Copyright WWW.DBBP.COM | updated 16-June-2002

The story of the Superpan

Part 3

In the picture on the left you can see how RB connected the two halves of the 6 Gallon Fatbob tank, leaving a large opening for the carbs. The homemede stainless handlebars contain internal throttle and brake cable on the right side..By twisting the left grip RB operates the internal ignition switch and light switch.

The brake lever is homemade using tiny little sprockets (!) inside the handlebars to transfer the movement of the lever to the cable.

Both handlebar parts are mounted in a single aluminum "riser" that contains the speedo, rev-counter and 3 warning lights for oil pressure, high-beam and generator. The single riser design also makes it possible for the internal wires and cables to leave the handlebars without making any sharp bends.

A few interesting details in the picture on the left: instead of moving the gearbox back and forward to adjust the BDL primary belt, RB has built a primary belt tensioner. Between the pullys of the primary belt he has hidden the oilfilter and the reservoir for the rear brake. Instead of the rattling panhead clutch he has mounted an Evo-style clutch by BDL that does its work quietly and efficiently.

Finally, the moment of truth: after two and a half years of building RB was going to try to start his Superpan for the first time. Anyone that has ever built or even rebuilt his or her bike knows that this is always a time that gives you butterflys in your stomach. Will it work? Did he screw up anything? Add to this the fact that he had built more of his parts than he had bought,

I can't imagine he slept much the night before... No matter how much thought he had put into this design, he was still very pleasantly surprised when this bike started on its second kick! Now thats the sort of thing that can put a smile on your face that won't come off in a long time! There is no way that a person can get that kind of a kick from anything he buys or has someone else build.

After checking that everything worked correctly it was time to take apart the bare metal bike for painting, polishing and all that stuff. All the black parts were powdercoated, the shiny bits are all polished aluminum or stainless steel. The red paint RB did not do himself, the leather seat and saddlebag were done by his friend Eric.

In the electric department ignition is by a Dyna single-fire unit with Dyna coils. Headlight is an imitation Hydraglide unit, taillight is a cateye modified to take LED's instead of a lightbulb, because of there much longer life.

When I asked RB what part of the bike gave him the most problems he answered straight away: the generator!

This was a somewhat surprising answer from a guy that makes his own cylinder heads, but I will tell you what happened. Because this bike has electronic ignition and an electric fuelpump the original generator turned out to be to weak for the job. After breaking 3 of these, RB decided something stronger was needed and he bought a generator from a VW Beetle.

It had 3 times as much output for a tenth of the price and was roughly the same size too. The downside was, it also needed more power to drive it, so RB had to replace the sprockets, beef up the idler sprocket shaft mount in the crankcase, make a harder generatorshaft with a support bearing and relocate the centerline of the generator because apparently the Delcron cases were not drilled correctly.

Anyway, this is how the Superpan looked two years ago when it came rolling out of Ronnie's workshop. Since then RB has taken it for lots of rides, amongst others to Corsica and back!

Next week: a photo session I did a few weeks ago of how the Superpan looks now, after that we will put the pan on a dyno and see howmany horses it really has!