I discovered this new old school Panhead Chopper at the Custom Chrome North American Championship . And when it was rolled to its competition spot, it was kind of panic at the show among other builders. This custom called Panic is so full of interesting details that in any bike show competitors will fear…Jerry Wasemiller is not a semi-pro custom builder, he is a part time pro-builder at Yolo County Choppers because managing 2 other business, a body shop supply store and a retail auto glass shop. Encouraged by the success of Panic, Jerry now intends to devote more time to custom building. Good for us…Jerry picked a rigid frame from Twisted Choppers (2″ out, 2″ up, 40-degree rake) that he noticed for the 1st time in Sturgis in 2008. Motor is a one-off 103” Panhead (S&S Cases & Jugs, STD Heads) that was built by a dude named Donnie that Jerry actually never met! For transmission, his choice naturally went for the Baker 6-speed Frankentranny.
For this project Jerry didn’t want mass produced custom parts, or at least a minimum, coming from the distributor big books. Instead, he asked for the support of some of the best at producing one-off custom parts. For the gas tank, Jerry tried several off the shelf units and of course none worked. Because he really dug the tank Paul Yaffe had built for his gold rigid he asked him about it, and was told to get a sportster tank and start cutting. So Jerry did just that and came up with the shape he wanted but made of too many metal pieces to be sound. So he sent his steel template to Brendon at Fat Katz who worked his magic for a perfect shape and fit on Panic.
The front end that George from Spartan built started the chopper’s brass theme and is handled by a set of Paughco bars. All the rivets on the bike are welded, holding the brass in place. Kustom Tech from Italy makes some of the coolest brass parts around, so Jerry used their drum brake, mid controls and grips. Like many builders, he spent a lot of time surfing eBay for some rare finds, the way he stumbled on this headlight, taillight, taillight. mount, and shift knob by Steve Belin at Belmit development. All plumbing on the bike is rigid stainless steel that Jerry bent up then polished. Jerry made the seat pan and upholstery. Paint was sprayed by Alvie in candy red over a special blend of flake, then Craig Judd topped the gas tank and rear fender with a single metal stripe in 22k gold.
Talking about the time he took him to complete Panic, Jerry Wasemiller was apologetic telling me that he doesn’t own any lathe or mill and it adds to his merit that most parts he made were done with on;y a band saw, grinder and belt sander…Yolo County Choppers in Woodland, CA. (no website, yet) Tel: 530-666-1237 (pictures copyright Jerry Southworth for Cyril Huze)