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  1. #1
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    Default Big Twin Evo 4 Speed Swingarm Build

    I'm thinking about doing a project with a bike that isn't really molded this way... a performance 85-86 swingarm Evo Big Twin 4 speed frame build.

    85/86 swing arm models (other than the Softail) included the FXSB, FXEF, and FXWG.

    Everyone builds up an FXR and Dynas. As great as those bikes are (especially the FXR) I want to go with something different.

    I currently ride an 84' FXSB Shovelhead. Stock suspension and a fork brace and it actually handles quite well. The ground clearance however isn't great.

    An Evo opens the door up to more performance options. I don't want to hammer on my Shovelhead as I use it more for a light touring style ride. Hence my desire for an 85/86.

    I'm thinking 39mm narrow glide swap with a brace. Taller rear shocks. 2 over forks. Maybe play with rake. Big inch Evo possibly (S&S Revtech Ultima etc). 5 speed splined shaft softail transmission and primary setup. I think this could be a unique and fun build. The 4 speed frame wouldn't suffer from the wobble issues a Dyna has. The 4 speed frame bikes are also lighter than a Dyna.

    Speaking of rake. Most people purchase raked cups to rake out their rides. Could these be installed "backwards" to de-rake? I believe the factory 4 speed frames are 30 degree rake. Interested in how they would handle around 28 degrees.

    Anyone here build such a bike or know someone who has?

    The big step is finding one since they were only a 2 year run.

    This guy did a similar build but I'd want to take it a tad further

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FTI_00hyHoo
    Last edited by garystaven88; 06-26-2021 at 8:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    US roads don't curve and stock rakes are pleasantly stable like a sedan designed to understeer. Owning similar Shovels I'd feel zero inclination to change that but the rest of the project would do nicely. It's cheap enough to try and discard the deraked parts if you don't like them.

    You can mod a titled Shovel frame to fit an Evo rather than hunt a titled Wide Glide frame. Scroll to the Irish Rich post:
    https://www.jockeyjournal.com/thread...m-frame.43172/

    I forget who welded a cutoff Shovel back half leftover from a hardtail conversion to an Evo Softail frame but apparently that wasn't difficult either so depending on what you score you could have a variety of choices. I'd ask Fab Kevin (who probably has a pile of Shovel back halves left over). Of course the Softail already fits the Evo engine and trans. I either read it on Jockey Journal or here.

    I feel moderate lust to do the same thing but have too many bikes already (which hasn't stopped me accumulating the parts). The later drivetrain is mechanically superior though the top end is slighly less sexy, and I don't stare at the heads when I'm riding.

    The 2000-up 39mm dual disc sliders are still in production so ya can buy a cheap Sporty single disc front end, add the other slider and modern calipers, and since you'd be installing longer tubes anyway sell the Sporty tubes (and damper rods, Trackerdie make some nice long ones) then install some Progressive springs. The ~1" wide 39mm fork stop tab would be easy to make from scrap such that it cleared stock lower bearing cups.

    The result could look vintage (I wouldn't go all gaudy and modern/retarded on a classic style machine) and work great.

  3. #3

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    I'm actually thinking of starting a similar project.
    Im looking at Touring bikes. FXR frame under all that crap. Looking at an 81 Tour Glide, which already has an EVO. I really like the way the frame looks underneath all that plastic and bags.

    Front fork would be a 39mm, 2" over with RaceTech gold valve emulators and springs and TrackerDie longer damper tubes. I have this setup, but stock length tubes, on my Dyna and it's the best performing 39mm you can build.

    Rear suspension I would get some adjustable 13" shocks. I have DRAG specialities on my Dyna and they are pretty good for the money. Not expensive at all.

