There are internet know-it-all's out there who will tell you it is impossible to really ride an old bike, especially on old-fashioned tires, a rigid frame and all that. These self-appointed pundits have obviously never met my friend Kuda. This dude hammers his murdered-out panhead all around the country with no regard for the opinions of others. Over the years of riding and working on this machine it has devolved into exactly what it is, nothing more, nothing less and that suits Kuda just fine. I pushed the bike out into a light sprinkle during the 6th annual Gypsy Run and banged out a few snapshots before the drunken kayak grass races started.
Owner name, location: Kuda, Wheaton, MD
Bike name: Panchop
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1949 numbers matching cases, original heads, wheels, and rods. Mods: converted back to plumber's intake, FLH cam and springs, 8.5 to 1 pistons. Original Linkert M35 carb.
Frame: Original 1949 FL, chopped back in the 60's-70's.
Fork: Original 1949 FL Hydra Glide.
Chassis mods: Neck raked and plated to about 36 degrees, sometime in the distant past. Restored so far (un-modded?): tool box bracket, upper tank mounts, and plunger seat bracket.
Tire/wheel size and style: Rear: 16" 5 square spoke Invader, 1970's era. Front: 21" spoke laced to star hub.
Favorite thing about this bike: Simplicity. I built the bike to ride, so ergonomics, practicality, reliability, and reparability are all engineered into the bike. Mechanical drum brakes, hand shift, foot clutch, kick only…it just doesn't get much simpler than that. It's the very stripped down essence of motorcycling. I built it so that I'm always aware that I'm riding a motorcycle.
Next modification will be: Stock tanks installed, neck de-raked to original, rear stand tabs repaired, going back to 2-1 exhaust.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: No paint! Everything is powdercoated for easy care (it gets rain-washed). All pivot points have been fitted with a grease fitting (if not already there). Star hubs converted to sealed bearings, quick change oil adapter, sight gauge for oil level, modified pogo T-bar (moved back 4 inches for comfort), modified solo seat, hefty sissy-bar for strapping on camping gear. I used the stock internal "dead" throttle and left grip timer adjustment and welded them into a set of 14" apes (again, for comfort). Micro switches for latching relay for high/low beam and horn wired internally to bars. Latching relay for high/low beam hidden in headlight. Handmade true dual fishtails (required several days with a borrowed pipe bender to make). Analog GPS and working 1950's accessory cigarette lighter.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Too many to list. Way too many miles and adventures, I should probably write a book!
Thanks: Huge props to Ed at MDO Cycles www.mdomoderncycles.com, one of the last true old school shops around (and they let you use the shop for a fee, damn handy!). Also Wilber Dudley (301-963-3317) for working his powdercoating magic on everything and helping out with some of the trickier welding jobs. And huge thanks to the Pan Gods, Carl and Matt Olsen at Carl's Cycle for rebuilding the heads and finally getting the intakes sealed up correctly. Intake leaks suck!