Bling’s Cycles Naked Suicide Panhead
This raw Harley-Davidson-powered custom began life as a vintage chopper
This 1956 Panhead custom started as a big old classic chopper when Bill Dodge of Bling’s Cycles decided to tear it apart. From the beginning, to fulfill the raw theme, he wanted to use as much stainless steel as possible. He says, “I’ve always loved building bikes raw and would sometimes be sad that they would have to get covered up in paint. Knowing this bike would stay raw made me work that much harder because you see every detail. You can’t hide anything. Every imperfection can be seen, and some of those imperfections are what gives a bike character.”
The frame wasn’t in any condition to restore so Bill pulled out a one-off stainless frame that Will Ramsay at Faith Forgotten had built for him. From there, he put the motor and transmission into the frame and started making stainless parts around it that fit his vision. Foot controls, exhaust, motor mount, linkages, taillight, sissy bar—even little joints to buffer the non-steel from the chassis because he wouldn’t use anything connected to the frame that wasn’t stainless steel. Some of the other parts, Bill made out of aluminum, including things like the oil bag, seat pan, shifter, handlebars, risers, triple trees, and rear fender.