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Doug Coffey's RetroMod Panhead Part 5

RetroMod Rigid Panhead Bars and Risers

Text and Photos by Doug Coffey
12/18/2013


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Back in the sixties the movie Wild Angels came out shortly followed by a soundtrack album with a great cover
One of the bikes on the cover caught my eye. The one to the right of the lead bike has a set of low rise Zee style handlebars. Try as I might I could never find a manufacturer low rise Zee bars. Everything available was four inch rise or higher and it is still the same today.
I decided I would make my own Zee bars for this new bike project.
I wanted a beefier look for my handlebars than the usual one inch diameter so I used 1-1/4 inch DOM tubing and cut the pieces to size on my milling machine.
 
 
I made the end pieces from one inch tubing and after welding everything together I finally had some 1-1/2 inch low rise Zee bars
 
 
My good friend Ron McBroom from Paughco offered to chrome plate my bars for me and I think he did a darn fine job.

Risers

 
 
I wanted handlebar risers that looked just like original Glide risers but I had a problem. Original Glide risers are made for one inch handlebars and my bars were 1-1/4 inch which is 25% larger.
I wasn’t going to let that stop me so I made a drawing of the original Glide risers scaled up 25% larger.
After boring and tapping a hole to 1/2 x 13 threads per inch for mounting, I bolted them into an angle plate on my mill and bored a 1-1/4 inch hole for the bars.
In the picture at right you can see a stock original Glide riser.
 
 
 
After boring the holes for the bars on my milling machine the risers went back on the lathe for turning.
The left picture shows the turning work done including a guide groove for slitting the caps off later on the mill.
The right picture shows the finished product ready for polishing. I also drilled and tapped the holes for the Allen bolts on the milling machine.
 
 
 
I don’t much care for rubber mounted handlebars so I turned some mounting adapters on my lathe.
 
 
 
Mission accomplished.
(it only took me 45 years to get around to doing this)

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