1952 Harley-Davidson KRTT

Back to the beach on the 1955 Daytona-winning Harley Davidson KRTT

| March/April 2006

1952 Harley-Davidson KRTT

Claimed power: 46hp
Top speed: 140mph
Engine type: 750cc Air-cooled flathead, 45-degree V-twin, two valves per cylinder
Fuel capacity: 19ltr (5gal) 

As chaps-wearing, tattooed and pierced bikers watch check-book choppers and custom Harleys inch their way down Main Street, just a couple of miles away on Daytona Beach history is being revisited in the form of a 1952 Harley-Davidson KRTT.

It’s March 2005, Daytona Bike Week, Daytona, Fla. I’m at Ponce Inlet on the south side of the old Daytona 200-mile course. The glaring sunshine is cutting into my eyes and eating through the sunblock that’s trying to protect my wickedly white skin. I’m staring at a black speck near the lighthouse at the end of a mile of pure white, hard-packed sand. The speck is getting rapidly bigger as the roar of a V-twin flathead running straight pipes gets louder and louder.

Rrrrraaappp! Rrrrraaappp! Rrrrraaappp! Dale Walksler flashes past, the Harley-Davidson KRTT flat out in third gear as he nudges 100mph. Then it’s time for him to sit up and haul on the brakes before he runs through the markers and into the nature conservation area.  He really shouldn't be enjoying himself so much — the police have only given him a permit to run at up to 50mph on the sands — but nobody is complaining. And what the hell. This bike was made to run hard.

The battered and bruised Harley is no ordinary flathead. This is the bike that Brad Andres used to win the Daytona 200 way back in 1955. And in 1959. And again in 1960. This is Harley-Davidson and Daytona history wrapped up in one neat package.

Order the March/April 2006 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read this article in its entirety. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email. 

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