The last of the three Competition Network articles articles that can be accessed on the left, leaves off with the completion of the 1935 Peashooter project at the end of 1973.
At that time, William G. Davidson mentioned that he had other projects in mind and would be back in contact with me when he had more to discuss.
In April of 1974 I received a call from William G. and he mentioned a Sportster based, Cafe Racer project. He asked if I could come in to Harley and meet with him and Bob Modero of the Engineering Department because Bob had already done some preliminary work along that line.
This was the first 'official' meeting. A path was started at this meeting that led to the eventual manufacture of the XLCR.
Although I was unprepared for it, I am thrilled with the growing interest in the XLCR and the worldwide response that I have received as a result of this site. I am now in the process of rebuilding this site to better respond to this interest.
No true artist that I know of enjoys seeing his/her work willfully destroyed. I will never forget my internal response over 25 years ago when I was unsuccessful in trying to save the original Cafe Racer from destruction. My thought was, "I did it once, I can do it again." No blueprints or sketches for the prototype were ever made by anyone. Because I was responsible for many design elements, plus virtually all of the machining and fabrication, I am the only person in the world that can reproduce this bike.
Refusing to allow my spirit to be destroyed along with the prototype, for many years I quietly gathered the parts I needed to duplicate the bike. With period photos, notes and even my original time sheets, my reconstruction was started in February of 2000. On April 14, 2000 a giant step forward was made when a Sportster of the correct year was secured. This Sportster had not been on the road for a long time so the frame still had the original white paint in the serial number.
The photo used for the logo at the top of this page is of the prototype, not of a production bike. Below is a never before published shot of the same prototype about 3 days before it was delivered it to H-D.
I still have the original purchase order for this project dated April 11, 1974. The order states:
"This order is to cover Mr. Haubert's work on the construction of an XLH Sportster Cafe Racer"
The XLCR designation was not even a possibility at this point.
I am writing a book to completely explain how the prototype was conceived and built. I will also detail how the XLCR evolved from the original concept bike. I seek to clear up many misconceptions about the XLCR and to provide a solid understanding of the entire process to develop and produce these bikes and the prototype process in place at that time.
One of these misconceptions is that Willie G. designed this motorcycle. The prototype never had just one designer.
As I mentioned above, the first meeting had three people involved. Because we came to a consensus that we would investigate the possibility of using the XR-750 dirt rack fuel tank, I have always felt that Dean Wixom was an important part of the design process.
Mr. Wixom had worked closely with H-D's Racing department on the design of the fairing for KR road racers in the late 60s. When the 1970 iron head XR750 was being designed, Mr. Wixom was given 'carte blanche' (in his own words) for designing a seat and fender for the new race bike.
In the 2002 book, "100 Years of Harley-Davidson" by Willie G. Davidson, on page 161, I was finally given credit for being Willie G's partner in the design process for what became the XLCR. Unfortunately, Bob and Dean are not mentioned.
I hope that my book will be of special interest to those concerned with preserving XLCRs in the years to come.
Thank you so much for your interest and patience.