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Other Beasts => Other Bikes => Topic started by: London_Phil on January 20, 2021, 12:01:09 PM

Title: The Liberator
Post by: London_Phil on January 20, 2021, 12:01:09 PM
So this is my 42WLA, one of the last 500 ever made duringWW2

Its a late 1945 build with a 750cc Sidevalve V twin engine.
I love it very much....

It was sent to Greece under Lend/Lease, and came back via a large consignment of bits to Pratts HD of Greenwich, where I bought it in 1984 ( I think)
It was mostly complete, but I had to buy a speedo from a Local Hells Angel ( a real one)
I gave him some cash, and he never delivered, until I found out Dr Maz Harris (a senior HA member) was  neighbour to a friend of my mum. She told him over the fence, and about a week later, I got a knock at the door from a very sheepish HA member, with a speedo in a box....True story...
I actually rode it most days as a lad, until I rolled it on a tight corner when I hit a pothole a few years later.. ( no rear suspension)
It spend 30 years being left in friends garages/gardens, and finally in my garage, where in 2017 I finally started to rebuilt it, and got it done just in time for the Distinguished Gentlemen's  Charity ride in London in Sept 2019.
Most items were original, and its still about 80-90% Original.
Between 2019-2021 I did more miles on this than on the 800....so very few...
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: ghulst on January 20, 2021, 12:07:37 PM
That is one amazing looking bike! I would love to try something that old. I think it is probably a whole different riding experience. Glad you restored it!

Oh, and love that HA story. I have heard plenty like it, sometimes in different settings where a group has a code to live by. If you break the code, you will get told off. ;)
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: London_Phil on January 20, 2021, 12:17:39 PM
Foot Clutch and 3 speeds on the tank.....
I had to fit a hand clutch to assist me, as riding in traffic was a nightmare...

Re The HA story

http://hellsangelsmckent.com/maz-memorial/

He lived near us, as I said, and as Bikers, we new a few of the local Chapter.
Never had any issue, we were too far down the food chain.

Been to some interesting places, including some nights with the Road Rats Mc London, in a pub near Tower Bridge......
I think I used to have a social life!!!!!
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: Nick Calne on January 20, 2021, 04:06:43 PM
Not normally a fan of harleys, generally being a bit chromophobic, but that is nice Phil, very nice and what a great back story.  WW2 couldn't kill, 30 years of London skies couldn't kill it, you nearly killed it but yet it survives.
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: London_Phil on January 20, 2021, 04:18:37 PM
Not normally a fan of harleys, generally being a bit chromophobic, but that is nice Phil, very nice and what a great back story.  WW2 couldn't kill, 30 years of London skies couldn't kill it, you nearly killed it but yet it survives.

I think it and I have an angry stand off regarding who finishes who.....
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: ghulst on January 20, 2021, 04:46:17 PM
Well, apparently mechanical revenge is a beautiful thing... ;)
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 04:50:10 PM
I have enough trouble riding modern bikes, wouldn't know where to start if the clutch/gears were in a different place (although I did once own a Suzuki TS100 whose clutch was relocated to the lane at the foot of our garden).
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 21, 2021, 01:09:45 PM
Well done Phil, nice to see the hard work was worth it.

I heard a rumour that some of those accessories are still available for sale at Trump Rallies  :augie
Title: Re: The Liberator
Post by: Geoff W on January 25, 2021, 12:20:13 PM
Dr Maz Harris used to knock around with a friend of mine , when Maz was doing his PhD. My friend Chris has no interest in bikes, but he took Maz and a few others on a canal barge holiday in the Midlands. They would cruise from pub to pub by day , settle in a pub for the night. In the morning they would fire up the boat, take a load of amphetamines to clear the mental cobwebs and set off for a couple of hours cruise to the next pub. They managed a fortnight of that and returned the boat in surprisingly good condition.
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