1960 Harley-Davidson KR750 Engine no. 60KR2022

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Lot 286
1960 Harley-Davidson KR750
Engine no. 60KR2022

US$ 22,000 - 26,000
€ 20,000 - 23,000
Amended
1960 Harley-Davidson KR750

Engine no. 60KR2022

• Authentic competition dirt tracker
• Fitted with a peanut tank

Harley-Davidson, following the Great Depression, brought a new middleweight motorcycle onto the market, the WL featuring a 45 cubic inch sidevalve engine. Immediately the company offered a competition version of this rugged motorcycle, the WLDR and later the WR which benefited from trickledown technology from the famous Knucklehead series. These over the counter machines were to receive fine tuning from both the factory race team and talented independent tuners. Built from 1937 through 1952, except for a break during the war years, these Milwaukee flyers battled largely with Indian Sport Scouts. However the end of the World War II brought over many English made motorcycle as the country desperately needed to export goods. The AMA competition rules were configured that 750cc sidevalve engines, being at a power disadvantage to the OHV English motorcycles, the latter were restricted to 500cc. Harley-Davidson was quick to respond to the newest challenges by introducing a whole new motorcycle in 1952, one that had one footpeg in the future as well as one in the past.

The new Model K series featured a tried and true sidevalve engine except the design used new unit construction with the crankcases and transmissions in a single casting. The old rigid rear frame was retired in favor of swinging arm suspension and rear shocks. Gone were the old hand shift transmissions and the new K Model had a 4-speed foot shift on the right side of the motor, just like the English competition. This latter feature may have been a nod to the bike's race track potential towards our American dirt track races where the riders are generally using their left foot in stabilizing and sliding their motorcycles.

Like its WR predecessor, the new 45 cubic inch Model K was accompanied by a series of competition only motorcycles, the KR for flat track, the KRTT for road racing, a KHRM a 55 ci racer for scrambles and short tracks, and the KHRTT a 55 ci tourist trophy racer. The new engines could develop 50 to 57 horsepower and top out at 125 mph.

This 1960 Harley-Davidson KR750 is an authentic competition dirt tracker although its race history is unknown. Like most KR's, this motorcycle has a rigid sub-frame versus the street and road race models' rear suspension. It rolls on shouldered aluminum rims and as all American dirt track motorcycles, does not have any brakes. On top of this finely restored competition motorcycle, sets a peanut tank taken from one of Harley's two stroke motorcycles in lieu of the bulbous stock tank, a modification made popular by Pennsylvania rider Billy Huber, and eventually found its way to the Sportster series. The engine sets in a double loop cradle frame for stoutness and wears telescopic forks which were a new addition beginning in 1952. KR barrels differ from the street engine with larger ports cast into the barrel and larger valves. Only perhaps 500 KR750's were produced over the lifespan of the model and they faced fierce competition from the overseas machinery. However it didn't stop Harley-Davidson the year this motorcycle left the plant. Carroll Resweber took the national championship four years running, from 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961. In 1960, Joe Leonard took a 2nd in the national championship while Bart Markel earned a 3rd in the national championship. It was a fine year indeed in Milwaukee.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a bill of sale

Saleroom notices

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
1960 Harley-Davidson KR750 Engine no. 60KR2022
1960 Harley-Davidson KR750 Engine no. 60KR2022
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