Bike of the Month

April 2017

1965 Harley-Davidson FLH

by Frank Vavra

About 20 years ago Frank Vavra was looking for a 1955, Harley-Davidson, the same year he was born, and he stumbled across this 1965 Harely-Davidson FLH on some web site. He was interested because this was the last year for Panheads and the first year for 12 volt systems and electric starts. It was located in Ohio and he was living in Southern California. Frank emailed the owner and had him send me some pictures of it. The engine was blown up and it had previously thrown the primary chain so the inner primary was welded. He decided to take a chance and go look at it. It was supposed to be almost all original and the guy needed the money to build a garage. "I did my research on what was supposed to be on it and all the tabs too". Frank flew to Detroit, rented a van and headed to Ohio. When he got there the bike was all original except for a few additional tail lights. It still had the original white grips and shift rubber. Frank paid him for it and, loaded the bike and boxes of parts into the van and headed back to Southern California. The work on the bike has been slow going, mostly it has been in the garage covered up. Other projects to keep Frank busy like his 1990 Springer Softtail.  Now the 65 is almost like his own barn find. He had the lower end of the engine rebuilt by the Bees Brothers in Henderson, NV when he lived there from 2000 to 2003. Frank was going to do a total restoration but now he is thinking of putting it back together and riding it. New Coker/Beck tires have been installed on it, cylinders are bored and the heads just need a little work to fix the chips on the exhaust ports. The carb is out getting rebuilt at Linkert Carbs in Vermont. And now it’s about time to put the rest of the pieces together and ride it.