Flying Panhead Chopper

huzechopper1huzechopper2huzechopper5huzechopper9huzechopper11huzechopper12During big rallies, most journalists, reporters and photographers suffer from FOMO, otherwise known as “fear of missing out” the new custom bike that we know you want us to write about. And even when you find it, conditions may not be the ones you expect for a professional shoot. It may be that bike is stuck in a bike show without possibility to move it, or because of inclement weather, or because your photographer is chasing other interesting custom bikes in another location,  or committed to a professional event, etc. And when the bike hometown is in a foreign country, there are very few chances it will come back in your shooting range.

huzechopper6huzechopper14A few years ago, I have seen in person the Panhead chopper featured here, one of the winners in the AMD Championship Of Custom Building. Then it disappeared from my field or view and resurfaced at the Art And Wheels event in Switzerland I was reporting about 10 days ago. “Cloud 9” is a classic style chopper that I still consider one of the best, if not the best one recently built because delving deep into the rich, illustrious heritage of the 70’s, and instead of only trying to imitate the past, offering a perfected simplicity and craftsmanship.

huzechopper15huzechopper13huzechopper81This 74” chop has all the characteristic features of choppers, the narrow hardtail stretched frame, the big rake angle, the long front end with extended forks, the shrunk gas and oil tanks, the ape hangers, the signature ”sissy bar” climbing several feet high, no front fender and no front brake, a narrow seat, etc. But the merit of the team Andy Niemi and Hese Tolonen is to have been able to do much more than replicate the 70’s old chopper builds. No modern components, no unnecessary chiseling, no excessive candy store colors, nothing to pollute the true long chop spirit. The duo created a perfect alchemy of proportions, of measurements, of colors giving this 70’s chopper, probably the most rebellious style of motorcycles, the status of art on wheels that you can ride. A beautiful story of the past being passed to the next generation. Below, the simple recipe to create such a beauty. Flying Choppers (photography H. Roesler for C. Huze)

huzechopper3

Bike Name. Cloud 9
Builder. Flying Choppers (Andy Niemi, Hese Tolonen)
Owner Kematec Oy
Location. Lieto
Country. Finland
Year/Model. 1955 rebuilt
Engine Make/Size: 74″ Panhead
Carburation: S.U Eliminator carburetor. Intake manifold swept over to left and integrated with upper engine support
Ignition system with a distributor by F.C
Drivetrain. 4 speed modified
Frame Make/Type. Flying Choppers narrow Hardtail
Stretch 5″
Rake. 45°
Oil tank hand-made narrow horseshoe
Front End. Modified softail
Front wheel: 21″ Spool Flying Choppers
Rear wheel. 18″ A-Ford Style narrow Flying Choppers
Front tire. 21″ Avon speedmaster
Rear tire. 18″ Firestone
Front brake. None
rear brake. Modified Ironhead mechanical drum
Chroming/Plating. Metsämaa
Controls: Foot controls and shifter hand-made by F.C. “Bird Bones”
Shifter knob of glass by Lost Jonny, Victoria B.C.
Seat: F.C. Chrome framed stingray “Holecheck”
Pipes: F.C Drag Shorties
Hidden gas line
Painter /Graphic design by Hese Tolonen with J. Alasalmi

39 Responses to “Flying Panhead Chopper”


  1. 1 Sharkey May 30th, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Beautiful workmanship. Lots of clean details. Something about those heads, though…a pan would have the intake ports on the left side of the heads facing each other and the valve covers don’t look right…..

  2. 2 Terence Bohler May 30th, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Superb!

  3. 3 Ray Mansfield May 30th, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Excellent chop build.

  4. 4 P. Hamilton May 30th, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I agree. Coolest real chop I have seen in a very long time.

  5. 5 RBinTEX May 30th, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Nice of them to put a ball cup in just the right place…..
    Just saying…..

  6. 6 Woody's May 30th, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Just beautiful.

  7. 7 Catamini May 30th, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Perfect. Hate it when I see some chops whose chopping’ attitude is only long forks, catalog components and jet ski paint jobs. But this one is gorgeous.

