Zack Williams: I bought the frame this year, so I guess it’s technically a 2021 chopper. Although, a lot of the components are going back to the early 2000s. The wheels and motor are from the 90s.
ZW: A customer built a bike and had this big motor built that blew up on him. At the time, he didn’t want to wait to have it fixed, so he just bought another motor. It was sitting at our shop for almost twenty years. I’ve always been looking at it and liked it since it was a unique Evo. I kind of based the bike off of that motor. Then, slowly but surely, I refurbished it and started gathering the pieces.
ZW: It’s an S&S 113” engine. The big feature piece, as far as I’m concerned, is that it uses the shovelhead style Axtell big bore cylinders. They’re not aluminum, which is what a typical Evo cylinder is made from. Instead, they’re made out of cast iron. The STD heads were originally dual plug heads, but I’m only running a single plug setup. You might see in some of the photos, but I put my compression release where the other spark plugs should be to eliminate some clutter. The transmission is a standard Harley-Davidson 5-speed. Nothing too crazy with that. I’m anxious to get it broken in. From the feel of it, it’s going to rip.
ZW: The next big step was the wheels. I looked for a really long time to try and find these. They’re CCI wheels sold by Custom Chrome, a big parts distributor that’s been around since the 70s.
The frame was made by Flyrite Choppers in San Francisco. It’s 2-up, 0-out, with a 29-degree rake. I made the foot controls, footpeg, and brake assembly. The front end uses 39mm Narrow Glide triple trees with 41mm FL tubes that I machined down to fit. I made the custom tail light assembly that was integrated into a shortened Gasbox rear fender. I also made the seat pan and had it upholstered. We wanted a deep seat with a high back on it so you weren’t going anywhere if you got on it.
We made the custom exhaust, and my buddy Alex Volkman welded it up for me. I wanted to use a Supertrapp muffler because that’s what I had on my first dirtbike.
ZW: Yes, my brother, Phil Williams, painted the tank and fenders. I wanted something simple with a bit of a pop to it. The idea was to put a 1980s ski jacket stripe on it.
ZW: I guess the big inspiration for building this was just growing up in the shop in that time era. This is what people were building in the late 90s–big motored bikes with all the billet. It kind of faded out for a while after that.
ZW: I got the frame around February 2021 and the wheels a month or so later. It stayed in limbo for a bit. Pretty much everything you see was done over the summer after we were invited to Glory Daze in September. I was unprepared but had to start making final decisions. We got a lot of work done in a very short amount of time. Phil painted it the Wednesday before the show at midnight.
ZW: I prefer everything I build to be rideable and functional. I had been thinking about this Evo for quite a while. For two years I was figuring out the details. Usually, when I end up doing a bike, it’s because I came across something or randomly fell into it. With this, everything started with the engine. I put a lot of thought into the components I wanted, and I wasn’t going to move forward until I had this or that.
ZW: I’d just like to thank everyone that helped me because I honestly couldn’t do this on my own. Even without the time crunch, it takes a village in my opinion. It’s hard to do everything on your own. So, thanks to my brother, Phil, my other brother, Rob, my Dad, Buck, and my two buddies, Josh and Darren, who were there for long hours cleaning aluminum and doing a lot of the stuff we didn’t have time to do.