X 18 Metzler
Nov 11, 2005
note the Saxon's Black Crown provided for my test ride was a pre-production
model that was rushed to Arizona Thunder Cycles so they could review
the bike. They liked the bike so much that they turned it over to
me for a test ride before they had it updated with new improvements.
that in mind, please read the followup from Manufacturing at the
end of the article. Thanks Kirk
2005 Back Crown Test Drive
by Kirk Johnson Oct. 2005
as tested $26,995
The Saxon Black Crown was designed by master builder Gard Hollinger
of LA County Choprods, the Black Crown is unlike any other production
motorcycle. This noble beast has refined styling and an untamed
attitude that rules the road.
at least, is what the brochure says about the Black Crown and I
will have to agree with the "untamed attitude" about the
description. It does bring out the want to be bad in you. This is
not a bike that you want to spend the day on. But when you are on
it you do want to be seen.
Crown comes stock with a 96 ci S&S motor, 6 speed tranny, LACC
Mad Fish exhaust, 240 MM X 18 Metzler rear tire and a Springer 4”
over front-end on a Softail frame with a hidden shock. The finish
is a mat black with red trim on the rims and chain links on the
this bike resembles the next generation Bobber. By this I mean back
in the 60s the Bobbers soon became the choppers as builders made
changes to their bikes. The Springer front-end has a 34° rake.
This makes this bike easy to handle and maneuver. The Bobber part
comes from the bobbed rear fender and no front fender, straight
pipes, solo seat and matt black finish.
a great day for a ride. It was Thursday afternoon and the temperature
was around 90°. I was excited to ride this beast. We started
out as friends for the first 6-8 miles. From the moment that I hit
the starter the loud pipe spoke with authority from the 96 ci S&S.
I wanted to crack the throttle and hammer it right there. The only
problem was I was still in the parking lot. As I left Arizona Thunder
Cycles I headed south on Scottsdale Rd. The bike rides like a champ.
The 34° rake makes for a great look, but is still fun and easy
concern I had was when I turned on to the 101 on ramp. It was a
left turn and I was going with the flow of traffic. I heard a scraping
sound from the frame or the kickstand. I was not used to that. I
am glad there were not any big bumps in the road at that location.
I was fully aware that this bike was not made for cornering. But
to go even slower then traffic on left corners is hard for me. I
am not a very sane driver if you know what I mean.
of the pipes
were with me the whole time and I loved it. They bark with authority
on acceleration and cackle when you back off. They do turn heads.
As far as I am concerned a bike is never too loud or never too fast,
unless you live in Carefree.
I did get to find the throttle limit on the onramp the bike vibrated
worse then an old Sportster. In fact it was so bad that when it
came time to shift I did not want to release my grip in the clutch
grip. That was easy, I just quickly ratcheted the throttle off full
for a split second with pressure on the shifter and we were in second
and then third.
Black Crown tore down the onramp quite nice. It felt a little flat
around 3-4.5K but picked up around 5K. After letting up on the throttle
the bulk of vibration was gone. It rode in traffic quite nice. Again
you feel bad, bad to the bone. But, not bad enough to ride to San
Francisco. I still had a powerful desire to ride to a biker friendly
place where the bike could be seen.
about 3 miles of putting up with the 101 traffic, the engine started
to sputter. It quit, then ran for a second, and then quit again.
They told me they put gas in it before I took off. Now I have a
problem. I was on the inside lane and wanted to get over so I could
exit. You know how the traffic is on 101. I just looked at the traffic
in the right lane, hit the signal and pointed to the lane and started
over there right after the next car came by me. I was lucky, there
was a gap so I fell right in behind the passing car all the time
keeping the engine in gear and turning as I slowing down while switching
the lever on the tank to reserve. I eased over on to the side of
the road and stopped.
of an engine with rushing traffic next to you is about as much fun
as a root canal. I did double-check the ignition switch. It, by
all indication was just fine. All the time on the ride to the side
of the road there was not a hint of a flicker from the lights or
the digital tack or speed indicators. Next, of course was to check
of the fuel level. I removed the crown-shaped gas cap to find ample
fuel. I did double-check the fuel valve, and yes, it was on reserve.
notice that the crown-shaped gas cap
was solid piece of metal and had an o-ring at the base. Maybe it
just formed a vacuum and quit. If that is the case then it should
start right up. It did. I check for a tank vent, but did not find
one?? Well, it was running now and sounded solid. Needless to say
I took the next exit and headed back south on Hayden Rd.
about 5 miles it quit again. It sounded like fuel starvation, just
like the last time. I was able to loosen the gas cap and this time
it started right up and I left the cap loose. After that there was
no more problems. I headed right back to the barn.
looks, six speed, Springer front-end, great pipes and I did love
the low seat. It is only 24” off the ground. It is a great
bar hopper, not a cruiser, even if it is a Softail. This bike does
vibrate a lot on hard acceleration and you have to be very careful
on left turns.
up letter from
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Saxon Motorcycle Co.
Thank you for taking the time to test our new Black Crown. The Black
Crown is a very unique production motorcycle - it includes numerous
hand made custom components, and an overall design concept that
blends new and old styling.
The bike you rode was essentially pre-production model that we rushed
to Arizona Thunder Cycles so that you could review the bike. At
that time, we were aware of several issues with the bike and had
already specified a number of improvements for the model. Unfortunately,
however, at the time of your test we had not yet received the parts
required to make the changes. As a result, it appears that you experienced
some minor issues that would have otherwise been prevented.
The production Black Crown now includes the following:
1. A heavy-duty 2006 proprietary Saxon switch
2. Improved venting in the fuel system and gas tank in order to
prevent vapor lock and improve engine performance
3. A new shorter kick stand to improve the bike's lean angle.
We take quality and customer service very seriously. When one of
our owners experiences a problem with his bike, our top priority
is to solve the problem and get him back on the road. We then try
to determine if this is an isolated issue or an emerging trend,
and work to improve our design, internal processes or components
in order to prevent the problem in the future. This approach has
enabled Saxon to quickly establish itself as a top tier manufacturer.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Saxon Motorcycle Co.
(916) 934-0873 tel
(916) 290-0170 fax
you for the update. This should make a big difference in the future
for riders and owners alike. Two thumbs up to you and your service
team. Support like this speaks volumes for your company.