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  1. #1
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    Default 1957 FLH Rebuild

    A Brief (I hope) history.

    I started with a 1957 FLH engine in 2010. I had it completely rebuilt, as well as a 4 speed transmission I bought. I don't know the year of the trans.

    From 2010 to 2017 I built a chopper. There was always an excuse not to work on it, so it took forever. I finished the mock up and decided since I was making decent money working, I would have a local shop do the tear down, moulding, painting and final assembly. This is how it turned out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 57FLH3000.jpg   Panhead_Complete01.jpg  

  2. #2
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    There was a big fiasco with North Carolina regarding getting a 1957 Title for the chopper. So after a lot of time and money wasted, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a stock frame. I was just about to buy one from VG Motorcycle, when I found a real OEM frame. It's stamped with a 56 on the motor mount, but I guess it could have been used on a '57. No?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    I removed the engine and trans out of the chopper and tried to sell the rolling chassis. My plan was to use the money for new build.
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  4. #4
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    ^^^ Man that is an awesome looking bike......^^^^^^^^^

    You did good..........

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    ^^^ Man that is an awesome looking bike......^^^^^^^^^

    You did good..........
    Thanks. I would have loved to have kept it as a chopper for a while at least. It was really fun to ride. But NC's DMV wouldn't budge.

    I put the engine and trans in the stock frame. That seat is just one of three possibilities.

    It seems it doesn't matter how new the parts are, or them being in excellent shape... nobody wants to buy my Chopper rolling chassis for anywhere near what I have into it. So I'm going to move most of the parts over to the Bobber. Controls, oil tank, maybe even the wheels if they don't sell.

    As for next steps, I'm looking for a rear fender. Either stock, reproduction or if all else fails, a Led Sled one.

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    ^^^ So your going for a stock look??????^^^^^ Kinda???? What about the front end?????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    ^^^ So your going for a stock look??????^^^^^ Kinda???? What about the front end?????
    I poured a lot of money into the Chopper, that I'll never recoup. I wanted to get this Bobber version back on the road as quickly as possible, so I'll probably end up using the wheels and controls on the Bobber. I've set May as my deadline because I'll be 70 then.

    Learning from the Chopper, I want to be able to hold more fuel. I have a set of Harley 3.5 gallon tanks laying around. They're a little rusty inside and need some body work and paint. I also have an OEM dash base and cover. I've got an old speedo that needs rebuilding. I could get all that fixed up and on the bike with little expense.

    I would like to put a new chrome reproduction springer (stock length) on the bike. I just like the looks. I'll be using a 21" front tire. The main undecided thing is the seat and rear fender. If I go with a reproduction stock fender, I can use the stock pogo style seat I have. It might look a little off balance, though. If I go with a Led Sled rear fender, I'd have to go with either the seat shown above or a two spring solo seat I have.

    I've got to make up my mind quick because it will probably take a while to get delivery. If you know of any Bobbers with a springer front end and stock tanks and rear fender, let me know.

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    I'm a little confused... Do you have a title for the motor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillPhelps52 View Post
    If you know of any Bobbers with a springer front end and stock tanks and rear fender, let me know.
    If your asking for pics I have one but it's not for sale..........

    It sounds like you have a great plan, Keep us informed on what your doing............

    Yea it doesn't have a stock rear fender but you get the drift.......
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 101_0471.jpg  
    Last edited by Tattooo; 11-10-2021 at 10:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    I'm a little confused... Do you have a title for the motor?
    It is a confusing story. I'll try to be brief.
    1) I had a NJ title listed as 1957 FLH whenI bought the engine from my friend in 2010. I built the chopper around it.
    2) I moved to NC in 2016 and tried to transfer the title. NC has some law where they must do a "Fraud / Theft" inspection on old cars and bikes. The inspector wanted to give me a "2016 Custom" title because it wasn't even close to stock (see picture above). I requested my NJ title back so I could sell it.
    3) I sold the bike to guy in PA. He got a PA title for a 1957 FLH.
    4) I bought the bike BACK from the guy in PA a year later and bought a stock HD frame for it.
    5) I turned in the PA title and am waiting for my appointment with the "Fraud / Theft" inspector. It could take months to get an appointment (they blame COVID), so in the mean time, I'm trying to beg, borrow or buy enough stock parts to make the bike look like a 1957 so I can get my NC 1957 FLH title.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    If your asking for pics I have one but it's not for sale..........
    Very nice bike you have there. Very similar to what I'm going for. I like your bars. Any info on them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillPhelps52 View Post
    Very nice bike you have there. Very similar to what I'm going for. I like your bars. Any info on them?
    Many thanks on the kind words of my bike..... I built it from parts I had lying around...... Similar to what your doing......

