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750cc 1942 Harley-Davidson XA

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by DisgruntledDog, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. #1 DisgruntledDog, Nov 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I know a few pictures have been posted before but I don't believe the video has been.


    A bit more info on it here.
  2. Wow, Foot gear change, opposed pistons and a drive shaft.... Hang on... does that sound familiar???
  3. I always though that they got the engines from russia in the 40's, after they came upon the tooling for the R71 BMW to make their Ural M71's.
    Harley davisdon also used their side cars off the M72's on their WLA's.

    I can see why they wanted a better motor, 45WL engines don't pump oil without help, they overheat and the oil tank burns your knee, they rivited the rear sprockets on, the air filter uses oil, they don't stay in neutral i could crap on but they really are horrible to ride and the only cool part about it is the suicide shift.
  4. Haha I love how the old advertising really DOES show the toughness of their machines, never thought I'd see a harley in the air :p

    These days everything is CGI and just claiming toughness.

  5. #5 QuarterWit, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Or that painful, painful marketing talk. Ugh.

    I read a report a while ago from a couple that have done over 500,000k's on their Harley. Over sand dunes, through jungle and swamps and miles and miles of road. That's the sorta stuff I'd buy a bike for!

    Cool Video Dog, thanks for posting. WW2 videos ftw [media=youtube]mh4zt_8tZYM[/media]
  6. Thanks for that, really enjoyed it! Saw one of the WLA's at a recent bike rally, it ended up winning 'Best Unrestored' - complete with original green paint and leather scabbard, if you don't mind!

    Cheers - boingk
  7. It was designed for service in North Africa because the "normal" Harleys had serious overheating problems and the sand wore the chains and sprockets out very quickly. Both Indian and Harley-Davidson submitted designs for consideration.

    Indian submitted a 90 degree transverse V-Twin (not unlike modern Moto-Guzzis) and 1000 of each were produced for a full evaluation. Both had shaft drive and hand clutches and foot shifts.

    The Indian Military Model 841

    They were apparently very good but by the time the evaluation period was over the war in North Africa was pretty well finished and they never went to production. By the end of 1944 the jeep pretty much superseded the bikes. Apparently at least half of the Harleys made are still around and a lot fewer of the Indians