The Sex Panther

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Article By: GTP

Photos By: Melissa Shoemaker

Originally Published In The November 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

You got to admit, looking back at the bikes from the good ol’ days they didn’t seem so good when you recall some of the mechanical monstrosities that the ‘90’s were responsible for. Lookin’ back now, all the drop seat, copper oil lines and repurposed rat rod esthetic you realize how quickly that all became dated. It seemed to be a collection of great parts assembled oddly, and I’m sure generations ago someone was saying the same thing about long front ends on a stock raked frame. Sure, an old Triumph looks nutty when you slap a long fork on it but really, who wants to deal with all that wacky handling that comes with it. Wacky is as wacky does. This is the situation that Gerald Case out of Reno Nevada found himself in when he acquired this 1964 Triumph. The bike had some fi ne parts, good chrome, and a solid runnin’ motor but had a much too long girder front end on it; making the whole thing a nightmare for anyone with even the basics of physics knowledge.

It was ugly, and if you sat on it, it would make you ugly too. With a nasty electric/cobalt-ish paint job accented with a set of stick-on vinyl fl ames that just screamed cheesy and not a good cheesy either….the other kind. Something needed to be done so Gerald had a project, and he dove right into it. Casey has been a hang-around at Denver’s Choppers for a while before this project so when it came time to make things happen he knew that Mondo and his crew would set him right. If you want to be inspired to build a quality, operational bike, Denver’s Choppers is the place to be. As you probably know, Mondo has been in this game forever, and when you talk choppers, Mondo helped lead the way. So talk of how it was back in the day isn’t speculation, Mondo was there.

The teardown process was done carefully. They inspected parts for breakage or signs of unskilled handiwork. The stack of discarded parts grew, eventually, Gerald got to the point that he could move forward. Once he removed all the pieces that he decided to change he was left with the front loop of the frame and a motor. Having a cache of Triumph parts ‘under the bench’ for years he was relying on that and some more properly chosen aftermarket parts, and he’d be in business. Casey started with a Lowbrow Customs bolt-on hardtail and a repopped girder front end designed after an original 1938 Triumph. The handlebars are Norman Hyde “M” bars fi tted with Maund inverted hand controls with custom cables made by Gerald. Stock foot controls were used. In the rear, Gerald laced the stock Triumph hub to an eBay sourced 18” rim and slapped a 4.00 x 18” Firestone on it and covered it all with a Wassell ribbed rear fender. Up front Casey reached under his bench and grabbed this Hallcraft wheel sporting a half spool/half drum hub, I’ve never seen one before, and that’s why he’s been sittin’ on it for so long. When asked about stopping power he said, “It’ll slow you down if you’re pushing it.” A skinny 2.75 x 21” was used to shod up the front.

The original T120R dual carburated motor was a good runner, so it was left stock internally and was equipped with Wassell 930 Concentric carbs capped off with velocity stacks. Mondo (yes, THAT Mondo) cobbled up the exhaust which is attached to the motor with another parts stash fi nd of big fi n exhaust fl anges. For sparking happiness, he went with a Wassell electronic ignition, and a Boyer power box was added to eliminate the need for a battery. The rest of the motor was cleaned and detailed before installing. The fuel tank is a prototype Paughco that was never produced for the masses and was customized by Mondo for this application. The Factory Metal Works oil tank was also tended to by Mondo himself. The seat is a sprung River Seat Co. item. When A-B-C Plating out of Reno fi nished the brightwork, the decision was made to go with a simple paint job. According to Mondo “With the right composition, a bike doesn’t need a fancy paint job” and bearing that in mind Mike Brit sprayed the strikingly simple PPG Envirobase to the applicable frame and bodywork. The result you see before you is the polar opposite of what its previous incarnation was. Now the front end happy 70/30 weight distribution is a thing of only bad memories. The nasty blue paint and vinyl fl ames have gone the way of the dinosaurs, replaced with a proper ride and cool subtlety. A custom in timeless fashion that will always be in style.

SEX PANTHER TECH SHEET

Owner: Gerald Casey

City/State: Reno, NV

Builder: Owner/Mondo Porras

Year: 1964

Model: Bonneville

Time: 6 Months

ENGINE

Year: 1964

Model: Bonneville T120R

Builder: Greybeard On The Edge Of Town

Ignition: Wassell Electronic

Displacement: 650

Pistons: Stock

Heads: Stock

Carb: CV

Cam: Wassell 930 Concentrics

Air Cleaner: Velocity Stacks

Exhaust: Mondo/Factory Metal Works

Primary: Stock

TRANSMISSION

Year: 1964

Make: Triumph

Shifting: 4 Speed

FRAME

Year: 1964

Model: Triumph

Rake: Stock

Stretch: 4” Up 2” Down

Forks

Builder: Triumph 1938 Speed Twin Replica

Type: Girder

Triple Trees:

Extension: None

WHEELS

Front Wheel: Hallcraft “Son of Mini”

Size: 21”

Tire: Firestone

Front Brake: Tiny Drum

Rear Wheel: Triumph

Size: 18”

Tire: Firestone

Rear Brake: Drum

PAINT

Painter: Mike Britt

Color: Black

Type: PPG Envirobase

Graphics:

chrome: ABC Plating

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Norman Hyde M Bars

Risers: N/A

Hand Controls: Inverted Levers by Maun

Foot Controls: Stock

Gas Tank(s): Mondo/Paughco

Oil Tank: FMW/Mondo

Front fender: N/A

Rear Fender: Wassell Ribbed

Seat: River Seat Co.

Headlight: 4.5”

Tail light: Prism Supply Co.

Speedo: None

Photographer: Melissa Shoemaker

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