Motorcycles of War: Two Legendary WWII Weapons

HarleyMilGunSmallIn 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.

IndianSmallThe 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.

XAcroppedIt 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

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