Sunday, February 1, 2015

My First Harley "Theodore"

My friend Ted passed away back in August. When I moved here back in 2006 he was the first vintage bike guy I met. He was such a grumpy curmudgeon like me, we hit it right off. He loved my wife and was there for my son's first birthday. It was sad to see his decline in health over the last few years. When he passed it was difficult. I and my friend Francisco helped his wife sort through his huge collection of XS650's to help sell. As we were cleaning she asked me if I'd be interested in his '49 Panhead. I was speechless, especially assuming it would go to his son. I managed to eek out a "yes" and then tried to figure out how. After some research I made an offer and it was accepted. Yesterday was the day it came home.

It's a 1949 FL, last registered in 1986. If I can guess it was restored late 70's/early 80's. His wife said he had it when they met, but he never rode it. It spent time in his office for a while. He collected a few parts for it here and there. And then it sat as his XS650 obsession took hold. I've known about it for years and joked with him about him wasting his money on the XSs when he had this bike in his shed. The fact it is now sitting in my garage is, for lack of a better overused word, surreal.

What I can tell about the bike is that it is mostly '49. The forks are '50-59 due to the lower fork legs (they should be sandcast aluminum painted black) and the headlight nacelle says "Hydra-Glide" (it should say nothing). The gas tank is likely a later 50's as it is not tank shift. The mousetrap foot shifter was been added. The dash is repop with 354 miles on it. It's been converted to 12V. It is just in very nice rider condition. I brought it home, hooked up a battery, and got spark which is very promising.

1 comment:

Davidabl said...

Obviously, it needs nothing. Except riding.