Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions 45 Flatties WR racer colors

WR racer colors

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:43 pm

Posts: 42
Location: seattle, washington
Does anyone here have some details on actual paint colors of WR bikes ridden by factory or prominent racers when these bikes were new, did they have a race team color??
I understand H-D sold the WR bikes black, white and red, is that correct ??

Most of the photos i see of bikes from that time were black and white and hard to understand what color they are.

I like my WRs painted orange and black like early XR750 colors, but i am sure that is not period correct.

Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:08 am

Posts: 1648
I do think they look very good in black and red! I'm sure orange was not a 'period' colour for any sort of automotive paint.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:43 pm

Posts: 45
Location: Midwest
I've also seen blue on a lot of the factory order forms for WRs.

Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:00 pm

Posts: 391
Almost every example I have seen is either red or black in the '40s. Late '30s WLDRs seem to show up in the '39 two-tone combo, really nice looking. My '50WR sales brochure lists Brilliant Black, Ruby Red, and Riviera Blue as standard with Metallic Green, Flight Red, Azure Blue, and White as extra cost options.
And as far as "Race Team", there was none. The riders were sponsored by Dealers or were privateers. H-D did not field a team per se. So if a dealer wanted their own colors they painted them! H-Ds involvement usually only went as far as offering replacement parts at cost. There was no travel allowance or wages. If the racers were lucky they got to keep all of their winnings. In some cases the sponsoring dealer got part of it!
Robbie

Post Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:35 pm

Posts: 42
Location: seattle, washington
Thanks rubone, that is good information.
Anyone know when and or why the H-D factory went to orange and black on the XR750??

Post Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:29 am

Posts: 1648
because it looked good, and stood out prominently on early colour cine film?
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:32 am

Posts: 36
Orange and black had been Harley colours since the 20s -- on all their spare parts packaging and their promotional banners.
Dick O'Brien adopted the colours (including the white pinstripe between the two colours, just like the boxes) for the factory race team's KRs in about 1968.
I think the fully fairinged KRTT was the first bike out in the black and orange.
He was just a couple of decades ahead of today's marketing gurus with their "branding".

Post Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:21 am

Posts: 391
He was just a couple of decades ahead of today's marketing gurus with their "branding".

And a little behind others (Like Triumph and Norton) who used company colors on racers previous to H-D by many years!
Robbie


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