Hammers of Hell: 1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT for Sale

1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT L Front

Today’s Harley Davidson XR750TT is the bike that makes me feel okay about lambasting Harley’s modern offerings. I’d never make fun of Hyosung for making poor motorcycles: they’re pretty new at the whole sporty-motorcycle thing. But Harley has a storied history of making performance bikes that could compete on the world stage, so it’s pretty clear they just don’t care anymore. Which is a damn shame, because a modern sports v-twin in the spirit of the XRTT would be a very cool motorcycle. They could call it a, I dunno,”Buell” or something…

The XRTT wasn’t cutting-edge, even when new, but it had some legitimate success in the Trans-Atlantic Match Races. That might have been down to the riding prowess of Cal Rayborn as much as anything though: that guy probably could have won races on a Schwinn bicycle if he had enough of a tailwind…

1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT Unfaired R Side

Harley’s 45° v-twin is very compact, but isn’t the smoothest configuration, especially in racing applications: basically, they vibrate enough to put all of you to sleep. And for years, they used an iron block, iron heads, and iron barrels. Basically, you get the feeling Harley would have made the fairings from iron if it were possible… But the XRTT used aluminum heads and barrels to save significant weight, and race-preparation let the XRTT rev out to 8,000rpm and put out 90hp through the four-speed gearbox.

The engine may have been a triumph of development over design, but the frame and suspension were top-shelf: Ceriani forks and Girling shock absorbers, with a huge Ceriani drum up front matched with a disc brake out back for solid stopping power.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT for Sale

Daytona Road Racer. Arguably the most collectible motorcycle currently up for sale, world wide. Better than new, never started since its complete nut and bolt restoration, right down to the new, period correct, impossible to acquire, Goodyear racing slicks. This bike comes with the authentic factory paper work showing the HD mechanic signing off on the numbers matching engine before being shipped to the 1972 Daytona 200. 

The information for Brelsford is how the bike was set up for racing and where it says that Babe DeMay set up the complete chassis means that the motor was raced with Babe DeMay’s Chassis.  However, the chassis on this bike is one of ours (hi-speedmotorcycles) and it is put back to stock as from the factory.

It is an extremely valuable motorcycle with documented motor. The motor is restored and documented as used for racing.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT Engine2

This example has been up for sale for a while, which is probably no surprise at the $90,000 asking price. I hope you didn’t just spit coffee all over your keyboard… But it’s certainly a very nearly perfect example, down to the period racing slicks. About the only mark against it is that it’s been restored, and while it looses points for originality, this thing is beautiful and looks ready for a museum.

-tad

1972 Harley Davidson XR750TT R Front

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4 Responses

  1. sr88 says:

    Nice write-up about this very cool XRTT HD. However I I am wondering with the “Hammer from Hell”statement you are referring to the “Lucifer’s Hammer” HD racer? That bike was raced in the early 80’s by Jay Springsteen and Gene Church in the AMA Battle of The Twins series. I believe that bike was based on the 1,000 cc engine from the production XR-1000 model offered in ’83&’84. Sorry to nit-pik, I followed its racing story in Cycle News back in the day. Geez, has it been that long ago . . .

  2. NoH2oh says:

    How HD has totally forgotten any of its past racing history is beyond me. Sad.

  3. tad says:

    Yeah, but they’re still Bad to the Bone! No seriously though, it’s really sad. And they had the perfect opportunity with Buell.

  4. tad says:

    Yeah, I was referencing Lucifer’s Hammer, although that may not have been clear!