Jameville’s 1948 Harley Panhead
James Roper-Caldbeck is English, lives in Denmark, and builds custom Harley-Davidsons. It sounds like a League of Nations recipe for disaster, but fear not—James has an amazingly good eye for stance and proportions.
This long, low Panhead is James’ latest creation, a ground-up build for a customer from Romania. Panhead customs are two-a-penny, but as you can see, this one is a level above the norm. The starter bike was in bad shape, but when it arrived in James’ Copenhagen workshop, it was in good hands. James rebuilt the engine and brakes, and replaced every bushing and bearing on the whole machine—from the forks to the wheels. The original Harley frame had been butchered too, with 36 holes drilled into it, so James re-welded it and cleaned it up to better-than-factory spec.
After that (and a whole lot more) was done, the fun could begin,” he recalls. “I fabricated a new set of bars from the old ones—which were so wide, I couldn’t get them through my shop door!” The 3½ gallon tanks were narrowed, then pulled back and raised on the frame. James also made a blanking panel out of aluminum, which now houses the ignition switch and warning lights.
The rear fender is a reconfigured 1930s Ford spare wheel cover, and James built a mini sissy bar to hold the vintage rear light. Straight exhaust pipes are hooked up to trumpet-style mufflers, which reportedly sound glorious. The foot controls and brake brackets were de-chromed and Parkerized, a process that was used on metal parts before chroming was available. The final touches were to convert the Panhead to a foot clutch with a police-style shifter, and chop down the original seat pan and cover it with tan leather from an old suitcase.
Head over to the Customs From Jamesville website for more classic Harley builds.