I was talking to a fellow rider the other night, one that actually owns and rides his Panhead to work everyday, about the seemingly non-existent appearance of Panheads. Sure, we've all been to Born Free and open mawed the overwhelming incomparable presence of Panheads, Knuckleheads, and even a handful of Flatheads (and to a lesser degree Shovelheads no one looks twice at), wipe the drool from your chin.
So where are they? They're in storage maybe? Very few people who own these bikes actually ride them on a regular basis. I can count a few sure, because I see them at all the mainstream events, but I don't see the quantities I would expect. They got shipped overseas...
Correction; they got "sold" overseas.
Not all of them, of course, but how about "most" of them?
Don't agree? Then where are they?
Japan is the dominant Panhead Capitol of the World.
(insert pic of me handing them a trophy...)
Years from now "Choppor Toursits, with enough money, will take trips to Japan "In Search Of..." Panheads; the last great american mystery. We haven't seen a "disappearance" like this since the great and mighty Bison left the Plains (were slaughterd out of exisitance).
If anywhere there is a "chopper scene" outside of SoCal that's as vibrant and (even more so) invigorating than ours, it's in Japan. I seriously wonder if their events and gatherings are as filled with as many big business Corporate influences as ours are? It's hard to say, I don't read Japanese so I can't even tell if it's a banner for a law firm sponsoring a noodle booth or a banner promoting the name of a club? At least I have a hope, because I fail to see any of the more common corporate logos I normally (would) recognize.
And if it is the case, that big business is held at bay, how is that possible? How do you run a camping festival with thousands of people camped out under a bridge, without the monetary support of big business and the disgusting sight of dealerships or "Partner" banners along every fence, toilet, and entrance/exit gate?
Makes me wonder...