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'87 XLH Cafe Racer

A Closer Look At J&P Cycle's Reader's Ride Of The Month Winner

Bud Milza

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Editor’s Note:What you’re about to read is the third installment of the J&P Cycles online series, Readers Ride of the Month, which highlights what the J&P Cycles judges term the most original-looking bike in the bunch for the April 2011. The judges (whom are J&P staffers, select the best bike from photographs submitted by you, the owners. If you’re of the opinion that your ride is righteous, send them some pix — preferably in focus and at least 300 dpi. And by the way, for those of you who think it’d be nice to see a metric bike featured here once in awhile, we’d love to. But we’re not receiving anywhere near the amount of metric entries as Harley entries. Please send us pictures of your metric rides for consideration.

This month’s ride is a 1987 Harley-Davidson XLH 1100 belonging to Hugh O’Neill of Delray Beach, Fla. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, café racers are back in a major way. This style was once associated primarily with older British and Japanese bikes. They were modified for speed and good handling rather than comfort and were originally designed to get from a café to predetermined point and back before the song changed in the café’s jukebox.

Harley actually tried taking this route from 1977-79 with the very short-lived XLCR. Perhaps it was just ahead of its time, because café racers are coming on strong in the v-twin world, and what better platform is there than the Sportster?  News flash!  These lightweight four-cam rockets rarely get the recognition they deserve and any meathead that calls them chick bikes never rode one. Besides, do you think Skelly would ride bitch on a chick bike? Here’s what Hugh had to say about his ride:

“The inspiration for my XLH is a 1977 Harley-Davidson XLCR that I previously owned and still regret selling. This bike is an ongoing project, entirely built in the garage as time and funds allow. My next planned upgrade will be heads and cams, followed by wheels, tires and brakes.  The paint was also done in the garage with a rattle-can lacquer.  While the heads are being machined later this year, the paint will be redone with proper equipment and materials. Thanks J&P for selecting my XLH as this month’s Readers’ Ride.”


SPECIFICATIONS – Hugh O’Neill’s Winning Entry

Year:  1987
Make: Harley-Davidson
Model:  XLH 1100

Year:  1987
Make:  H-D
Model/Size:  1100cc Evo Sportster
Cases:  H-D
Flywheels:  H-D
Cams:  H-D
Cylinders:  H-D
Pistons:  H-D
Heads:  H-D
Carb:  S&S Super E
Air Cleaner:  S&S Teardrop
Exhaust:  Custom 2-into-1 / Vance & Hines
Ignition:  Daytona Twin Tech

Year:  1987
Make:  H-D
Type:  4-Speed

Make:  H-D
Clutch:  H-D

Year:  1987
Make:  H-D
Type:  Swingarm
Rake:  Stock
Stretch:  None

Type:  H-D  -  updated 39mm
Triple Trees:  H-D
Fork Tubes:  H-D
Fork Springs:  Race Tech with Gold Valve Cartridge Emulators
Lower Legs:  H-D

Swingarm:  H-D
Shocks:  Progressive Suspension

Wheel Make/Size:  H-D 19-inch x 2.15-inch
Tire Make/Size:  Dunlop 3.23-inch x 19-inch
Rotor(s):  H-D
Caliper(s):  H-D

Wheel Make/Size:  H-D 16-inch x 3-inch
Tire Make/Size:  Dunlop 130/90-16
Rotor:  H-D
Caliper:  H-D

Handlebars:  Rockwall Performance Clip-ons
Hand Controls:  H-D
Grips:  H-D
Mirrors:  Bar End
Foot Controls:  Chainsickle Rearsets
Pegs:  Chainsickle/H-D
Front Fender:  H-D
Rear Fender:  Airtech
Gas Tank:  Storz
Oil Tank:  H-D
Headlight:  Emgo 7-inch
Taillight:  Cat-eye
Seat:  Saddlemen



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