    Oh yea I know exactly what the bars are... They are vintage Flanders bars..... I think they are #8 if my memory serves me right.... I can look to be sure if you want..... They are very expensive.... I sold a pair like them 10 years ago for $2500......... I don't know how much they are today but I doubt they are less money......

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    Whoa .... $2500 for a pair of handlebars ...



    This is a VT re-pop ...

    Rigid rear fender features a cutout for the chain relief as on 1951-57 rigid models and accept stainless fender trim attached by clips.
    Fender comes with a 7/8" wide bracket and does not have a tail lamp hole. Before finishing with primer or paint installer must prepare fender by checking alignment of fender tail and bracket. All hinged fenders must be hand fitted at the hinge and pin area. Alignment will have to be adjusted and tweaked to fit your components. Before priming or painting, fit the fender body, braces and mounting points in place. Fender rivets, hinge and brackets will have to be tweaked for final fitment. The left side fender relief plate is built in as part of the main fender body. *NOTE: There are holes in the fender that will need to be filled. *NOTE: Optimal updated hinge is available for restorers who would like to replacehing on our fenders. *Note: UPS may consider this part as packaged "oversize" for shipment, as compared to the actual weight, which will result in higher shipping costs .

    FITS;
    FL 1955-1957 .. $264.10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    Whoa .... $2500 for a pair of handlebars ...
    LOL Yep that's what they sold for to a guy in the UK........ And you know what I think of VTwin parts...... LOL If that was a Real Harley fender it would be over a grand and well worth it in my opinion........

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    Could do a chopper type fender back there ...



    The scooter not going to be a restore, why not make it a bit difference ??

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillPhelps52 View Post
    2) I moved to NC in 2016 and tried to transfer the title. NC has some law where they must do a "Fraud / Theft" inspection on old cars and bikes. The inspector wanted to give me a "2016 Custom" title because it wasn't even close to stock (see picture above). I requested my NJ title back so I could sell it.

    5) I turned in the PA title and am waiting for my appointment with the "Fraud / Theft" inspector. It could take months to get an appointment (they blame COVID), so in the mean time, I'm trying to beg, borrow or buy enough stock parts to make the bike look like a 1957 so I can get my NC 1957 FLH title.
    NC is a beautiful state, but their "systems" are really F'd up... This is just another example. If you have a valid title, there s no reason for them to screw you around like they're doing. Hope it goes well this time.

    Other than that, it IS a gorgeous 'sickle!

  17. #17
    Sugarcubes
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    Have to admit for regular riding I like the sound of where you are headed with the second incarnation of the bike.
    I like choppers to look at but for everyday riding and long hauls, you cant beat a stripped down stock rake / fork length bike in my humble opinion.

    Look forward to see the new set up and Tattoo that is a GREAT looking machine you have there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarcubes View Post
    Tattoo that is a GREAT looking machine you have there!
    Thank you........ And yes sexy is a fun ride to boot........

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    Could do a chopper type fender back there ...

    The scooter not going to be a restore, why not make it a bit difference ??
    Yeah, I might do that, but I'm not a fan of the big fender you have pictured here. I'll stay away from V-Twin parts if I can help it.

    I was looking through some old Cycle Source magazines (Dec 2019) this week and ran across a really nice red panhead with a "Led Sled" rear fender. The guy cut it down a bit, but I like the way it curves around the tire. It's not expensive, so that might hold me over until I can sell some of other parts to get some cash.

  20. #20
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    Keep in mind that the only person that you need to please is yourself ...
    Last edited by Dragstews; 11-11-2021 at 4:03 PM.

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