Rollin Bones -The 4th Incarnation Of The 1950 Panhead

Published In The March 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Article & Photos By: Mitch “Magoo” BodineFeature 3a March 14 Kerri

While my wife and I were at the Race of Gentlemen, we checked out lots of cool bikes and hotrods. Mark Stevens’ Rollin’ Bones’ 1950 Panhead was definitely one of my favorites. A friend of mine owns a Shovel that Mark had built a few years back so I was already familiar with his work; this Panhead didn’t disappoint. Mark’s shop is in Binghamton, NY. He has been working on bikes most of his life and Rollin’ Bones has been going for the past 15 years. They do everything from a simple service to full-out custom builds. Other than laying down the paint, it is all done in-house. Rollin’ Bones knock out approximately 4 to 6 full builds each year. Mark has some cool upcoming projects you will hopefully see here in Cycle Source. Keep your eyes out for a ‘47 Knuck and a ‘47 Flatty coming soon! Mark has owned this 1950 Panhead for the past ten years. It’s in its fourth incarnation right now. It all started way back when Mark scored the motor. He worked a deal with the owner of a Pennsylvania Harley dealership who had the motor stored in his attic. The previous owner of the motor owed the dealer money for about 18 years. He finally decided he probably wasn’t going to get paid so it was time to cut his losses which ended up being Mark’s gain.

Feature 3b March 14 Kerri

The motor is now about 68 cubic inches with an EL bottom end and a 74” top end. Mark says it’s been “a real sweetheart.” Right now the motor has about four-five thousand miles on it since the last rebuild. The bottom end was built using the stock EL crank with Wiseco pistons and Harley cylinders. The stock heads were kept and totally rebuilt. FLH cams were chosen for this Pan, and the S&S carb houses a one-off air cleaner made by Mark. To bring the old Pan to life, a stock points’ ignition was also used. Mark custom made the exhaust and finished them with heat wrap. The motor gets the power to the trans with a BDL primary, and that 1950 four-speed transmission was rebuilt by Mark using Harley and Andrews’ parts. The stainless steel shifter and linkage were also Mark’s designs.

The original 1950 frame is powder coated black. Mark made the fuel tank and seat mounts to bolt on; the end result is awesome looking. The attention to detail is spot on. An old Harley Springer fork was used for the build. The risers were made to keep the handlebars as narrow as possible; they measure only 27 inches. Mark then took a Sporty tank and modified it. To get this machine rolling, Mark went with a 21” and 16” wheel combination with Avon rubber, and both ends use the stock mechanical drum brakes. The rear wheel uses discs from my buddy Kevin “Teach” Baas and Mark made a hub cap to clean up the area. To finish the build off, the beautiful House of Kolor Pagan Gold paintjob and graphics/striping were done by Mark’s friend Brian “Newt” Springstead.

Mark managed to finish it just a few days before the ride down to Wildwood for the Race of Gentlemen. The bike worked flawlessly for the 5 hour ride each way. This Pan is no trailer queen! For now, the bike is a keeper unless someone comes up with the right price! So keep an eye out for new projects out of the Rollin Bones’ shop. They can be reached at 607-343- 8490.

Feature 3c March 14 Kerri

Rollin’ Bones Panhead Tech Sheet
Owner: Mark Stevens – Rollin’ Bones
City: Binghamton, NY
Fabrication By: Mark / Brian Springstead
Year: 1950
Model: EL
Value: For Sale
ENGINE
Year: 1950
Model: El Panhead
Builder: Mark – Rollin’ Bones
Ignition: Points
Displacement: 68 ci
Pistons: Wiseco
Heads: Stock
Cam(s): FLH
Carb: S&S E
Air Cleaner: Owner
Exhaust: Owner
Primary: BDL
TRANSMISSION
Year: 1950
Make: H-D/Andrews
Shifting: Hand
FRAME
Year: 1950
Make: H-D
Rake: Stock
Stretch: Stock
FRONT END
Type: Springer
Builder: H-D
Extension: H-D
WHEELS
Front Wheel: Skinny
Size: 21”
Tire: Avon
Brakes: H-D Springer
Rear Wheel: H-D
Size: 16”
Tire: Avon
Brakes: Mechanical
PAINT
Painter: Brian “Newt” Springstead
Color: Pagan Gold
Type: House of Kolor
Graphics: Brian “Newt” Springstead
ACCESSORIES
Bars: 14” Owner
Risers: Custom – Rollin’ Bones
Hand Controls: VL Brake Lever
Gas Tank(s): Sportster- Rollin’ Bones / Newt
Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: 5” Custom
Seat: West Eagle
Foot Controls: H-D
Oil Tank: H-D
Taillight: Old Truck
Headlight: Unity
Tailight: Old Truck
Photographer: Mitch Bodine

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