Original Paint! 1950 Harley-Davidson Panhead

If you’ve ever wanted a vintage Harley-Davidson that you can ride and enjoy, this 1950 Panhead might be the perfect one for you. It features really nice original paint, vintage leather saddlebags, and seat, and has just the right amount of patina in all the right places. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $20,500. Located in Winter Garden, Florida, there is even a matching sidecar from 1949 that can be purchased for a separate price! Check out this cool bike and sidecar!

Unfortunately, the ad doesn’t have much information on the engine other than it is “awesome running.” According to CycleWorld.com, “The first Panhead—or model FL, available in both 61- and 74-cubic-inch models—arrived in dealers’ showrooms in 1948, just in time to be a major part of the postwar motorcycle boom.” But you might be asking where the “Panhead” name comes from. The article goes on: “That first FL in 1948 was based on the reliable transmission and bottom-end of the EL, but the “Knuckleheads” were replaced with massively finned cast-aluminum heads that could radiate and dissipate heat much more efficiently. The new engine also was equipped with an uprated oil pump to improve cooling and lubrication. And, in hopes of ending cylinder-head oil leaks for all time, Harley’s designers enclosed the rockers and valve springs under one big, pie-pan-shaped cover—hence, the “Panhead” nickname.”

Here you can see the original speedometer. It’s clear the bike has been enjoyed for 48,000 miles over the years and hopefully has a lot of life left in it. You can see the chrome is a bit pitted and tarnished, but it is almost charming to know it is all original.

Here is the matching sidecar from 1949. If a vintage HD is cool, one with a sidecar is even cooler! What do you think? Are you a fan of sidecars or would you cruise the bike by itself?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Again, you can keep the side hack, but the bike is really cool.Now this is something you can ride even today. I remember riding with guys that had old Pans, and after a stop, if it didn’t start on the 2nd kick, “oh, oh”, and we all took turns kicking the old Panhead. I had a friend with a ’65 Electra-Glide I helped him restore. That electric start changed everything.

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Yeah, a well-tuned Harley should start in one or two kicks. The button changed a lot of things, especially the betting on how many kicks it actually took…

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        While I tread on thin ice with this, but it’s a fact, it was the electric start that got many women into biking. Like power steering in a truck, it single handedly allowed women to do those things. Stout was the woman that could kick a Pan or steer a manual steering truck. Probably the same gal.

        Like 7
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Back in the early days, it was kind of a let-down to see a guy push a button to start the engine. I remember into the mid-80s hearing jibes about ‘The Button Man.’ It was actually convenient to have a button to stab when you stalled it at a stoplight. Today, if I have a button, I use it but if I don’t, just kick it. Of course, if my game knees don’t like me on a particular day, I might have to watch everything from the sidelines…

        Like 2
      • local_sheriff

        Howard; I think you’re correct that the electric starter is what got girls into biking. I know it may sound chauvinistic but one really have to know what’s going on inside the engine like the position of pistons, choke adjustment, sounds etc to successfully kick these beasts to life. Most (but far from all) girls who ride love their bikes and the driving experience just like any guy, but may not be just as involved into the technical part of it. It’s also a fact that most guys weigh way more than females – starting an old Pan is one of those very few situations in life it’s an ASSET to be fat! 😄

        There are some very good clips on youtube showing novice chics attempting to kick older HDs alive. The enthusiasm and enjoyment in their eyes once these old suckers stop opposing and finally roar to life – well that’s nothing but priceless! 👍

        Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        The bike I just bought, a 2009 Suzuki DRZ400, doesn’t even have a kick start. Fine by me,

        Like 1
      • Dave

        Last bike I had with a kick start was a 1978 KZ650. Not available on any Evo Sportster, like my 2005 1200 Roadster that has 80000 miles on it. I’ll ride it as long as my knees will let me.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    These bikes are still around. I wish I could afford to pick one up but I obviously missed my chance when one came up a few years back. Just great for a day trip with a bunch of friends. I would eventually re-chrome the rusty stuff and maybe treat the tins to some new paint but I wouldn’t get in too much of a hurry. A lot of enjoyment just as it is…

    Like 2
  3. ken tillyUK

    If I were to buy this outfit I would want the sidecar as well as the Pan Head, but only in order to keep them both together in order for the next owner to do what he chooses with the outfit, as the chair weighs a ton and seriously limits the bikes performance. My 1925 JE had a sidecar fitted and was a lot of work to haul around, however, when I removed it the bike was, up to a point, a pleasure to ride.

    Like 4
  4. Robert May

    I agree the side car should stay with it. A very cool find.

    Like 2
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    No Sale @ $39,950.
    How much more are these things worth?

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Obviously the vendor thought it was worth more than that. I guess we shouldn’t condemn the guy for trying to get as much as possible but all too often people get watching the televised vehicle auctions and they start thinking their machine is worth more than it is…

      Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Thanks, geomechs.
        It is more out of curiosity for me than thinking the seller is gouging, since I have no idea what something like this is worth. That amount seems like a lot, but if the seller thinks they can get more for it, go for it!

    • local_sheriff

      PRA4SNW; I really don’t understand it either. Old rigid Panheads are great bikes for local cruising, but at such prices I suspect neither seller nor any prospective buyers have any idea what it means to ride these old hogs

      Like 1
  6. ken tillyUK

    Absolutely agree with you Geo, but, in my house the boot is on the other foot. I have a 1933 Calthorpe Ivory that I am thinking of selling because I have received an offer for it that I think is more than fair, however, my wife thinks it is worth about 50% more than the offer! She seems to think that the guy is trying to low ball me, whereas, I think I would be putting myself in the greedy compartment, which I have no intention of doing, so stalemate it is.

    Like 2
  7. Dan B

    Rode my uncle’s 1945 Harley model 54wl with a side box for a summer. Once l figured out how to remove the deadweight from it, it could suddenly do 55mph. They do take a lot of power to move. Wonder what ever happened to the old beast….

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