In 1939, the Harley-Davidson Motors Co. released an army version of the WL – Harley-Davidson WLA, specially designed for the U.S. military. Even though its competitor, Indian Motorcycle Co., supplied its motorcycles for the army as well, it was primarily Harley-Davidson WLA that was actively used in military operations.
Harley-Davidson WLA was equipped with a twin-cylinder, V-type, L-head engine with a capacity of 739 cc and a maximum power of 23 hp at 4,500 rpm; it featured a 3-speed gearbox and special military-purpose equipment: ammo box, machine-gun support, rear mounting. The model also had two large leather pouches; well-developed tread plies; a low seat with a soft central spring, large flat footrests, a wide steering wheel with backward-curved handles, large safety rails, and controls on the petrol tank, which included battery charge control lamps. The motorcycle was equipped with standard U.S. army vehicle lightning. The Harley-Davidson WLA was often called “Liberator”.
A total of less than 80 thousand WLA 42 motorcycles were produced, and after the war, the surplus was sold to the general public. Usually, excessive equipment was taken off and the motorcycle was customized.
|Manufacturer||Harley-Davidson Motors Co., Milwaukee (Wisconsin, USA)|
|Years of manufacture||1939 – 1944|
|Quantity produced, units||about 80 000|
|Today’s value||6 382,9 $|
|ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION|
|Type||twin-cylinder, 4-stroke, V-type (cylinders arranged at 45 degrees ), L-head, carburetor|
|Engine capacity, cc||740|
|Bore and stroke, mm||69.85 х 96.85|
|Engine rating||23 h.p. at 4500 rpm|
|Sparking||Battery type, right-side kickstarter arrangement|
|FRAME AND WHEELBASE|
|Frame type||Tubular duplex|
|Wheel size||4,00 х 18|
|Ground clearance, mm||
|Seat height, mm||
|Gas tank size, l||
|Maximum speed, km/h||