Kim Boyle's 1960 Panhead


This machine has been a labor of love for two and a half years. Since the fall of 2008, nearly every part on Kim Boyle's "Fingertight" panhead has been inspected, replaced, rebuilt, redesigned, fabbed from scratch or tweaked in some way. Kim has a hypercritical eye and several of the pieces were made multiple times before he was satisfied. Valuable advice and help came from Benchmark partner and friend Pat McCormack. With his extensive experience as a machinist, Patrick was able to pitch in and help Kim solve many challenges along the way.

With a background in the style-conscious scenes of motocross, BMX and snowboarding, Mr. Boyle had no intention of crafting a cookie-cutter, cool-guy chopper. Instead, relying on a his varied influences he built exactly what he wanted, following no one else's template. Period correct? Hardly. Correct for any period is more like it. Combinations like disc brakes and panhead motors often get criticized for looking out of whack, but on this bike they look natural and broadcast the intent: Kim's bike is built to be ridden. These photos were taken after the bike had only accumulated about 50 break-in miles, but Kim has no reservations about riding it once he's sure it's 100-percent ready. "It's a motorcycle." he says. "I'm planning on riding the shit out of it."

For the few bits Kim had to farm out, he didn't cut corners, he went straight to the best. Seat by Xian Leather. Paint by Blue Moon. Tanks by Brandon at Mullins. Engine by Moreland's. The stance of the bike is spot on and makes it appear so simple and sorted. It's when you get up close and absorb some of the many details that you get a glimpse into the richness of the build. Not content with mass-produced parts, Boyle hand-crafted many of the small bits that other guys might be happy to just buy from a catalog of carve out of angle iron and forget about. Check things like the exhaust brackets, the headlight mount, the front brakeline hanger, molded taillight, the mid-controls, sprocket bolt washers and the jockey shift handle. Each piece has hours of labor and was hand-shaped with simple tools: a grinder, a Dremmel, some files, a polishing wheel and of course, elbow grease.

The man-hours Kim injected into the project add up and make it easy to understand why the build time was almost three years of constant work. Kim finally put a deadline on the bike and swore he was going to debut it at Born Free II. Many a late night was spent in the shop leading up to the summer's biggest and best bike show, but he made it. The hard work paid off, and Fingertight was awarded the "Best Competition Style" by none other than Jeff Wright from COC. Such accolades seem a fitting reward for both the motorcycle and its builder.

You can see more of Kim's work on BCM blog and on the Benchmark website. Also, keep an eye out for a feature in Street Chopper magazine.

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Commented on 7-16-2010 At 06:16 am

WOW. The details are amazing. Great bike!!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 06:38 am

I stood next to this bike and stared at all it's bits and pieces for an afternoon I spent with Kim, Pat, and Chris at their shop and it's nutty how much tweaking each and every aspect of this bike has received. CNC'ed and polished primary pulley washer, are you kidding me? Fabulous job Kim!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 06:48 am

This is one of the coolest bikes I have ever seen!!! Excellent attention to detail. Great pics Chop Cult...keep 'em coming!!!!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 08:00 am

beautiful motorcycle!!!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 08:15 am

this bike is finger lickin good

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 09:16 am

this bike is so freakin' inspiring...
the work and thought put into the details is incredible.
i love it!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 09:29 am

Yeah, this moto is one of a kind! bits are amazing, but my favorite is the front brake line hanger!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 10:17 am

I have to echo what others are saying here. I saw the bike at Born Free and then twice later at Kim's shop. It's almost too much to take in when you see it up close and at all the details. I complete inspiration. This bike led me to start my current build and if it's 1/4 as clean as Kim's I'll be stoked.

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 11:08 am


Commented on 7-16-2010 At 12:00 pm

Simply stunning

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 01:23 pm

fine lady!!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 02:26 pm

done perfectly in my opinion!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 04:15 pm

What can I say. It's a Pan, it's almost perfect laying in the front yard. Whatever you do to a panhead is like Kim Basinger getting her hair done, just another variation on perfect...

No, seriously, great job. It is complete as it is, nothing is there to say WTF? No discussion of rigid over swing arm, and there shouldn't be any.

