1977 Harley Davidson XLCR

In America, Cafe Racer by Abhi3 Comments

8-12-13 Update: This bike has been relisted on Craigslist Los Angeles with a price of $9,000 or best offer.

The Harley Davidson XLCR was one of the many bikes in history that was initially hailed as an instant collector bike…that no one bought. Designed by Willie G. Davidson, this bike was supposed to be a black beauty featuring HD’s most powerful production engine yet. The lovely siamese exhaust and bikini fairing were very unique – this was quite the (nearly) chrome-less departure for Harley.

Harley Davidson XLCR - 1

While it was the most powerful HD of the time, that doesn’t mean much when the competition was quicker (and cheaper). The engine, which was supposed to have been worked over, ended up being the same 61hp unit out of the Sportster. Dynamically, it couldn’t compete with the Japanese or Europeans. From a marketing standpoint, this left the Harley Davidson XLCR in no-man’s land. Usual Harley owners had no interest in this bike, and much preferred the traditional Super Glide. Sport bike and cafe riders didn’t want one either, and stuck with European options like the BMW R90S or Japanese options like the Kawi Z1.

Harley Davidson XLCR - 2

Harley sold less than 3,200 between 1977-1978, though a few leftovers (less than 10) were titled as ’79s. The atrocious sales, in conjunction with the uniqueness of a factor HD cafe racer, have made this bike incredibly collectible nowadays.

Harley Davidson XLCR - 3

This specific example is featured as a few of the original shortcomings have been addressed, though the owner still has original parts. The main concern is the stock brakes, which were pretty poor, even in the context of 70s technology. The owner had drilled discs and SS brake lines installed, in addition to a S&S Super E carb. It also comes up with a buddy seat and passenger pegs, factory options introduced by HD in 1978 as a last ditch effort to try and help sales.

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Find it here on eBay in North Hollywood, CA with a BIN price of $11,750, and bidding currently at $7,500.