Harley-Davidson has been iconic in American motorcycle culture for a considerable time, and among riders, the FXR model occupies a distinctive and respected position. Unveiled in the early 1980s, the FXR earned recognition for its exceptional combination of performance, handling, and the timeless style characteristic of Harley-Davidson. Let’s talk about the intriguing history of the Harley-Davidson FXR. Exploring its origins, evolution, and Klock Werks contributes to the legacy that is the FXR.
The FXR Era: Separating Men From the Boys
In 1981, Harley bought the company back from AMF. Harley was in need of fresh and high-quality products. The Shovelhead era in the late '60s and '70s, marked by aging products and discontented workers, had significantly tarnished the reputation of the brand. However, a repair to that reputation was on the horizon.
In 1982, the promotional material for Willie G. Davidson’s new “cruiser”, the Super Glide II (getting the initials FX) boldly claimed to be a sportier bike that would "separate the men from the boys," insinuating that the boys were opting for "foreign" motorcycles. The Super Glide II or FXR pledged to provide handling comparable to sporty bikes from overseas while delivering the powerful performance of an American V-twin. Even after 28 years, some riders still assert that the FXR stands as the best motorcycle ever built by Harley. Though the vibration from the rigid mounted engine remained, that was the next tackle that evolved the FXR.
The notable vibrations generated a new frame design around the shovelhead motor known as the "rubber mount" frame, which isolated the rider from the engine vibrations. This design innovation, led by Erik Buell, provided a more comfortable ride and better handling compared to previous models. The frame had a more triangulated shape than that of the FXE Super Glide, and the rear shocks were set further back on the swingarm.
Over the course of its existence, the FXR underwent numerous model variations. Among the most well-received FXR models were the FXRT Sport Glide, FXRP Police Pursuit, FXR Low Rider, and FXR Super Glides. These models provided a diverse array of options and features, catering to the preferences of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the FXR line continued its evolution, witnessing enhancements in suspension, braking, engine performance, fairing design, and hard bags.
Harley-Davidson FXR Model Timeline
The Timeless Legacy: the Impact of the FXR
While the FXR may have been phased out, its legacy continues to resonate in the hearts of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts worldwide. Countless riders regard the FXR as one of the company's finest-handling motorcycles. Brian Klock, in particular, has been drawn to its distinctive blend of performance, style, and handling, making it a preferred choice for some of his custom builds and personal collection.
During the late 1980s, Brian got his hands on a couple of FXRs for his collection. In 1988 he took his second FXR on a trip to Daytona Bike Week in the middle of March. Now, you might think March signals warmer weather, but trust Brian when he says the snow gear was a must! As the bank sign read 22°, he had zero regrets. Brian wouldn't have chosen any other bike model for that trip. This ride became a pivotal experience in his life, establishing a precedent that has kept the spirit of FXRs alive for him ever since.
From Past to Present: Brian’s FXR Timeline
As Harley Davidson introduced various FXR models, Brian felt it was the opportune moment to acquire one for a custom build. In 1990, he secured the FXRP, a stock police bike - also the first model that came with a fairing. He purchased it from his friend Jim Entenman with less than 5,000 miles on the odometer. In a swift 24 hours, Brian dismantled the new bike down to its bare essentials. Although he had a vision in mind, the outcome remained uncertain. Brian removed the police style fairing to infuse a sportier and sleek aesthetic into the bike.
Over nearly two years, Brian dedicated himself to completing this project, deepening his affection for FXR-style bikes. Recounting the details of the build, notable features include the eye-catching Ness fairing, the vibrant purple color that earned the bike its name, "Iris," inspired by a Ford Pickup color. Other distinctive elements include the prominent carburetor, insights from Donnie Smith and Rob Roehl on raking the frame, the incorporation of custom lighting, and the addition of custom struts for a personalized frame. The bike boasts iconic customizations from revered figures in the custom bike world, shaping Brian's perspective and establishing a trend. He continued on to build several custom FXRs, leading the Klock Werks team in the realm of aftermarket parts.
Klock Werks Custom FXR Timeline
From Customs to Production Parts
As Brian and the team customized FXRs, some of their custom pieces gained enough attention for them to want to bring it to the market. This lineup included fenders, mounting blocks, swingarm blocks, windshields, amp brackets, Risers, phone mounting systems and the most recent - FXRP style fairing; the part he most regrets selling from the project “Iris”.
Nowadays there is a thriving culture that embraces the FXR/Dyna style, it's a timeless appeal and like we said before, suitable enough to be a cruiser for those long hauls. But most of these models aren't fully equipt for that long ride. The team at Klock Werks got to work on making FXRP Style Fairings for not just the FXR family but also for the Street Bob, Softail, Low Rider, Road King, Dyna, Sportster, Indian Springfield and Indian Chief models. All these styles, because the FXR had a warm spot in Brian's heart.
Klock Werks FXRP Style Fairing
Experience the timeless appeal of the FXRP Style Fairing, a classic reproduction designed to elevate your motorcycle's style and performance. The FXRP Style Fairing comes as a complete Fit Kit, ensuring that you have everything you need for a seamless installation. No need to worry about missing parts or compatibility issues - we've got you covered. Proudly made in the USA, the FXRP Style Fairing Fit Kit brings together the perfect blend of air management, design, and craftsmanship to enhance your riding experience.
|FXRP Style Fairing for All FXR
|FXRP Style Fairing for 92-05 Old Dyna
|FXRP Style Fairing for 86-03 Sportster
In closing, while Brian and the Klock Werks brand may not be fully immersed in the custom bike build scene nowadays, there's a deep appreciation for how our parts originated from unique custom designs. It brings us immense joy to witness these components finding their way into the hands of enthusiasts who embark on their own custom renditions. Our mission is to make customization a seamless, efficient, and stylish experience, ensuring that every ride becomes a testament to individuality and passion. Thank you for being part of the journey, where convenience meets the thrill of customization, creating a fusion of sleek and sexy on the open road.