1977 Harley-Davidson XLCR

The XLCR faded away after only two years because too few Harley buyers were interested in joining the road-racing crowd. See more motorcycle pictures.

Although the 1977 Harley-Davidson XLCR motorcycle was an attractive machine, competition from Japanese bikes was too fierce for the XLCR to be highly successful in the American marketplace.

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In an attempt to capitalize on the café-racing trend that was sweeping the country in the mid-1970s, Harley-Davidson ventured back into the world of customs to bring out the XLCR.

It applied a small "bikini" fairing, skimpy front fender, angular fuel tank, solo seat with fiberglass tail section, triple disc brakes, and special "siamesed" two-into-two exhaust headers to a standard 1000-cc Sportster, and then cloaked the whole affair in black.

The problem was that although the XLCR was claimed to be "the most powerful production cycle Harley-Davidson has ever built," that wasn't saying much; Japanese competitors were quite a bit quicker and cheaper to boot.

Furthermore, the typical Harley buyer seemed to take little interest in joining the road-racing crowd, so sales never took off.

What was in fact a very interesting motorcycle (and quite soon, a very collectible motorcycle) faded away after only two years.

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