One Big Family
Back In The Day
This site is dedicated to the construction of a 1942 (mostly)
Harley-Davidson WLA 45" Flathead that my son, Kade, and I built together.
Construction was from the frame up, starting with a bare
frame, most of the engine parts in a box, and a few pieces of sheet metal so its been an interesting
journey starting in the fall of 2002.
After acquiring most of the parts and getting it 90% together,
it sat untouched throughout 2004 and half of 2005. One of the big
hang-ups was the fabrication of
the belt drive motor
pulley. After finally getting it made we put it on, put gas in it,
kicked it a couple of times, it fired, and it ran like it just returned
from the tune-up shop and had been running
all it's life... no adjustments, no tweaking, perfect! That was June 17, 2005.
The objective was to take one of the world's most
classic bikes and blend the old with the new to create a one of a kind motorcycle
that's just plain fun to ride, cool to look at, and gives us endless stories to
talk about. We
used many new reproduction or NOS parts to keep the
old-school look and feel while adding some new-school touches.
|Rebuilt motor with WLDR cams|
|Oversized pistons and machined, high compression heads|
|4-Speed BSA A-10 transmission |
|Exposed, 40mm belt-drive primary |
|Norton-style clutch and pressure plates|
|Hand clutch, custom forward controls, left-side foot shift|
|Mikuni 34mm carburetor, conventional petcock with reserve|
|Magneto ignition, high-capacity condenser, keyed lights and kill
|12 volt generator, lighting, solid-state regulator, battery eliminator|
|Hydraulic front disc brake, new chrome rear drum|
|Chrome reproduction rear wheel, Yamaha front, matched Maxxis Classic
|Big Twin springer fork with sealed roller bearings in neck|
|Desert Camouflage paint (US Army does Tribal flames and
|Custom solo seat, springs, and Master Sergeant's bars and rockers
This bike cost far more in time, money, and patience than
either of us expected, but it was... and is a heck of a nice bike and we
had a hell of a lot of fun in the process. Kade has become quite the
machinist, painter, and upholsterer and really did an outstanding job with
all the different aspects of this bike. Thanks to the folks who
still sell parts for this thing... we've come to know them well.
All in all, it turned out to be exactly what we
wanted... A motorcycle classic, a head turner, a conversation piece,
and a super fun, dependable bike to ride.
Michigan Motorcycle Operators Manual
Harley-Davidson Technical Manual, War Department October 1943 (5.3mb)
Harley-Davidson Service Manual Servicar and SV (28mb)