Looking Past the Past: Greg Hageman’s Harley-Davidson XLR Tribute

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by Erick Runyon
Greg Hageman’s Harley-Davidson XLR tribute bike.

Let’s play the “what if” game: What if we could go back in time, but take with us the conveniences and amenities that we enjoy today?

In terms of vintage and classic motorcycles, what if we could go back in time to create a bike that commands the nostalgia and charisma normally associated with old iron, yet engineer it in such a way that we benefit from today’s technology?

Bike-builder Greg Hageman pondered that concept and came up with a plan. Although he knows that there’s no way to really jump back in time, he figured he’d create a motorcycle that gave a worthy salute to yesteryear anyway, bringing with it the convenience of modern components. Things like disc brakes, electronic ignition, self-adjusting hydraulic valves — even a carburetor that doesn’t require a gentle tickle to initiate proper gas flow — found their way into the build.

XLR tribute

People who’ve religiously been thumbing through the pages of Motorcycle Classics magazine for more than a few years might recognize Hageman’s name. MC has featured two Hageman-built bikes in past issues; his Yamaha Virago 920 café racer was chronicled in the May/June 2012 issue, and a time-honoring Yamaha Seca 900 café racer borne by his shop, Hageman Cycles, is forever part of MC‘s May/June 2015 edition. Now we give you his tribute to Harley-Davidson’s vaunted XLR, an early Sportster model crafted for one primary purpose, and that was to win TT races.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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