    For your rake question, I don't see why it wouldn't work. My memory is a bit foggy, though. Been years since I've handled raked cups. I just really like the way a 2 over with 30 degrees rake handles, so I don't think I would personally bother with de-raking. Cups are cheap, not really a huge loss if you don't like it, or if it doesn't work out.
    Another thing to do for handling is keeping your front fork stock length and then raise the rear and inch or two. My Dyna handles very nicely with the rear raised and the fork at stock length.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Down View Post
    Another thing to do for handling is keeping your front fork stock length and then raise the rear and inch or two. My Dyna handles very nicely with the rear raised and the fork at stock length.
    Yup! Easy enough to try... I was thinking of doing this with my 84' FXSB Low Rider Shovel. Could pick up a cheap set of used ones just to try and if it works out I will spend more on new.

    This bike handles pretty darn well for what it is... the ground clearance aint great... I scrape the front pipe with a moderate lean in a right hander... hopefully some taller shocks helps.




  5. #5

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    Such a cool bike!

    My Dyna (2000 FXD) was scraping the rear muffler really, really bad with stock shocks. The new shocks almost eliminated that problem. Now I only drag the pipe if I really push the bike.

    I got these, from here. I like these guys and I try to order my stuff from them whenever I can.
    https://trackerdie.com/collections/s...or-dyna-models

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Down View Post
    I'm actually thinking of starting a similar project.
    Im looking at Touring bikes. FXR frame under all that crap. Looking at an 81 Tour Glide, which already has an EVO. I really like the way the frame looks underneath all that plastic and bags.
    Only grab an Evo bagger that old if it's dirt cheap (it should be since it's an '81 with an Evo transplant) as many parts including transmission, starter and major castings were superseded for good reason, but they are comfortable and reliable.

    If you lucked out and got a whole later replacement Evo drivetrain determine what gearbox/primary it's got (later is better). BTW the superficial resemblance to an FXR does not make it an FXR but rubber mounts are worth having. I'd go through the same stuff one does on FXRs and replace old rubber mounts, inspect all the grounds and electrical system in general.

    Fortunately you can upgrade the (utter dogshit) stock brakes and have plenty of parts options from later baggers. Bagger wobble will be less likely without a bunch of extra weight.

    If you really wanted an FXR in the first place titled frames are only about 1500 bucks (best venue is usually Facebook groups) and the rest is easy to source in whatever flavor you desire. The late bagger box with integral oil pan, splined shaft and vastly better starter is a fine upgrade to baggers as well as FXRs. Consider what you'd most prefer. Making a cruiser out of a rather meh old bagger is all well and good if done for dirt cheap (no one loves beaters more than I) but a proper FXR is a keeper and need not be festooned with all the current fashionable accessories to be large fun. If doing one from scratch I'd do as I did with my '88 and mod the frame for the bagger box which mods only cost a few dollars (and a right side Dyna brake mount if ya want mids) and also fit plentiful Twin Cams which are well worth using.

    Also worth noting if ya get the bagger is Dyna mid controls are very easy to mount (through drill and tap mounting blocks, bolt controls to blocks so ya can eyeball position, then weld in place). You can perform the mount welds from the bottom with the engine installed and also do either FXR or bagger "bagger box" frame mods welded from below which I did on my '88. Mids are a big deal for handling (and boards exist to grind...) so I'd want them on everything. Dyna brake rods are long and thick making them easy to shorten to desired length.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the insight farmall! Educational as per usual.

    Old shit baggers are expensive here, I'm in Finland. Any Harley is expensive. Cheapest Sportster for sale is 4200.. FXRs start at 8 and only go up.
    I don't want an FXR, I want to build something dumb and I could not bring myself to cut up an FXR. I already have a huge pile of parts, 39mm front end, Tokico calipers for front and rear, maybe an 88 TwinCam.. Might slap a 124 S&S on the Dyna.. The bagger is gonna be a build, not a "bolt this shit on and put a built not bought sticker on it"
    I suppose I could try to buy stuff from the States. I know a Finn who lives in Florida and ships stuff over here all the time. 24% import tax is no joke, though.

    I'm that guy who slaps mid controls on every bike. I hate forward controls with a passion.

    Hey Gary, sorry for hijacking your thread, man.

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