Well, it took quite a while….I had purchased the Pan with a certain purpose: it should become my bike for the Ironbutt Rally 2015. Well, I decided to pull out from the rally for various reasons, but I still wanted to do all the modifications (farkling). It is a perfect long distance bike with a big asset: reliability.
I started with the windscreen and ordered a Clearview – the largest one available. It gives a perfect protection against wind and rain. There is also no backdraft or turbulence. A real improvement.
I wanted to install many electrical devices in the cockpit, so I installed my Dispatch One box in the back of the bike. Together with the wireless remote control on the handlebar, I can control all devices centrally and adjust the level of the heated jacked steplessly. Very comfy. It is difficult to mount things in the cockpit so I copied a plan for a dashboard shelf from the internet and planned to construct it myself. I chose aluminum as light material and cut it out of a big plate.
I added also a bracket under the plate to give it more stability. As the aluminum plate was rather thin, I needed to reinforce the whole construction. I painted it with primer and black paint. I’m not brilliant at painting, but it does the trick. I mounted the two sat navs and a mobile phase box on the dashboard.
Together with the Dispatch One controller and the SPOT GPS tracker, the Pan cockpit looks like a decent LD bike now. Next were the brakes. I installed new brake lines. When checking the calipers, I noticed that they wouldn’t move a millimeter. I removed them and was shocked: the previous owner did not place the dust seals! There was an enormous amount of dirt on the piston. No surprise that they wouldn’t move! I cleaned the pistons well and placed new piston and dust seals.
I head reflected a lot about a possible solution for an auxiliary tank. My friend Heinz gave me the right inspiration: why not looking for a back seat cowl and place it there? The Pan was sold as a police bike with a special cowl based on a special mounting plate. I needed also the respective single seat and found everything in the UK. The question was which tank to take. First I had thought to have an aluminum tank constructed, but in the end I discovered that the mounting bracket and the tank of the BMW fitted more or less on the police mounting plate on the Pan.
Well, some bending and drilling was involved, but in the end I had successfully cannibalised the mounting system of the BMW. I wanted to integrate it in the cowl, but this was a bit tricky. I had found a very unique cowl, a kind of tower shaped one. In the end I decided to cut it. I ordered the original paint and painted the cowl in the original wineberry
candy red. In the meantime, I had sent the single seat to California to have it turned into a real Russell seat. I have one for the XBR and in the opinion of many, this is the most comfortable seat you can get for a bike. It took quite a while….and in the end the seat got stuck at the customs for weeks. I was on tenterhooks, for I could only mount the tank if I had the seat ready.
The mounting took quite a while…it was tricky to mount and fix everything. But it seems to work at the moment. I had also installed my floodlights, the Krista Lights from Clearwater Lights. They have been outdated by the latest LED light generation (Kristas: 2 x 2800 Lumen; Erikas: 2 x 7500 Lumen!!!), but they are still more than three times as bright as the normal head beam lights.
I had tested them again during a recent trip and they actually saved my life: they gave me enough time to evade the enormous deer that was standing on the road in the middle of a bend. A close shave!
Did I already mention the handlebar risers? An even more comfortable riding position….
The bike received also a big wellness program at Mart!n’s garage: a new timing belt, a refurbished fork, new radiator hoses, new brake and clutch master and slave pistons, new wheel bearings, a new stainless steel manifold, and and and….the bike has not been in such an excellent state for at least 10 years….or whenever the previous owners decided to give up a proper maintenance…
The bike runs very smooth now, also the rough gearbox performance is history ( must have been the leaking clutch slave piston). A smooth cruising speed is 160 – 180 km/h (100 – 112 mph), but even at 210 km/h (130 mph), the ride is still very easy, no buffeting or weaving. Well, a little bit, but that was due to the worn front tyre. This is also solved.
Right on time, the bike is now ready for its first real test – the Brit Butt Rally next weekend!