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1942 Military Harley Davidson WLA For Sale

1942 Military Harley Davidson WLA, This exceptionally well restored 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA is one of 50, 000 or so produced for the military during World War II, but of that number, surprisingly few have survived. A far smaller number have been restored to their original specifications like this machine, which is a textbook case of how to complete a restoration the right way. This 1942 WLA comes complete with the proper military air cleaner, skid plate, crash bars, leather saddlebags and a leather scabbard with non-firing sub-machine gun—in other words, all the bells and whistles for a proper military motorcycle. Harley-Davidson had been supplying motorcycles to the US Army since the 1910s, although on a limited basis in the 1920s, which gradually ramped up in the 1930s. The first WL series military motorcycle—the 37WL—was delivered in 1937; fewer than 60 were built, and it was virtually indistinguishable from the civilian WL’s built for that year.

It wasn’t until 1939 that a prototype WLA (A for Army) appeared, only two of which were built for testing. These differed from street models in their skirtless fenders, the skid plate protecting the crankcase, low-compression cylinder heads, a speedometer with no trip meter, a new air cleaner and other details that made it a far more suitable motorcycle for the rigors of military use. The first production WLAs appeared in 1940, but only 421 model 40WLAs were built. Almost 2, 500 of the 41WLAs were built, but with the declaration of war at the end of that year, WLA production became fixed on the 1942 model: the 42WLA produced from September 1941 until the end of the war in the Pacific in August 1945. There were small changes in production, but as all parts were interchangeable, it was likely thought to ease confusion by keeping the model number the same throughout the duration of the war. Thus, every WLA built from September 1941 to August 1945 has a 1942 engine number, but the actual year of production is stamped on the crankcase as well. This machine was actually built in 1942 and used was used by the military Police before being discovered in Holland. It is now in excellent shape receiving its top-tier restoration including a Damian Eggs mechanical rebuild. This legendary model is known as “the bike that won the war.”
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