Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1983 05 18

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Further impressions: Harley-Davidson XRIOOO 1 I; J ) 1: The mystery of the XRIOOO bill "10 fl fl:>;{ dJiw • TO ) uo iolu 111; By the eN/West staff 2 II rob To truly evaluate the XRIOOOrepli-racer fr9 m Harley-Davidson, one needs to look past the amalgamation of nuts, bolts.xrankpins and cotter pins that make up the working bits and p ieces of th e moto rcycle. Simp ly, this H arley has to be looked a t as a socia l phen omen on. It's a motorcycle where the list (Above) Just kidding, Harley's XR 1000 is obviously chain driven. (Below) We rode the Harley to an antique rally and it received more attention than some of the classics. (Bottom) The XR at rest beside a mountain road . 16 o f co m p lai nts a fter a lmos t 1000 m iles in th e saddle is on ly exceeded by th e list of peop le st ill wanti ng to ta ke it o u t for a sp in. In term s o f ra w interest, th is m ot orcycle exceeds a ny test bike we've had in recent mem ory, in cl ud in g th e H onda V45 Interceptor and Kaw asak i's KZIOOOR Su pe rbike Repl ica . La st issu e, we ran a n im pression p enned by Englis h motojournalist Alan Cathcart, wh o spe nt some time o n th e stoc k XRIOOO, as well as o n o ne with th e ra cing kit. Cathcart's impression s were valid g iven th e parameters o f hi s experience, which he cl early o u tlined . Cathcart a lso relat ed th e expe rie nce of riding h is own XR 750 ro ad racer , and o f go ing up aga ins t th e XRIOOO of Stock class winner Gen e Church in th e Da ytona Ba ttl e o f th e Twins race. But th e story o f th e XR goes furth er than that. We got th e XRIOOO o u t o n th e west coas t, primar il y with th e idea of resh ooting so me of th e photos, a nd performing a few ot her odds and en ds. As soon as we got th e bike bac k to th e office, every motorcycleriding staffer save th e resid ent enduro! H usq varn a! com pu ter afficia nado was pl ead in g for a cha nce to rid e the beast. Th e a tte n tio n turned ou t to be co n tinuous. Wh en we stopped to tak e p ictu res o f th e mach in e, six rid ers pulled o ff the roa d for a closer look. Police foll owed us to wo rk, an d th en spe n t 20 mi n utes cha tti ng with th e edi tor th at happen ed to be rid ing it, sen di ng a co ld ch ill through th e ed itorial su pe rvisor who ro de in a few minu tes lat er to see o ne o f h is spee d dem on minions engagin g an o fficer of th e law in co n versation. Everywh ere we went, people og led, as ked questions, look ed so me m ore, talked o n , and gave it a fin al gla nce before walking off and muttering so me thing lik e, "Tha t's th e way a m ot orcycle shou ld look ." Women found th e XR irresistable; making it a blood y sha me th at th ere is n o provision for passengers, a nd n ever will , gi ven th e sea t a nd rea r ex ha ust pipe arrangem ent. But as much o f a n eye-ca tche r as th e Harl ey is, mot orcycles are made to be ridden. T he re in lie so me of the big Vvtwirr's weak est points, and, man y o f th e stro ng ones as well. T he firs t th in g yo u n ot ice a fter settl in g in to th e XR 's so lo sad d le is th e fact th at th e front cylinder 's K&N a ir filter is resting aga ins t yo ur leg . It 's flex ibly-m ounted , so it gi ves a littl e a nd it's n ot rea lly a h inderance when rid in g as yo u soon learn to ass u me a sQlay- legged riding stance. It does mak e life a little diffi cult a t stop lights, th ough . Add to thi s, th e fact th at th e filte rs require a coa ting o f oi l to work properl y a nd you have th e ma kings o f a bike tha t shou ld def'i n in-lv n or I... ri dden in grav Ila ruu -l s lac k~ . Om- H ar ley d isciple d id no te th at th e Iiln -r pl ar em e-nt would at lea st keep th e back o f h is leather I pa nt s well o iled . Intrudin g o n th e o ther side is the Harl ey's race -derived, u pswept exhaust syste m. Yes, it look s gr eat. Yesl it so u nds even better. But it does g~ t hot an d th e hea t shieldi ng is m in ima l. One editor's $150 ridi ng sui t no w spo rts two good-sized h ol es in th e leg because o f it. And even sta u nch H arley su p porters were di sappointed in the h ea t shield mounting system , wh ich co nsists solely of three garde n variety hose clamps. Exhaust system and air filt er pl acem ent n otwith standing, th e sea t, handlebar an d footp eg relationship feels prett y good. The seat has decent padding , th e bars ar e wide and relatively low and th e footpegs don't seem too far forward. Around town a n d fo r short jaunts, th e XR is a surprisingly co m forta ble mount. Out on th e hi ghwa y, two h ours into a 500-m ile weekend tour, th ings begin to look (and feel ) a little diff erent. Th e sea t a ll ows o ne p ositi on a nd one p osi tion o n ly, which soo n lead s to th e dreaded numb-butt syndrome . The h andl ebar an d foo tpeg posi tio n in g, fin e arou n d tow n, puts th e rider in a sligh tly too upright post ur e for ex tended cru ising a t hi gh speeds. In it s defen se, let us quickl y stat e two things: 1) Harley never inten ded th e XR as an Aspencade- bea ter - th ey have other models for th at - and 2) the XR is by n o mean s any worse th a n th e maj ority o f m ot or cycles - Orien tal or otherw ise - in this area. . T he big Harley's ergo nom ics a lo ne proba bly wouldn 't pr event us fro m ta king a nothe r long tri p o n th e bik e, but th e stylis h, beautifully proporti oned gas tan k wo u ld . With a measly 2.25-gallon ca paci ty, th e tank a ll ows just ove r 80 mil es of sp ir ited ridi ng before it leaves th e twin 500cc jugs gasp in g for fuel. We don 't know wh at th e situa tio n is back east or up north , but o u t h ere in th e sou th west ou r gas sta tio ns a re som etimes farth er a pa rt than 80 miles. From p ersonal experience, we ca n state emphatically th at pushing 480-plus pounds of Milwa uk ee' s fine st is n ot much fun. H arley does o ffer an op tio nal 3.3-gall qii gas tank, however, and if you're at all inte rested in th e XR , we highly reco m me n d it. T h e limited fuel ca paci ty won 't bother yo u in the twisties, th o ugh . And n either will a n yth ing else on th e bike. No doubt a ided by its excelle nt Dunlop Sport Elite tir es, this is one Harley-David son th at is go ing to g ive th e Japanese sport bikes a run for their peg-dragging money. One of o ur ed itors, on Honda's new road-racy V45 Interceptor, was more than a little surprised to see the XR 's im age steadfastly filli ng Up' his

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