Jeff’s ‘58 Pan


Article By: Paul Wideman

Photos By: Jeff Cochran

I guess I write from a little different perspective than most writers in the motorcycle publication biz for two reasons. The first being I have no real training and no journalistic background. The second is that I make my living in the business about which I write. This, I feel, gives me a little different insight when writing about feature bikes and their builders. I can get a little more into the nuts and bolts of a bike, pointing out what others may not have noticed, and asking the builder questions more focused on the build, rather than on style or personal history. While I am very narrow on what I prefer to build, I can see the beauty in any motorcycle, when said scooter is done the right way. Anything from a one-off hill climber to an all-out show bike to cut down café bikes; I appreciate craftsmanship and attention to detail. And what really gets me off is when a builder nails the entire bike, from concept, to fabrication, on down to the last pigment of paint.

Jeff Cochran has done just that with this Pan. When I first saw the pics of this bike, I was jealous. It is flawless. The bike is so simple, yet so beautifully detailed; it’s perfectly executed. I think one reason Jeff hits the mark every time is that he takes a very cool approach to building his bikes. It seems like he builds the entire project in his head, oftentimes on a long road trip, and then once the process is in motion, it doesn’t stop until the bike is on the floor, idling, ready to rip up the highways. He’ll tell you that he can’t sleep while it’s going together, waking up periodically to write an idea down, or just not sleeping at all because one little piece is a shade off perfect. It bothers the shit out of him: perfectionist. This ’58 started its new life in the hands of Tim Anding of Papa Clutch in Iowa.  T i m and Jeff did a little bartering while in Daytona, and this freshly rebuilt Pan is the booty Jeff walked away with. The motor had been completely gone through by Tim’s motor guy at F&J Racing, and was set in this old butchered up Shovel frame awaiting its new lease on life. The CCE Pan covers always look great, especially after the added love Jeff and his buffing wheel contributed. The only real change Jeff made to the engine was swapping out for a set of solid lifters, giving him a little less valve adjustment in his future. Not much more was needed to finish off the motor, save for the Mallory Unilite ignition and the S&S Super E carburetor. Never leaving well enough alone, Jeff went after the cases with a pack or two of sandpaper, wet sanding till his fingers were raw. The nasty cam cover received the same treatment, being brought to its lustery, life from an oil drenched, porous existence. And the badass pipes were of course done by Jeff, with the rear pipe disappearing into the front. Jeff took a couple swings at the design before he was completely happy with the result, but he says it was well worth the effort. The two into one gives the motor a crisp, snappy sound, and the throttle response is the same; form and function, folks.


The battered frame was cut down to just the cradle, and having a highway cruiser in mind, Jeff added 1 ¾” in the rear section. The neck rake was left alone, although a set of raked neck cups in the tune of 3 degrees were added later. The longer wheelbase equals greater stability at 90+ mph, which is where Jeff’s life begins. To compliment that longer wheelbase, Jeff added a taller transmission sprocket to the already rebuilt and Andrews equipped stock Pan trans. A slightly smaller sprocket was used on the rear wheel, adding up to a comfortable ride at high speeds. Rounding out the roller is a modified narrow glide frontend. The legs were heavily shaved, leaving the least amount of material possible. The trees were also lightened, as all tabs were removed and all holes filled. Jeff then hit the buffer again and brought it all to a high shine. A steering stabilizer was also added. He wanted this bike to be as stable and tight as it could possibly be.

Checking out the rear of the bike you will find the new Rush Hour Racing Series Brake Kit. Jeff has perfected this setup using Wilwood calipers and his own 304 stainless steel brackets. There are numerous ways to configure the kits, such as the unit seen here that allows 2 calipers to be controlled by the foot master cylinder and one by the hand control. This way Jeff can keep one foot on the ground, and one on the brake when at a hilltop stop light.

All of this is necessity due to the foot clutch setup. The dandy mid control setup is another one-off from Jeff that actually uses 316 stainless that again was buffed and polished in-house. The shine is worth the time. Same goes for the bitchin’ tank shifter that winds its way up past the massaged Sportster tank. Not to go overboard, a simple pool ball was stolen from a table somewhere and jammed on the end of the shift lever.

Jeff wet sanded the hell out of the rear fender and shipped it off to Brown’s in Paducah for a gleaming coat of chrome. A chrome fender can look so wrong, but in very few instances, so right! A Moon oil tank was used to round out the mechanical longevity end of the bike, while an antique brake light from a long forgotten pickup truck was placed atop the tag bracket to finish the safety aspect.

Bend up a set of bars, ship the tank to the painter, frame to powdercoat, seat to Dave Theobald and kick back, for a day or so. Jeff gives mucho credit to his outside help getting his bikes to fruition so quickly. He got the frame back from powdercoat within minutes, and set to work with assembly. As he wasn’t feeling the original brown leather seat, he barely mentioned anything to Dave, but within a very short time the black beauty you see here was in Jeff’s hands. The original paint by Scott Takes was beautiful, but in place of the black the bottom of the tank was blue. Feeling it had a little too much Evil Knievel feel, Jeff sent the tank over to Brandon Armstrong to have the black added. Jeff was happy as can be with both paint jobs, but the bike dictated the need for the change. Again, a perfectionist.

From the tire combo, to the paint/ chrome scheme, to the beautiful stainless steel work, the bike bleeds excellence. And it screams down the road! You can hear the huge grin on Jeff’s mug when he talks about how it handles and performs. It’s a real blast to talk bikes with Jeff, because you can really sense how much he loves what he does, and it shows.


The Speedking ‘58 pan Tech Sheet

Owner: Jeff Cochran city: Cincinnati, OH Fabrication By: Jeff Cochran Year: 1958

Model: Panhead

Time: 22 Days

Value: On A Sunny Day…Priceless!


Year: 1958

Model: Pan Builder: F&J Racing ignition: Mallory displacement: 74” pistons: HD heads: HD

cam(s): J Grind

carb: S&S E

air cleaner: Drag exhaust: Jeff Cochran primary: BDL Belt


Year: 1958

Make: HD

Shifting: Speeding Suicide


Year: Mid ‘70s (Hardtailed /Jeff)

Make: HD

Rake: Extra 3

Stretch: Extra 1.75” in Rear

Front End

Type: Sporty

Builder: HD/Speedking

extension: Minus


Front Wheel: Size: 21”

Tire: Scorpion

Brakes: On The Rear Wheel

Rear Wheel: Size: 5.5” Tire: Avon

Brakes: Speedking Triple


painter: Scott Takes/ Brandon Armstrong

color: Candy Red & Black

Type: H.O.K.

graphics: Underground Art Studios

Molding: None

chroming: Brown’s


Bars: Narrowed Apes

Risers: Stock

hand controls: SuperMoto

gas Tank(s): Sporty

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: Russ Weirdimont

Seat: Paul Cox

Foot controls: Steelborn Choppers

Mirrors: Dave Theoblad Leather Oil Tank: Mooneyes

headlight: 4.5 Mini

Taillight: LED

Speedo: None

photography By: Speedking Photo

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