Archive for the ‘sportster’ Tag
I made the mistake once of telling a potential employer (my local Harley Davidson dealer) that the only Harley I really liked was the XLCR from the late 70’s. The minute that sentence came out of my mouth I knew I was not going to be wearing orange and black to work each day. I did my best to backtrack but by then I was being shown the door. Oh well. Ironically, today I do ride a Buell, which is powered by Harley Davidson.
It is true though that I really like the XLCR, it is some sort of mental deficiency I understand that, but there is just something about that bike that works for me. The XLCR was the first bike designed by Willie G. himself and marketing wise it went over like a fart in church. To the faithful it was the bastard stepchild. The Cafe racer had more going against it than for it right from the get go. One, it didn’t look like a Harley should look. Two, it was made during the AMF period and it’s pretty common knowledge that those were as close to junk as could possibly be. Unreliable, poor fit and finish, and just shoddy in general. Fortunately, that period didn’t last too long and The Motor Company came back strong.
In 1977 The Motor Company built a few less 2,000 XLCR’s, 1978 had a production of around 1,000 and the last year, 1979, of the Cafe Racer there were only 9. Back then you could own one for just $3595…actually many were sold for a lot less. Today, a nicely kept or restored original goes for over $10,000!
I found one today on ebay that has a few modifications and is showing its age, but that’s OK. The mods include upgraded rear shocks, a new carb (sans air cleaner), and a what looks to be a loud exhaust. The bike needs some love but not too much from what I can see and might be had for a somewhat reasonable price.
XLCR’s have a very definite cool factor, and it still one of only a couple Harley’s I would like to own.
Click on the pictures below for more pics and more info.
Recently I spent some time with my friend Erik doing a heart transplant on his Sportster. Erik rides hard, he spends more time on the rev-limiter than most people spend on their bikes. But, Erik takes care of his bikes, well, kind of? After 70,000+ miles of abuse his Sporty decided it was done. A good used motor was found on ebay, shipped to California and without too much drama installed.
Erik has been, little by little, turning his Sportster into a Cafe Racer. Suspension mods,clip-ons, exhaust, seat…it’s all coming together nicely but I know he wants to do more.
Erik is considering new wire spoked wheels, new bodywork and pumping up the motor. It’s going to be a really well put together bike when done. But…I found one on ebay today that is already done and looks to me to a perfect example of how a Sportser should look.
I have to digress here a bit though, I have never been a fan of Harley Davidsons, except one…the XLCR, Harley’s (more exactly Willie G. Davidson’s) first design out of the cruiser/touring market. This has to probably be thee most underloved Harley ever built. It may be powered by a Harley motor but to ‘The Faithful’ it wasn’t a Harley Davidson. The XLCR fit into the same category as the little 2 strokes from Italy…maybe even lower. However, the XLCR has become a cult bike and quite valuable.
Today, Sportster based Cafe Racer’s aren’t all that unusual. The first one I ever saw was at one of my semi-regular Sunday stops ‘The Rock Store’ in the Santa Monica Mountains. The license plate on this particular Sporty was ‘DUCHUNTER’ and that was the owners favorite game, chasing down Ducati’s in the canyons. He often won the game.
The ’96 I found today is beautiful. Bodywork is a beautifully shaped 4 gallon tank, a classic Ducati seat and tail section, a sweet looking exhaust, nice clip-ons and classic aluminum spoked wheels. Everything about this bike looks to have been done with a a lot of love and attention to detail. This is how I hope Erik’s turns out but with his own special touches.
For more info and pictures, click on the pics below. And now, I’m going to go out and ride my own Harley powered Buell over to Erik’s and work on his Sporty Cafe Racer.
I’m contacting the seller about this bike to try to get more details and more photos. If this is, in fact, a 2004 Sportster, then it is the first full conversion (including tank but minus some cool 18″ wheels) that I’ve seen. A tank like that is exactly what I want to do to my bike. I’ll post updates as I get them.
BTW, the reason I’m not sure about the year is the oil tank. I can’t tell from the photos, but it is either a 2003 tank (non-flush oil filler cap) or it is a 2004 tank with the side cover removed. If anyone has an opinion, please let me know…
Not a lot of info on this bike in the listing. There is what appears to be a low serial number, and the bike doesn’t seem to be too far from stock if at all (unrestored and very clean looking). Low miles, but no good pictures of the VIN. Current bidding has the bike at $8,700 with 11 bids and 14 hours left. However, reserve isn’t met, which means there’s a good chance the bike won’t sell. I’ll repost if it comes back up for sale and maybe we will see what a nice XLCR can sell for in this economy…
I recently posted an interesting Yamaha XS650 by this same shop (Loaded Gun Customs), and now they have this cafe’d 1989 HD Sportster up for sale. It’s definitely got some nice mechanical bits on it (the rear-sets and clip-ons), and it has a nice simple look to it. My own Sportster hasn’t been converted quite this far yet, but its getting there.
