Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I thought I was over it.

Back in the 70’s, when I was still riding Japanese iron, there were 2 Harleys that would never fail to make my heart do a quick little two-step. One was totally impractical (and not generally available), and the other was way outside my fiscal capacity at the time. But that’s no reason for a young man to stop lusting, right?

So right up there along with a ’70 Hemi ‘Cuda on the dream shelf (no one has ever accused me of having cheap dreams) were the XLCR 1000 and the XR 750, two of the most beautiful machines ever to come out of Milwaukee in my opinion. Especially the XR 750 which to me was the epitome of function over stripped down form. Beautiful, spartan lines, with a honkin’ great hunk of iron for a heart. It was just mean and I loved the looks of every last inch of it.

Years pass, life gets in the way and dreams fade. I’ve long since given up on the Hemi ‘Cuda – no car is worth 6 figures – and my ‘74 Commando beat the cafe racer urge out of me, or more precisely, convinced my aging body that it was time to stop playing Kenny Roberts. And the XR 750 got relegated to the far recesses of memory as just another “it woulda been nice, but...”

Then this happens! The rumour mill is rife with word of the imminent release of an American version of the XR 1200 that has been available in Europe for some time now. At least one dealer is already taking pre-orders in advance of any official announcement from H-D, which is expected to come on December 5.

And so the dream is rekindled.....


  1. The new one looks too much like a rotch crocket to me.

  2. Ironically, much like the XR750 that you longed for, the Commando was the machine that I lusted after in my college years though always lacking the funds to own and maintain one.

    I agree with Mr. Motorcycle in the looks department, but that's one of the things sells the bike for me.


  3. Mr. M./Earl:

    I guess when I think of crotch rocket I tend to think of the over-faired, clip-on bars, kind of thing, with a big whiny 4-cyclinder engine. But hey, that's what makes it all interesting, right?

    I still see enough of the XR 750 in this model (let's see, remove the front fender, put spoke wheels on it, perhaps a larger front tire....) that keeps it interesting.

    Earl - too bad you never owned a Commando. It really was a classic.

  4. There always was something about the Sportster and that amazing sound. HD's first challenger to the Brit vertical twins. I think it's the only bike that's been in continuous production for 50-years.


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