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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Did you know that Harley-Davidson ever made a boxer-engine models?

Harley-Davidson (HD) is a motorcycle manufacturer known for its V-twin engined cruiser motorcycle models. But who would have thought that this American manufacturer had actually made a cruiser-style motorcycle with a boxer engine that we usually encounter on motorbikes made by a German's BMW Motorrad.
During World War II, the U.S. Army asked Harley-Davidson to produce a motorcycle as good as BMW's side-valve R71, and here's the result, Harley-Davidson XA. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3jOHwjz)
The boxer-engined cruiser motorcycle model made by the American manufacturer is the Harley-Davidson XA, which was born in the era of World War II. Before talking furthermore, it would be better if we first look the brief story of the Harley-Davidson XA birth.
Harley-Davidson WLA, another model beside the XA is manufactured as mainstay rides of American GI's during World War II. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/36Uf0to)
During the World War II situation at that time, previously it was known that Harley-Davidson produced military motorbikes called the Harley-Davidson WLA for the US. Army. However, it seems that the American military officials are not quite satisfied with the Harley-Davidson WLA performance in relating to the engine-heat problem, instead amazed by the performance of the BMW R71 used by the German military in various battlefronts, ranging of the heavy-snowy regions in Russia to wild-hot deserts in North Africa at the time.
1942 Harley-Davidson XA claimed to be able to overcome the heat engine problem on the Harley-Davidson WLA model. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3nHhG3I)
Why is that? Maybe because the BMW R71 is used a boxer engine configuration couple with the shaft drive which is reliable for use on various terrains, is claimed not heat up quickly and easy to repair while used in the battlefield.
Testing the Harley-Davidson XA, that curious 'boxer,' flat-twin, shaft drive motorcycle designed and built for the US Army around 1942. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/36SiVH7)
Therefore, HD then studied carefully the various technical advantages of the BMW R71 and tried to apply to similar motorbikes to be built by them later. Shortly after, the American manufacturer introduced the Harley-Davidson XA model in 1942 which had similar features to the BMW R71, namely both using a boxer engine coupled with the shaft drive.
1942 Harley-Davidson XA had similar features to the BMW R71, namely both using a boxer engine coupled with the shaft drive. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3jRPxnW)
The results were also pretty good, apparently the XA's boxer engine had the advantage that the oil temperature was claimed to be 56 degrees Celsius lower than the WLA model's V-twin engine. As quoted from Rideapart.com, the boxer engine with a capacity of 738 cc installed on the Harley-Davidson XA is capable of producing power of  23 horsepower and proper to make the motor run up to a top speed of around 104 kph.
With those boxer engine and shaft drive configuration capable make the Harley-Davidson XA run up to a top speed of around 104 kph. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3jOHwjz)
As many as 1,000 Harley-Davidson XA units were produced in the period from 1942 to 1943. But unfortunately the United States Army did not adopt the XA model as their official military vehicle and prefer to take the WLA because it was cheaper.
It could be said that the top brass of the American military at that time is like a man is amazed to the enemy's grass yard seen greener than in their own yard. Although in the end, they choose the typical HD WLA production motorcycle of efficiency and financial factors. And the remaining unused Harley-Davidson XA units were sold to civilian consumers.

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of the two-wheeled monster and stay alive with true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | RIDEAPART | CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | BMW DEAN]
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