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Harley-Davidson Motorcycles of the 1940s

The 1940s Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Channel features early motorcycles and their stories. Check out vintage Harleys at HowStuffWorks.

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1949 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide

The 1949 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide motorcycle was popular with riders for its modern design, comfortable ride and larger front brake. It also featured modern telescopic forks. See pictures and a profile of the 1949 Harley FL Hydra-Glide.


1947 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car

The 1947 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car was made for auto repair shops making house calls. The mechanic could also hitch the rear bumper of the car with a tow bar and take it back to the garage. Learn about this versatile workaday Harley-Davidson model.

1949 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide

The 1949 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide motorcycle was popular with riders for its modern design, comfortable ride and larger front brake. It also featured modern telescopic forks. See pictures and a profile of the 1949 Harley FL Hydra-Glide.

1942 Harley-Davidson WLA and XA

The 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle and Harley-Davidson XA motorcycle were weapons of World War II. Wearing the requisite Olive Drab paint, these were 45-cubic-inch V-twins fitted with special wartime equipment. Learn about these Harleys.

1948 Harley-Davidson FL

The 1948 Harley-Davidson FL motorcycle introduced Harley's overhead-valve Panhead engine. More chrome trim pieces gave the bikes a fancier look and a steering-head lock was added. See pictures and learn about the Harley FL motorcycle.

1948 Harley-Davidson S-125

The Harley-Davidson S-125 motorcycle was a popular civilian bike in the wake of World War II. Producing only three horsepower, the S-125 had a tough time reaching 55 miles per hour. See pictures and learn more about the Harley S-125.

1948 Harley-Davidson WL

The 1948 Harley-Davidson WL motorcycle was one of the last Harleys with a small V-twin. It proved to be a versatile engine that remained in production for more than four decades. See pictures and learn more about the 1948 Harley-Davidson WL.