Project Bikes

panster

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I suppose this bike started about a year ago when I saw one of the scramblers on eBay. There was just something that drew me to that bike like a cop to a doughnut. I called a buddy of mine who has a salvage business (I do his paint) and told him to be on the look out for a new Triumph, I didn't care what just something affordable. About two weeks later he called and said he found an '06 Bonneville black on an auction that had smoke damage. We wound up winning it for $300.00!

I suppose the Panster started out after an evening of hanging out at the shop of Tom Stevens, a friend of mine and local Sportster guru. I went to Tom for some technical advice on building and Ironhead and somewhere in our conversation he mentioned Ron Trock and told me about the infamous Shovster. After a few days of bouncing the idea against the wall, I thought a Panster was the way to go. So, another trip to Tom's, and low and behold he had me a set of Trock cylinders that he had dug up from his goldmine of cool old drag race nostalgia parts. A couple hundred dollars and I was on my way.

I scored a '73 Ironhead basket from eBay, kept the bottom-end and resold the rest, which turned out quite profitable. I cleaned the cases, fixed some threads, and bored them to accept my cylinders. Tom Stevens set up the flywheels and I topped it all off with a new set of STD panheads. True, it is easier said then done, but all I really had to do was move the head bolt pattern, plug and recut the clearance holes for the pushrods, and make new tubes to follow the push rod angles. Since the pans already have a steeper rocker ratio that the sporty, I was able to use stock "P" cams. I used stock 3 7/16 shovel pistons. I just had to cut the valve pocket a bit deeper. I used an S & S E carb mainly because I got a deal on it. I am a machinist by trade but cutting a $2,000 set of heads definitely caused a little sweating.

The bike itself came from a picture of an old "silent grey fellow" I've got on the wall in my shop. I thought it would be cool to make a modernized "Hot Rod" version of that bike.

I have always loved anything old, it brings to me a sense of craftsmanship – when a man was respected for the quality of his work rather than the size of his account.

The wheels are 21" cheapo's, which I modified to accept the perimeter brakes, and laced them with Buchanan spokes. The front end is loosely based off of the crime scene springer prints, I just changed it enough to make it more my style. The seat was taken from an old Schwinn in my Grandmother's basement, that I used to ride down to the river in the summer. Everything else was done by myself in the back of the family machine shop.

The Panster was a chore to build, but a blast to ride, definitely my favorite bike I've ever owned. Thanks to Tom Stevens and Ron Trock for helping me get the oil circulating, but most importantly my wife, for putting up with my bitchin' when things went wrong! — Jeremy Cupp, LC Fabrications

The Panster was the Smoke Out 8 winner, and Easyriders National Editors Choice 2009 winner.