Article By: Milwaukee Mike
Photos By: Chris Callen
Choppahead Customs is better known for its use of mostly Triumphs and British bikes for the bulk of their ample building and fabrication skills. But look what can happen when they get their hands on a Harley and are given the chance to show off what they can do with it! Big Truth is one of the main players over at Choppahead, and his partner Jay is the other half. Truth told me that he has had the vision of a bike like this in his head since he was a young kid. He saw a bunch of club guys running up the road and thought: Some day I will have a machine like that! So here it is, 30 years later, and the bike has gone from an idea in his head to a reality in his garage. Although, it has not always been an easy road as anyone who owns a shop knows. Your personal projects always take a back seat t o customers’ needs and so in that great fashion this b i k e took about 3 years t o become a reality. It all started with a phone call to Truth’s pal Dusty down in Texas. Truth had found a complete Pan/Shovel that was on the block for cheap because the old owner wanted to move and needed the dough from the bike to make it happen. After a quick once-over from Dusty, the deal was struck and the bike was coming to New England.
Once it hit its new home in Boston, a few changes were in order. It seems the bike had been set up for the desert, and the potholes and tight streets of the east were punishing the old Santee frame something awful. So the bike got ripped down to pieces to start its life over. It was reborn as the animal you see before you and now known as the “Sex Panzer.” The name of this bike fits perfectly, as the line in the movie Anchorman goes: …60% of the time it works every time! That is a great set of odds when you are dealing with a mishmash of parts starting with a engine that’s already 60 years old. As anyone who owns old iron can tell you, they can be as sweet as silk one minute and as frustrating as all hell the next. This bike had somewhat of a typical evolution as it came together slowly. As I mentioned earlier, the customers’ bikes and the day-today work at the shop always came first. Although when the Panzer’s day came, it was d o n e with a “nothing else matters” kind of mentality that consumes your every thought and even your dreams. The bike in Truth’s head was finally becoming a reality!
The main o b j e c t i v e was to build this bike like it belonged in a Roger Corman late ‘60s or early ‘70s biker exploitation film; it would have been at home in any MC clubhouse in that same time period. As I said, the bike had to be reborn for its new environment. Step one was to have Wayne over at ACME choppers build a frame in his distinctive loop style with a 4” stretch and no rake as to keep the geometry tight and useful in Boston traffic. The frontend had to be as useful and fit the lines of the new frame. An inline Springer was a natural choice. Since a decent old invader front wheel could not be found, the replacement came in the way of a Chica 21” wheel which was made to fit by replacing the rockers with a set to accommodate the 3/4” axle. After that, the style of the bike was to not overdo the fabrication and keep the build true to its roots. Handlebars, sissy bar, mounts and perches were all designed and made in-house at Choppahead. To keep with the theme of this bike’s good looks would not be in how much, but that the sum of its parts would show its true beauty.Truth hit the nail on the head like he was playing Hammerschlagen.
Another neat little trick that Truth pulled was to take an original set of MCM cocktail shaker mufflers and change the mounts on them so that both the mufflers came to the right side and are stacked on the bike. A gift from the trip to Japan for the Mooneyes’ show yielded him an original Rat Fink taillight lens and Truth made a bucket for it in-house. The rear fender is made from a Lincoln Zephyr spare tire carrier that was shaped to fit the tire and rear of the bike. Speaking of the rear end of this bike, you may not notice this right off, but this bike sports a lot of anti-social pedigree starting with the topper on that very prominent sissy bar. Truth said, “I am a 100% capitalist American and have no socialist slant as some people may think by looking at the back end of this bike.” He also mentioned how that sissy bar works as a great litmus test to weed out the people that just don’t get that there is a good balance of humor in the personality of this build. Truth explained, “If they don’t see that, then they probably are not the kind of people that I need to be dealing with. Obviously they take their own political correctness way too seriously and can’t laugh at how funny life can be! Two of the greatest compliments I got on this bike was the first time we brought it out to a show and an old grizzled greybeard said to me, ‘Well, I see someone has a great sense of humor in your shop!’ The other one came hours later when another oldtimer mentioned how you could tell that someone had to have been raped on that bike! I knew I had hit the money on this build.” Truth said as he wasn’t sure anyone would understand that in this bike lies the balance between humor and seriousness.
“Kinda like life!” he added. The final cherry on the sundae of this bike has to be the paint as well as the engraving on the motor. It was all done to the extreme with a great collaboration of Jay from Choppahead shooting the silver base flake and then letting Chicago Chris do all the candy colors and the extreme designs. The final product gives your eyes so much to see that it takes days of staring at it to catch all the subtle details. The metal removal that was done by Truth’s buddy C h r i s , only adds to this equation and sends the final product just that much farther into amazing. All in all, I say well done! It is good to see a proper, over-the-top chopper floating around out on the roads again. Big Truth and Choppahead would like to thank the following for making the picture in his head come to life: Jay and the rest of the guys at the shop for making all the sacrifices they did to make a couple of years worth of work seem to only take a couple of months; Chopper Dave for the help with the foot pegs and the air cleaner; Henry for his part in helping with the transmission and the ignition issues; Wayne over at ACME for the impeccable framework ; Chicago Chris for the paint; Dusty in Texas for scoping out a beauty in the rough; and all the Hatef**kers for moral support and drinking all his damn beer!
Sex Panzer Tech Sheet
Owner: Big Truth
City: Armpit of Massachusetts
Fabrication By: Big Truth/Choppahead
Time: As I Could Fit It In Between Customers
Value: More Than Your Life!
Year: ‘56 Pan Bottom End – ‘66 & ‘75 Heads
Carb: Super E
Air Cleaner: Chopper Dave Hooked Me Up!
Exhaust: Paughco w/ OG MCM Cocktails
Primary: Primo Open Belt
Make: Acme Loop Style
Type: Inline Springer
Front Wheel: Chica Invader
Tire: Avon Speedmaster
Rear Wheel: OG Invader
Brakes: HD Hydraulic Drum
Painter: Choppahead/Base & Flake –
Chicago Chris/Candies & Clear
Engraving: Engraver Chris
Chroming: Joe Asshole The Crazy Russian
Hand Controls: Nothing Special
Gas Tank(s): Frisco’d Sporty
Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: Zephyr Spare Tire Cover
Seat: Fab. Kevin Pan/Tooled by Truckalope Jay
Foot Controls: Stock/Chopper Dave Pegs
Sissy Bar: Truth/Choppahead
Oil Tank: Old HD
Headlight: Unknown Origins
Photos.By: Chris Callen