The Spencer Evo


In the 16 years I’ve spent writing about motorcycles, among other things, I’ve come across hundreds of bikes I liked and dozens I’ve desired, but I’ve kept a lid on the lust. I have learned contentment is the real road to happiness and I was content with the couple of bikes I owned. I realise I am fortunate. Some people are lost if they don’t have the next automotive project to locate, charm and conquer. I try, when possible, to live by the mantra: ride them, don’t hide them, and having a whole fleet of polished cast alloy beauties has never appealed.

Have you tried looking after a bunch of motorcycles? It’s a tedious task. Their batteries go flat. Their tyres, too. Their road tax expires; they cost a bomb to insure; they are a pain to keep MoT’d, then when you do take them to the test station, you realise how little you have ridden the bike in question in the last 12 months. There is always something, and it manages to squeeze the joy out of ownership, for me at least. Owning ten motorcycles isn’t five times more fun than two, but it is at least five times the hassle.

So while I had access to the fine, fast and fanciful, I returned home to the loving enjoy the company of the garaged ones that knew me best.

Then I saw Steve’s Spencer Evo. It was unfinished. It looked like it would take a month’s work to complete it, but it was actually another nigh on four years till I returned to the single garage in Cumbria in which it was built, to lay eyes on its recently completed form.

It was a day that changed my motorcycling life. It was a day when all the inspiration, all the clever touches, the craftsman-created pieces, the race-spec this, the drilled-titanium that and the Japanese Domestic Market-only elements my brain had been logging finally clicked like the Yale lock of a slammed door.

All bets were off. I had to build a bike like this. Three years later, I still am.

The Spencer Evo is infused with the restless spirit of Pops Yoshimura, creator of some of the most amazing superbikes ever ridden.