1950 panhead & 1977 (not sure)

Discussion in 'Classic Models' started by WindowMan, May 30, 2009.

  1. WindowMan

    WindowMan Member

    I met this lady thru work as we will be doing some work on her house.
    While I was there we went out to her garage and she had 2 bikes there,
    one of them she told me was a 50 panhead and the other a 77 (didn't hear)
    as I was looking at the 50. Both of them looked to be in good shape, and I
    was telling her how nice they looked and I had always wanted a HD since I
    was about 7-8 and saw my grandfathers old HD not sure but his was about
    a 49-50 cant remember.
    She turns around and told me that they were her late husbands that passed
    away a year ago and said they both were for sale and she did not want
    to put an add in the paper and have lots of people stop by so she has not
    told anyone yet, I asked her how much and she said about 5k for the 77
    and about 8k for the 50.
    I only had a small amount of time that I checked them out since I was
    running late but she told me to stop by anytime I wanted to check them out.
    I am going back over there to take some pictures and check them out more.
    She did tell me the numbers match as her late husband made sure of that
    since he had a dirt bike confiscated due to numbers not matching so he
    always made sure from there on out he got matching numbers.
    The bikes have no fuel in them and have not been run in over a year.
    What do I need to check for when checking these out?
    I have been wanting an Ultra but might try and work a deal out for both
    of these. I am real interested to see how stock these might be.

    Any help would be great as I don't want to lose out on a good deal.
    I have to call her today to see if she is back in town since she left for 1 1/2
    weeks and she was due back I think today.

    I started riding when I was about 7 on an old tote goat and have been riding
    since so I have been on bikes for 35 + years and have alway wanted an HD,
    maybe soon.
  2. martin14

    martin14 Active Member

    to check the numbers and papers:

    Harley VIN Identification - Harley Davidson Community

    prices seem more or less ok, if the numbers match.

    I would adopt the position that if the bikes are empty of fuel and not run in a year
    ( at least ) that many things in the carb would be gummed up anyway,
    the oil a bit stale, batteries dead, wires corroded
    and it could take a bit of work to get them fired up.

    My opinion:

    I had 2 Harleys from the 70's, a 72 Sporty and a 72 pan/shovel mix spare parts machine.
    Both were very fussy and tempermental girls.

    If you are not an experienced mechanic, you may want to think twice about this.
    Both rides will need a lot of TLC on a regular basis, much more than changing the oil
    and bolting on the newest thing.

    Parts could also be frustrating to get; not impossible, but lots of work, and you cant
    expect much help from the dealers, so its all your own work to find and arrange.

    OR, buy em and expect to learn ... LOTS :)
    Hope you have a big garage ;)
  3. WindowMan

    WindowMan Member

    Thanks for the input, I am pretty good with wrenches my dad was a mechanic
    and I have been wrenching since I was 8 and have rebuilt a the motor in a
    55 chevy I had and did all the work on a 82 pickup I had by pulling the motor
    and trans and installing new ones.
    More or less what I do want to find out is if they are stock and all.
    When I go back I will be checking all the numbers and getting some pictures
    and will post them up.
    At this point I still am not sure if I would keep the bikes or get rid of one
    of both and get a new one, just don't want to pass them up if its a steal.

    I am just new to HD's


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Good call Martin...WindowMan, first the good news, find out if the bikes were both running well up to the time they stored, it is likely little routine maintenance (draining and cleaning the tank, fuel system and all the fluids, lubing cylinders via spark plug holes, etc.).

    The real task is what is your current preference is, once the initial luster of the find wears off...are you into restoring and making things "stock", are you looking for long term touring or short solo trips, or are you thinking of restoring and trading up.

    Here comes the downside...either way it will be an expensive hobby and take a lot of personal comittment and here is the rub, it is a double edged sword...as your Avatar suggests, owning a Harley requires a little more than looking and once you commit, there is no downside...just a life style change and lots of $$$ investment...maybe no downside after all? :D
  5. dave_shovel

    dave_shovel Member

    That's a very good deal on both bikes. If you have the cash, buy both.
    They will need TLC. Long term worth of the Pan is more. Make sure title matches engine number on Pan, and title number matches both frame and engine number on the 77.

    If it were me, I'd just make a deal for the Pan. Shovels at 5K are common nowadays with the down economy, which is a bad thing. If it's something that you've been wanting, got for it. Good luck.

  6. WindowMan

    WindowMan Member

    The lady emailed me some pictures she has taken.
    Let me know what you think.

    50 Panhead Harley

    77 FLH Harley
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2009
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    What I think is you better downsize the pics to no larger than 800 X 600 or they will be removed.:D


    Picture Posting Size - Harley Davidson Community

    Nice bikes too!
  8. martin14

    martin14 Active Member

    buy 'em.

    not a steal, but a decent deal.

    You'll be on 2 classic Harleys........... not today, but soon :)
  9. WindowMan

    WindowMan Member

    Sorry about picture sizes.

    Can you tell by the pic's how much is original on the 50?
    I want to find out if it will be worth it getting and putting restoring it
    to original and how much to even offer her for them both.

    Someone said the frame might be after market, can you tell by
    the pic's in 8 & 9?

    What kind of pictures should I take to be able to get more info on these?
    She said I will have to take them outside to get better pic's as her
    garage is kind of cramped.

    Then if I get them what book or site can I go to so I can get info on
    what I would need to do before I even fire them up since they have
    been sitting for a little over a year?
  10. martin14

    martin14 Active Member

    I wouldnt count on the 50 being very original.
    It's a 1%ers, and if it was original, you wouldnt be paying 8K for it :)

    Best site for info to get them going is probably right here !!

    pfffffffffff.. nice little job :)

    change oil, filter, plugs, plug wires.
    charge or change battery.
    some lube down the pistons, turn cranck by hand to make sure they arent seized.

    clean carb, all of it.. open her up and go after everything.
    clean out gas tank, check all connections, new filter.

    I'm sure I have missed a couple of things, if you wait till the evening some others
    will put up more things that need doing.