1942 Harley-Davidson WLA 750cc Motorcycle with Dusting Sidecar
The Harley-Davidson V-twin was adopted by the United States military for service when that country entered the war in December 1941, the WLA (with 'A' standing for Army) proving a natural choice thanks to the rugged build quality and reliability. With higher compression and dry sump lubrication over the civilian W-series, the WLA also came with a blacked-out auxiliary bath, an oil bath air cleaner developed for use in North Africa, and a quieter fishtail exhaust system. Other features not found on the civilian model were pannier racks front and rear, a bash plate protecting the sump and the bikes were most often finished in drab olive. In total there were around 90,000 Harley-Davidson WLAs built during the war and they continued in service on all manner of fronts until the Korean conflict, with the flathead motor itself lasting in production right up to 1974. Popular with Harley-Davidson collectors, the WLA was the workhorse of its day and is now an ideal choice for weekend runs and club events.