1952 HARLEY-DAVIDSON MODEL K Engine no. 52K2419 • Correctly restored • In l

1952 HARLEY-DAVIDSON MODEL K Engine no. 52K2419 • Correctly restored • In long-term ownership • Part of a prominent Southwestern collection Harley-Davidson’s WL middleweight motorcycle was referred to the Solo model, and with the peppier engine, the WLD Sport Solo. Manufactured from 1937 through 1951, it was hardly sporty. By appearances, it looked similar to its larger brothers in the Harley stable which helped sell the units. If it looked like a Big Twin, then you were macho. The 45 cubic inch sidevalve motor was reliable and would motor along at an easy 50 mph, using a 3-speed hand shift transmission. This was all nestled in a single downtube frame with a rigid rear. Following World War II, the WL puttered along without any significant upgrades since 1941. The entry of sleek motorcycles into the domestic market from England didn’t bother the Motor Company too much at first but they wisely knew that if you start a rider on a smaller Harley- Davidson, sooner or later he would migrate to a more expensive Big Twin. Every day a rider purchased a British motorcycle, was one less new Harley on the road. To counter the British Invasion, it was time for a new sporting middleweight motorcycle. With its roots firmly in the past but still looking forward, the new Model K introduced in 1952 still retained the reliable sidevalve engine configuration. The WL was designed in the 1930’s with a frame of earlier times, a springer fork, and separate engine and transmission. The Model K, unlike its European competition, used a unit engine containing the crankcase and transmission all in one casting, a modern double cradle frame, telescopic forks, rear swing arm suspension and a 4-speed foot shift with hand clutch. In one giant leap, Harley-Davidson produced a motorcycle for the future with a technologically superior design. This 1952 Harley-Davidson represents the first year of the new Model K. Finished in Birch White, it’s a pretty restoration that shows the patina of limited use. It’s a correct restoration, one that a new owner can enjoy both in the showroom and on the road. Included are a set of black Harley-Davidson saddlebags which were available late in the 1952 season, complementing the motorcycle. Owning this motorcycle, the owner can realize that they are sitting on a piece of history, the immediate predecessor to the Harley-Davidson Sportster.