The official line is that Harley-Davidson’s new Street 750-based flat track race bike isn’t destined for production. We don’t buy that for a minute.
The bike is the first dedicated new flat-tracker from Harley in 44 years. Unlike the old XR750, which despite its age is still successfully raced, the XG uses the water-cooled Street 750 motor, tuned by Vance & Hines and mounted in a dedicated race chassis made by the same firm. It’s to be raced this year by 18-year-old Davis Fisher while more experience team mate Brad Baker sticks to the old XR750.
Clearly it’s still very much a prototype, and the firm says that “the new XR750G motorcycle is strictly for competition and will not be offered for sale at this time.”
Even so it’s hard to imagine that now Harley has a 750cc engine in its production bike line, and that it’s aiming to conquer a whole new market of younger buyers using that machine, that it hasn’t got an eye on making more XG750Rs.
Should this year’s toe-in-the-water racing effort be a success, the Harley-Davidson factory team will consider moving Baker onto the new bike as well, and that’s sure to spark demand from other teams for similar bikes. And given the massive success of the Ducati Scrambler – which has styling that’s undeniably similar to the Harley and is even being offered in ‘Flat Track Pro’ form this year – it would seem madness if Harley didn’t capitalise on its flat-track success and heritage by selling a road-going machine based on the XG750R.
The racer includes a tuned Street 750 engine with an undisclosed peak power, combined with a lightweight steel frame similar to the ones used by XR750s.
Back in 2014 Harley demonstrated some Street 750 flat-trackers that looked remarkably similar to the new bike as part of its promotional efforts around the then-new road-going Street 750. Back then the bikes had two radiators, mounted precariously on either side where they were likely to be damaged or ripped off in even small crashes. The new bike has a single radiator fitted high, just below the steering head, and protected with carbon-fibre crash plates.