Are you considering buying the legendary Harley Davidson Xr750? This iconic American flat track race bike has a rich history dating back to 1970.
In this in-depth review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Harley Davidson Xr750’s specs, pricing, pros, cons, and what owners have to say about it.
You’ll learn all about this vintage motorcycle’s performance, handling, maintenance costs, collectability, and more to determine if it’s the right bike for you. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Overview Of The Iconic Harley Davidson Xr750
The Xr750 is one of the most successful and recognizable race bikes ever made. Developed specifically for flat track racing, it dominated the sport throughout the 1970s and beyond.
Harley-Davidson introduced the Xr750 in 1970 to replace its outgoing Xr-750. The new Xr750 featured improved suspension, more power, and better handling – making it the perfect machine for mile-long dirt ovals.
This purpose-built race bike was lighter, lower, and more powerful than any production bike H-D offered at the time. The styling reflected its no-frills racing focus with a simple steel perimeter frame, fiberglass bodywork, and a lean, muscular appearance.
Over its long production run spanning over 40 years, the Xr750 secured 20 AMA Grand National Championships and 78 AMA Grand National wins. To this day, it remains a popular choice for flat track racers across America.
While the Xr750 was never street legal, it became prized by collectors and motorcycle enthusiasts for its racing pedigree, iconic status, and timeless American design. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this V-Twin motorcycle so special.
Harley Davidson Xr750 Specs And Features
At the heart of the Harley Davidson Xr750 is an air-cooled 748cc V-Twin four-stroke engine mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. This reliable powerplant produced 90 horsepower and 80 ft-lbs of torque, delivering strong acceleration off the line and a top speed over 115 mph.
The Xr750 is a rigid hardtail frame without rear suspension for optimal weight distribution and handling on dirt oval tracks. Up front, it has leading link forks with 5.5 inches of travel to soak up bumps. Stopping power comes from a two-leading shoe front brake and single disc rear brake.
With a dry weight of just 295 pounds, the Xr750 offers a lightweight, agile ride perfect for racing. It has a solo seat, rearset footpegs, and low-rise handlebars to allow the rider to crouch down for improved aerodynamics at high speeds.
While this motorcycle lacks any street-oriented features like lights, signals or instrumentation, it excels at its intended purpose – going fast and turning left on dirt oval tracks.
Below is a specifications chart summarizing the key stats and features on the Harley Davidson Xr750:
Harley Davidson Xr750 Specs
|Air-cooled, 2 valve, Pushrod OHV V-Twin
|Bore x Stroke
|3.2 in x 3.8 in
|2 valves per cylinder
|90 horsepower at 6,200 RPM
|80 ft-lbs at 5,000 RPM
|Steel perimeter, hardtail
|Leading link telescopic fork, 5.5 in travel
|2 leading shoe
|19 x 4.00
|18 x 5.00
Harley Davidson Xr750 Price
Since the Xr750 was a race-only bike, it was not sold to the general public. Harley-Davidson manufactured it on special order for professional racers and teams starting from around $5,000 when new.
Today, prices on the used market for the Harley Xr750 vary considerably based on model year, condition, racing pedigree, and desirability. On average, you can expect to pay between $15,000 to $30,000 for one. Models with a strong racing history or in like-new condition can fetch prices over $40,000.
Below is a general price range for used Xr750 models by year:
- 1970-1975: $15,000 – $25,000
- 1976-1985: $20,000 – $35,000
- 1986-1990: $25,000 – $45,000
- 1991-1999: $30,000 – $50,000
While not cheap, the Harley Xr750 offers strong value compared to other coveted vintage race bikes. The high prices reflect its reputation, performance capabilities, and significance in motorcycle history.
When evaluating an Xr750 for purchase, carefully inspect its condition and maintenance records. Well-kept examples with certified race wins will sit at the higher end of price ranges. Factor in restoration costs if purchasing one needing work.
Pros Of The Harley Davidson Xr750
There are many advantages that come with choosing the legendary Harley Xr750:
Proven Performance And Racing Pedigree
With 20 AMA racing championships and decades of race wins under its belt, the Xr750 has an unmatched performance pedigree few other bikes can rival. Its strong V-Twin motor, rigid chassis, and optimized geometry make it a potent flat track weapon.
Iconic Styling As A Collector’s Item
The Xr750’s instantly recognizable look and Harley heritage make it a prized collectors item. It’s an iconic piece of American motorcycle history.
Strong Performance Numbers
While the Xr750 is vintage, it can still outperform many modern bikes with its 90 hp engine and 115+ mph top speed. The powerband offers great drive off corners.
Relative Affordability Compared To Other Race Bikes
For its status and collectability, the Harley Xr750 represents a reasonable value purchase. Other vintage race bikes often demand prices above $100,000.
Huge Aftermarket Support
Given the Xr750’s racing popularity, a massive range of go-fast aftermarket parts are available like engine kits and performance components.
Cons Of The Harley Davidson Xr750
Along with the advantages, there are a few potential downsides of owning a Harley Xr750 to consider:
Not Street Legal
Since the Xr750 is a dedicated race bike, you cannot register or insure it for street use. It’s track and off-road use only.
Challenging For Novice Riders
With its peaky powerband and rigid suspension, the Xr750 requires experience and skill to handle properly. It can be a handful for less competent riders.
