Evo Knuckle

Article By: Jimmy Frizzell

Photos By:Mad Stork Ken

Originally Published In The December 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

We’ve all been at the burnt embers of a family picnic gone brutally wrong. Junior turned 3 and the wife thought it would be a nice gesture to maybe invite a couple of your friends over to celebrate the birth of your future criminal. A handful of hours later a couple of beat up motorcycles lay perched against the garage door with melted rear tires, the offspring is laying in the drool of a wicked chocolate hangover, and your buddy that you keep meaning to lose his number just took the last beer from the melted remains of a few bags of ice. As the bottle sweats through his stubby fingers, and he skillfully tries to use your lighter to remove a twist cap off your cheap beer, he once again goes into his old stand bye speech. And before you know it he slurs out those same damn twelve words…” you know what I’d do if I got a brand new Harley?” And to this day you have no clue what the hell he would do, because none of us continue to listen half way through the first sentence… We’ve all thought about it, we’ve caught ourselves dreaming of what never will be, but then again none of us are Robert Brooks. In the late fall of 2007 Robert went out and got himself a brand new Springer Classic and as most of us would do, he instantly began to load on some well deserve celebratory miles, but before the first tank turned to carbon monoxide he pulled that new gem into the garage. With only 52 miles clocked on the dash he did what anyone would do and dismantled the entire thing. Brooks found a new found joy in finally taking a bike apart without the worry of seized nuts and bolts and frayed wires only holding on by a prayer. He basked in the glory of being the first to dive in head first without coming across a single backyard hack job or shortcut. But when the saws came out and the adrenalin subsided, there was no turning back. He spent the next few weeks modifying everything he possibly could along with the seat, fenders, various covers and also found himself installing internal throttle controls. He found buttons from the forties and to follow the theme installed a set of Custom Chrome Knucklehead rocker covers designed for the twin cam.

Robert was able to bring the modern Evo just about as close to 1946 as he could and even showed it off at the Biltwell Bash at Lake Skinner in 2009. He ventured out over the span of the three days taking in the Ortega Highway and other local roads and enjoyed what he says was one hell of a party. After the Bash fourteen guys decided to head south for what was deemed an unofficial El Diablo Run. They all headed south for a flawless run south of the border for an unplanned vacation taking the bike through the paces and blowing the dust off her. 2010 provided an unpredicted new direction for the Softail.

While toying at a local Poker Run on his birthday some loose driveway asphalt caused the back end to come around on him and without hesitation the bike high sided and went down hard. Not one to be defeated, Brooks road the tangled mess home where he made the discovery that the bike was pretty much a total loss along with all his hard work. The bike was stripped of it’s twisted springer and a lot of the custom pieces he had built were thrown in a pile. A new front end was installed and for the next couple of years the mangled bike sat unloved, not even wearing a headlight the few times it toured the block. Plans were made to someday explore new possibilities for the twin cam but with other bikes in the stable, the dust started to settle on the Evo/Knuck.

started to settle on the Evo/Knuck. In 2015 word started to spread of another El Diablo Run and this was all the inspiration Robert needed. He scoured his shelves and settled onto a plan. He wanted a bike that reminded him of his younger riding days. He cut apart the old twisted springer for salvageable donor parts. From the pieces he was able to fabricate new risers and tapered frame supports under the tank. He used a blank stretched sporty tank that was big enough to hide the fuel pump and crafted a brass site glass down the center to monitor his fuel level. He found tail and headlights that reminded him of that classic Buick feel and continued to lean the bike out to resemble the bikes he rode as a kid. This would serve to represent the rebirth of the springer and new freedom for Robert himself. He gave the bike a traditional 60-mile shakedown and once again headed out for new adventure. The seven days of EDR were everything Brooks had hoped and even with a ten-day build time and a limited test run, the reliability of the twin cam allowed for a stress free experience under less then favorable conditions. This year Robert set out for a different riding experience and joined the Gypsy Tour to The Big Mountain Run in West Virginia. Brooks rode the Evo down from Grand Rapids Michigan and was able to fully enjoy the roller coaster reality of twisting mountain roads. While most of us already know, BMR really isn’t that great of a time, Robert says he had a blast and after all this trip got his bike in a magazine, so life ain’t half bad. So the next time you’re mouth breathing, cave dweller of a buddy starts rattling off what he would do if he had a new bike, just remember, Robert Brooks already did it….

Evo Knuckle Tech Sheet

Owner: Robert Brooks

City/state: Casnovia, MI

Year: 2007

Model: Springer Classic

Value: ….

Time: 30 Days

ENGINE

Year: 2007

Model: Twin Cam

Builder: Owner

Ignition: Thunder Max

Displacement: 103

Pistons: Harley-Davidson

Heads: Harley-Davidson

Carb: Direct Port Injection

Cam: 255 Harley-Davidson

Air Cleaner: Owner

Exhaust: Owner

Primary: Harley-Davidson

TRANSMISSION

Year: 2007

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: 6 Speed

Frame

Year: 2007

Make: Harley-Davidson

Model: Softail

Rake: 31°

Stretch: Stock

Forks

Type: Springer

Builder: Owner

Triple trees: Owner

Extension: 1.5 Under

WHEELS

Front Wheel: Sporty Hoop

Size: 19”

Front Tire: Firestone

Front brake: Harley-Davidson

Rear Wheel:

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: Firestone

Rear brake: Harley-Davidson

PAINT

Painter: West River

Color: Black

Type: BCCC

Chroming: None

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Owner

Risers: Owner

Hand Controls: Nash

Fuel tank: Owner-Stretched Sporty

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: Led Sled Customs

Seat: Biltwell

Foot Controls: Owner

Oil tank: Harley-Davidson

Headlight: Headwinds Blank/Owner

Taillight: 30’s Buick

Speedo: None

Photographer: Mad Stork Ken

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