Frankenpan

Article And Photos By: Josh Elzey

Originally Published In The March 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Kevin Deschambeault from Maine had been searching for several years to find a simple, clean, no drama yet timeless styled bike; the kind of motorcycle that would begin a chapter in a book filled with many stories from its riding adventures. Kevin knew he wanted a mild custom vintage Harley-Davidson that had a modern chop but also knew it had to be rideable! Not wanting to settle on just anything, he spent years scouring and hunting until he came across a listing that Caleb at CroCustoms put out on the interweb. The motorbike listed for sale was named ‘FrankenPan.’ FrankenPan was originally built for Born Free 5 back in 2013. After agreeing to a purchase, it was agreed that Caleb could display the bike at various shows until it reached the Brooklyn Invitational some months later. Fall finally came, and it was time to pick up FrankenPan. Kevin grabbed a buddy for the 5-hour drive to the Invitational. There, he finally saw the 1949 FL in person! It was gloss black with a distressed pinstripe from T. Markus. The frame and front end stayed true to the 1949 parts with use of OEM and reproduction parts and handmade risers. A 21” WMI rim with an early Halcraft mini brake hub and stainless Buchanan spokes wrapped in Avon Speedmaster MKII were used in conjunction with the 16” Harley rear wheel and sectioned radiused rear OEM fender. The stand out parts are the hand engraving on the early Morris Magneto, modified early Cycle Engineering Rocker Covers, Imperial Primary which is modified with a large center rib, handmade rear tank mount, and other parts that were all hand done by Mark Cooper. Tanks were narrowed in the rear while the dash was chopped to sit one inch lower than stock.

The footpegs are repurposed ‘50’s juicer handles, and the shift knob was handmade by Tyler from Dark and Dawn. An air cleaner was made from chopping up an Imperial Primary derby cover. The 1956 Harley Heads were polished to a shine while the horseshoe oil tank had Frankenstein painted on it (Caleb gave Kevin the original artwork), hence the nickname! Caleb and Kevin shared some beers to seal the deal after the show. Caleb was digging that his bike would be munching slab in the Northeast. Once home, Kevin rode his new acquisition for a few weeks and snuck in a couple of hundred miles before Old Man Winter rolled into New England. It ran well and was a blast to ride! In December, Kevin decided to hand the FL over to Pudgy’s Cycle for fresh fluids and a general look over before putting it up for the season. Several weeks later Kevin realized just how much riding he was planning for next season, so it was decided to do a complete engine rebuild, that would include updating the S&S running gear to give better power and reliability, Andrews BH cam, a smoother oil pump and internals as well as rebuilding the transmission with modern parts. The bike spent the winter at Pudgy’s Cycle where it was meticulously cared for by the owner and his son Daryl who are lifelong experts on Harley Davidson, especially older models.

They agreed that the originality of the bike was the most essential part of the build and didn’t want to sacrifice the original look. They put in a lot of blood and sweat to get the Pan ready by springtime. The bike was back in Kevin’s hands just in time for the salt to start clearing off the roads. The bike now starts and rides like a bullet! Since Kevin is in Maine, the motorcycle visits the coastline of Acadia National Park, Boothbay Harbor and Kevin’s personal favorite Pemaquid Point. Inland rides include the forever fun mountains of Rangeley, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf ranges. Maine affords the luxury of riding your bike well over 100 miles before you ever need to put your feet down and this motorcycle munches it all up! I ran across the bike 7 hours south in Wildwood NJ at the Night of TROG. The “old” ‘49 cruises effortlessly at 70 and still has plenty more punch. What Kevin loves most about the bike is that 99% of people walk past without noticing anything. The bike was built and still retains such subtleness that unless you slow down you will not hear the stories it holds. From the mild customization to the distressed pinstriping and all the engraving, there is much to soak in. Kevin’s personal favorite is “Cost Money To Live” engraved on the primary which is entirely hidden, and so spot on!

Frankenpan Tech Sheet

Owner: Kevin Deschambeault

City/State: Lewiston, ME

Builder: CroCustoms

Year: 1949

Model: Harley-Davidson FL

Value: $35,000

Time:

ENGINE

Year: 1949

Model: Panhead

Builder: Pudgy’s Cycle

Ignition: Early Morris Magneto

Displacement:

Pistons: Stock Replacement

Heads: 1956 Harley-Davidson

Carb: S&S Super B

Cam: Andrews BH Cam

Air Cleaner: Imperial Derby Cover, Chopped

Exhaust:

Primary: Imperial Primary, Modified

TRANSMISSION

Year:

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: 4 Speed Jockey

FRAME

Make: 1949

Model: Wishbone, Reproduction

Rake:

Stretch:

Front End

Type: Springer

Builder: Harley-Davidson

Extension:

Triple trees:

WHEELS

Front: WMI, Buchanan Spoke

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Speedmaster MKII

Front brake: Halcraft Mini Brake

Fear: Harely-Davidson, Stainless

Size: 16”

Tire: Shinko

Rear Brake: Stock Drum

PAINT

Painter:

Color: Gloss Black

Type:

Graphics: T. Markus

Engraving: Mark Cooper

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Narrowed Apes

Risers: Cro’s Nest Springer Clamp

Hand controls: Original

Foot controls:

Gas Tank(s): Stock, Narrowed

Oil Tank: Horseshoe

Front fender: None

Rear Fender: OEM, Sectioned/Radiused

Seat: Shack Cycles

Foot Pegs: 50’s Juicer Handles

Tail light: Monarch Bike Reflector

Speedo:

Photographer: Josh Elzey