Harley-Davidson XLCR

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Harley-Davidson XLCR
Harley-Davidson XLCR 1000 Cafe Racer 1978.jpg
Engine1000 cc OHV 45° V-twin
Bore / stroke88.9 x 96.8mm
Compression ratio9.0:1
Power57 @ 6,000
Torque67.9 @ 3,750
Transmission4 speed
SuspensionRear: Twin Showa shocks, adjustable preload
Rake, trail27.8°, 5.1"
Wheelbase59.6 in.
Weight530 lb (240 kg) (dry)
565 lb (256 kg) (full of gas) (wet)

The Harley-Davidson XLCR was an American café racer motorcycle manufactured by Harley-Davidson between 1977 and 1979.

Some say that designer Willie G. Davidson created it from the existing XLCH Sportster, initially as his personal vehicle.[1] The bike was actually designed by a committee of three people: Bob Modero (an engineer at Harley) Jim Haubert (Jim Haubert Engineering) hired as an independent Skunkworks contractor and Willie G. Although he was not present, this group had a strong styling influence from Dean Wixom when the three decided, as one of the starting points, to enlarge a dirt track XR750 fuel tank. Mr. Wixom was the original designer of this fuel tank.

Changed styling included the addition of a "bikini" fairing, slim front fender, reshaped fuel tank, a pillion-free saddle and unique "siamesed" two-into-two exhaust.[1] It was "largely ignored" by consumers when launched in the 1970s,[2] and "famously a sales flop",[3] a "narcoleptic turner" due to long wheelbase and cruiser-like steering geometry,[4] with "lethargic performance",[5] but by thirty years later, had become a collectors item.[2][6][7]

In 2013 a 1977 model sold for 12,000 dollars at an auction.[8] In 2004 a 1978 model went for 9,900 at an auction in New Zealand.[9] In 2010 a 1977 model sold for about 20,000 USD by Bonhams at auction.[10]


Specs in the infobox are from Motorcyclist.[4]




  • Tooth, Phillip (July 2012), Café Americana: The Harley-Davidson XLCR
  • Stein, John L. (August 5, 2010), "CAFÉ RACER—Pirates' Rides", Motorcyclist
  • Auto editors of Consumer Guide, "Harley-Davidson XLCR", How Stuff WorksCS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  • Ernst, Kurt (May 12, 2013), "Hemmings Find of the Day – 1977 Harley-Davidson XLCR", Hemmings blog, Hemmings
  • Gingerelli, Dain; Everitt, Charles; Michels, James Manning (2011), 365 Motorcycles You Must Ride, MBI Publishing Company, p. 111, ISBN 0-7603-3474-9
  • "Harley-Davidson XLCR Cafe Racer", Sump, 2015
  • Lindsay, Brooke (November 5, 2006), "Harley's Sportster: From a Wild Child to a Grown-Up in 50 Years", The New York Times, retrieved 2015-06-28, As grim as those days were in terms of performance, it was an era that produced two of the Sportsters considered most unusual and sought-after by collectors, the 1977-78 XLCR Cafe Racer and the 1983-85 XR1000. Both of these racebike-inspired models were risky departures for Harley, and both originally languished unsold in showrooms long after production concluded.
  • Welsh, Jonathan (March 16, 2012), "New Era for 'Hogs?' Harley-Davidson Styling Chief To Retire", The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, Driver's Seat blog, retrieved 2015-06-28, His road-race-styled Café Racer built from 1977 to 1979 was a departure and a famous flop. However, the sleek bikes are now coveted by collectors.
  • Haubert, Jim (October 10, 2016), XLCR Project Introduction
  • Siegal, Margie (October 10, 2016), The New Year Bike: 1978 Harley-Davidson XLCR. Motorcycle Classics. July/August 2016

Further reading[edit]

  • Brown, Roland. "Harley-Davidson XLCR". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved August 24, 2009. The Harley-Davidson XLCR was Willie G. Davidson's one and only brush with the cafe racer set, and it created a classic for all time