In 1957, The Motor Company, as they call Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee, was in trouble. The big twins were too big, the small two-stroke single was too small, and a surge of imports had taken the sporting market from the under-powered Model K.
It was time for something new and different.
It was time for the Sportster.
Never has a motorcycle been more aptly named. The Sportster kept the K's best features, borrowed the improvements of the imports, threw in some homemade hot rodding, and before you could say Superbike-a term invented to describe the XLCH-the Sportster was making history, setting sales and speed records, and introducing people to the sport of motorcycling and the mystique of Harley-Davidson.
The history is still going on.
This book tells how and why, in sequence, from the circumstances and models that preceded the XL through to the 1200 Evo, with its five speeds and belt drive. On the way, there are in-depth looks at the race-ready XLC that began the Superbike era (and took even the factory by surprise), at the radical Caf Racer and super-sport Buell, and at the price-buster XLX that taught the imports the value of the dollar.
Readers interested in related titles from Allan Girdler will also want to see: American Road Race Specials, 1934-70 (ISBN: 1626549338), Harley-Davidson Racing, 1934-1986 (ISBN: 162654932X), Harley-Davidson Xr-750 (ISBN: 1626549346).