Caleb's 1956 Panhead


Caleb Owens can build the hell out of a motorcycle. Working out of his epic mancave, the dude has created quite a few original machines over the years, each of them built with the soul intent to ride and ride hard. This time around Caleb went the extra mile and left not a single bit unpolished, unpainted or with old chrome. Aside from the BS1 he built last year, Caleb describes this as his only attempt at a "show quality" bike. Don't take that the wrong way, this machine gets ridden. But the attention to detail and time spent make this old panhead much more than an "attempt." Quite simply, it's the real deal. The subtle details aren't as obvious as a lot of modern show bikes, and that style suits Caleb just fine. Here's Caleb's take on the direction this bike is headed…

"When it comes to customs bikes or most things, my aesthetic tendencies are "organic". I'm drawn to things were the pieces work in combination to make a bigger statement. Flashy paint is great, but if that is all I see then it loses my interest. Contrast is a big one for me too. Complete chrome or polish just gets lost in a wash."

Caleb goes on by saying, "The intent of this bike was to be a little deceptive. At a distance it looks like a nice black and shiny bike, but upon closer inspection you find things you could easily miss if you didn't take your time—kind of like riding."




Bike name: Siksika (Google it!)

Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1956 Harley Davidson FL. Original cases, jugs, and heads. Original flywheels and rods. Original jugs were sleeved back to stock then honed to accept 10 over forged Wiseco pistons. NOS super B S&S carb with accelerator pump. Early Customs Cycle Engineering rocker boxes.

Frame: '56-'57 straight leg

Fork: Narrowed Big Twin springer

Chassis mods: Frame is molded and "shaped" at castings and seat post. Springer is narrowed with shaved rockers. Tank is a Wassell that was narrowed and frisco mounted

Tire/wheel size and style: 1.85" x 18" rear Akront rim laced with stainless spokes, wrapped inside a Firestone. Front: 1.6" x 23" 36-spoke front aluminum speedway rim laced with stainless spokes to an early chopper hub

Favorite thing about this bike: Besides riding it, I like that the bike is a bit deceptive. At a distance it's just a nice shiny black bike, but if you take your time and look at it, you'll see a lot of details.

Next modification will be: Switch it over to foot shift for its new owner

Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Anything that could be hand-made was hand-made. The foundation for most parts was a stock part that was heavily modified. Engraving on rocker tops, cam cover, magneto, carb, kicker cover, all in traditional scroll patterns done by Mark Cooper. Taillight is a 1948 microphone from a home reel-to-reel recording device. Carb cover is '40s era Ice-O-Mat ice crusher top, polished and engraved. Shifter knob is a hand-turned piece of walnut glazed with photo of my Dad circa 1945'ish. Paint has hand-made scroll designs etched in the clear coat. Mr. Cro was etched in the chrome on the clutch cover

Thanks to: Mrs. Kris Owens, my brothers Chuck and Buck, JD Sansaver, T. Markus Paint, Mark Cooper Engraving, Kiyo, Superior Plating, Concept Powder Coating, Culver City Sandblasting, Culver City Police Dept.; Bill & Harold, Matt & Dean from Dice, Warren Lane

Thanks to Mark Kawakami from Joyrides Art Co. for the intro photo

Comment with Facebook


Comment with Chopcult (35)

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 04:19 am

This is the most beautiful and desirable motorcycle I've seen in a long time !!!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 04:52 am

Beautiful bike with lots going on. That fuel petcock is differnet and I like it.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 04:55 am

Bang! Zoom! Pow! Straight to the Moon!!!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 05:17 am

Nice job Caleb!

It's great to see so much work in a bike without nailing crap to it everywhere. The details give the machine soul. Well fit parts, The "I-beaming" on the shifter and tank bracket are classy, Just enough engraving on the parts, wire cable loops, and a sweet set of front wheel spacers! Well done.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 06:34 am

Thats an amazing looking motorcycle very cool

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 07:52 am

Gosh....I need two of these

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 09:18 am

favorite bike of all time!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 09:20 am

Its' perfect the rake and the frontend, the tailight the gas tank mounts are genius.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 09:51 am


Commented on 6-20-2011 At 10:09 am

Most Excellent! Caleb!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 11:19 am

Those heads are so beautifully shiny.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 11:20 am

is it weird to say that you are in love with a motorcycle? cuz i am frikin head over heels for this one

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 11:35 am

It's only weird if'n you get caught tryin' to stick yer Willy up tha' muffler, usin' 50weight for lube AND there pictures.... No pictures? No weirdness. Nice bike. Respects

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 12:09 pm

I keep coming back to pics of this bike! It's all been said, but this thing is amazing. Caleb, you are a true artisan! Nice stuff all the way around!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 12:39 pm

It really doesn't get much better than this bike!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 12:48 pm

Saw this bike at Hippy Killer, SO many details. I love it

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 01:30 pm

that bike is jsut awesome. i love the attention to detail!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 01:43 pm

On another level. I can tell its one of those bikes that you need to go out of your way to catch in real life.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 01:43 pm

I love Caleb. I really do. I spooned with him one evening in San Felipe after one too many white wine spritzers.

The rest of that evening will remain behind closed doors...

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 02:10 pm

But I will divulge that we were listening to this:

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 04:08 pm

I dont like it....I freakin love it!!!!!!!! Well done

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 04:16 pm

Thanks for all the kind words! People digging the scoot is just icing on the cake.

Kevin, you were SO fucked up in SF that you were dreaming of me, but it was actually our new found friend from Texas, Buddy! He sends his kissed btw.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 05:33 pm

1 of the finest examples of a chop i've seen in awhile. pure, goddamn sikass gorgeous. can't get enough of it. top notch, excellent build

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 06:31 pm

sick machine!!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 08:35 pm

I want that bike !!!

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 10:07 pm

It screams Smiles from ear to ear.

Commented on 6-20-2011 At 10:37 pm

this is the best pan around right now... if u only had a spring seat it would've been perfect - lol !

Commented on 6-21-2011 At 12:52 am

Absolutely amazing!

Commented on 6-21-2011 At 07:33 pm


Commented on 6-21-2011 At 11:41 pm

there's beauty in every part!
I have to admit that I'm really impressed by your eye for the details!

Commented on 6-22-2011 At 12:28 pm

Hole...Lee...Shit! Balls cupped and powdered. Hands down the baddest pan i've ever seen.

Commented on 7-4-2011 At 06:46 am

love the engravings on top of everything else. really dig this bike.

Commented on 9-19-2011 At 10:45 pm

I love this bike. Caleb does beautiful work.

Commented on 11-9-2011 At 12:38 pm

drowning in my drool

Commented on 11-18-2011 At 09:18 am

well done man, beautiful piece of equipment

Please Login to Comment


ADVERTISE    |    CONTACT    |    ©2009 - 2017 ChopCult    |    REPORT ABUSE    |    CONDUCT

Chopcult on Instagram Chopcult on Pinterest Chopcult on Tumblr Chopcult on Facebook Chopcult on Twitter