Wild File: Rayborn Reborn

Adrenalin-moto's modern tribute to the man

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Adrenalin-Moto

Matt Purdy has been thinking about this bike since the day he saw Cal Rayborn rock the Anglo-American Match Races at Brands Hatch in 1972. Good job he's done a bit of hammering on Milwaukee iron since then. Purdy's Trojan Horse Racing Buells have been running orange-and-black livery for a decade, winning the UK's Auto 66 Sound of Thunder Championship with an XB9/12R and founding the UK Thunderbike Series in 2006. When Harley-Davidson launched the XR1200 in '08, he had the perfect foundation for a fresh take on Rayborn's iron warhorse.

The XR Purdy & Co. started with was already a rolling Adrenalin-Moto catalog. Much of the heavy lifting was already done, but the transformation from conventional café racer to neo-retro tribute took a fair bit more perspiration.

An ordinary fiberglass Ducati 900SS-style fairing came out of surgery with a Green Filter cold-air induction system and a pair of tiny projector-beam headlamps. After slipping on a matching fiberglass front fender, side panels, a Jewel Racer fuel-tank cover and a Trofeo racing seat, Paint My Ride-located, like Adrenalin-Moto, in Darlington, England-laid down the immaculate homage to Harley's factory racing colors.

An active intake-valve emulator gets the stock airbox inlet valve out of the way, allowing the 73 cubic-inch V-twin to inhale more cold air. A Dynojet Power Commander provides enough extra fuel to go with it. Brisk surface-discharge plugs light the fire, and a Free Spirits RS-412 exhaust system dispenses with whatever is left. A Muller clutch modulates power with much less effort than the standard version.

Billet-aluminum riser blocks bolted to Bitubo shocks increase cornering clearance and quicken steering thanks to an extra 2 inches of rear ride height, and a Bitubo steering damper keeps it from getting too quick.

There are more tasty bits and bobs involved in this transformation than we can list here, but this much seems fairly obvious. Somewhere, Calvin Rayborn II is smiling.

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