1953 Harley-Davidson 750cc KR Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 53KR2767

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Lot 425
1953 Harley-Davidson 750cc KR Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 53KR2767

US$ 19,500 - 23,500
£ 16,000 - 19,000
1953 Harley-Davidson 750cc KR Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 53KR2767
Introduced in 1952, the 45cu in Model K was Harley’s final ‘flat head’. Almost a complete break with the past, the K adopted ideas from Europe: unit construction of engine/transmission, swinging-arm rear suspension, foot operated gear change and hand clutch, but despite better handling than its similar-sized predecessor, proved little faster. Not so the racing KR that it inspired. Harley-Davidson had not won the prestigious Daytona Beach race since WW2, so the KR’s winning debut there in 1953 was greeted with intense relief back in Milwaukee. BSA struck back the following year, but for the next seven events it would be a Harley in the winner’s circle. In 1953, five AMA Class C flat track national events were won, and in 1954 KR racers won 13 of 18 races. On flat tracks the KR raced with a rigid rear end, retaining the swing-arm for circuit races such as the Daytona 200. Enlarged to 54cu in (883cc), the Model K street bike continued in the line up until the end of 1956; the racer though, ran on successfully well into the 1960s; indeed, its final Daytona victory in 1969 was the KR’s 12th at the Florida track.

We are advised that this 1953 KR was used by ex-AMA Champion Mark Brelsford as a practice bike. Born in the Bay Area, a part of the USA that also produced such greats as Joe Leonard, Mert Lawill, Cal Rayborn and Kenny Roberts, Mark Brelsford started racing in the 1960s and in ’68 took the AMA’s top junior award. A semi-factory ride for Harley-Davidson was followed by elevation to the Expert ranks, and in 1972 Mark Brelsford became AMA Champion. Sadly, a serious accident at Daytona the following year put him out for the rest of that season, and Mark’s career never recovered.

One of 13 built in its year of production, this machine formerly formed part of the Chris Carter/Motion Pro Collection.
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