Willie G’s mistake: 1977 XLCR 1000
For Sale: Harley Davidson XLCR 1000
This is one of those bikes that always seems to evoke a bit of emotion with readers. Conceived during the mid 70’s as a way to cash in on the cafe racer craze coming over from Europe, Willie G Davidson decided that an H-D branded effort could help grow the fortunes of The Motor Company (who at the time were under AMF control). Short story: Willie G was very wrong; sales of the XLCR never really took off.
Although radical for H-D, the concept must have been seen as relatively simple at the time. Start with a 1000cc twin in a Sportster chassis, add a bikini fairing, disk brakes and black-out paint. The XLCR is as much a parts bike as a cafe racer, but given the competition of Moto Guzzi, BMW and Norton, performance was on par.
What H-D could not have counted on was the amazing arms race initiated by the Japanese. When released, the XLCR could not hold its own against the machinery coming from the land of the Rising Sun. Sportbike guys didn’t buy Harleys, and Harley guys didn’t buy sportbikes – which left the XLCR without a home in either camp.
From the seller:
THIS XLCR HAS A HISTORY OF TWO OWNERS. HERE IS THE STATEMENT FROM THE ORIGINAL OWNER. THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IS FROM ME THE SECOND OWNER.
1977 Harley Davidson XLCR (Café Racer). Being the original owner, I would like to give you the history of your motorcycle. It was limited production model (2000 total) manufactured in 1977 and was slated along with 19 other XLCR’s for export to Montréal. They were shipped to Canada and were put in storage while customs paperwork was being performed. When the paperwork was finished and the time came for the motorcycles to continue on to their intended H. D. dealerships, they could not be located in the warehouse. After extensive investigation the motorcycles were declared stolen. All insurance claims were filed and losses paid and the case was closed. About 6 months later upon moving some other shipping crates the motorcycles were found still in their original shipping crates. The Canadian government wanted no part of untangling all the insurance paperwork and informed Harley Davidson to remove the motorcycles from Canadian soil. Harley Davidson (which was already producing 1978 models) decided to offer the 20 motorcycles to Harley Davidson dealerships in the north east part of the country. As luck would have it, a friend of mine was the owner of Harley Davidson of Trenton, NJ. Upon hearing this and knowing of my interest in the XLCR, he contacted me. We made arrangements with H.D. to procure one. I took ownership of XLCR # 7FO1987H7 on 9/16/78. Being an avid motorcycle mechanic and rider I usually have three or four motorcycles available to ride, consequently the XLCR accumulated little mileage over its 3 years of registration. 1980 was the last year of use. Since then I would start and run around the block once or twice a year. It has a total of 2267 KPH or 1367 MPH on the odometer.
I HAVE OWNED THE XLCR FOR ONE YEAR AND ADDED 220 MILES WHICH WERE TO VINTAGE MEETS. THE ORIGINAL SELLER AND HIS DEALER FRIEND HAVE BOTH 100% RATING WITH EBAY AS I DO. THIS XLCR IS RARE BECAUSE IT IS 1 OF 20 CANADIAN MODELS; THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE SPEEDOMETER IS IN KPH. IF THE RESERVE IS MET, THE BIKE WILL COME WITH SOME EXTRA PARTS I HAVE ACCUMULATED OVER THE YEARS, BEFORE I GOT THIS BIKE. THE BIKE DOES NOT NEED THESE BUT NEITHER WILL I WHEN THE BIKE IS SOLD, SO THE BIKE WILL COME WITH NOS XLCR AMERICAN MPH POLICE CALIBRATED SPEEDOMETER,AND A NOS SHIFTER SIDE, OUTER CASE COVER, NOS FRONT WHEEL, NOS EXTRA FAIRING BRACKET, ONE NOS INDICATOR LAMP CLUSTER- P/N58329-77 ASSEMBLY, NOS AIR CLEANER BACKING COVER ASSEMBLY, NEW CHOKE KNOB AND CABLE, A USED BUT LIKE NEW FRONT SPROCKET COVER, THE USED PARTS, REPAIR AND OWNER MANUAL’S AND ONLY ONE IGNITION KEY.. THESE ARE EXTRA PARTS THAT I HAVE COLLECTED AND WILL GO WITH THE BIKE NOT PLANNING TO BE SOLD SEPERATELY.
Today, the value of an XLCR is at an all time high – and climbing. As wrong as Willie G was back then, he is getting the last laugh today. Interest in these bikes is rabid, and when treated like a period collectable that can still be ridden, they are smart money indeed. Expect a perfect example to eclipse $20k at auction, with lightly used models not too far behind.
This bike is available at auction right now. While it has a unique history in its US-to-Canada-to-US story, it is still essentially a gray-market bike. Unfortunately imports that compete alongside legitimate US bikes never seem to do quite as well when the hammer falls, but this might be a different story; the bike was a legitimate H-D dealer item. The current bid is just over $10,000, with reserve not yet met.
For more info and to check out all of the pics, . As always, tell ’em you saw it on CSBFS. And be sure and let us know what you think once you check it out!