Rigid? Or did I mean hardtail? Did we vote on the correct terminology yet? Oh yeah, no one fucking cares.

Great bike. Can I have it? Please?

~Rev Mike

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 04:28 pm


Commented on 7-16-2010 At 05:17 pm

That is one special bike. Excellent work.

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 06:00 pm

Damn! The bar has been raised.... That unity spot looks dope

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 07:23 pm

this bike makes me hate all other motorcycles.
damn you, you forced me to hate ;)

very nice bike.... I want that pipe!!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 07:44 pm

Nice job Kim. That bike RULES!

Commented on 7-16-2010 At 08:42 pm

hey now, that is such a fresh feeling frigging awesome bike

Commented on 7-17-2010 At 01:45 am

sometimes all the good things end up in one bike and we all drop our good kim

Commented on 7-17-2010 At 02:38 am

Been a fan of their work for awhile. Glad to see these guys in the industry. Job well done

Commented on 7-17-2010 At 08:30 am

I saw this bike last week at Curlys and I couldn't get enough. Insane bike that looks as it should be ridden and a comfortable one at that. The front brake res is fn cool. Great bike

Commented on 7-17-2010 At 11:19 am

You did an amazing job guys, getting to see this bike take form for the last few years has been great to say the least, literally one of the best bikes that I have ever seen - pictures DO NOT do it justice...

Commented on 7-17-2010 At 02:32 pm

good work buddy,

Commented on 7-18-2010 At 07:28 pm

I'm just home from Mooneyes and checked this and, well, Wow!
I'm sincerely grateful for all the comments.
This was a super fun build and I'm having blast riding this bike.
On to the next one.
Thanks everyone.

Commented on 7-19-2010 At 12:20 pm

i gotta know - what kind of mirror is that?? and who make that seat??
really tasty.

Commented on 7-19-2010 At 09:51 pm

one of the coolest fxr bratstyle bikes i have ever seen

Commented on 7-19-2010 At 10:22 pm

"one of the coolest fxr bratstyle bikes i have ever seen"

It's neither.

Commented on 7-20-2010 At 01:38 pm

Wow, I don't post many comments but this bike is just amazing. Well done, Mr. Boyle. I agree with everyone else about the level of detail; I just want to see this one up close to admire it. And I want that seat, awesome! New desktop wallpaper for the compy, Ha!

Commented on 7-20-2010 At 02:09 pm

That is a fucking bad-ass bike.
Nice work.

Commented on 7-23-2010 At 10:24 am

Shit's perfect.

Commented on 7-30-2010 At 07:21 am

Set the bar!! Great bike keep it up!

Commented on 10-26-2010 At 08:43 pm

Not only is this bike a work of art, but who would have thought that paint just plain ROCKS!

Commented on 12-8-2010 At 04:29 pm

Well done Kim. Gorgeous!

Commented on 3-8-2011 At 10:18 am

Amazing build. It not a shocker to me of how nice this bike looks though. Going to the best of the best for parts and then fabricating what you cant find. This is true dedication to the art. Great job on a killer piece of art.

Commented on 11-24-2011 At 12:40 am

great bike! sits nice

Commented on 12-9-2011 At 12:44 pm

Looking at it again after a long time..still just about the finest I've seen on CC
Front brake, rear shocks and all :-)

Commented on 12-25-2011 At 04:21 am

great looking bike.....paint is pretty cool. any video of the bike running so we can hear it?

Commented on 12-24-2012 At 12:45 pm

I love this machine! Just looks ready to dig into the corners!

Commented on 2-4-2013 At 11:28 am

What size disc rotor is that ? Share any details on what size spacers was used on the rear axle? Thanks

Commented on 7-29-2015 At 08:58 pm

Beautiful freakin' bike. Attention to detail - fit & finish - outstanding.

Commented on 11-1-2016 At 08:48 pm

How come there are no details about the engine size or 1/4 mile time if it is in the competition category? There are no details about the clutch or carb and all of the other critical components. The pictures all appeared to be dark black tint. It sounds interesting from all of the comments. Is there a particular setting that I need to see the detail?

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