Custom Softail Aptly Named The Beast | Motorcycle Reviews, Forums, and News

Jon Schroder owns a small part-time bike building enterprise named Evocycle in Riverside, California. Essentially, Schroder holds down a day job and in the evening and over weekends he crafts custom motorcycles. Now Jon is like a lot of folks who build custom bikes (or custom anything for that matter) for fun and profit. You build one, and you say to yourself, “This is it!” The one, the keeper! As the story goes, Jon took a 1990 Softail in a trade for another bike he built. And that bike really grew on him. After all, that Softail was the motorcycle he wanted when he turned 18. It only took him a couple of decades to actually acquire it. According to Jon, the thing had a honking huge gas tank, big buckhorn bars with curved risers, extended forward controls, and a big seat that was the size of a couch (complete with Conchos). There’s more, according to Jon: “My wife said I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t care. I promptly named it The Beast, and it became my daily rider for about three months.”

All was going rather well until Anthony Pimentel showed up. As it turns out, Anthony had never owned a motorcycle before. He was shopping and had recently test-ridden a Sportster Forty-Eight. Anthony dug the vibe from the Forty-Eight, but he really wanted something special, something he couldn’t buy at a Harley-Davidson dealership. That something special would end up being Jon’s keeper Softail. Jon relented and decided he could part with it. Pimentel and Schroder cooked up a plan where the Evo-powered machine would be stripped and built specifically for Anthony’s tastes and desires (with a strong dose of Jon’s ideas tossed in, too).

Before long, Jon’s old daily rider was under the knife. He stripped it down to the point where the motor and the tranny were left in the frame. The bike already had a 16″ laced wheel out back. Jon spooned a vintage-looking Shinko classic skin over the back. It looked right, and that’s where the project really took off. The next stop was the Long Beach Swap Meet. Here Schroder tracked down a barrel oil tank, a Chevy truck taillight, a 16” wheel for the front, a smooth fork nacelle, and a set of aftermarket Shovelhead-style Fat Bob gas tanks.

Digging through his personal parts, Jon added a Fat Boy fork and fit it with a Progressive Suspension drop-in spring kit. That brought the front end down to earth a bit and simultaneously firmed up the ride. Then he added the 16″ wheel that he had scored at the swap meet (wrapped with another vintage-looking Shinko). Out back, Evocycle Jon swapped out the stock Softail shock for an air ride setup. Anthony’s new-to-him hot rod Softail was once again starting to look like a motorcycle.

Remember those aftermarket gas tanks Jon picked up at the swap meet? At this point, Schroder had the ride’s height figured out. The tanks had to match the scheme. He cut up the tanks in order to narrow the profile a bit, but he also wanted to keep the tanks sufficiently large so that Pimentel could actually ride the bike. Jon figured the tank width should match the width of the forks and at the same time the centers should hug the frame as closely as possible. In the process he fabbed a set of tank mounts (with Bung King mounts) and left sufficient room for a mini speedometer between the tanks. He fabricated a simple dash from 1/8″ aluminum (complete with lightning holes). There’s a spot beneath the dash that mounts the circuit breakers along with the starter relay.

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About Craig Ballantyne 18631 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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