These hand-built race machines require extensive maintenance and rebuild work to keep running strong. Parts/labor costs add up quickly.
Some Parts Difficult To Source
Due to the Xr’s age, finding replacement parts like bodywork and engine components is not always easy and may require fabrication.
Lacks Modern Features/Tech
The Xr750 is stripped down and has no modern amenities like ABS, traction control, or digital displays that help make today’s bikes easier to ride.
Who Is The Harley Davidson Xr750 For?
While the Xr750 is an amazing machine, it does require a specific type of rider to truly appreciate its strengths. This bike is best suited to:
Vintage Racing Enthusiasts
The Xr750 excels on the flat track and is ideal for vintage racing classes like AHRMA. Its performance is competitive against period bikes. If you love racing vintage motorcycles, the Xr750 is a top choice.
Harley Fans Seeking A Collectible
Devoted Harley riders who want something rare and iconic in their collection are drawn to the Xr750. It looks beautiful displayed as a centerpiece.
Riders With Mechanical Skills
Due to demanding maintenance requirements, mechanic experience helps to keep your Xr750 running in peak form. Handy riders who can handle rebuilds are a good fit.
Expert/Experienced Riders Only
New or intermediate riders may find the Xr750’s stiff suspension, peaky powerband, and lack of assists difficult and dangerous to handle. Work up to this bike’s skill demands.
The Harley Xr750 requires time, money, skill and passion to own – but delivers an unmatched riding experience on the flat track for those who meet its demands.
Verdict: Is The Harley Davidson Xr750 Worth Buying?
The Xr750 occupies a uniquely special place within motorcycle history as an American icon. For vintage racing or collecting, it offers strong value and performance.
However, this bike comes with notable trade-offs in rideability and convenience compared to modern motorcycles. Maintenance and restoration costs should be carefully considered along with the expertise required to handle the Xr properly.
If you are an experienced rider with a racing spirit who appreciates vintage bike history and the thrill of high-speed dirt ovals, the Harley Davidson Xr750 is absolutely worth owning despite its drawbacks.
The Xr750’s rumbling V-Twin, race-bred pedigree and visceral racing experience simply can’t be replicated by any other motorcycle. For the right person, buying this legendary H-D racer is an excellent decision.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Harley Xr750
How Rare Is The Harley Davidson Xr750 Today?
Harley produced around 1,450 units between 1970-1999. Due to attrition from crashes and deterioration, around 800-1,000 Xr750s remain in existence today making them quite rare. Models with extensive race history are the rarest and most coveted examples.
What Kind Of Maintenance Does The Xr750 Require?
Frequent maintenance is needed to keep Xr750s running well. Expect to change engine oil every 500 miles. Engine rebuilds are recommended every 1,000 miles or 2 racing seasons. Periodic chassis, suspension and brake work is also required along with tire changes.
What Engine Modifications Can You Do To An Xr750?
One of the Xr750’s big advantages is the huge range of aftermarket engine components available. Performance kits can increase displacement and power. Cylinder heads, high lift cams, carburetors, exhausts and stroker crankshafts are popular upgrades.
How Long Do Xr750 Engines Last?
When expertly maintained and freshened, the Xr750 V-twin engine can log thousands of hard racing miles. Rebuilding the motor every 1,000-2,000 miles helps maximize longevity. With proper upkeep, the engine will easily outlast the bike’s chassis and components.
Can You Convert An Xr750 For Road Use?
While not impossible, converting an Xr750 for street legality is extremely difficult and expensive. It was never designed for road use. Extensive modifications would be needed including an entire rear suspension, lighting, instruments, and other road-oriented equipment.
What Xr750 Owners Have to Say
Here’s a sampling of testimonials from real-world Harley Xr750 owners:
“Owning the Xr750 is like owning a piece of history. People’s eyes light up when you roll it into the pits at a vintage race. The bike always draws a crowd of fans and admirers.”
“The power and handling are phenomenal. It can lean over so far on the dirt you feel like you’re ripping around the track on rails. The front end sticks like glue.”
“I’ve owned Hondas, Indians, you name it over the years. But none of them have the soul and personality of my ’79 Xr. The noise it makes as you wind out each gear is just incredible.”
“The Xr750 looks so badass and iconic when it’s all cleaned up. Like a muscular American prize fighter ready to rip up the track. Just sitting on it gets your heart pumping.”
“Working on these old Xrs sure keeps my mechanic skills sharp. Rebuilding the engine myself between races has really helped me understand this machine inside and out.”
“Finding parts has become more challenging over the years as fewer were made. I’ve fabricated hard to source parts myself which is tricky but rewarding. Gotta improvise to keep ’em running.”
The Harley Davidson Xr750 has indeed carved out its place in history as one of the most dominant and iconic race bikes ever built. While owning this vintage motorcycle requires real commitment, its rewarding performance provides an unmatched flat track racing thrill.
For devoted riders and collectors who appreciate the Xr750’s history and enjoy wrenching to keep old bikes alive, its purchase represents a solid investment in two-wheeled Americana. Just be ready for the challenges and quirks that come with running a 40+ year old race machine.
When expertly maintained and piloted by a skilled rider, few motorcycles can compete with the Xr750 as a purebred racer. Its legacy lives on today in vintage competition and the hearts of Harley loyalists. This legendary H-D racer is an excellent decision for the right person.