Web Analytics

 Harley Davidson - 750 WLA & WLC 45
 Back to brands list

Harley Davidson WLA & WLC 45 motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 750
Model : WLA & WLC 45
Production : 1942 - 1948
Category : (On-Off) Military


750 WLA 45 – 1946

The Harley Davidson 750 WLA 45 is an American made military motorcycle built between 1942 and 1946. It has v-twin, four stroke 747 cc engine; with a top speed of 75 mph (120.7 km/h).

When America entered World War II, the US Army chose the 750cc WL 45 Harley- Davidson as its standard military motorcycle. Harley-Davidson produced 90,000 of these sidevalve "Milwaukee Hawgs" for the aimed forces between 1942 and 1946.

Used by the Police

However, the American top brass had never considered the motorbike as a front-line fighting machine. Particularly during World War II, American military motorbikes were used for liaison work and by the Military Police. Incapable of making progress through the jungle during the war in the Japanese theatre, rendered immobile by winter weather in Germany and the Ardennes overshadowed by the ubiquitous Jeep in Normandy, the Harley WLA was predominantly used by the police.

Indestructible Machine

The WLA was basically the civilian WL 45 launched in 1929 and updated in 1937. Harley-Davidson had gained much valuable experience from the police version of the WL 45. This experience made the WLA virtually indestructible. It was used by the Military Police right through the war. The engine was still in production 50 years after its launch, powering the utility Servi-Car three-wheeler. Work had proceeded in connection with the WLA on a lighter military model, the BMW inspired 750cc XA 45, which had a flat-twin engine and shaft drive. Only 1000 were built before the end of the war.


Engine: 747cc four-stroke V-twin

Power output: 21 hp

Valves: side-valves

Fuel system single carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed hand-change gearbox; chain final drive

Suspension: (front) leading link; (rear) rigid

Brakes: (front) drum; (rear) drum

Wheels: wire

Maximum speed: 75 mph

With its huge saddle and leather rifle holster, the wartime Harley-Davidson recalled the American Old West.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.