Custom Harley WL 45










The world of customs is full of amazing stories. Like the one of this WL 45 sent in 1942 to Europe and discovered 60 years later still sleeping in its original crate. Laurent Dutruel from Zen Motorcycles could have kept it original but dreamed it as a daily rider with high tech accessories and equipped…with a turbo. Laurent started by building an aluminum frame, a one-off front end, an aluminum gas tank (gas on one side, engine oil on the other), decided to associate a 1998 Sportster transmission to the WL 45 (I even don’t want to start the long list of modifications he had to do to make them work together), and welded a turbo compressor to the gear box. FYI, the WL 45 is now fitted with electric ignition, is breathing through a modified 32 mm Lectron carburetor, and rolls on a set of Avon Speedmaster MK2 (21” front, 18” rear). Of course, to arrive to the result you see there was much more complicated than described (1300 hours of labor), but it’s well worth it because it works fine and you will agree with me, it looks beautiful. Zen Motorcycles. 

12 Responses to “Custom Harley WL 45”

  1. 1 Billy Bartels Apr 9th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    I love european customs (the japanese are no slouches either).

  2. 2 Patrick Apr 9th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you Cyril for showing us great bikes that we never seen before here in the US. I am sure there are a lot of unknown talented people all aound our custom world.

  3. 3 Peter Rosswell Apr 9th, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Cyril, I guess you know a lot of people in europe and have a lot of connections. Me too,i like european bikes. They are different from ours. It’s good this way. Show us more

  4. 4 Gerald Summer Apr 9th, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Nice new/old school work.

  5. 5 dragon Apr 9th, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    i like the old school look with the new throwed in it does make for a very good looking bike

  6. 6 Joe Fabruzzo Apr 10th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Nice piece of history.

  7. 7 DJ CHOPPER GOD Apr 11th, 2007 at 1:55 am

    Now that is one kool sled!!!

  8. 8 Nicker Apr 12th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    That is Max Cool……!
    Puts a smile on your face just looking at it….:)

  9. 9 Dan Tempest May 13th, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Your are a bafoon!!! destroying somthing as original as a new crated WL. into this absolute abortion, I very much doubt if the story is true anyway,
    you should be put against a wall and SHOT though the brain, shouldnt do much damage as you don’t seem to have one. You are a complete idiot,
    an opportunist not a custom bike builder.

  10. 10 pete Mar 26th, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    i agree with dan, so youve got a wl in a crate and you destroy it, he could have built this bike just starting with a set of cases, it makes me sick to think of it.

  11. 11 philip el diablo Dec 7th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    i’m not to happy with the idea either
    i think it’s a shame that someone turned a org. crate motorcycle into this creation

    when i started my build WLA >the merlin (check out my website )
    i had nothing more than a set of crappy “45 cases and some flywheels and some other junk nobody wanted
    i completely rebuild the engine with new oem parts and turned it into something i like
    jused a ’79 BT tranny and made the frame and most other parts myself
    except for the org. springer frontend …it came out of a damaged WLC

    please don’t kill org bikes for this kind of projects
    just do what i did ….the parts are out there and there’s loads of repop parts that you can F#CK around with !!!!!

  1. 1 Laurent Dutruel Show, Street And Race Bike at Cyril Huze Blog Pingback on Jun 3rd, 2009 at 9:59 am
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