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Pete Zylstra Pete Zylstra

Harley-Davidson engineer that helped design several racing engines in the XR program.

Peter Zylstra was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1939. He raced Nortons at the national and international levels and studied mechanical engineering before coming to the United States in 1968. Zylstra joined the Harley-Davidson engineering department in 1969, just as the Motor Company was beginning work on its new XR750 dirt track engine. Zylstra helped design the alloy heads and the chassis for the production racer that appeared in 1972. With its arrival, he transferred to the racing department on a full-time basis. Over the next two decades, he worked with the XR program and helped design several experimental racing engines that were never put into production. Today Zylstra works in the Parts and Accessory Division where he still provides parts and technical support to the owners of XR750 dirt track racers. For them, the name Zylstra is synonymous with the long-lived and legendary XR750.