Fapi Motors now has the 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Liberator.
This is a bike that was made to US army standards. In fact, it acquired the nickname since it was used by soldiers on the front defending Europe under siege. In 1939, the US military submitted proposals for a new service motorcycle to Harley-Davidson – initially, the army had been using civilian VL 74 CI models but these were deemed unfit for the impending war. This is how the 1942 WLA Liberator came about.
The W represents the W series of motorcycles, L refers to high compression and A stands for the army. Made very similarly to the civilian models, a couple of changes were implemented to make it look more like a military bike.
It is of the 45 solo type, because of its 45-cubic-inch engine displacement and single-rider design. The surfaces were painted either in olive drab or black and chrome. As regards the parts, a second set of blackout lights were installed to lessen night-time visibility, fenders were removed to reduce mud clogging and an oil bath air cleaner was added for the soldiers to be able to manoeuvre their way easily during off-roading. Additionally, most of the Liberators came with an ammo box, leg protectors, a skid plate and a windshield.
Those interested in seeing what is known as the ‘bike that won the war’ can visit Fapi Motors, Focus Building, Mdina Road, Attard. Fapi Motors is the mobility division within Famalco/Building Businesses.