This bike is probably a 1200, but the seller doesn’t actually say. However, they did put new 10:1 pistons in it, and the cylinders look awfully new, so I would guess they plopped a 883 to 1200 upgrade kit on it and called it a day. It is missing the headlight adjustment nut cover, which is kind of odd given that the rider would have to look at the exposed bolthead and any pooling water every time they rode the bike.
Anyways, there are 2 days left in the auction, and the price is just over $3K. Reserve hasn’t been met, and the Buy-It-Now price is $5,200, so your guess is as good as mine as to what the reserve price has been set at. This is a pretty nice example of a Sportster cafe compared to most that we see…
I haven’t posted too many Buells in the blog, but with the assumed passing of Buell I felt like this beautiful street fighter certainly deserves to represent. And if we are lucky, Harley will find someone to sell the brand to, much like GM did with Hummer and SAAB.
I don’t really have much to say about the bike as the pictures speak for themselves. It is obvious that a lot of work went into creating this masterful example of the street fighter genre. My favorite thing about this bike is the paint, as the flat black paint with orange highlighting is a really nice execution of the traditional Harley colors while maintaining a distinct persona. The Forcewinder intake is cool looking, but isn’t the highest flowing of the aftermarket intakes for the Sportster/Buell motor.
There are exactly 2 days left in the auction, and the price is currently $1,925 with 2 bidders. Reserve hasn’t been met, so bidding will need to go higher before this bike sells. This is a beautiful bike that should make the buyer very, very happy…
Alright, alright. I know that almost every XLCR is the same as the last. Black with almost no modifications (if any). What can I say? A friend of mine really likes these bikes, and for those of us who are trying to convert a Sporty to a cafe racer this is the original…
Addtionally, this XLCR currently being auctioned on eBay is very clean and low miles (just over 4K). The price pretty reasonable, but with four days left, the auction has risen over $8,000. Still a good price given past sales for these bikes. If my friend hadn’t just bought a classic beemer, I’d be rooting for him to buy this bike. Oh well…
It’s been a while since I posted a Harley, and this is certainly a pretty well put together cafe racer made out of a Sportster. This has one of the fullest conversions I’ve seen on a US Sporty, and I really like it. I’ve listed below nearly all of the stuff that the seller put in his listing (The bad and the good), so I won’t go on too long about this bike. As with all Sportsters, this bike shows how hard it is to get the seat right. For some reason, these bikes always seem to have such a low seating position that it can’t be good for handling or comfortable to sit on (knees have got to be ablaze after a matter of 30 minutes or so).
Anyways, good luck to anyone who bids on this bike. It seems to be one of the better solid-mount Sportster conversions, and surprisingly, there are no bids yet with two days left. Maybe it is the $3,800 starting price? We’ll see when it ends…
The blinkers are there but not working
The paint could be freshened up and there is a oil leak
The starter relay ($10) is out but there is a button on the starter that works well
Only about 3K on the new 10:1 Wisco 1207 pistons and Andrews N6 cams
Gas Charged adjustable shocks (compression and rebound dampers)
Daytona Steering damper
Chainsikle rear sets with a Buell shifter
Airtech XR750 rear fender
Custom made seat
Custom Gas tanks with billet race cap and High flow petcock
New Dunlop 205 tires front and back (still have the wiskers)
Thunder Slide kit
Screamin Eagle ECU
Crane adjustable push Rods
Screamin Eagle 2 into 1 pipe, packing removed.
New High torque Starter
If you own a 2003 or older Sportster, this might just be your lucky day. Up for auction on eBay right now is this Storz road racing tank. The seller claims it is new, and it really looks unused. Too bad my cafe’d sportster is a 2005, and no one really makes a tank for the newer rubber-mount bikes. Bidding is only at $207 with less than 20 hours left. This could be a chance to get one of these nearly $1K tanks for much less than retail. Good luck!!!
Finally! My wish has come true. Someone selling a 1977 HD XLCR with which they valued having a ride-worthy bike more than a “collectible” museum piece. This seller claims to have a motor built out of aftermarket parts (no Harley shite as an original rebuild using those parts didn’t work out so well for the seller). Not only is the engine gone through, but it has Ohlins shocks, Progressive fork springs, and stainless steel brake lines.
Now for the bad news. The stock drag-bar was replaced with some funky chromed pseudo-superbike bars (they actually look a bit taller than that). That’s it. There doesn’t appear to be any other bad news. And the auction is currently only at $5,500 with two days left (reserve not yet met). So if you are willing to replace the bars with something more suitable, or if the higher bars are more to your liking, this might be a perfect XLCR for the discerning AMF collector or aficionado! Good luck with the auction!