SBK Stash’s Champion-framed XR1000 street tracker…
Here at BikeBound, we’ve got a soft spot for Harley-Davidson street trackers, particularly those that recall the legendary XR750, so when we saw this Champion-framed XR1000 at the 2023 Handbuilt Show, we had to learn more.
As it turns out, it’s from the collection of SBK Stash (name redacted for anonymity), a Minnesota collector of superbikes and other exotic motorcycles:
“My particular collecting focus is the impact of American racing and riders on Superbike and Grand Prix racing. The success of 70s American Superbike racing gave rise to World Superbike. In the 70s, knees on tank, wheels inline cornering was favored in Grand Prix, but the arrival and dominance of Americans (eg. Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey, Freddie Spencer, Kevin Schwantz) to Grand Prix racing changed all of that. With racing skills and styles developed from flat track racing, their hanging off and sliding the front and rear cornering style set the foundation for the cornering style seen today in MotoGP.”
The SBK Stash collection is housed in a 48×24 pole building constructed in 2012. Each bike is kept in running condition and ridden as much as time allows.
“I don’t have a favorite. I enjoy them for the way they reflect the progression of motorcycle performance over my lifetime of riding. Ride them, don’t hide them!”
The list of bikes in the collection is nothing short of staggering:
- 1998 Aprilia RS250
- 1984 Bimota “KB3” – SB4 rebuilt by Nick Ienatsch as a KB3 featured in 9/92 Motorcyclist Magazine
- 1985 Bimota DB1
- 1997 Bimota DB2 Edizione Finale
- 1997 Bimota SB6R
- 1998 Bimota V Due Edizione Finale
- 2021 BMW S1000RR M Package
- 1993 Ducati 888 SPO
- 1995 Ducati 916 Varese – 60K+ miles, this bike has been with me all over the country
- 1997 Ducati 916 SPS
- 2003 Ducati 999R
- 2008 Ducati 1098R
- 2008 Ducati D16RR Desmosedici
- 2014 Ducati 1199 Panigale Superleggera
- 1977 C&J Racing Framed Harley Davidson XR750 Street Tracker built by Michael Lange
- 1997 Champion-Framed Harley-Davidson XR1000 Street Tracker – featured in June 1998 issue of Hot Rod Bikes magazine.
- 1985 Honda NS400R
- 1989 Honda RC30
- 1995 Honda RC45
- 2002 Honda RC51 SP2
- 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000R2 Eddie Lawson Replica
- 1994 Kawasaki ZX-7R M2
- 2019 KTM Super Duke GT
- 2008 MV Agusta R 312
- 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley
- 1982 Suzuki GS1000SZ Katana
- 1983 Suzuki XN-85
- 1986 Suzuki RG500
- 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750R Limited
- 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 1100
- 1984 Yamaha RZV500R
- 1984 Yamaha RZ-350
- 1990 Yamaha OW-01
- A few Yamaha dirtbikes
Given SBK Stash’s focus on American flat track racing and its impact on Superbike and GP, the Harley-Davidson XR series is of particular interest — after all, the Harley XR750 remains the most successful racing motorcycle in history, and has served as a learning platform for many of the world’s best riders.
This XR1000 street tracker was originally built by Ron Bravo of Hollister, California, in 1997. Three years later, the bike was sold to Dennis Simunovich of Hollister (CA) and then to Norman Krasny of Pittsburgh circa 2002, and it entered the SBK Stash in non-running condition in 2022.
Now running, the bike features a wealth of hand-built and rare aftermarket components:
- Custom Champion chromoly frame and intakes by Bud Carroll
- Works Performance shocks
- Kosman adjustable triple trees
- Kosman quick-change reversible rear hub
- XR750 front hub laced to Sun rims by Buchanan’s
- Ceriani fork legs from Storz Performance
- Jack Hagemann hand-formed aluminum tank and rear tail section
- Evo left case. Alternator and clutch in place of the original generator and Sportster clutch
- Jim Kelly (former Jay Springsteen engine builder and tuner) built motor and bottom end built by Will of Bartels HD
- Supertrapp Race Exhaust
The engine itself had an interesting backstory before it found its way into the hands of Jim Kelly, Jay Springsteen’s former engine builder and tuner.
“The motor came from the Garage Company of Gardena, CA which at the time was a bookstore and the motor was being used as a doorstop. After being completed, Ron showed the bike at the 1997 Mikuni Calendar motorcycle show. The editors of Hot Bikes magazine saw the bike at the show and cited it in their 12/97 issue as “”dare to be different” and Hot Rod Bikes featured it as “Bravo! Bravo!” in their 6/98 issue.”
Previous owner Dennis Simunovich repainted the bike in the orange and black scheme from the original white and blue “Springsteen” scheme, which it wore when Ron Bravo still owned the bike. Other than that, this XR1000 remains as it was originally built.
The XR1000 won Best American Custom at the 2022 AMA Vintage Days show and even drew the interest of Grand Marshal Kevin Schwantz, whose father used to race a Champion framed XR750!
As part of the ride them, don’t hide them philosophy, the SBK Stash XR’s will be getting some exercise at the 2023 American Flat Track rounds:
“I’m planning on taking the XR1000 or XR750 to ride around when I got to the Sacramento, Lexington, and DuQuoin AFT mile rounds this year.”
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I disagree that the XR750 was the most successful motor in history. It dominated flat track for years, but that was the only type of racing it was a winner in. The Norton Manx motor ruled road racing from the late 30’s into the early 60’s. It’s last 500cc GP win was in 1969. It won in International Scrambles in the 50’s, Sidecar road racing in the 50’s, won the Daytona 200 4 times when they still raced on the beach, and was so successful that the AMA banned it.
I believe the Manx Norton engine was also very successful in four wheeled formula three racing in the Cooper chassis. I think it was so dominant it got banned. The XR750 is probably the most beautiful bike ever built though IMHO.