  8. 8 Brett Garner May 30th, 2016 at 8:34 am

    A beauty. Thanks Cyril

  9. 9 Chris Moss May 30th, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Nothing to criticize. Didn’t see better.

  10. 10 Dan Martinez May 30th, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Better than in the 70’s. As Cyril wrote, perfected simplicity and craftsmanship.

  11. 11 Roger Dahl May 30th, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Very nice details without getting tacky.

  12. 12 Chris May 30th, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Perfect.

  13. 13 Henry May 30th, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Hey Cyril, good chops never get old. This one will never age.

  14. 14 Hardley T Whipsnade III May 30th, 2016 at 8:56 am

    A well done classic 70’s chopper with a dash of Scandinavian stretch . Two thumbs up ! Saying this is better than the 70’s though is a bit of a ‘ stretch ‘ [ pun intended ]

  15. 15 J. Costello May 30th, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I “hate” when there is nothing to criticize. Lol.

  16. 16 Larry Tyrell May 30th, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I have seen so many wrong pseudo 70’s choppers …This one gives me goose bumps.

  17. 17 Marty Sorel May 30th, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Damn. So cool.

  18. 18 Chief Waldo May 30th, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Wow!

  19. 19 BT69 May 30th, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Best in flight!

  20. 20 Greg Danzig May 30th, 2016 at 11:19 am

    This sissy bar is awesome. The rest too!

  21. 21 Tommy May 30th, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    You can build a different chop, maybe as good, but difficult to do better.

  22. 22 Keith Schneider May 30th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Fantastic.

  23. 23 Joshua May 30th, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Everything is right. A very pretty tracer.

  24. 24 nicker May 30th, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Its not a matter of “better,” “worse,” or even “the same”…..
    Its simply a good reflection of a style from the 70’s, well executed… no more, no less.
    Even then, some of us like it and some didn’t.

    -nicker-

  25. 25 rcupp May 30th, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Sexy Beast!

  26. 26 James just another crazy kiwi May 31st, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Aaah Acid Daze,

    Very Cool

  27. 27 James just another crazy kiwi May 31st, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Geez Nicker, cold oil in those veins ?

  28. 28 NoH2oh May 31st, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Long after all the gasoline runs dry people will still look at bikes like this with fond memories. Choppers will never go out of fashion.

  29. 29 Donnie May 31st, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Nothing to add, nothing to remove. No decoration. Gorgeous “authentic” chop.

  30. 30 Antonio May 31st, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I’m in love.

  31. 31 Jay Horton's Private Shop May 31st, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Absolutely Beautiful. Love’em long and lean. Dave Mann anyone??? Cyril, keep these coming.

    Later Jay

  32. 32 burnout May 31st, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Nice indeed! peace

  33. 33 Tim Graber May 31st, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Excellent choice, excellent article. This is exactly why I subscribe to you ! This original 70’s chopper is my only thirst of ownership not yet accomplished. Thanks

  34. 34 F. Ed Knutson May 31st, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    My goodness. Brings back memories. I had a 1949 Panhead chopper, similar lines, and wonderful paint as well. This makes me want to get back to remaking my youth by building another one.

  35. 35 Badams Jun 1st, 2016 at 1:05 am

    this bike has been around for a while. Good to see it continue to get press. True Fin chop. Details, details……this bike was built with an eye and passion and it shows.

  36. 36 Blackmax Jun 1st, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Damn fine example of the “Long Chopper “style
    lots of European/Swedish influence also with some California thrown in there …
    Damn fine looking, almost like looking at a David Mann piece of art !!!

  37. 37 zipper Jun 1st, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    After you look at it for a while what do you do with it? ..Z

  38. 38 nicker Jun 2nd, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    James,

    “Nostalgia” is a wonderful thing. For the young its fantasizing an experience they missed. For the old its the schizophrenia of recollection, embellishing the good while glossing over the marginal.

    While long front ends like that looked great on a new freeway, on a two lane they were like riding a pogo stick….. And sliders were simply for cosmetic effect, suspension was mostly “by flex.”

    -nicker-

  39. 39 Renaud Oct 1st, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    magnifique.Tout simplement…

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