Harley re-acquires the company from AMF in 1981. Harley needed to restore its reputation. The years under AMF had left Harley with a dismal record of quality and a big debt. Harley had to do something fast to turn this around.
FXR was the first line of bikes introduced to start changing the way Harley was thought of. The FXR line was built around a new frame that the lightest and the most tiff of competing big V-Twin bikes. Powered by the 81.6 cubic inch V-twin made them the fastest Harleys. Also, the vibration was reduced and oil stains on the concrete became just a memory.
The FXR line was also considered the best handling to date of any Harley. Higher ground clearance allowed deeper lean angles. The FXR’s were said to be designed for riders and not for the corporate accountants. They were known as the “ugly” Harleys. But, hell, I would argue that and most diehard FXR owners would too.