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Old 05-13-2006, 07:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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51 Panhead...whats it worth?

Came across a 51 panhead for sale today. It's in serious need of restoration but all the parts were there. He said it hasn't been started in over 2 years but was running when he started tearing it down. At first he said he wanted $9000...I kinda laughed and started to walk away. Then he quickly came down to $6500, which got my attention. I still think the price is high considering i would probably have to put another 6 grand into it just to get it back into running condition. Then there are the unknowns since its not running. Just wondering what you guys think...deal or no deal?
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you lookin for a project. Fun bikes (antiques), if you have the time and budget to play with it and know that you may not use it often. I still know people that ride Pans more than 10k miles a season. They spend a fair amount of time maintaning. As far as worth, whatever someone will pay. I think the 4k range is better if it has been disassembled at all. If it has a frame that has not been molested and mostly original parts, it should be worth that parted out.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can't touch one around here for that.
Is this a stock bike or a chopper,original motor/trans or pieced together?
Makes a big difference in value.
Complete running stock bike in good condition around here would be near $18K to $20K.
Old chopper built from pieces maybe $10k to $15k depending on condition.
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Old 05-14-2006, 02:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Frame and title are worth alot.It can become anything after you have that.
Make him a ridiculous offer and go from there.I'm looking at a freshly rebuilt 65 pan my friends got and he wants 12,000. and the opinions around here think it's a fair price.Cool bike,it would work great as a second,mostly local bike.
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miles to go
Came across a 51 panhead for sale today. It's in serious need of restoration but all the parts were there. He said it hasn't been started in over 2 years but was running when he started tearing it down. At first he said he wanted $9000...I kinda laughed and started to walk away. Then he quickly came down to $6500, which got my attention. I still think the price is high considering i would probably have to put another 6 grand into it just to get it back into running condition. Then there are the unknowns since its not running. Just wondering what you guys think...deal or no deal?
I think Bean is right but from what I see around where I live, if the frame is straight and all the motor and drivetrain parts are original, plus the tins.......
It is worth $6500.

Just saw a original '49 Pan yesterday that is a chopper now but a documented original LAPD bike.

If it's straight, I would jump on it.
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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FXDRYDR is reading this now saying WTF is this? FXDRYDR is reading this now saying WTF is this?
I'm with Tote and Bean on this. $6500 max IMO and I'd offer low. Having restored one bike, it's a lot of work and as a keeper/rider, there's the ongoing maintenance. If you're up for it, it's rewarding and you'll meet some interesting people along the way. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If the frame is completely original and unmolested with all of its brackets and so forth, $6,500 would not be out of the question. If the frame is messed up, I wouldn't even look at it.

As to the engine, you didn't tell us whether it's an E, EL, F, or FL. The E/EL (61 cu. in.) is a little more rare and much smoother when running. They would all be equally interesting to me if all of the original components were present, however.

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Old 05-14-2006, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newultraclassic
If the frame is completely original and unmolested with all of its brackets and so forth, $6,500 would not be out of the question. If the frame is messed up, I wouldn't even look at it.

As to the engine, you didn't tell us whether it's an E, EL, F, or FL. The E/EL (61 cu. in.) is a little more rare and much smoother when running. They would all be equally interesting to me if all of the original components were present, however.

.
Not really sure on the engine...not familiar enough with pans to tell the diff. I wasn't really looking for another project...just happened across this while out cruisin garage sales. The bike was stripped down...tins laying in garage...just rolling frame and engine. Frame looked good from what i could tell. Engine had a good amount of rust and pitting on all parts...to be expected for age i guess. Thinking i need to do more research before i jump into this big of a project.
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Old 05-14-2006, 03:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd say it's worth it. They aren't making any more of them.
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Old 05-14-2006, 06:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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you can tell in a second if it's an FL or EL, the vin starts with E or F. Having a 48 pan chopper and seeing how much it has gotten me into and how much I have dumped into it, I wouldn't do it again. I am not an engine guy though, If I could do the rebuilding and knew more about the pan I would be a little more optimistic. Or even if I had a friend nearby that could help me learn. But for now unfortunately right now I have to just pay for what I can't do myself, not the way to go on a 60 year old bike.
Hope that helps you some...
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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On old bikes, be sure to check that the engine cases are matching as per the belly#s. See that the engines cases have had no weld repairs.
These are items related to overall value.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Linkert
On old bikes, be sure to check that the engine cases are matching as per the belly#s. See that the engines cases have had no weld repairs.
These are items related to overall value.


That's a very good point. I meant to mention the engine cases as Mr. Linkert did. The frame and engine cases, preferably with title, are the holy grail of vintage motorcycle restoration. There are re-pops available for most everything else. On a vintage restoration, nothing looks right if the frame and engine cases aren't original. There is an asethetic element to a nicely-built original frame with a nice rough-cast set of original matching cases that can't be replaced.

It's not uncommon to find early bikes with the left-front engine lug cracked or broken out. That's fixable but much more that that and you could have some expensive scrap.

And as mentioned here, the Belly casting #s must match for a worthwhile restoration. Judges look at things like that if you're going for a 100 pointer.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My shop is an industrial prototype machine shop, that is, we mostly do one off items such as tools, fixtures and machinery parts.
My begining in HD work started over 30yrs ago repairing crankcases and matching up cases made from different years. I went on to work for HD in 1979
Over the last few years, I have repaired several engine cases that were from bikes purchased on ebay.
If the engine cases are mismatched or weld repaired, it is unlikely that the main bearing holes along with the cylinder mounting sufaces will line up. This can be repaired, but the engines wont be original.
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info guys. I'm going to take another look at the bike this week and see if all the numbers match. If everything looks good i may offer $4500 cash and see if he bites. I think he really wants to just get rid of it. It may be another year before i can start the project but if i can get it cheap i may jump on it. I'll let you know. You guys can expect a lot of questions if i buy this thing. BTW, where are the belly #s located? One on each case? And should they match the frame #?
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The belly #s are just under the front motor mounts on each case half.
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