1990s icon re­tired

Street Chopper - - Contents - WORDS: MARK MASKER PHO­TOS: JAPO SAN­TOS

No, no. I’m not talk­ing about the 1990s icon that still brings ev­ery bad re­la­tion­ship it can find to ev­ery stoner’s or hun­gover frat boy’s TV screen ev­ery week­day. The “springer” in ques­tion here was an Evo-pow­ered rigid chop­per with a springer fork on it, sport­ing all the styling cues that de­fined 1990s chop­per style. It was can­celed so that the chop­per you see here could live.

Many times, things hap­pen in strange ways. This is not an ex­cep­tion. Mar­cos Vazquez was look­ing for a bike with a springer front end and in the year 2002 found this Evo ma­chine.

The bike came to Spain from the US in 2001 for the Barcelona Olympic Sail­ing Week. Tony, one of the me­chan­ics of the US team, brought it with him. He’d al­ready made his marks on it with an Arlen Ness-style big fat wheel on the back, a skin­nier coun­ter­part on the front, and a flame paint job that was cut­ting edge. For 1990, any­way.

Most im­por­tantly, though, it had a springer on it. A fa­mous Latin proverb says, “For­tune fa­vors the bold.” Lady Luck also fa­vors the lo­cal. A year af­ter Tony brought the bike to Spain, he had to re­turn to the US, and it was eas­ier to sell the bike in Spain rather than ship it back home. His dilemma was lo­cal boy Mar­cos’ good for­tune. He was de­lighted to buy the bike from Tony.

Mar­cos rode his Evo as is for a few years, even tour­ing it cross- coun­try. Four years of that 1990s paint job and fat back tire wore on him just like it wore on the cus­tom bike in­dus­try here in Amer­ica. Mar­cos be­gan think­ing of restyling the Evo; he also wanted his wife, Mon­ica, to be able to ride passenger. Clearly, it was time for a change— just not the change Mar­cos ex­pected.

In the midst of this, news came that Mon­ica was preg­nant with their first daugh­ter. Fam­ily comes first. His Evo-pow­ered bike un­der­stood and sat pa­tiently in dis­ar­ray around the garage, wait­ing its turn. Seven long years later, the time was right for Mar­cos to get back in the sad­dle.

With all those years of wait­ing and the old-school com­ing back, the idea of the springer front end was los­ing strength in Mar­cos’ mind. Springer forks are a clas­sic, but he wanted some­thing more cus­tom than that. One day, play­ing around on ebay, a girder front end caught Mar­cos’ eyes, and af­ter com­ing back from a re­cent Mooneyes Hot Rod Show, he bought a girder fork from a guy who said he was go­ing to use it on a 125cc minibike. Mar­cos’ timely in­ter­ven­tion saved the girder from that ter­ri­ble fate.

Once he was back in Spain, Mar­cos started cre­at­ing his new chop­per from the ashes of the old. Armed with his Evo mill and his new front end, his mind con­jured the bike’s new look in his head. It would be some­thing clas­sic, skinny, and clean.

The in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate on the Art & Wheels show in Switzer­land in May was the mo­ti­va­tor to have the bike done, but that left him with a mere four months to make the dead­line. “You know that in these cases, we al­ways use ev­ery sec­ond to get the bike done,” he says. “Last-minute is­sues come up, things can get com­pli­cated, but with the help of friends and fam­ily it all gets done.” Mar­cos wants to thank Miquel from Uni­tat Met­rica, all the guys who sup­port his work on the shop, and mostly his wife Mon­ica and his two lit­tle daugh­ters for their sup­port. SC


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