Harley WLA motorcycle, built in 1943, 2 a condition from private collection, 100% ready to run and maintain.
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The WLA is a model of Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which produces became a U.S. Army specifications in the years around World War II and in. It was on an existing civilian model, the basis WL, and the 45 solo type, so named by its 45 cubic inches (740 cc) engine and single-rider design. The same engine in a slightly lower state of tune, the three-wheeled Servi-Car driven (the "G" family), which differed to the "solo".
The model number is as follows:
W: W family of motorcycles. Harley Davidson (except in very early models) gives a letter designation for each model family. The W-series at the time was the latest incarnation of the 45 cubic inches (740 cc) Flathead engine and was developed from the earlier R family 1932-1936.
L: "high compression" in the usual HD scheme. The "low compression" W model was only briefly available.
A: Army. The company would also produce a model of the slightly different specifications of the Canadian Army, the name would WLC. The WLC was different from Vlas mainly in the use of some heavier components, usually Big Twin parts and Canadian blackout lighting.
Pvt Robert J Vance, of Portland, Oregon, his bike as a messenger of the 33rd Armored Regiment of the 3rd Armoured Division in the fields of Normandy in late July, 1944.
Harley-Davidson began producing the WLA in small numbers in 1940, as part of a general military expansion. The subsequent entry of the United States into World War II saw significantly increased production by over 90,000 during the war (along with spare parts corresponds much more) is produced. Harley Davidson would also produce a close WLA variant called WLC for the Canadian army, and would also smaller numbers in Great Britain, South Africa and other allies, as well as filling orders for various models of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Is unusual in that all Vlas after Pearl Harbor, produced, regardless of the actual year was 1942, shows the production series numbers are given. How wars machines would come to be known as 42WLA s. This is in recognition of commitment to the continued use of the same specification were. Most WLC were produced in 1943 and labeled 43WLC. The exact serial number, and casting marks can be used to accurately date a particular engine, and some other parts bear year and month stamps. Frames and many other parts were not marked with the serial number, and can not be dated in general. (This is common before the adoption of the VIN).
Many Vlas would be sent to allies under the Lend-Lease program. The largest recipient was the Soviet Union, which has sold over 30,000 Vlas.
The production of the SSC after the war would not, however, would be revived for the Korean War in the years 1949-1952.
Most Vlas in western hands after the war would be sold as surplus and "civilianized" that many motorcycles available at very low costs would lead to the rise of the chopper and other modified motorcycle styles, as well as the surrounding biker culture. Many a young soldier would come home to get the hope of a Harley-Davidson, as he saw or rode in the service, resulting in the postwar popularity of the motorcycle and the company in general.
But also ensured that some almost-original Vlas would survive in the U.S. or even Western Europe. A significant number of Vlas were abandoned in the Soviet Union and either stored or put into private hands. With little access to parts and no chopper culture and no export route to the West, many of these Vlas were preserved during the Cold War. Russia and other former Soviet republics are now an important source of Vlas and parts.
[Edit] Military Changes
SSC originally mostly restored to Russia
The SSC is very similar to civilian models, specifically the WL. Among the changes so that it is a military model:
Paint and other finishes: lacquered surfaces were painted in olive green or black and usually chrome - plated or parts usually have blued or parkerized finish or white. Some parts were left as unfinished aluminum. However, Harley Davidson was apparently stopped in the very practical use of existing parts and processes, and many versions in their bright civilian versions for some time, and are performed in some cases for the entire production.
Light Blackout: To reduce the visibility at night, Vlas were equipped with a second set of blackout headlights and taillights.
Fenders: clogged up mud to reduce, the pages were removed the standard fenders.
Accessories: a heavy-duty luggage carrier (for radios), ammunition box, leather scabbard Thompson submachine gun, skid plate, shin guards and windshield could be used. Most came with at least a few of these accessories windshield or shin guards.
Air filter: oil bath air filter, which was originally used for tractors and other vehicles in dusty environments built to handle the dust from off-road use and easier area to enable maintenance. Oil bath cleaner require only the addition of standard motor oil instead of replaceable filter.
Fording depth: Changes to the crankcase ventilation system reduces the possibility of water absorption into the crankcase