1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006

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Lot 287
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker
Engine no. 60XLR2006

Sold for US$ 19,550 inc. premium
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker

Engine no. 60XLR2006

• Older cosmetic restoration

The XLR came on the scene in 1958 and stayed in production until 1969, and is one of the rarer members of the extended Harley-Davidson Sportster family. Depending on which historian you subscribe to, there were between 200 and 500 XLRs made. Despite looking like a stripped XL Sportster, these were race bikes with no provision for lighting or other street amenities.

In which kind of competition did XLRs partake? TT events with dirt turns, left and right, and jumps were a natural. But because the 883cc V-twin was too big for AMA national-class races, the bikes ran in the unlimited Open class or at so-called outlaw races that ignored AMA etiquette. Despite weighing 350 pounds, many XLRs ended up on scrambles tracks, precursor to motocross. Others slogged through the rocks and roots and rivers of enduro courses. Some sprouted fairings and sticky tires and went apex-hunting, notably the late Lance Weil who took an XLR-based road racer to England and showed the tea-and-crumpet crowd that Yank riders knew how to do more than put a foot down and turn left. Other XLRs – or parts of them – went nitro drag racing, and there was an XLR-based engine, albeit heavily reworked, in the Harley streamliner that took Cal Rayborn to a 265.492mph world record in 1970.

The XLR's performance came from its engine spec. While run-of-the-mill Sportsters went out into the world with their cams running in needle bearings and bushes, XLRs benefitted from friction-reducing ball bearings. Likewise, their crankshafts ran in roller bearings. The bikes had specific flywheels, pistons and connecting rods. Different cylinder-head castings allowed larger valves and a bumped-up compression ratio. Hotter cams were installed as well as a lightened valvetrain. Ignition was via magneto, moved from the right side of the engine to a tucked-up position ahead of the front cylinder. Even the XLR frames were special, built with a better grade of steel so the walls could be thinner and the whole assembly lighter.

This particular XLR is from the batch made for 1960. Not much is known of its history prior to current ownership. It appears to have had at least cosmetic restoration sometime in the past, though the extent of the work is not detailed, nor is the restorer noted. It has remained unridden since its last change of hands, used for display purposes.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale

Saleroom notices

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
1960 Harley-Davidson XLR Flat Tracker Engine no. 60XLR2006
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