Anyone who collects stuff is probably familiar with the urge to find tiny versions of big things. Even better is when the tiny version is functional. That’s what makes this minuscule 9cc Harley-Davidson Panhead engine so cool. It runs and sounds almost like the real thing!
Swinging a leg over a real Panhead nowadays isn’t cheap, and some of these bikes run more than a new Harley. But if the Panhead is appealing to you but you don’t have $30k to drop on a vintage Harley, our friends over at RideApart found a compelling alternative. You can buy a tiny V-twin that looks and sounds like the real deal!
The Harley-Davidson Panhead engine launched in 1948. It replaced the Knucklehead and ran until 1965 when it was replaced by the Shovelhead. If you’re not into old Harleys, don’t worry as I have you covered. These engines have earned their names from what their rocker heads look like. In this case, they look like pie pans. As Cycle World notes, these engines are famous for their longevity. Harley-Davidson started a Mileage Club where riders clocking in over 100,000 miles started racking up.
This little V-twin is called the Cison FG-VT9.
The engine’s description on mini engine website Stirling Kit calls out to Harley’s Panhead and notes a high level of detail. Indeed, watching that video up there it does look and even sounds like a Panhead, just scaled down small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
The micro Panhead is made from CNC machined aluminum with copper exhaust elbows, an anodized block and chrome plated rocker heads.
Things are pretty neat on the performance side. It’s fed from an appropriately tiny carburetor, each cylinder gets two valves and the 9cc V-twin can rev up to 8,000 rpm. That’s more than my Buell! It results in an output of 0.8 horsepower and it even runs on gasoline.
This would be really neat in a remote control vehicle, but honestly I want to buy one and just put it on a stand.
Or maybe I can do some hijinks like hook it up to a fan, motorized toothbrush, or a generator. Oh, and as a fair warning, don’t snoop around the Stirling Kit site for too long. The place is full of awesome tiny engines that actually run, all threatening to empty your bank account.
The only downside I could find to this thing is the price. At about $600 it’s an expensive gift for yourself or the motorcyclist in your life. But hell, it certainly beats getting just another non-functional model engine!