In a recent tour of the impressive collection of vintage motorcycles at the Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson Dealership in Phoenix, I became fascinated by the military hardware. Buddy has bikes of every make, model and vintage, but a pair of WWII motorcycles really sparked my interest.
The first WWII motorcycle that I encountered was a 1942 Indian. The bike’s 750cc power-plant shows the iconic V-twin configuration that has become the paradigm in American motorcycle history. While it is a really intriguing motorcycle, the Indian WWII offering never approached the use and acceptance of bikes built by Harley-Davidson.
It was another American 1942 military offering that really garnered my attention. Buddy told me that while Harley produced over 82,000 military WLA (V-twin) models, only 999 of the XA were made. The Harley-Davidson XA is the only shaft-drive motorcycle that the company ever produced. It has has an opposed twin engine that is similar to the BMW motorcycles of the day. The rifle in the scabbard is a WWII Thompson sub-machine gun that Buddy has actually fired. Interestingly, the Harley XA has a left-hand throttle which allows the rider to shoot while riding.
So Buddy Stubbs has a pair of the coolest motorcycles used in the American war effort in WWII. Watch AAB for an upcoming article on military motorcycles from around the world.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com