Harley XLCR Café Racer — Classic American Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

7 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Harley XLCR Café Racer — Classic American Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены

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Harley-Davidson XLCR

Years  1977-1979

Total production:

Claimed power:  61bhp

Top speed:  110mph

Engine  998cc, two-valve, 45-degree V-twin

 234kg (515lb) wet

Price  $3,595 (1977)

Price  $7,500-$11,000

The city streets thick with traffic, but it was a memorable ride. With speed, the slim, black XLCR carved a swath the miles of slow-moving metal. The twist of the throttle sent the V-twin stomping effortlessly

Everywhere the menacing black Harley XLCR its booming bass exhaust cleared cars from its turned pedestrians’ heads and to turn buildings to rubble.

stuff — and I wasn’t even the Harley, just following on a modern Honda while the owner led the way through his neighborhood practiced ease. Even I got to ride it, the original Harley-Davidson Racer had charmed me with its style and presence. But if that’s the great strength, then also the Hog’s fatal

For if ever a motorcycle was built for rather than performance, is the one.

Read about Tony experience of riding and owning a Café Racer

Form over

That was not quite what was when the Harley-Davidson XLCR — Excelsior, one awe-struck tester — was launched in 1977. Back the advertisements talked excitedly of top speed, and how this was the most production bike Harley had built. But even then, it was the Racer’s mean and moody looks that set the bike

The Café Racer concept was up by Harley design chief G. Davidson, and he took the idea to the Almost every part of the was pure black: the bikini the fuel tank, the tapered style seat unit, the panels and mudguards, the frame, the system and most of the big 45-degree engine itself. The effect was and unlike anything Harley had before.

Beneath the styling, the XLCR was considerably less Its engine was the same four-speed, pushrod lump used in the model, with not even a hot cam or big to be seen. Compression ratio a modest 9:1, and even the Keihin carburetor was identical.

The Racer’s one novelty, its siamese exhaust system, made no to the claimed peak output of at 6,200rpm.

The XLCR’s frame was consisting of a Sportster front matched with rear and a box-section steel swing-arm on those of the XR750 race Wheels were seven-spoke by Morris, 19in front, rear. The frame geometry and the wheelbase were identical to of the stock 1977 Sportster, the Café Racer’s triple-disc were a notable upgrade the cruiser’s single front and rear drum.

If that and the black bike’s lines conspired to give the of a hard and fast street then the riding position was to inspire a few doubts. That was true as I threw a leg over the low and bent forward not to café-race but to near-straight bars. And while the pegs are rearset, they are no than those on the stock

Combined with the XLCR’s seat, that gives a amount of legroom by sporting

Despite sharing its part-faired and big V-twin engine layout Ducati’s contemporary 900SS Harley’s hot rod has a totally different At the press of the starter button, massive 81mm diameter begin thudding up and down on shared crankpin with a deep, offbeat note could only come a Harley-Davidson. And when I prod the into gear and let out the clutch, the CR away with all the traditional ease of a big motor that out its peak torque at just

This particular Harley Racer is well cared for but (apart from resprayed crinkle-finish engine paint). It has the lived-in appearance — a few small in the paint work, slightly pipes and alloy — inevitable more than 23,000 of use. And apart from a Eagle fork brace and an SS and filter, its black housing smaller than the Harley the bike is totally standard.

road tests rated the Café Racer less than the standard XLCH below 3,000rpm, although unequal-length exhaust system, was claimed to boost mid-range was the only difference between the two It’s hard to say whether the market carb helps, but big black Harley pulled from below 2,500rpm, in top gear.

Less impressive were the erratic hot starting behavior and its tick over, which to make letting go of the fat twist-grip at the a risky business. The CR’s rather annoying trait, was probably due to its carb, was its tendency to on and off the power. At speeds below 50mph, the tiniest movement of the made the bike speed up or down momentarily.

Carburetion was impressively crisp, and the Hog was happy to forward hard, its low-down encouraging short-shifting through the sluggish and long-travel four-speed Back in 1977 the Café top speed was very close to the mark that Harley though the solid-mounted, 45-degree motor’s inevitable vibration was very good reason for on the lower part of the rev range.

On the

A quick burst to about was enough to prove that wild boar can still pretty hard, but I wouldn’t wanted to keep that up for long. Although an indicated came up with a lazy showing on the tach in top, started getting tiresome at above those revs, followed by pain from the single seat. Higher produce even more which would affect not the rider but the bike, too, as pieces are prone to come

The Harley’s handling is no great to rapid cruising, either, as at over 80mph the bars to deliver a vague feel could well have provoked by the unhelpful aerodynamics of the fairing. Contemporary tests a weave at speeds above with the spindly twin-down frame being another suspect.

Handling was nevertheless acceptable in its day, although the came nowhere near the poise of Italian sportsters as Ducati’s 900SS and the Moto Le Mans. Time moves on. My vivid memory of this is of negotiating a tight bend for the time.

The Harley, with its geometry and 19in front needed much more than I initially applied, and I had to another big haul on the narrow to get the bike around.

Once a bend the suspension, although and lacking in damping, coped well with the task of this fairly long and (515lb wet) bike on the track. This XLCR’s of Michelin front and Metzeler tires doubtless give more grip than the rubber (generally Goodyears), I didn’t push my luck enough to confirm reports the gear lever is the first to touch down in left-handers.

I did use the very hard, though, and I to because the twin-disc front was very wooden, despite praise in 1977. (Urgent required the Harley rider’s stamp on the foot pedal.) in those days were keen to criticize the feeble drag-prone clutch, total of storage space for a much-needed kit, and leaky fuel This bike was built before Harley’s Evolution era in quality control, and it showed.

Those faults didn’t testers of the day enthusing about the and class of Big Black, “the manliest, meatiest, gutsiest, mutha” ever built by as one put it. “In a world of mass produced another wrote, “a bike this stands out like a at a convent school speech

But when new, the Harley Racer was mighty expensive, more than the best sport bikes, and the public was not Harley’s image then nearly as trendy as it is now, and the appealed neither to genuine riders nor to the traditional Harley with their cruisers and If the CR was notable for anything, it was for proving there was more to a sport than slick styling and a few mods.

But of course all that matter any more. All Seventies are slow and cumbersome by modern so who cares that this one is slower than its contemporary Much more importantly, G’s grand folly is still as black, loud and mean as it was – and the fact that Harley has not anything remotely like it or since merely adds to the

All these years later, the looks, noise and charisma than make up for the fact it never was a true Café at all.  MC

Press reports

… the may be one of the most appealing bikes of the a combination of two of the strongest profiling on two wheels — big, thundering and sleek, kinetic-looking café

— Cycle Guide . July

Brake performance was, poor. At low speed, the CR stopped in distance, but from 60 mph, the CR up more room than any large road machine in memory.

— Cycle World . May

… with the exception of a few items a rough-looking rear brake almost everything is well-finished and fitted — which is a nice from the last H-D to pass our

— Cycle Guide . July

The CR’s saddle was designed to sleek — which it does — but an unsatisfactory place to sit for more 15 or 20 minutes.

— Cycle Guide . 1977

As a motorcycle, the XLCR has not merit.  As an adventure, the XLCR has no

— Cycle World . May 1977

more about the motorcycles in this article:

Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer


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