Chris Evans hits the cinemas next week as the star-spangled hero in Captain America and as with most blockbusters of its stature, there are plenty of companies looking to capitalize on the vast marketing potential the movie is expected to draw. In this particular case, one company that’s all too familiar with the period setting of Captain America – World War II, if you didn’t know – has decided to hitch a ride with the American patriot. That company is Harley-Davidson.
History lessons on this subject will tell you that around the time of the second World War, Harley Davidson had over 70,000 WLA bikes – they were affectionately called the “Liberators” - built for the soldiers of the war to use in whatever means they could. This wasn’t lost in the movie as trailers have shown Cap himself riding one of these bad boys in America’s fight against Red Skull and his evil band of German henchmen. All in all, Harley Davidson collaborated with Marvel to build five Cross Bones bikes modified to make them look like the WLAs of the 40s.
On top of producing the bikes used in the movie, the two companies also collaborated on building two special edition bikes for their “H-D Free the World” promotion, one to a member of the military and another to a plain old Joe like all of us. As part of the giveaway, the two lucky winners will travel to the Harley production facility in Milwaukee to receive a pair of Sportster 1200 that can be customized to their tastes and preferences.
To learn more on how you can be that lucky civilian to win a customized Harley 1200 Sportster, feel free to check out the link and found out all the information you need to enter the contest.
Harley-Davidson designed and built the XR1200 as their very first roadster in an attempt to appeal to younger riders as well. The plan sounded good in theory and if they offered plenty of customization possibilities, the bike qualified as a success. Said and done. But I guess that nobody really thought at doing something like this. Why not when the Harley-Davidson XR1200 monster bike looks like one of the best ways to shake the stress away.
What’s best, this impressive motorcycle offers the unique opportunity of seeing a car crushed by a motorcycle and not the other way around. Revenge looks good!
Harley-Davidson is a little too much into their style, so they rarely come up with a bike that is truly bad to the bone. But most of their ideas are taken one step further by people such as Mike Wilson of Dyno Mike’s Dynamic Chassis and Sandy Kosman of Kosman Specialties, who have teamed up to build what they call the Harley-Davidson XR124.
They’ve taken Harley’s sportiest ride, the XR1200 and made it look, sound and feel more appealing for the younger crowd, while still retaining the bike’s original style. In other words, they’ve mounted an S&S 124 cubic inch Evo engine on a twin shock rubber mount frame with a Buell XB12 front end (meaning upside down fork, front fender and six-piston caliper). The aluminum tank and rear fender were ordered from Evan Wilcox.
These guys aren’t just bike assemblers, so they’ve built their own exhaust and wheels. Overall, the thing weighs less than 500 pounds, which should make it flickable, while the power-to-weight ratio should make things at least very interesting.
As with most successful tuner projects, this bike looks like it was actually made like this by the manufacturer, but we can only wish H-D would build such a bike.
Take a look at what the guys over at Adrenalin Moto in the UK did to a Harley-Davidson XR1200. It looks neat and fast to us and, if you can believe it, this is actually a café racer. Harleys are probably the last bikes you’d want to modify in such a way, but the XR1200 model loves being fitted with parts such as the Ducati 900SS fairing, projector headlight, carbon fiber side panels and a high level two-into-one stainless steel exhaust system, just to mention a few.
While overall weight is reduced with no less than 83.8 lbs, the XR1200 Café Racer gets a paintjob replica of Cal Rayborn’s XR750TT racebike. The only thing we don’t like as much about it is the fairing, which kind of makes the bike look dated. Most likely a bikini fairing would have looked better, but I guess they needed wind protection.
Clearly, those brits can transform any motorcycle into a café racer. Sadly, this one is not for sale.
You can’t entirely say what’s not perfect with a bike until it ends up in the hands of tuning specialists and they strengthen its weak points in the very often successful attempt of making the best better. This is exactly the case of the Storz XR1200 based on Harley’s flat-track style road bike.
Steve Storz, founder and boss of Storz Performance, who worked at this project, told MCN: “The XR1200 is decent bike in its stock form, but in my opinion it needs help in two areas: suspension and overall weight."
So the H-D specialist concentrated on upgrading the bike using lighter parts mainly on the chassis and bodywork sides. The suspension, wheels, brakes, exhaust, handlebars and seat unit are anything but standard parts as the bike gets Storz/Ceriani Inverted fork, YSS piggyback shocks, wire spoke wheels with alloy rims and billet hubs, chain drive conversion kit and solo seat tail section, just to mention some of its most important tuning features. The bike also features lowered clip-ons handlebars and a billet alloy footrest and gearlever kit. Overall weight was reduced by approximately 33 lbs (14.9kg), so I guess this is a truly accomplished mission.
What we like most about the Storz Performance XR1200 is the fact that without any engine upgrade or mod, it really turns into a much greater overall performer.
At last year’s end, the world had witnessed the first ever Harley successful backflip achieved on a modified XR1200 by our favorite Australians. While that premier was already impressive, the Aussies are now exploiting the bike’s full stunting potential and have recently established an unofficial world record for the world’s longest Harley jump, 157.6 feet. Also, they got their hands on a HD Sportster 883 and started looping it around in the globe of death, so it’s one crazy idea after the other in the minds of those who have turned the XR1200 into a record-breaking machine. Videos are attached after the jump.
Nobody has ever before attempted to backflip a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and when the idea finally struck, it did in two different heads, that of Kain Saul in Australia and Chuck Carothers in Prague. They both recently performed their backflips on Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles, meaning that both deserve our recognition and appreciation, despite the fact that the XR1200 used by Kain was specially-prepped for the job while Chuck’s much more rigid XR1200 threw him to the ground. See both videos after the jump.
Every now and then, Harley-Davidson looks back at their most successful history times and at the motorcycles representing those times just so that they get inspired and create new interesting models that would determine the growth of their lineups without drifting away from the original American style. Back in 2008, they’ve come up with the XR1200, which is no more or less than a bigger, street legal version of the notorious XR750 raced at AMA Flat Track championships and rode by daredevil Evel Knievel, but the new bike was only destined for Europe. It seems that the demand for such a model there was higher, but now the Harley-Davidson XR1200 is available in the US too as a 2009 model year so we’re fresh off this new American ride and ready to share our experience with you.
Harley-Davidson has just started taking pre-orders for the much raved XR-1200 model and if you’re quick you might just have yours in December. How is that possible? Simple, you got to have a thing for the Orange and
Black version –as it is the first one to be shipped – and subscribe for one of the first 750 bikes to be produced. Either that number is or isn’t met until Dec 15th, the American motorcycle maker will stop taking orders.
At an MSRP of only $11,179, it isn’t that hard to take a decision and call +17148914300 to book yours.
Harley will start shipping the Silver or Black colored XR-1200’s in February or
March and that is also the period in which you’ll get the Orange and Black one if you won’t pre-order it until the above mentioned date.
The MSRP for the Black painted California version will be reduced to $10,900.