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Hacienda Custom
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The Evo Bobber
punched to 89cu.

Special thanks to Emma from Hacienda Customs for the help with the pictures.
Tubo V-Rod

Hacienda Custom Choppers
Evo Bobber Test Drive
by Kirk Johnson
Nov. 2005

Price as tested $24,995

Hacienda Custom Choppers—part of Hacienda Customs—next to Hacienda Harley-Davidson, in Scottsdale, was kind enough to allow me to ride their brand new Evo Bobber. What a treat.

The Evo Bobber is one of several different motorcycles they build or manufacture. These are not one offs that are custom built by hand from sheet metal, but assembled with good ole reliable, proven and trusted parts from Harley-Davidson or third party suppliers.

The heart of the Evo Bobber is of course the carbureted 1340 cc or 80 cu. Evolution Harley-Davidson 45° V Twin and Harley drive train. Harley came out with this engine in 1984 and it has been a very solid engine. The Evo is punched out to 89 cu for a little more excitement and equipped with an SS Carb and 6 speed tranny. Exhaust is from Samson and is sweet and loud. And of course it has that great crackle on the deceleration that you can only get from straight shot exhaust. The ignition system is a single fire system from Crane. The hardtail frame is from Hacienda Custom Choppers and has a standard 34° rake. The rear tire on this beast is a standard 180/55ZR18 with a 21-inch front.

The whole premise for this kind of build is to make a reliable, affordable, fun street machine with mostly Harley parts. The engine, brakes, some of the sheet metal was from the Harley. Just about any custom shop or Harley dealer will have parts for this machine and again, they are all proven very reliable and cost effective.

Road Test

You could not ask for a better day in the Valley. It was about 75° on a Thursday afternoon when the bike was turned over for the test ride. I had some concern about this ride. I got to meet the builder (Darin) and he said that he just hasn’t had time to take it out for a real test ride yet. He spent about 20-30 minutes going over the bike with a wrench to make sure everything was secure, tight and adjusted. This time, I took his cell phone number with me just in case there were any problems. I told him that I would be back in about 30 minutes or so.

I headed out down Scottsdale road to let the new engine warm up for awhile and so I can get used to the new bike. Before I got the first mile on the bike I had a very rude awakening. I hit a good size pothole and found out why they call these bikes hardtails. From that point on I paid attention to the road in front of me and avoided the bad spots with a lot of attention! Then, just before I turned on Raintree the mirror came loose. I was able to catch it before it hit anything. It was small, so I put it in my pocket. One other thing that I did not catch on the pre-ride check was lack of a speed odometer. No big deal – I can usually tell how fast I am going. It’s the tach that I want more than anything. Didn’t have one of those either. Not having the distraction of instruments should make the ride even better.

After riding around some of the back streets in Scottsdale airpark area, I headed for an on-ramp to the 101. What a treat. This little 89 inch Evo really runs great. I was very kind to the Evo, knowing that this was a new engine and not having any speed or RPM indicators. I could not twist the grip without finding the limit. I just made sure that I kept it at the limit somewhere in the middle of the engines RPM range, around 3 – 4 K. It ran strong and felt as solid as any bike that I have been on for quite a while. I did not want to spend my short time with the Evo on the 101 so I quickly took the Pima exit and headed north to Carefree. I was able to mix it up with a little traffic and get a good feel for the bike. It was a blast, fun and easy to ride. The longer I road north, the longer I wanted to spend time on it.

Finally, after riding for about 30 minutes now, I just could not get myself to turn around and decided to ride on into Carefree. I knew that I was due back, but I wanted a little more time on the bike. After a successful and uneventful ride though Carefree (since I had to keep the noise down) I headed back, south on Pima. I played with the engine again and it seemed to run even stronger than before. Until it coughed, quit and surged again. Now what?! Yes, I did check the fuel level and yes, there was fuel in the tank. It was quite low though. Knowing that this is a Sportster tank, or look alike, I hoped that it had a reserve on the petcock. So I moved the lever to the half way point and it started to run solid again. Thanks! I hate dead engines.

The first thing that I did was stop and put $5.00 in the tank to make sure this would not happen again. At one of the last stoplights, headed south on Pima, I was the first person in line. I eased off the line and found the throttle limit one more time and hit second. The little boost of adrenalin always makes you feel better. I shut down a little over the speed limit and let the bike return to what I would consider traffic flow speed. Not having anyone next to me and not having the indicators, I guessed that I was going about 55mph.

As I scanned ahead for soft payment, I noticed a burgundy Chrysler alongside the road. Not thinking anything of it – I did not pay too much attention to the car. However, it started to look suspicious. My main concern was what I would have to do if this idiot darts out into traffic? I had a different kind of surprise… When I was about 100 yards from the car, out of the driver’s window pops a radar gun, so fast even Jesse James would have been impressed.

It was too late to take evasive action now. I just hoped that my speed was within limits. Now I have to deal with paranoia. I really don’t think I was going too fast, but when you don’t know – you just aren’t sure. Driving past the cop now, I find myself with a new problem. I do not have a mirror on the bike and can’t easily look back to see if I am being pursued. Curiosity gets the best of me. I looked back to see if the burgundy Chrysler ever left its spot on the side of the road. It’s not very inconspicuous but if he did come after me with the lights on – I would not be able to tell without turning around, stupid mirror. He was still there, parked. I feel much better. It is time to take this great ride back to the barn.

Summary

Actually, except for the rough payment, you would not know this was a hardtail. It was solid and really ran down the road nicely. The on-ramp acceleration was great. It responded well in traffic. I did find that my back got tired after sitting with my feet stretched out with the forward controls and the handlebars in a drag bike configuration. Vibration is about what you would expect. One little problem that I noticed after the engine warmed up (or up to operating temperature) and while stopped with your feet on the ground, was the oil tank under the seat touches the under side of your legs. When the oil gets hot you do not want to have your legs resting on the top of the tank. In my opinion, the bike should have indicators, at least a digital speedometer. Overall, this should be a very reliable bike for anyone. The price is close to right and the bike should not need a lot of attention. After market parts, upgrades and repairs should be pretty much straight forward. By this I mean the abundance of after market parts and prices should be reasonable should you need to make any changes. This bike as presented is a very nice package as it is.

Ride safe

Kirk

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without the permission of Kirk at phoenixbikers.com.