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Truth be told, I built this motorcycle by acquiring one part.

I got that part a long time ago, way before I even saw this

1942 Big Twin Flathead in my shop. It was a Fairbanks-

Morse Magneto off an XLCH. I had it on the shelf for years.

Some people like Magnetos, some people hate Magnetos,

and I’m the guy that thinks they are an awesome piece of

antiquated science you could ever throw on a motorcycle.

So the bike came into my shop as a consignment to sell.

It did not come in for any services. A man passed away

and his wife wanted to sell it because of the memories at-

tached being so strong. This bike was tired. Rust, oil on the

ground, a hodge-podge of parts, but I kept walking past the

thing on my way to work every day and I started to build it

in my head. I do that with all sorts of motorcycles that I don’t

own. I suppose it’s because it’s what I do every day. So fi-

nally one day I asked the owner’s wife what she would take

for it. Seeing that we got to know each other better, she

gave me a great deal and felt I would transform this motor-

cycle to my liking and that her late husband would love to

see it come back to life. So the first thing I did was to get rid

of everything except the motor, the transmission, and the

frame. I got rid of the FXWG front end, the disc break set

up on the rear, the seat, and the split bob fuel tanks. You

know I work on everybody else’s bikes and it took me, hell,

three years to finish it.

The motor was the most fun part of the whole project. She

was born a “U” but to my surprise she had ULH guts. In-

stead of a 74 cubic inch motor I got lucky with having an 80.

Everything else is pretty much stock and I was so happy

that much of the components in this motor passed inspec-

tion, I do everything thorough. It’s kind of like, other people

may not notice or see things about a motorcycle that may

drive the owner nuts, but I would know the discrepancies

of my own machine and I just can’t do that. So, I just went

through the lower end on up and went on to tackle the


The transmission is a ratchet-top, so we know she came

off an early Pan. It had a -52 casting number on the case.

I found where the leak was coming from; there was a hole

on the bottom of the case. Weld it up, and the problem

resolved. I have no idea where the frame came from, who

made it, it had no numbers but it was straight and one less

expense for the project. The frame didn’t have the member

“This bike was tired.”