Celebrating 50 Years of the Harley-Davidson XR750: Part II of IV
As the most legendary motorcycle in the history of the sport turns 50, AFT celebrate the legacy, triumphs and influence of the XR750 on the current machines of professional flat track racing.
It’s a reality of racing that you can’t win by sitting in place. For the legendary Harley-Davidson XR750, that was every bit as true in the race shops as it was on the race tracks.
The basic platform has remained recognizable as the genuine article throughout its existence; the iconic XR750 name is not merely a common designation shared by an endless string of complete technical overhauls and reinventions as one might find in MotoGP.
That said, winning an average of ten-plus races per season over the span of a half-century required non-stop evolutionary innovations in order to extract every last molecule of performance from that basic platform.
Nine-time Grand National Champion Scott Parker said, “Think about it: The thing was designed 50 years ago and was competitive up until… I think people are still riding them from time to time today. They could still win races, that’s the cool thing about it.
“Here you’ve got a motorcycle that is 50 years old and even through all the stages that it’s gone through to get here, there are some parts that have been there the whole 50 years, which is amazing.
“They kept trying to improve it and improve it and improve it, but it still had the same basic design… They just kept innovating, getting a tad bit better constantly, and here it is, still competitive all these years later.”
Ironically, the most successful racebike of all time is one Harley-Davidson likely would have preferred not to have to build, only designing it when its hand was forced.
STORY CONTINUED at www.americanflattrack.com/news