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Old 01-28-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default Pointers on finding my project

I'm brand new to full rebuild projects, and relatively new to bikes, so if you find I'm assuming too much don't scold me too badly...I just need a few pointers from the vets.

As I stated I am looking for a (nearly) full rebuild project, I have most all the tools you could ever ask for at my disposal, from the very basics through the finishing touches (painting etc.). I need help, however, on how to go about finding the bike. I do not know if it would be possible (I have little concept of rarity in this case), but I would love to find a World War II Harley-Davidson (WLC or XA most likely) that needs a rebuild...something to make my own.

Would it be possible for me to come across one of these that isn't rusted beyond repair or already fully restored? Where would you recommend I look? I have a while until I can start this project, but would like to start looking now. There may be a multitude of things I haven't considered, if so throw me some ideas.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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Go to Walneck's Cycle Trader. It's a printed little mag, and is also on the 'net at ttp://www.walnecks.com/ . (Add an h at the front of that, and copy-n-paste into your browser address bar.)
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by McCarb View Post
.... I would love to find a World War II Harley-Davidson (WLC or XA most likely) that needs a rebuild...something to make my own.
Me too. I've never seen one offered in 40 years.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:22 AM   #4
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If you did find an old WWII Harley somewhere, you will pay a huge premium even if it is a complete basket case. A horrible example will probably be 10G or more to start. Then add in all the parts, and you will put 20G into that project easy, and that is even if you do most of the work yourself, and by looking at your experience level, I doubt you will do all that much of it. Start an old Triumph or BSA basket to get your feet wet. If you get through one of those, then you will get the idea of what a build takes, and you will have a realistic expectation of the time and cash involved. If you hate it, you won't be stuck with a huge outlay of cash and time. Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:43 AM   #5
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+1 on LR's post.

Get a bike that has a large support base. Harley and Triumph are two of the biggest. You'll need a lot of parts and advice and documentation to build something worth having.

I've been involved in rebuild/restorations of both a 64 Duoglide and a couple of '70s Triumphs. They are about the same level of difficulty and frustration.

Be patient. Figure out what you want to end up with, then take a calm approach to finding the bike.

IMO, a 45 Harley is not a good idea. Hard to find, expensive as hell, and the finished product is not all that roadworthy. If you are really that smitten with the WLA, find a mid-90's SofTail (Evo motor) and make it look like one.

Best of luck to you, whatever you decide to do!
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