If having your handy work plastered up here on the pages of Tube de Temp Rouge earned you some sort of shiny golden statuette of a stylised, airborne motorbike with a windswept pilot barely managing to hold on while his rattly steed heads for the heart of the sun, then the boys at Evolution Motorsports would be kicking back right now, feet up, staring at four of the things up there on their greasy, old spark plug infested mantle piece. Undoubtedly the initial honour of owning one will have worn off by now, and the first spate of polishing and dusting and showing it to everyone who entered the shop will have subsided, now replaced with casual comedic additions to them including a beer bottle cap as a hat, some racing numbers added with a sharpie, and even a stupendous appendage grafted onto trophy number 2 using some used pink gum. But why? Because of late they have had something else to occupy their crafty, talented minds. What have they been cutting their fingers on and greasing up their cuticles with, you ask? This is what.
Here's how Paul tackled the job: "This bike was brought to us as an unfinished project that our customer bought as is. It had the tank, a box of junk and was rolling. His brief was low and lean; a minimalistic theme with a fast back seat... on a small budget. First thing was to get it running to see what we were working with. We got it going without too much trouble but found the carbs needed a go through. So with a good quiet engine to work with we got on with the grunt work."
"We ordered a set of shortened shocks with hard springs from IKON, pulled the forks out and cut 3" off of them. Rohan (the owner) wanted a slim oil tank, to open up the rear section of the bike, so we fabbed up an aluminium number from a bit of 3" pipe spliced in two and some sections added. When Rohan came to us he saw a racecar we were prepping and asked if we could use the Earls fittings with stainless braid to plumb the oil tank."
"Next was the tail section, we fabbed this up from 1.6mm alu sheet. We added the dimple die holes for effect, though what effect I'm not sure. We just got the machine and wanted to use it. It came to us with Clubman bars, but I'm not a fan of this look so we made a set of clip-ons for it and shaved the bar clamps off the top clamp. The rear brake master was savable but the front was another storey, way too much corrosion from sitting unsealed with some brake fluid in it, so we got a GSX front master cylinder set up and fitted it with an Extreme Creations reservoir and plumbed it with some more Earls hardware. The stock clutch cable was now way too long with the new bars, so we shortened it up and re-fused the nipple back on."
"Next was the mounting of the light and wiring the bike. Before stripping out all the old wiring, we needed to get it charging so we understood how it all worked. This proved tricky as it wasn't charging, after a few hours of chasing, it turns out that this bike has a seperate regulator and rectifier. A quick trip to the auto electrician around the corner and we had a three pin stand alone regulator suited to the job. Now that we knew how it worked we could strip all the wiring out and start again with only a couple of fuses, an ignition switch, one Posh switch, one relay and the smallest battery we could buy that could handle the amps the alternater was going to give it."
"We then got the slimmest, functional, and most legal tail light we could find. The indicators we happened to had in stock so we blasted them, put some matt black on them and smoked the lenses. For the indicator mounts we rifle drilled some bolts for the wiring, turned the heads round in the lathe and tigged them to the frame."
"Rohan wanted a bare metal tank, but when we stripped it we found someone had been there before, and they probably shouldn't have done it with what looked like a 4" grinder. So it was off to the paint shop for plenty of spray putty and a coat of paint. Rohan suggested we find the closest silver to the bare alumimium tail as we could."
"I'm writing this without the bike to reference the work that went into it, but I think I've covered most of it. One thing for sure is, it was a lot more work than I thought it would be; everything on this bike needed some sort of attention. If it was a free world and money didn't matter I would have liked to strip the bike when finished, blast and powdercoat the frame and reassemble. All in all though, I'm pretty happy with end result - if it was mine to keep I'd ride it everyday."
So there you have it - the latest Evolution creation. "What's next for Paul and the boys?" I hear you squeal in a giddy, schoolgirl voice you've developed ever since you hit that enormous pothole on your hard tail yesterday morning. Well they have sworn me to secrecy and threatened me by pointing to my groin and then motioning to a spinning metal lathe full of swarf, but let me just drop a subtle hint and say that it's American, and it definitely does not suck. You heard it hear first, and rest assured you'll also see it here first the very second it's finished.