Everybody loves a Panhead. Harley’s revered icon of post-war production lead the company into a new future that still endures some seven-decades later. But, if you think a Panhead’s a Panhead like the lovely mill you see before you, you are wrong/not wrong at the same time. That lovely black Panhead engine is a true Panhead-style engine, it’s just that it’s not got a bit of genuine Harley-Davidson bits inside or outside the cases. It’s a RevTech Pandemonium Panhead with no links to Milwaukee other than basic design.
I personally have no experience with these engines other than seeing some in shows (not running) so I have no idea about their power and reliability. But, I do know a Panhead when I see one and this would have fooled me. The idea of a brand spanking new Panhead to build around has always intrigued me starting with the increased 88-inch displacement and, hopefully, modern materials and techniques.
That’s exactly what you’re looking at here in its vibrant Green Celtic paint leading to the name of the bike, Irish. It’s owned by a guy named Greg Scheuer and the only guy I know of with that name also happens to be more well-known as “Edge”. It would only make sense that Edge would own a traditional Panhead bobber like this as he’s famous for his founding of The Horse Backstreet Choppers Smoke Out event. It’s an event where tradition means everything and tradition means nothing at the same time. Just like back when “tradition” didn’t know it was going to be traditional. It was the style.
Keeping it traditional is the perfectly dimensioned rigid frame with simple, yet clean lines. And, who doesn’t like clean lines especially in a retro-style build? Not me, I think it’s a looker. A set of cleaned up forks raked out just enough should provide wonderful back road cornering as well as being quick-handling in city traffic too. Not a thing to bitch about the basics here.
One more time I see the use of old stock Harley 13-spoke mags that look so much better to me now than they did when they were new. Funny how that works, but every time I see them used on a custom now they look fresh for reasons unknown. Plus they gotta be the right price too. And, with some modern rubber wrapped around them, they’ve got to roll through the corners with ease. They’re topped off with a nice set of OEM H-D disc brakes and they gotta work pretty well on this relatively light weight build. Some of us like all the braking we can get and I’m definitely one of those brake freaks.
Edge went the traditional route too when it came time for bodywork. A Wassell-style fuel tank sits in a commanding position at a slightly jaunty angle and just looks the biz. Out back a short, rounded fender with speed-hole fender stays does its part along with an always cool MOONEYES oil tank in all its spun aluminum glory. A simple wide-base sprung leather saddle looks great and is only a couple of inches short of padding to be perfecto. Nice rise and reach bars with knurled brass grips complete the second part of the rider triangle. Speed-hole foot controls with knurled brass pegs mounted forward comfortably finish the triangle off.
But, it’s that big black Panhead, Harley or not, that provides the focal point of this build. You have to look hard to find the twin headers that shoot straight back after a wee-bit of pipe convolutions to get there. As always, an S&S teardrop air cleaner looks about as traditionally good looking as it gets while the open belt primary has become such a go-to mod for a lot of reasons it almost seems like it must old just by looks. What’s both traditional and not at the same time is the jockey shifter that’s going to stay busy working a modern six-speed tranny with a brass kicker hanging off the end. By the way, that shift knob has a lot of Celtic stuff on it that would make my dear old Irish granny happy.
More Irish stuff too in the gold graphics that could be described possibly as Irish Tribal and then throw in a nicely done Celtic cross on top of the tank and surely it’s full-on Erin Go Bragh time. Yup, it’s a perfect bar hopper if there ever was one.