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Lot 233
1953 Harley-Davidson KR


Selling on Saturday


Harley-Davidson’s racing reputation was built on its Class C or American dirt track racing bikes. In the late '30s, the WR had been introduced as a variant of its other W series side-valve engines. As the U.S. crawled out of the aftershock of WWII and normalcy came back, American flat tracking saw a big revival in the USA. In 1952, Harley introduced its K series engine, a newly designed side-valve engine that would fill a niche in the 750cc / 45-cubic-inch market. The engine loaned itself, succeeding the WR series. The KR was an over-the-counter racer sold by Harley-Davidson for racers to campaign across the U.S. Many a county fairground played host to these on Saturday night race card. Now Harley had a platform for both a Class C dirt tracker and a road racer that evolved from a street bike. All were fitted with a four-speed transmission. The '53 models had improved access. Some riders were known to run the same bike on both circuits by simply changing out the rear suspension and adding a braked front wheel. These bikes are still popular today in vintage dirt track events. This is an as-raced example, a period piece with its Bates pillion pad, alloy fender, an alloy oil tank, and the rare Wiseco racing magneto. Denny Kannenberg raced this bike successfully throughout the Midwest. The lucky buyer will own a bike with a known history. This bike is true Americana!

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