The biggest cliché in motorcycle journalism is the ‘listicle’ of the best-looking bikes ever made.
If we ever run out of ideas and succumb at EXIF, you can guarantee that the Harley-Davidson XR750 flat tracker will be in our list. And we’d lament that it was never street legal.
So this streetable XR750 from Brad Peterson is right up our, er, street. And it’s no replica or lookalike, either.
Power comes from a genuine factory race motor, used briefly in 2007 by National #80 Rich King, which probably delivers around 100 horsepower.
“The motors are sold without a title,” Brad tells us, “but they do have serial numbers. My motor was confirmed as a Rich King motor via the H-D race department records.”
Brad is a machinist by trade, and hails from the port city of Bellingham in Washington State, near the Canadian border. He’s been riding since childhood, and his grandfather—a motorcycle dealership principal—helped build the town dirt track.
Which might explain why the spec sheet for this XR750 is pure street tracker gold. The motor is fed by twin Sudco Mikuni TM 38 flat slides, breathing through Darcy racing intakes. Bill Werner Racing supplied the exhaust and SuperTrapp mufflers, and also the wet clutch.
The powerplant is squeezed into a C&J frame, which has been oiled (rather than painted) to prevent rust. The forks are modified CBR600 items, with nitrided tubes and the caliper mounting lugs machined off the right fork lower. They’re hooked up with A&A variable offset triple clamps and matched to a Penske rear shock.
The bars are Vortex’s ‘J Murph’ bend, which are a little higher than most flat track bends. Brad’s also installed a Brembo front master cylinder and Magura clutch assembly, but there’s no speedo or tacho to reveal how fast he’s going…
Stopping, however, is no problem; there’s a front brake on this tracker. The calipers are Brembo, but Lyndall supplied the iron brake rotors—320mm at the front and 10.5” at the rear. The front caliper hanger is custom machined and there’s an A&A racing rear hanger, with quick-change rotor and sprocket carriers. The rear master cylinder is Grimeca.
The forged wheels are from Performance Machine, and the real deal—super-light 19” rims designed for the dirt track.
The bodywork is full carbon fiber, with a Corbin seat, and reputedly factory-issue. The raw carbon looks good, so Brad has left it unpainted, like most of the rest of the bike.
Discreet LED lighting front and back helps make this XR750 street legal. It’s a bare bones, total-loss electrical system, but it works. “I can easily run a dozen tanks of fuel on the battery life,” says Brad.
Keeping that battery hooked up to a charger is a small price to pay for being able to ride this tracker on the street. “It’s titled and legitimately street legal,” Brad says. “Which is not an easy thing to accomplish in my state. It may be pushing some details into gray areas…”
The XR750 is not one of those volatile converted race bikes, even though it needs to be bump started and can wheelie at will.
“I use BBRP (Brian Billings Racing Products) to keep this XR running strong,” says Brad. “He’s done a lot of tuning to make it a reliable street bike: it runs flawlessly, and it’s not crabby or temperamental.”
“It starts and runs every time, and has been ridden off the street and onto a dirt track. And then ridden home.”
Brad’s home also includes vintage Harleys dating back to 1921, an Indian Four, and models from Aprilia, BMW, Honda, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.
But we’re betting that this XR750 is the most fun of the lot.
Images by John Meloy