Ice Cream. A Sweet Panhead Chopper By Bill Dodge.

1dodgeridingfourth3dodge0dodge4dodge5dodge7dodge16Every act of imagination of a custom builder makes the motorcycle world a more interesting place. All projects from Bill Dodge of Bling’s Cycles are captivating because inspired by the past but never dictated by any rules expect the respect he has for the most venerable Harley engines, from Flathead to Knucklehead to Panhead and Shovelhead.

The result is always custom builds with a retro vibe all over his own unique and timeless body style. Nothing more exciting for the observer and journalist than a new offbeat design.


This “Ice Cream” 1956 custom Panhead built for client Daniel Stringer is another demonstration of his craftsmanship abilities, of his eye for beautiful proportions, of his obsession with clean lines, visual simplicity and intricate details. A tight machine created to perform under today’s standards although equipped with a motor more than 1/2 century old.

dodge2dodge10dodge15When Bill Dodge kicked this new project, he asked friend Dan “Bacon” Carr, whose superb reputation for rebuilding fine classic engines is well known among the best custom builders, to rejuvenate and embellish the 74” 4-speed 1956 Panhead motor and tranny. Bill cradled them in a Will Ramsey classic straight legs stainless rigid frame, then began his magic at re-imagining and fabricating what is for him today’s perfect riding Pan.

dodgeridingbisRegarding geometry, “Ice Cream” gets its stance from 21 x 1.70”front wheel whose grooved aluminum hub was machined by Bill himself, and from a 18 x 2.50 rear Sportster wheel fitted with the 56 hub. Fork legs are reworked K model. For bodywork, Bill hand made the cast aluminum gas tank, the nicely profiled oil tank and the rear fender with a mini sissy bar/rods strengthening it.

billdodgeThen, there is a long list (this one partial) of all the hand-made aluminum parts born inside the walls of Bling’s Cycles: the stainless controls (pegs by Anderson) the aluminum seat pan, the risers, Dodge’s trademark grooved exhaust, the shifter (kicker pedal from Chicago MC) etc. Bill also made the motor mount, modified bars from Pro Taper and installed a taillight from F.N.A. Customs.

For adding some life to the Pan and reinforcing the bike own personality, Chad Chambers sprayed aqua paint on the gas tank, primary and headlight. For many, the Panhead engine has never been bettered. This new Panhead chop will influence many regarding the direction to take to build a beautiful resto-mod with such an iconic powertrain. “Ice Cream” is very fine nostalgic work from a builder currently at the top of his game.

Bling’s Cycles. (photography @ Horst Roesler for Cyril Huze)

30 Responses to “Ice Cream. A Sweet Panhead Chopper By Bill Dodge.”

  1. 1 Nils Apr 11th, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Another very great Job from one of the best and creative Builders!!!
    Much respect, Brother!

  2. 2 Drake Apr 11th, 2016 at 8:15 am


  3. 3 P. Hamilton Apr 11th, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Great write-up about an awesome chop by a great builder.

  4. 4 Joshua Apr 11th, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Yes, very sweet.

  5. 5 Gina Woods Apr 11th, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Clean & Sweet!

  6. 6 Gorgax Apr 11th, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Is that a drum brake on the rear wheel?
    Otherwise, how does it stop? Flintstone style?

  7. 7 grmp54 Apr 11th, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Sweet Ride!!

  8. 8 Greeko Apr 11th, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Pretty and skinny, the way I like bikes and ladies.

  9. 9 Dan Martinez Apr 11th, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Great aluminum job.

  10. 10 George Cornel Apr 11th, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Old school with a lot of class.

  11. 11 Paul Sharp Apr 11th, 2016 at 10:04 am

    The merit of B. Dodge is to have his own unique chop style.

  12. 12 chuck Apr 11th, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Great build I put that at one of the top pans that Bill does

  13. 13 JohnnySpeed Apr 11th, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Gorgeous bike. I love the tank. The writeup says he made the cast aluminum tank, does that mean he made the pattern or cast it himself?

  14. 14 Blackmax Apr 11th, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    That is about as sweet as sweet can be !!
    Great Job !!!!!
    No problems selling that baby !!!!

  15. 15 Highrider Apr 11th, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    A piece of steel for a seat???
    Who would ride it ? Really pretenders

  16. 16 bill d Apr 12th, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Thank you all for the kind words… I made patterns to do the casting work…then finished by hand.. the seat pan is aluminum and we’re just not decided what what to cover it with yet but yes we ride the piss out of it. As is..Like all of the blings bikes…

  17. 17 Mack Apr 12th, 2016 at 7:21 am

    @highrider….r u kidding me.? We ride thousand of miles on seats.just Iike them
    Very comfortable
    Nice.stuff.Mr.Dodge …great job!

  18. 18 Rogue Apr 12th, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Nice Work But then again that is what you do.

  19. 19 P. Galhager Apr 12th, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Art piece you can ride.

  20. 20 JG Apr 12th, 2016 at 9:10 am

    all these stainless frame castings are available at

  21. 21 pokergolf420 Apr 12th, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very clean build.

  22. 22 JohnnySpeed Apr 12th, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    bill d – Thanks for clearing that up! Your work is impressive and that is hands down the nicest tank I’ve ever seen. If you ever decide to sell them, sign me up for one of the first batch.

  23. 23 nicker Apr 12th, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    What guys in the 60’s rode….. yes, for many miles.
    Probably because we were young …. and weren’t pussies.


  24. 24 zipper Apr 13th, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Nice. ..Z

  25. 25 Mack Apr 13th, 2016 at 7:32 am

    @ nicker …yep

  26. 26 burnout Apr 13th, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Nicker X2. peace

  27. 27 punki loveland Apr 13th, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    that’s my boy, it’s so beautiful son, i’m so proud of you

  28. 28 Sugar Bear Apr 14th, 2016 at 10:09 am

    High rider, I rode many miles (a couple of years) with a piece of cardboard held down with a bungy on a rigid. Like Nicker said,” because we were young”. If I have to explain ……..

  29. 29 Sugar Bear Apr 14th, 2016 at 10:12 am

    P.S. Nice job Bill

  30. 30 Catamini Apr 14th, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Want one like that but don’t have (yet) the money to pay Dodge.

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Cyril Huze