Harley-Davidson 42 WLA Type IV June 1943 Engine number 42WLA49842
The Harley-Davidson 42WLA engine number 49842 Type IV belongs to a vintage motorcycle that was manufactured in approximately June 1943. Based on available data, Harley-Davidson produced around 42WLA 38229 to 42WLA 50828 models between April 1943 and August 1943.
It has been fully restored using almost entirely original parts, right down to the smallest detail. The WLA is 100% complete and over 90% of the parts used are original OEM parts. This vintage motorcycle has been driven for 275 miles on the road and comes with a Dutch registration, tool set, tire pump, various manuals, and a windscreen. The saddle, Thompson Scabbard, and saddlebags are finished in a darker brown, but we can provide a light brown set upon request. For any inquiries, please feel free to contact Clements Militaria who can also assist with shipping arrangements if needed.
This vehicle has now sold, but feel free to check out Clements Militaria and the great photos below.
History of the Harley Davidson WLA
The Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle was built for the US Army during World War II. Harley-Davidson was awarded a contract to supply the military with motorcycles in 1940, and the WLA was the result. The WLA was based on the civilian WL model, but modified for military use.
Production of the WLA began in 1940, and by the end of the war, over 90,000 had been built. The WLA was used extensively during the war, primarily by the US Army, but also by other Allied forces. The motorcycle was used for a variety of tasks, including reconnaissance, courier duties, and escorting convoys.
- Engine: 45-degree V-twin OHV, air-cooled
- Displacement: 45 cubic inches (739 cc)
- Bore x Stroke: 2.75 in. x 3.81 in. (69.9 mm x 96.8 mm)
- Compression Ratio: 6.5:1
- Fuel System: Single Linkert Carburetor
- Ignition: Battery, coil, and breaker points
- Transmission: 4-speed constant mesh
- Primary Drive: Chain-driven, wet clutch
- Final Drive: Chain-driven
- Suspension: Telescopic fork front suspension, swingarm rear suspension
- Brakes: Drum brakes on both wheels
- Wheels/Tires: 16-inch steel rims, 5.00×16 tires
- Length: 90 inches (2.29 m)
- Width: 35 inches (0.89 m)
- Height: 42 inches (1.07 m)
- Seat Height: 27 inches (0.69 m)
- Ground Clearance: 6.5 inches (0.17 m)
- Weight: 560 lbs (254 kg)
- Top Speed: Approximately 65 mph (105 km/h)
Note that these specifications may vary slightly depending on the specific model and year of the WLA.
Post WW2 history
After World War II, many surplus Harley Davidson WLA motorcycles were sold to the civilian market, and some were even used by police departments and other law enforcement agencies. The design of the WLA also influenced the development of subsequent Harley Davidson motorcycles, including the civilian model WL, and the later FL and FX models.
During the Korean War, the United States military once again used the WLA as a reliable and durable motorcycle for reconnaissance and other tasks. Harley Davidson continued to produce the WLA for the US military until 1952, when it was replaced by the more modern Harley Davidson MT350E.
Today, the Harley Davidson WLA is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, both for its historical significance and its rugged and iconic design. Many WLA motorcycles have been restored to their original condition, and some are still in use in military reenactments and other events.