1958 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster
Introduced in 1957, the Sportster came to define Harley-Davidson performance even though it was initially criticized by reviewers and buyers as nothing more than a low-powered touring motorcycle. The Sportster’s engine was the first 55-cubic inch, overhead-valve unit offered by Harley-Davidson. Models built in 1958 benefitted from improvements in cylinder head design derived from racing that allowed for a higher compression ratio and greater horsepower. The Sportster later became the basis for racing models like the XLR and the XR-750.
Collection of Loren Carpenter