2007 Melbourne International Motorshow Auction

1951 Harley-Davidson WR Solo Motorcycle



Passed In


Engine V-twin, 742cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Red/White


This lot is no longer available

The WR was a race bike built to customer order during the 1940s, based around the venerable 45-cid side-valve V-twin engine that developed 40hp, enough to push the flathead to a top speed of 105mph. Tracing its origins back to the Model D of 1929, the WR was a purpose-built competition bike designed for flat-track racing, stripped down for maximum lightness, lacking a front mudguard and with a lightweight frame on later examples. The WR had relatively crude suspension, with girder front forks and a rigid back end along with a hand-change gearbox (with three or four-speeds), usually fitted with close-ratio cogs. During the Forties, the Harley-Davidson WRs dominated on the track, outlasting their more sophisticated opposition to win numerous AMA class championships. The final year of production, 1951, saw just 23 examples of what became the most developed of all WR models built and they proved to be considerably quicker than their main rivals, Indian. Finding one of the survivors of the WR family for sale is all too rare and this presents as a significant opportunity for the serious Harley collector to add one to their stable.