1977 – HARLEY-DAVIDSON CAFE’ RACER – 1000
Willie G. Davidson, the nephew of one of HD’s founders, has a real talent for art and mechanics and from his pencil came some of the most important motorcycle designs to be produced in the Milwaukee factory. Willie G. was also a very privileged man, since he was able to construct his own personal Harley-Davidsons without necessarily thinking about them being produced in series. During the 70s the high powered sport bikes were very successful, particularly Italian makes such as Laverda, Moto Guzzi and Ducati, all of which produced nice 2-cylinders with a great deal of personality. Willie G. had a nice idea: to make a sport bike with the trademark HD V-Twin. Therefore in 1976 his very own HD was born, with a front fairing such as the sport bike tradition demanded. The colouring was unique: entirely black, from the engine to the bodywork, from the wing mirrors to the exhaust pipes. Without doubt this was a completely different Harley-Davidson, particularly as a result of the single-seat saddle, which made it impossible to even carry a small bag. All this made the Café Racer –this was its official name- a decidedly uncompromising machine. Harley-Davidson bravely decided to put it into production in that format, but the choice was not rewarded and sales were poor. The reason was simple: the HD lovers found it too sporty and sportsmen were not out for HD. The Café Racer’s career was brief and lasted only a couple of seasons. But as soon as production ceased, this special motorcycle quickly became one of the most sought after HD models by collectors.
Years: 1977 – 1979
Design: Willie G. Davidson
Production: CMM Collezione Motociclistica Milanese