Additional photos of this VR1000 are available here for your perusal.
Back in 1988, Harley decided to try their hand at knocking off Ducati from their perch atop AMA Superbike. Unfortunately, what would have been top notch technology when the bike was supposed to have been released (in 1991) was well behind the curve when it actually started racing (in 1994). Homologation requirements resulted in the Harley-Davidson VR1000, of which only 50 were sold.
The VR1000 did not take anything from the Harley parts bin – everything was built specifically for the racer. HD outsourced plenty of the components but kept it all within the good ol’ USA. Roush developed the engine, Penske took care of the suspension, and Wilwood handled the brakes.
For $49,000, riders could buy themselves a 135 horsepower, 400 pound racebike with lights that had a lovely split-personality paint job: one stripe of white split halves of black and orange. Production lasted for one year, after which 55 examples were built. Only a portion of the 55 were built with the components required to be street-legal, such as the lights, turn signals, and mirrors.
For a comprehensive look at why the VR is so interesting, check out this story here on OddBike.
George owned a well-known Harley dealership in Lewiston, Maine which was in his family for 84 years. He recently liquidated an impressive collection of Harley-Davidsons, and this piece of history is our favorite.