Jay Springsteen (born April 15, 1957, in Flint, Michigan) is a professional motorcycle dirt track racer.
He began his professional racing career in 1975 by winning the American
Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Rookie of the Year award.
As a member of the Harley Davidson factory race team, he went on to win three consecutive A.M.A. Grand National Championships in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He accumulated 43 Grand National Championship dirt track victories during a career that spanned almost 30 years.
According to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction, Springsteen earned enough race winnings to live on by age 17 and by age 18, he was signed by the Harley-Davidson team. He finished fifth in the 2006 Daytona 200.
This up and coming classic bike was given the Matt Black treatment….
What does that mean?
Well.. the first thing is to improve the riding experience on the bike. The XR1200 is a lively bike to begin with, but every bike can be improved by shedding weight…
Installing carbon fibre on the bikes is the ultimate way to shed the dreaded performance killer. Carbon fibre wheels from BST in South Africa make a big difference on Harley Davidsons, improving turn in and also braking performance. On the XR they also installed a carbon fibre seat base and fender to shave off a few more grammes. Small differences made here mean they don’t have to find extra power from the engine later. Continuing the weight saving matt black looked to replace the swing arm with a bespoke aluminium box section version, again saving a kilo or more.
With the excess weight removed, the fully adjustable Ohlins FG 424 front forks and the Ohlins type 36 rear shocks can work to provide superb feedback to the rider allowing confidence inspiring a turn in and then gain traction out of the corners without compromising comfort. The radial callipers from Braking combined with Wave disks from Galfer provide impressive stopping power and feel.
The 1200 twin engine benefits from a stainless steel and carbon exhaust pipe from Termignoni which adds a few horsepower and an even greater sound like a growling angry bear staring at his keeper through the bars of a locked cage. other than that the engine has not been modified. It already has plenty of torque and revs to nearly 7000!!
Paintwork of this quality immediately stands out as something very special… Ray Hill was commissioned to drape the bike with a vision of race inspired timeless character, weaving iconic images of the great racer Jay Springsteen between the gold leaf and hand painted flames.
I got to ride the bike today from Cadiz to Marbella. Winding my way through the white villages of Andalucia in the scorching, oven-like heat of the unique southern Spanish sun…. getting lost, finding my way and getting lost again… riding the bike was more fun than taking notice of where I was going, So getting lost was a privilege. Riding through Grazalema, I felt like I was an alien visiting from Mars in a new spaceship. locals stopped and stared as if the truth was out… but it was just me riding around … lost… Ronda somehow emerged on a road sign out of the blue so I followed it and raced down to San Pedro like a real amateur pretending to be Rossi…
The XR makes you have fun, whether you like it or not. whether it is posing for photos or revving the engine at the lights for kids on their bicycles.
Halfway down a generic off the shelf kamasukibeemer superbike passes me on a bend but I don’t mind …. that bike is not mine… the real “Super” bike XR, for today, is. I am hoping I don’t get in too much trouble because I did not take her back to Matt Black. I took her home and she is downstairs in the garage… I get to ride her for a little bit longer….
would you like to spend time with her? pop down to Matt Black in southern Spain and see her for yourself.