XR1200 Café Racer Replica

Roger knew exactly what he wanted—a Harley Café Racer in the style of the late Cal Rayborn.

I FIRST GOT the idea from Adrenalin Moto in the UK. They do lots of parts for the XR as does Harris Performance UK for the race series there. I also saw the late Cal Rayborn race a XRTT 750 in the Transatlantic race series in the UK in 1972. And so the seed was sown.

Steve Schweigler of MaxPower Motorcycles at Russell Vale, north of Wollongong, had performed some tuning work on my previous project, a Triumph flat tracker, and so I approached him about building a XR1200 Café Racer.

I wanted to try and get the look of Rayborn’s bike.

First thing to go was the oil cooler which hangs off the side of the front down-tubes. An Earls cooler was located under the back of the gearbox—neat.

Next we used a Ducati style 1/2 fairing. The major hassle was the brackets which were made by Steve Hurkett, a fabricator known to Steve, and what a great job.

We fitted a Sportster throttle body, with a Roland Sands Design stack, tuned by Steve with a Power Commander ignition.

The rear of the bike was tidied up—single seat, alloy brackets made up to shed some weight, and Wilbur shocks custom made to suit the rider.

The front-end was treated to Race Tech Springs and a gold valve kit to compress and rebound; the whole set up works superb.

The front brakes we kept standard apart from the Goodridge stainless lines front and rear.

The tank, a copy of a XLCR Café Racer, is from Adrenalin Moto. The side covers and belt covers are all carbon fibre from Adrenalin Moto as were the front yokes.

The seat is alligator skin from a Bentley car.

The headlight is old British; the handlebars are Laverda type; the switch gear is Ducati. All these parts came from my good friends at Motociclo in St Peter, Sydney.

The rear light is AMR; indicators, mirrors and bar ends are Oberon. Clutch and brake levers by Zeta (beautiful! Found by Steve, MaxPower). Brake fluid holders by Rizoma as is the derby cover.

The engine cases have been powder-coated black. The swing-arm and front guard stay have been chromed.

The wonderful exhaust system is a 2-1-2 Termignoni race system with the baffles removed—a sweet sound.

The paint job was faithful to the late Cal Rayborn’s 1972 XR Racer. It was done by Chris of Two Wheels Custom Painting. He used Kawasaki ZX10 orange and pearl black. Chris also painted the decals. I could not be more pleased with the result.

All of this would not have been possible without Steve from MaxPower Motorcycles who has done a fantastic job. Also many thanks to Chris of Two Wheels for the paint job, Steve Hurkett, Adrenalin Moto, and Motociclo.

I think I ended up with a great-looking bike that handles so well and is so useable, so once again thanks to everyone involved.

Harley-Davidson XR1200 Sportster

PS: how come I didn’t get a model with the bike.

Photos by George; words by Roger Westlake

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