Celebrating six decades of the Amer­i­can unit-con­struc­tion, four cam, V-twin

Classic Bike (UK) - - Contents -

This year marks the 60th an­niver­sary of the Har­ley-david­son Sport­ster, and by means of a cel­e­bra­tion in hon­our of this iconic Amer­i­can mid­dleweight V-twin, there will be a spe­cial one-day gath­er­ing at The Bri­tish Mo­tor Mu­seum in Gaydon, War­wick­shire on June 24.

The ‘Sport­ster at 60 Cel­e­bra­tion’ prom­ises to be the big­gest get-to­gether of Har­ley Sport­sters that this coun­try has ever seen, and as the BMM say in their pre-event pub­lic­ity, it’s ‘a must for any­one who rides, has ever dreamed of rid­ing a Har­ley or wants to learn more about them’.

The event will fea­ture static dis­plays, tech talks and a moto gymkhana for those want­ing to see how light, ma­noeu­vrable and ca­pa­ble their bikes are. There will also be a wealth of traders present at the event, cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from cloth­ing and parts to com­plete bikes.

As well as all the event bikes, thou­sands of own­ers are ex­pected to ride into the grounds of the mu­seum on their own per­sonal Sport­sters. The highlight of the show, which is backed by

Amer­i­can-v mag­a­zine, will be a col­lec­tion of bikes from the Warrs Har­ley-david­son Mu­seum to il­lus­trate the his­tory of the model, in­clud­ing n the fol­low­ing land­mark ma­chines:

1952 Model KK (sports ver­sion – not a Sport­ster as such, but cer­tainly the in­spi­ra­tion and di­rect an­ces­tor of the unit-con­struc­tion Sport­ster)

1957 XL Sport­ster (first pro­duc­tion year Sport­ster, as pic­tured above)

1960 XLCH (‘Com­pe­ti­tion Hot’ and Fred Warr’s Rams­gate Sprint bike)

1968 KR750TT (Day­tona-is­sue fac­tory road racer – Cal Ray­born won Day­tona in 1968 and ’69 on one of these)

1970 XL Boat Tail (orig­i­nal) 1972 XR750TT (fi­nal-year fac­tory team is­sue road racer – the ‘last hur­rah’ be­fore the end of Har­ley-david­son’s big ca­pac­ity, four-stroke road rac­ing dom­i­nance) 1977 XLCR Cafe Racer (de­sign icon by none other than Wil­lie G David­son) 1983 XR1000 (orig­i­nal with only 1200 miles, the leg­endary H-D race chief Dick O’brien’s street-le­gal flat tracker) 1985 XLX61 (last of the Iron­head Sport­sters) 1986 XL883 (First of the Evo Sport­sters)

1997 XR750 (fac­tory team-is­sue dirt-track rac­ing ma­chine) 2010 XR1200 (Warrs’ own ex-jeremy Mcwilliams, Bri­tish-ti­tle win­ning bike).

There will also be dis­plays of bikes from var­i­ous Har­ley spe­cial­ists, in­clud­ing Shaw Speed & Cus­tom who are well known for their in­no­va­tive cus­tom ma­chines, many of them built us­ing the Sport­ster plat­form.

Hav­ing en­joyed one of the world’s long­est con­tin­u­ous pro­duc­tion runs of any mo­tor­cy­cle – as well as be­ing one of the world’s most ver­sa­tile ma­chines for cus­tomi­sa­tion – a huge va­ri­ety of café rac­ers, street track­ers, bob­bers, chop­pers, trikes, stock and rare race bikes are ex­pected to be at­tracted to ‘Sport­ster at 60’ – both on dis­play and in the bike park.

For the early ar­rivals, week­end camp­ing is avail­able for the price of £25 per per­son (ad­vance book­ing only – that’s a £10 saving on the price at the gate), which in­cludes ac­cess to the mu­seum from Fri­day af­ter­noon to Sun­day morn­ing.

Reg­u­lar day ad­mis­sion is £14 for adults, £9 for kids, £12 for con­ces­sions and £39 for a fam­ily.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, go to: british­mo­tor­mu­

1994 883R, spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the orig­i­nal 1977 XLCR

An XR1000 or a very elab­o­rate sand­cas­tle? A 1973 from the in­aus­pi­cious AMF years 1982 1000 marked the model’s 25th an­niver­sary

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