SPECIFICATIONS. 1915 KR Fast Roadster
- Engine: Inlet-over-exhaust, V-twin
- Capacity: 6l cu.in. (1000 cc)
- Power output: 15 bhp
- Transmission: Single-speed competition gearbox, chain drive
- Frame: Tubular loop
- Suspension: Leading-link front forks, rigid rear.
- Weight: 325 lb (147kg)
- Top speed: 80 mph (130km/h)
THE IDEA OF A RACE BIKE on the road has always been attractive to motorcyclists. Modern bikers relish the power, handling, and brakes of competition-developed machinery and pioneer motorcyclists were no different. Harley’s Fast Roadster was based on the board-track racer but fitted with mudguards, a chainguard, and conventional handlebars. Who needed a gearbox or lights? It was built for amateur racers at a time when Harley-Davidson’s factory race team was starting to taste success; the K-series won a number of 100- and 300-mile (161- and 483-km) races for Harley in 1915. With just over 100 built, this model is now very rare.
1915 KR Fast Roadster
The “close coupled” frame on the KR was shorter than that fitted to other models such as the F because no gearbox was fitted. A short wheelbase traditionally offers better handling at the expense of comfort and stability.
One of the civilizing features which the Fast Roadster acquired from its conventional road-gomg stablemates was a set of pulled-back handlebars. These offered a combination of comfort and control on the road. Racing handlebars would haw been suitable only for short trips to the osteopath.