Chopper Harley Sportster Memphis Magnum caliber .45

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Harley-Davidson flat heads in stock aren’t exactly power legends. Long after WWII, army surplus flattery was as cheap as laughter from a 1950s sitcom, a Wrong A sitcom from the 1950s. The downside to these engines was that you get what you pay for in terms of performance. This is why the Magnum 45 has become the hot ticket to solving the problem. You modified your 45-inch Harley-Davidson Flathead to fit a top of the line Sportster to add more power to wake up the engine while still being able to fit it into the narrow confines of a rigid chassis. That’s exactly what Georgia resident Freddie Arnold did with this vintage piece of a rigid machine he calls the “Memphis Magnum.” This is a 1947 Flathead lower end topped with the stem of a 1969 Ironhead Sportster.

The completed hot rod was not a solo effort, however. Although Freddie worked hard on the engine job, Hank Young put his welding skills to work on the bike at his Young Choppers shop in Marietta, Georgia. The prism tank, flat rear fender, tailpipes and air filter are the work of Hank, as are modifications to the Paughco chassis and the 9-inch Paughco spring forks above.

Once the simulated machine got the green light for painting, Bobby Bordeaux set down a sweet combination plate of pearl colors and fresh candy. Once the color hardened, “Memphis Magnum” was crowned with a custom King / Queen saddle from Jordan Levi Dickinson. The starting point for the bike might have been cheap, but the end result is anything but that.


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