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Thread: D-Day WLA

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    D-Day WLA

    Ok Guys...
    Here goes nothing...
    (Or I should say "Here goes a boatload of dollars!")

    Long story...
    I have taken the plunge into the world of Flatheads.
    With the help of Axeric, I recently purchased a 1942 WLA.

    Came out of a collection of a man that, as I understand, was one of the great and decent guys of the vintage bike world that recently passed away...
    (I'll certainly keep his friends' and family's memory in mind as I take this forward.)

    I will not go into too much detail as to how it came to be, but the great Axeric went way above and beyond in helping me acquire - Even spending the day helping me pick it up, and assisting in getting it delivered.

    I'll never be able to pay back his generosity of time and his lessons in exactly how far you can go in a pickup with the gas gauge BELOW empty.
    (...Yes this is a great story that I'll tell you some time.)

    Anyhoo...
    I would love to hear some honest opinions from you experts as to what your thoughts are regarding what I have gotten myself into...
    (...The good, the bad, repop parts, original stuff, etc.... Basically, what do you guys see here?)

    Background is that it came out of Europe circa 2003-ish, and has not run in many years.
    It looks mostly there, but is pretty rough.
    My brief research tells me that it is a hodge-podge of the different WLA types (of which there were 7).

    It is still in transit to my place, but I did take some pics that I will attempt to post using Postimage.org (free).

    Also hoping I can lean on the board as I begin my education in the finer points of getting this beast back on the road.
    (I'll use this thread as the basis.

    Thanks in advance guys!
    Pics to follow...
    Last edited by D-Day Mpls; 05-02-2018 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: D-Day WLA




  3. #3

    Re: D-Day WLA

    Looks like a mighty fine start to a great project! Pin down the type and go for it.

  4. #4
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    Re: D-Day WLA

    Quote Originally Posted by chibobber View Post
    Looks like a mighty fine start to a great project! Pin down the type and go for it.
    Thanks Chibobber!
    Motor number and front fender suggest a Type V (Late 1943?), but the air cleaner is very early (I think??).
    Again, all opinions are welcome.
    D.

  5. #5

    Re: D-Day WLA

    Looks like the round oil bath unit on the 1942 WLC model with a 1943 WLC pinhole running light. First thing, if you haven't already done so, is buy Bruce Palmer's book on Military bikes(the new one) it will help.Then get the parts manual and service manual, both have been reprinted.. I have 3 WLC's all restored but do not know my WLA different types very well. Hit Wauseon and other meets as many NOS parts are still out there. Way Back Wheels and David Sarifan are two respected vendors that are at most meets. There are others and a couple in Europe as well. Great bike and 45's are my favourite ride.

  6. #6
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    Location
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    Re: D-Day WLA

    Hi Ross,
    Great advice on Palmer's book... Have it in hand! (Autographed, no less).

    Great catch on a couple of things...
    It is indeed a WLC oil bath (...but also very early WLA).
    (Was having a hard time identifying, and did not think to look in the WLC section of the book.)

    Also WLC are the front pinhole light, and rear tail lights.

    Interesting about the lights being WLC, as this is is a WLA front end/rockers, etc.

    Thanks for the input, Ross.
    Let me know if you notice anything else.
    Last edited by D-Day Mpls; 05-02-2018 at 01:57 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: D-Day WLA

    The bike pictured appears to be a WLC, not WLA.
    If you want the ultimate resource of information you need Bruce Palmer's excellent book.
    http://www.howtorestoreyourharleydav...d=5&Itemid=106
    Chris Haynes
    A.M.C.A. Member
    Costco Member
    I can't Re Member
    http://vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/
    Be sure to register so you can view large photos

  8. #8

    Re: D-Day WLA

    WLC for sure but engine may be WLA. Serial number will tell you that. Going to be a great project.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Re: D-Day WLA

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    The bike pictured appears to be a WLC, not WLA.
    If you want the ultimate resource of information you need Bruce Palmer's excellent book.
    http://www.howtorestoreyourharleydav...d=5&Itemid=106
    Book is in hand, Chris.
    I actually think it is a mix of both WLA and WLC parts...

    - WLA fork, rocker, and front fender, kick starter.
    - WLC blackout light set-up, WLC Oil bath (Possibly both).

    Pouring over Palmer's book now to identify other parts.

    Thanks, Chris.
    D.

  10. #10
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    Re: D-Day WLA

    Quote Originally Posted by Paps View Post
    WLC for sure but engine may be WLA. Serial number will tell you that. Going to be a great project.
    Hi Paps!
    So glad you chimed in!

    Engine is a WLA number (but the engine looks to be kind of a mess).

    Any help you have for me will be greatly appreciated!
    D.
    Last edited by D-Day Mpls; 05-02-2018 at 03:23 PM.

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