Ermordet

Article By: Roadside Marty

Photos By: Missi Shoemaker

Originally Published In The January 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

If you’re around custom motorcycles enough sooner or later, you’ll hear someone say “Ain’t no head like a Panhead,” and this bike certainly fits that statement! This bike started off as a form of physical therapy for its builder Mike McFadden of M&M Customs out of Owensboro, Kentucky. You see, Mike grew up during the 80’s racing BMX around the country, and as most of us from that generation he eventually gravitated to motorcycles. September 6th 2017 is a day Mike will never forget because it was 3 days before the 40th anniversary of a local BMX track that he grew up racing. He along with a few other guy’s were asked to bring their old bikes back and show the new riders what it was like back then. Well, one thing led to another, and it was soon decided that they would have an old timer’s class. Long story short, they had a practice that night, and Mike ended up over the bars and on the pavement with multiple fractures. McFadden was stuck in the house going stir crazy watching Dr. Phil, and going to physical therapy he needed something to take his mind off things. Luckily, he got an e-mail from Eric Patterson whom he’d met a few years earlier. Eric he really liked his style and wanted Mike to shoot him a price to put his Panhead together.

Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

Patterson had been slowly collecting parts for this project for a few years and storing them in his closet. The inevitable time came…his wife wanted the closet space back! Mike had never done a Panhead before so he jumped at the chance, figuring garage therapy was the best thing for a broken body and ego. A week later Eric showed up and spent about an hour unloading boxes while in between telling Mike his vision of what he wanted. The movie “Road to Paloma” starring Jason Momoa has a bike that’s one of the main focal points of the film, and this is what Eric had in mind. Mike searched the Internet for photos as well as rented the movie. He watched and paused throughout the film to see the how the bike looked.

Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

Eric was adamant that it have the raw unfinished look and that the frame NOT be modified in any way. The 54 wishbone frame was in perfect condition except that somewhere earlier in its lifetime, someone had molded every nook and cranny with Bondo. Mike finally convinced Eric to let him sandblast the frame and start fresh. The rear fender was mocked up first, and Mike started with a Manta Ray fender from Lowbrow Customs that had a perfect radius for the 16” rear wheel. In my personal opinion, I think the ideal wheel combination on a chopper is a 21” front wheel and a 16” rear wheel. The fender struts were bent up, and then Mike started on the seat pan that uses a drop tube mounting system like a bicycle. Cole Rodgers from 138 Cycle’s was tapped to do the leatherwork on the seat, and I think the 54 tooled in really sets it off. The tank is a Moto Iron narrow Sportster Frisco style that Mike modified with the sight gauge and sets on the backbone perfectly. The springer is a 48 offset that was rebuilt back to stock specs by Jason Phares, who also did those cool risers. The drag bars are a TC Bros. item that Mike outfitted with a Exile Cycles internal throttle. The wheels are from Black Bike Wheels and are wrapped front and rear with Avon rubber, the front wheel is a spool 21 that looks right at home. The back is stopped by a Performance Machine caliper and a stainless rotor. For the foot controls Mike went with half-moon floorboards and a suicide clutch pedal from Paughco, and you can’t go more Chopper than no front brake and a jockey shift. Another nice touch is how Mike ran the oil filter under the tag bracket. Mike went with the best in the business for the charging system and used a Cycle Electric generator with a built-in end regulator.

Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

The headlight is a reproduction Unity item, and the taillight came from Gabe at After Hours Choppers. The 54 Panhead motor was bought as an already rebuilt motor from Tom Krause of TK Performance that uses a Dynatek-Dyna S ignition, an Andrews cam, stock 74 pistons with HD heads and cylinders. A S&S Super E carburetor was used along with an Old STF Bee Blocker air cleaner, S&S is also represented with the oil pump responsibilities. The transmission is an early 60’s Panhead transmission that was bought as a rebuilt item also. For the primary Mike used a Rivera Primo 2” belt drive and clutch combination. Mike laid down the gloss black paint and managed to work in a two-headed German Crest Shield that is “ghosted” into the paint as to not catch any grief from the folks who can’t tell the difference between the single-headed crest and the double-headed crest.

Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

Mike had his good friend Wayne Heath helping him with the assembly and was a huge help. once Mike had everything together Tom Krause finished up the loose ends and did the fine-tuning on the bike. The Kentucky Kickdown was the first time the bike was brought out, and it won the Editor’s Choice award from Cycle Source, and both Eric and Mike were blown away. Eric rides the Pan as a daily rider along with his other bikes and has a killer time with it. Mike can’t thank Eric enough for choosing him to build this bike and how much his patience helped him get back on the road and back to working after 8 months of healing and physical therapy. Thanks for sharing this bike with us!

Kentucky Kickdown, Louisville KY, September 15, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

ERMORDET TECH SHEET

Owner: Eric Patterson

City/State: Haubstadt, IN

Builder: M&M Customs

Year: 1954

Model: Custom

Value: ???

Time: 8 months

ENGINE

Year: 1954

Model: FLE

Builder: HD/TK Performance

Ignition: Dynatek-Dyna S

Displacement: 74 in

Pistons: H-D

Heads: H-D

Carb: S&S Super E

Cam: Andrews

Air Cleaner: Old-stf Bee Blocker

Exhaust: Paughco

Primary: Rivera Primo

TRANSMISSION

Year: Late Panhead

Make: H-D

Shifting: 4 Speed, Jockey

FRAME

Year: 1954

Model: Wishbone

Rake: None

Stretch: None

Forks

Builder: H-D/Jasin Phares

Type: Springer

Triple Trees:

Extension: None

WHEELS

Front Wheel: Black Bike Wheels, Spool Hub

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Speedmaster

Front Brake: None

Rear Wheel: Black Bike Wheels

Size: 16”

Tire: Avon MKII, 5.00

Rear Brake: Performance Machine 4 Piston

PAINT

Painter: Mike McFadden

Color: Tuxedo Black/Son Of A Gun Grey

Type:

Graphics: Mike McFadden

Chroming:

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Drag-TC Bros

Risers: Fork

Hand Controls: Exile Internal Throttle

Foot Controls: Paughco

Gas Tank(s): Moto Iron-Narrow Sportster Frisco

Oil Tank: Horseshoe, side fill

Front fender: None

Rear Fender: Lowbrow Manta Ray

Seat: Cole Foster

Headlight: Repop Unity

Tail light: Prism Supply

Speedo: None

Photographer: Missi Shoemaker

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