Mike Pilaczynski is one of the rare ones in our industry. He doesn’t seem to want the spotlight or accolades that he so rightly deserves. Every time I run into him, he has a smile on his face and seems very content with his life. Most of us know him through his company, OLD-STF Cycle Shop. Others know him from his membership activity here. And then there’s that little show called Born-Free. Joking aside, Born-Free co-creators Mike Davis and Grant Peterson have helped MANY builders throughout the seven years of Born-Free's existence. Some builders prefer to keep their builds under wraps 'til the show setup on Friday morning. Some like to show their loyal fans the progress.
Mike Pilaczynski was given the rare opportunity of being a Born-Free 5 Invited Builder and he created a build thread to showcase his progress. Build threads are a part of our forums where you can learn something new, cheer on your fellow garage builder, and watch a bike come to life before your very eyes. Mike’s build thread proves that you don’t need to have the most expensive tools. You can build a clean, running machine with heart, integrity, your father, and a few good friends willing to take on the challenge. The Panswinger was one of many bikes up for grabs during Born-Free 5, through the poster sales/free ticket promotion. The bike wasn’t taken home by a lucky winner on July 29, but it did find a new home in sunny California. We would like to thank Mike for allowing us to showcase his bike here.
Photos by Suzy Pilaczynski.
Owner name, location: Private owner, CA
Chop Cult Member profile: OldStfCycle
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1964 Panhead. S&S rods, wiesco 10:1 pistons with Morris Magneto. Polished stainless rocker covers, aluminum d-rings and pushrod covers. HD FLH heads and cam. 12 point aircraft case hardware.
Frame: 1964 dip seat duo-glide
Fork: 1964 HD, shaved lowers, narrowed 2" and lowered 2"
Chassis mods: Restored to stock. Progressive suspension.
Tire/wheel size and style: 18" rear Akront with star hub. 21" front Akront with Mullins hub. Buchannan stainless spokes, Firestone tires.
Favorite thing about this bike: It's clean and has a somewhat "stock" look, although almost everything was modified. I enjoy the fact that most of the general public can walk right past it, while motorcycle enthusiasts and builders will notice something's different. I wanted to build a swing arm bike and chose the to build the '64 because it was the last year of kick start only in the "dip" or "drop" seat frame, had 3 year only oho heads, and a 2 year only cam cover.
Next modification will be: None that will be done by me, since I sold it shortly after Born Free 5.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Tanks narrowed 2", dash narrowed as well. Handmade mid controls. Cast alum oil tank. Rear under tranny 2-1 exhaust. Shock mounted tail light to keep it short.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: The entire build from start to finish was documented on chop cult. Doing so really helped to keep me motivated, to test my skills and move forward on a due date. Thanks to all the cc members who followed and inspired me to stay busy. See the complete build thread here.
Support Mike through his website, Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks to: So many to thank that I think this sums it up.