No Reserve – 1942 Harley-Davidson XA

In America, Cruiser by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update: This XA sold for $26,700 after 39 bids on eBay in San Diego, California.


All the buzz at Harley-Davidson might be about the Pan America, but here’s a Harley “adventure bike” that you can ride right now!

During World War II, the US Government asked HD to build a motorcycle similar to what BMW was making for the Germans – with shaft drive, boxer engine, and other features that made the bikes low maintenance. The Harley-Davidson XA was born. XA stands for eXperimental Army, and 1000 units were built for evaluation purposes. By the time the run was completed, however, the Army decided that the future of personnel transport was the GP – or what we now know as the Jeep. Harley was already making a simpler bike for the military called the WLA, and that was determined to be sufficient for the basic motorcycle usage needed by the military.

The XA featured a 740cc flat twin (boxer) engine that produced 23 horsepower. This was good fro a top speed of 65 miles per hour. Interesting tidbit of info from the AMA Hall of Fame museum – because the boxer twin puts cylinders out into the air stream, the oil temp of the XA engine was 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than the standard Harley V-Twin of the time. Estimates state that there are possibly 300 of the original 1,000 left, with possibly just 60 remaining as functional units. Want to learn more? Check out this page on Jeff Dean’s BMW site!

Impressively, this (VIN: 42XAI341) seems to be one of those ~60 units, as the seller notes it “runs great with fresh oversized pistons and a thorough carb cleaning.” All fluids have been replaced – it’s got Valvoline VR1 in the engine and transmission, as well as Sta-lube in the rear end. It’s also got a new battery. On the negative side, it needs wiring for the taillight – but the seller notes that a period Jeep harness can be acquired on eBay for cheap.

The seller has also added a startup video to the listing:

Maybe the most impressive thing is that the seller is offering this rare Harley with no reserve. Find this XA for sale in San Diego, California with a starting bid of $1.00 or a BIN of $33,000 or best offer here on eBay.

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