kit on my dad's 69 Electroglyde I am going to ride the wheels off it.
 

Sunnybrook

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
04/15/2019
tater in the tailpipe...ugly that is so funny and true!
I been calling I like oldstuff, I really like newstuff for a long time now and he knows it.
Hey oldstuff how bout posting that pick of you wearing your raybans sitting on your chop in Moms garage?
 

Harry

Administrator
Staff member
My only contact with motorcycles was that my older brother had two Harleys in the late '40s and early '50s. The first one was a black 1945 (knucklehead?), one of the first civilian models after WWII. That one was wrecked by my #2 brother because it had a habit of front wheel shimmy and he took the trip up and over the handlebar and on down the road surface. When he got home, he looked like a bulldog came after his ass and his leather billfold had saved him from deeper wounds. All that gave me respect for being careful on two wheels. The '45 was traded in on a blue 1951 (panhead?) model and that one became my older brother's prime mode of transportation until he was drafted and ultimately got married, a life changing event. Later on in the '60s I had a nice drive on a friend's rice machine and I liked it, but my wife ruled the roost - no motorcycles.
 

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Matt L

Registered
Last Subscription Date
02/22/2018
Well she's hard to get started always so cold. In the mornings I find her she's looking so old. So many miles we been down that road once or twice. She's not much to look at when we ride through town, but I know when the chips fall she won't let me down. She's a high flying lady takes me where I want to be. There's no other woman standing between her and me. I'll always be faithful I'll keep her till the end of time. God knows I'll always love that old panhead of mine.
DAC.
 

John Newman Jr.

Subscriber
Age
64
Last Subscription Date
12/23/2019
I could say I have a '48 Harley Davidson with a '55 Pan Head motor, but I would be kinda lying.........
What I have is a kit I bought (through Ebay, actually) that in the end, makes the above mentioned bike. There is only one part on that is genuine Harley Davidson - The gas tank emblems (does that count as 2?). The engine is a brand new S&S motor that has the oiling system improvements that make it like the '55 version. The bike is currently about 90% finished, but I have not been able to find / afford the correct gas tanks for it. The ones that came with it are too modern to be from a '48. If I could acquire the tanks I want, I could get the fenders painted at the same time as the tanks and wrap it all up.
I currently have 2 new in box unpainted sets of Fat Bob tanks. One has bayonet caps and the other screw caps. Would gladly trade both sets for the 'right' ones.
Its been covered with a tarp for a long time now... Really need to think about finishing it up this year.
 

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Sunnybrook

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
04/15/2019
Got that tape out of ERM in the 70s and may still have it somewhere..


but my wife ruled the roost - no motorcycles.
Harry, I was a daily MC rider from my teens to late 40s when I married, the bikes have not moved since.
I liked hit @ miss, cars and motorcycles, wife likes tractors and trucks.
I now collect mostly tractors and trucks... its a small consolation.
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Hey oldstuff how bout posting that pick of you wearing your raybans sitting on your chop in Moms garage?
Can't find it. If you have it post it.

---------- Post added at 04:11:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:07:54 PM ----------

Well she's hard to get started always so cold. In the mornings I find her she's looking so old. So many miles we been down that road once or twice. She's not much to look at when we ride through town, but I know when the chips fall she won't let me down. She's a high flying lady takes me where I want to be. There's no other woman standing between her and me. I'll always be faithful I'll keep her till the end of time. God knows I'll always love that old panhead of mine.
DAC.
Mine was a one kicker. I'd leave the throttle at idle stab it and it would take off.

People often flood old harleys then the saying comes true.
"You know a harley is going to start if the rider is stripped down to the waist from kicking."
 

bartlett0815

Registered
I hated to get rid of my old flip phone a few months ago but my new smart phone takes much better pictures. I consider myself to be pretty smart and I've often said that "smart phones make dumb people" but it took me forfreakingever to download a photo from my phone to my computer. So maybe the phone really is smarter than me. So if I'm really smart or lucky, here's a photo of the '62 Panhead. And yes, I dropped it when I was rolling it off the trailer. Neither the bike nor I was harmed in the process. My 1944 HD WLA flathead was a total rebuild project. Hopefully I can get this one running fairly quickly.
Kevin in Wilmington, NC
 

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I like oldstuff

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Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
but it took me forfreakingever to download a photo from my phone to my computer.
I do it the lazy way instead of blue tooth syncing or cable connecting to the computer. Just attach the pics to an email and send it to yourself.

If it's huge files like a long video yeah, then I'll do the blue or cable connect.
 

Doug Oldenburg

Subscriber
Age
72
Last Subscription Date
07/02/2019
Not a Pan......But my Heritage Soft tail Classic & its little friend, a '58 Cushman Eagle. My kids think I am to old to be on the Harley, but I ride it anyway. I'll be 71 in June & I know I make them nervous riding it, but not ready to give it up yet. :shrug:
 

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Sunnybrook

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
04/15/2019
A good friend of mine, born in 1927 died last year from an illness, he was still riding his 70s era shovelhead up to the end.
 

bartlett0815

Registered
Happy Easter All,
I hope the errant Chinese space station hasn't fallen and killed any of you. I was off work Good Friday and took the pistons out of the Panhead. Like my buddy had suspected, his dad had put high compression pistons in it back in the early 70's.. I don't want to go 100 MPH, I just want to be able to kick start it and ride slow on a 2 lane country road with no traffic. Low compression pistons are on order. This will not be a restoration. I just want it back together and running, looking more like an unrestored '62.
Kevin in NC
 

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