First Year Panhead

Article By: Mitch Bodine

Photos By: Hannah Longo

Originally Published In The August 2013 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Feature 5a Aug 13 Kerri

In my travels working with Bling’s Cycles and then The Limpnickie Lot, I was fortunate enough to see some of the best bikes from all over this fine country. After putting on my Belmar Bike Show for the past couple of years, I’ve been amazed at how many of these bikes are right here in my backyard. One of them is Tony Hooks’ 1948 Panhead chop. This schweet ride has taken top honors at Willie’s Tropical Tattoo’s 2011 Biketoberfest show as well as at my 2012 Belmar event. Tony and his buddy Don Linsey, started on this Panhead in Don’s garage. During the build, Don became ill and passed away. So with help from some of his other friends, Tony finished the bike as a tribute to his late friend Don. He and his riding buddy, Bob Wilson, went to pick it up at Don’s and finish it up while he was still in the hospital. Unfortunately, Don passed away before they were able to complete the job.

Tony and Don started off with an original 1948 Harley frame, engine and transmission. The 74” motor was built by Eddy Hobar from Highland Park, NJ using mostly OG Harley-Davidson parts. Some of the exceptions are the S&S carb and Mallory ignition that were chosen to help its ride-ability. The Primo belt drive powers the Harley’s ‘48 tranny that Tony and Don rebuilt. Tony purchased the Wide Glide 6” over forks from Drag Specialties. To obtain that classic look, he used a GMA dual disc with a 21” wheel and some Avon rubber. The back houses a 16” wheel with an Avon Venom tire. The braking is achieved with a late model H-D caliper that they adapted to the ‘48 frame. The handlebars, risers, controls and most other non-original parts were also sourced from Drag Specialties. The forward controls and taillight c a m e from my buddy, Boston Mike. To tie t h e entire build together is the killer paintjob. Preston Scarano handled all the prep work, molding and laid down the black paint as well as the lettering on the tank.

Feature 5b Aug 13 Kerri

One of Tony’s top priorities was to get the bike to Willie’s Choppertime show. The time eventually ran out and they had to leave for Daytona with a bike that wasn’t done. They loaded it in the trailer and headed to sunny Florida anyway. When they got there, Tony and Bob brought the bike to a buddy’s garage and finished it up. After installing the belt drive, clutch, shifter and giving the carb a fine tune, she was good to go. Tony rode it to Willie’s show and his effort and hard work was rewarded with a trophy for “Best Pan.” Since then, Tony has over 3,000 trouble-free miles on it. Don would be so proud! Most weekends, Tony goes out riding with Bob Wilson on his 1947 Knucklehead and Bob Crank on his 1951 Flatty, which was featured in Cycle Source a few months ago. One Flatty, one Knuck, and one Pan…looks like they have it covered — with coolness.

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First Year Pan Tech Sheet

Owner: Tony Hooks

City: East Brunswick, NJ

Fabrication By: Don Linsey, Don Hooks

Year: 1948

Model: FL

Time: Almost a Year


Year: 1948

Model: FL

Builder: Eddy Hobar

Ignition: Mallory

Displacement: 74”




Carb: S&S

Air Cleaner: JP Cycles

Exhaust: Drag Specialties

Primary: Primo Open Belt


Year: 1948

Make: H-D

Shifting: Suicide


Year: 1948

Make: H-D

Rake: None

Stretch: None


Type: Wide Glide

Builder: Drag Specialties

Extension: 6” Over

Triple Trees: Drag Specialties


Front Wheel: Drag Specialties

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Venom

Brakes: Dual GMA

Rear Wheel: Harley-Davidson

Size: 16”

Tire: Avon Venom

Brakes: Harley-Davidson


Painter: Preston Scarano

Color: Black

Chroming: Mara

Graphics: Preston Scarano

Molding: Preston Scarano


Bars: Drag Specialties

Risers: Drag Specialties

Hand Controls: Drag Specialties

Gas Tank(s): Harley-Davidson

Front fender: None

Rear fender: Drag Specialties

Seat: A Gift From Don Linsey

Foot Controls: Boston Mike

Oil Tank: Drag Specialties

Taillight: Boston Mike

Headlight: Drag Specialties


Photographer: Hannah Longo

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