First Chopper Heard ‘Round the World

BIKE: 1962 Harley-Davidson Panhead chopper
ENGINE: 1208cc OHV V-twin
SPEED: 95mph
WEIGHT: 520lbs
RANGE: 200 miles

After successfully circumnavigating the globe on a 1948 Indian Chief in 2006, Doug Wothke repeated the exercise with a Harley-Davidson in 2009. Being contrary, he chose to build a chopper for the attempt, using a fairly standard early 1950s rigid frame with a raked steering head, and extended springer forks. The engine is from a 1962 FL Panhead, most of the components on this machine are standard Harley-Davidson, which helped when parts inevitably broke. Doug found the reception to his spectacular chopper to be universally positive while traveling, and he became for a moment a Bulgarian TV star after an interview. His stylish chopper made the 6-month journey with aplomb, but it must have been an interesting ride through the rough, swampy tracks of Siberia.