1942 Harley-Davidson Model WLA

Model WLA, which was the military version of the popular civilian Harley-Davidson WL model.

The Model WLA was specifically designed for use by the US military during World War II, and over 90,000 were produced between 1940 and 1945. It was powered by a 45 cubic inch (745cc) flathead V-twin engine, which produced around 23 horsepower.

Like the civilian version, the Model WLA had a hand-shift, foot-clutch configuration, and a three-speed transmission. However, it had a number of modifications to make it more suitable for military use, such as a black-out lighting system, which allowed the motorcycle to be driven at night without revealing its position to the enemy. It also had larger fenders and a reinforced frame and suspension to better handle the rigors of off-road riding.

The Model WLA was widely used by the US military during World War II, and saw service in a variety of roles, including as a reconnaissance vehicle and messenger bike. After the war, many surplus Model WLA motorcycles were sold to civilians and were popular as civilian motorcycles.

Today, the 1942 Harley-Davidson Model WLA is a highly sought-after collector's item, and is prized by motorcycle enthusiasts and military history buffs alike.

Descriptions and pictures by bonhams

Production Start 1942
Country of origin USA