Legendary Harley XRTT Racer Headed to Auction
‘Goliath’ was a true triple threat in its day, setting records as a land speed, road, and drag racer.
Harley-Davidson has had its fair share of racing success over the years, that goes without saying. But while most racing bikes are built with one specific purpose in mind, this particular Harley XRTT has done it all. From road racing to the drag strip to the Bonneville Salt Flats. And now, the amazing machine fittingly known as “Goliath” is set to cross the block at the 2018 Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction.
It all started back in 1979, when San Francisco native and racer Vance Breese teamed up with builder Alan Sputhe to construct the ultimate do-it-all machine. Sputhe, engineer and owner of Sputhe Engineering Company, designed and manufactured many of the engine’s performance parts, including the big bore aluminum heads and barrels. Over time, the bike evolved as the team set their sites on making it a triple threat in land speed, drag, and road racing.
And the result was quite impressive. In 1980, the Harley XRTT recorded a 10.554-second quarter mile pass, set an SCTA Bonneville National MPS-AG class record at 176.615 mph, and became the AFM series Unlimited Class road racing champion. Perhaps even more amazingly, the bike continued to evolve and race through 1989. It was then that John Cronshaw rode Goliath to a class lap record at Oulton Park in the U.K.
In 1996, Duncan Keller of Yankee Engineuity, Inc. obtained the historic bike and set out to restore it. A full 150 hours went into making it roadworthy once again. Today, Goliath lives on as a testament to what is truly capable on two wheels, accomplishing feats that no bike might ever reach, ever again. Credit one tough Harley XRTT, of course. But also the genius and vision of two legends of the sport.