Cole Foster's Panhead


Cole Foster, son of Hot Rod Hall of Famer Pat Foster, practices his craft under the Salinas Boys moniker in the fertile farmlands of central California. A veteran car builder for over 20 years, Cole came to global prominence in the motorcycle scene on an episode of Discovery Channel's "Biker Build-Off," where the wry and wily fabricator serviced his period-correct pompadour, tongue firmly in cheek. Cole's slighly brooding yet casual demeanor is one of his most endearing qualities. An eye for fit, finish, stance and style is tops among his others.



As one zen master of motorcycle maintence I know sees it, Cole Foster's minimalist aesthetic cast the modern archetype for today's lean, clean (dare I say it?) "bobber" style. When he introduced his stout, narrow motorbikes to chopper freaks raised on reality-show melodrama, Cole's two-wheeled sculptures provided guidance and inspiration for a new breed of garage builder. I know the stripped-down style has been around since WWII, but in my opinion it was Cole Foster and his perfect hair who delivered "bobbers" to the masses. Before Cole, mainstream chopperazzi seemed convinced that if it didn't have spider webs or scary skulls, it wasn't a custom motorcycle.

I saw this panhead for the first time at the David Mann Chopperfest in Ventura, California, December of '09. What struck me about Cole's bike at the time wasn't its period correctness or rich patina. Instead, I was impressed by its paint. In a day when leading painters like Harpoon, French Kiss, and Blue Moon Kustoms couldn't crank out Summer of Love flake jobs fast enough, Cole Foster trotted down from Salinas with a panhead painted like a river dick's jet boat. Whether Cole's choice of livery was a calculated strike against conventional wisdom or merely an homage to "Corvette Summer" is beside the point. The fact that Cole turns left when everyone else is turning right makes the man a saint in my book.

To see more of Cole's work in two wheels and four, visit the Salinas Boys website.

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Commented on 7-20-2011 At 04:04 am

Yeah, ok... But who did the paint?


Commented on 7-20-2011 At 05:00 am

thats how U do it son!

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 06:50 am

I've loved Cole's work for a long time. This bike is no exception! Awesome!

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 08:09 am

Very nice bike,no doubt.I don't see the paint job as going against the grain really though.I like the air cleaner cover.And pretty much everything else.

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 08:51 am

Glad I was able to see it in person at BF3!

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 09:10 am

im in love with this bike

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 12:19 pm

Love the colors!

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 02:16 pm

Cole Foster is the man his machines are always right on... style and substance yep this bike has both

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 02:22 pm

that tank makes my penis tingle a little

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 03:04 pm

paint was done by Bill Carter, or Wild Bill....he's the man, google it!

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 03:09 pm

very sweet tirde and interesting paint. I like it.

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 04:31 pm

Really like the placement of the floor boards. Some room to stretch move on those long hauls. And mid section enough to get your ass up before some train tracks.

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 04:47 pm

Chrome frames hold a special place in my heart... as does this entire bike!!!

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 04:53 pm

Dig the bullet light under the pipes thats how they used to do it dual bullet lights way down low

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 05:13 pm

this is the bike we all dream of weather we know it now or not its the best pan ever.

Commented on 7-20-2011 At 09:39 pm

yeah, the lights are cool as hell

Commented on 7-21-2011 At 08:00 am

slick machine

Commented on 7-22-2011 At 12:31 pm

Super tasty machine.

Commented on 7-23-2011 At 01:43 am

Always liked his work. There is something about his bikes that everybody tries to imitate but just couldn't.

Good old H-D parts and magneto. Couldn't go wrong with them :)

Commented on 7-25-2011 At 01:23 pm

King of Clean....nice work.

Commented on 7-26-2011 At 05:01 pm

you couldnt really expect any thing less then awsome from cole foster

Commented on 8-19-2011 At 12:58 pm

That tail light mounted under the exhaust is trick.

Commented on 12-1-2011 At 07:14 pm

Cole Foster

Commented on 12-1-2011 At 07:14 pm

is the man lol

Commented on 8-25-2012 At 07:35 pm

This bike is beautiful. Plain and simple.

Commented on 9-14-2014 At 09:42 am

I like this bike a lot- by far one of my faves.

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