Café Americana: The Harley-Davidson XLCR

Legend has it that the Harley-Davidson XLCR was Willie G. Davidson’s baby, a bike he designed for himself.
By Phillip Tooth
July/August 2012
Add to My MSN

The Harley-Davidson XLCR looks too heavy, too long and too big to be anything better than a hog dressed up like a greyhound.


Content Tools

Related Content

Modern Classics Motorcycle Show Warms Up the Cold Winter

On Saturday, March 1, 2014, Martin Moto, of Boyertown, Pa rolled out its Fourth Annual Modern Classi...

Fritz Doernberger's Ducati Silver Shotgun

Fritz Doernberger discusses owning and riding his Ducati Silver Shotgun.

Fully-Restored 1978 Harley-Davidson XLCR Café Racer

Greg Hays shares the details on the restoration of his 1978 Harley-Davidson XLCR "Café Racer."

Found on eBay: 1973 Honda CL350 Cafe Racer

  This week we've found a sharp-looking Honda 350 that has us dreaming of warmer days and curvy roa...

Sometimes when you look at a bike you just know it’s going to be a disappointment. Take a good look at the Harley-Davidson XLCR café racer and you’ll know what I mean.

A café racer is supposed to be light and lean and quick, the perfect tool for thrashing between coffee bars or carving a path through city traffic and racing mates along tight and twisty roads. When you see a properly prepared Triton or Norvin, you know it’s going to be good. The XLCR looks too heavy, too long and too big to be anything better than a hog dressed up like a greyhound.

Legend has it that the XLCR (“CR” for Competition Racing or Café Racer, depending on who you want to believe) was Willie G. Davidson’s baby, a bike he designed for himself in 1974 that so impressed his bosses at American Machine and Foundry — then owners of Harley-Davidson — they decided to put it into production for the 1977 season. Willie G., head of the styling department and grandson of co-founder William A. Davidson, had taken the stock 1,000cc XLCH Sportster with its peanut gas tank and cow horn handlebars as his starting point.

If you want to ride this Harley-Davidson XLCR — or any one of a dozen other classic big twins — speak to Joel. You can reach him through RetroTours. — Ed. 

Order the July/August 2012 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read this article in its entirety. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email. 








Post a comment below.

 








The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
 

Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!