Custom Harley-Davidson WLJ By Hard Nine Choppers

0wl2wl1wl4wl3wlBuilding and riding the wild custom bikes you build in Switzerland is not an easy gig. Cops know very well what you should never roll in the streets of the Helvetic Confederation. In Bern, the seat of the federal authorities, it doesn’t prevent Danny Schneider from to be very creative at taking old vintage parts to turn them into contraptions with a purpose which is not exactly what the bikes have been originally intended for.

8wl7wl 6wl5wlAll stories behind each of Schneider’s builds are unusual. In this case, he met at a local bike show a cousin he didn’t see during the previous 20 years. He found out that his relative was collecting and restoring old British cars and also owned 2 old bikes, one of them being a 1951 Harley WLJ. Schneider convinced his cousin to let him work on the Flatty and obtained from him the agreement of building whatever he wanted. A dream briefing for any custom builder…

19wl2biswl2terwl canvas looked partly WLA, partly WLC but fitted with a vintage Triumph front end (!) and other parts he could not identify. Doing some online research, he found out that a Japanese entity named “Rikuo Internal Combustion Company” was operating in the early 1930s under the license and name of Harley-Davidson, using their tooling. Harley did not publicize this Japanese connection because the Japanese were helped in developing mass-production techniques in Japan just prior to World War II and after. Surprise, Schneider’s H-D WLJ had many Rikuo parts (Showa, the same company that supplies parts to H-D today bought Rikuo in the 50’s)

16wl15wlDanny explained to me: “The parts mismatch didn’t matter to me. I was excited and immediately went for a new old school look and imagined a simple vintage paint job. I fully rebuilt yje engine and 3-speed tranny. He took me quite a while to fabricate the gas tank tank, oil bag rear the fender. Because I had started making bars, I had to modify the gas tank shape like 4 times because they were not looking good and working well with what I was fabricating. The oil bag is conceived to house the battery. Because a a Swiss motorcycle regulation requires to be able to have your motorcycle lights on when your bike is not running I had to create 2 electric systems. The bike is running with a magneto and I have a 6 volt battery for the lights.

hardninechoppersHe added: “With this massive drum brake, the front end is one of the most stylish ones I have ever seen. I shorted it by about 5 inch. I fabricated the hand shift, a pain in the ass, because another road regulation is forbidding open primary drivelines. So, I had to cut the primary cover, and after several trials, found a way to make the hand fabricated shifter work. Because I avoid as much as possible buying aftermarket parts, I try to work with the original ones, even when it’s very difficult. For example the wheels that were very difficult to prepare for powdercoating. I don’t like chrome on old bikes, and prefers nickel all over and in the small details for more authenticity. Headlight is a modified Triumph unit and the exhaust is the original set that I modified. Paint job was handled by Herb from Monster Kustoms” (Photography @ for Patumwan)

15 Responses to “Custom Harley-Davidson WLJ By Hard Nine Choppers”

  1. 1 Drake Feb 1st, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Cool bike.

  2. 2 P. Hamilton Feb 1st, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Not an easy ride, but very nice.

  3. 3 chopmonster66 Feb 1st, 2016 at 9:38 am


  4. 4 domino Feb 1st, 2016 at 10:00 am

    ………. NICE ……….


  5. 5 Woody's Feb 1st, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Love it! ☺

  6. 6 Emmett Feb 1st, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Love it totally! The front drum look’s 60’s Sporty as does the Magneto.
    Very Nice Work.

  7. 7 JohnnySpeed Feb 1st, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    This a great little chop. I keep seeing more and more 4-5’s being chopped these days. I rode a chopped ’42 flatty 4-5 as my main bike for years and you won’t find a more dependable bike out there. If you set them up right they can be pretty fast too, I never had a problem passing Great bikes and the 3-speed is super fun with a proper suicide shift.

  8. 8 Blackmax Feb 1st, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Nice Job !!!!
    Anything worthwhile is worth the effort !!!

  9. 9 Jerry Feb 1st, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    It is the big trend now. Basket case of iconic H-D’s turned into nice little chops. Well done.

  10. 10 nicker Feb 1st, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Very nice usable scooter…


  11. 11 danny Feb 2nd, 2016 at 3:38 am

    thank you all verry much,

  12. 12 REV. JIM Feb 2nd, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Old bikes rule . This one , Front of the class ! Really nice !

  13. 13 Jay Horton's Private Shop Feb 2nd, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I like it very much! Later Jay

  14. 14 Martin Twofeather Feb 3rd, 2016 at 12:59 am

    What a beauty,now that’s a show stopper!

  15. 15 Hillbilly Jim Feb 3rd, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    The nicest chop you have shared with us in months Cyril. Done right!

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