WL750 Chopper

This is a chopper based on the WL750 motorcycle by the great American motorcycle Company that does not seem to be a big supporter of model building.

The chopper is based on the 1942 model with a 750ccm flathead (side valve) motor that delivers 25hp, giving a top speed slightly north of 100km/h. The original machine uses a heel-toe clutch and stick shift, but this version is converted to the now more common hand-operated clutch and (heel-)toe-shift.

The version shown here would not be street-legal, as it lacks lights, a rear-view mirror, and a number plate. I may or may not add those later. Filed under science fiction, because I will never have one. :) You can see some construction pictures here.

What catches the eye first is, of course, the choice of colors. This bike does not look like a bad boy's toy, i.e. it is not black with darker black accents. Why do choppers these days have to look like they are driven by Schwarzenegger epitomizing the Terminator?

The late 1960s and 1970s were not that uninspired. Lots of colorful motorcycles could be seen on the road in those days. Just have a look at the Billys and Captain Americas choppers in the movie Easy Rider.

The most obvious modifications to the motorcycle are the fuel tank and the saddle. I am calling it a "saddle", because it rather resembles a saddle than a modern "seat". Like the saddle of the WL750 it is spring-loaded, which is a good idea, because the rear wheel is not. It is mounted a bit further back and lower than the original saddle.

The fuel tank is custom-made, much smaller than the original tank, and does not contain the oil tank. (The WL750 uses a separate oil tank that delivers oil to the motor.)

Then, of course, the bike being a chopper, all unnecessary parts have been chopped off. Half of the rear fender literally so.

The original handlebar is mounted on risers, the fork remains in its original (unstretched) configuration. The stock fishtail exhaust muffler is tilted upward.

The bike has pegs instead of the original footboards. The air cleaner cover is made from parts originally used for the horn (which this motorcycle also lacks).

The right-side view of the motor shows the separate oil tank under the battery (under the saddle). There is a pipe extending from the oil tank that splits up and goes to the original connections on the crank case. The clutch is attached to a bowden cable leading to the lever on the left handle. On the original WL750 it would be connected to the heel-toe lever on the left side of the bike.

The heel-toe lever now operates the gear shift and it really is a toe-only lever, because there is only a peg and no footboard. On the original WL750, the gear shift would be connected to a stick on the left side of the fuel tank and switching gears would work like this: push the heel part of the heel-toe lever to disengage the clutch, operate the stick (in 1N23 configuration), then push the toe part of the heel-toe lever to re-engage the clutch. The modern configuration shown here allows to switch gears while leaving both hands on the handlebar.

The J-shaped pipe is the fuel line, leading from the tank to the carburetor behind the air cleaner.

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