Hacienda Custom Choppers
Evo Bobber Test Drive
by Kirk Johnson
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
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.
of the Evo Bobber is of course the carbureted 1340 cc or 80 cu.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.