James Roper-Caldbeck operates a small custom motorcycle shop in Copenhagen, Denmark called ‘Customs from Jamesville’. Using mostly Harley Davidson’s from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, James builds custom bikes for people who love the old school look.
Today we are taking a look at Jamesville’s 1943 Harley-Davidson WLC 750, nicknamed ‘Beast’ because of a 666 stamped into the engine case. A forgotten machine this bike had spent the last 60 years in a basement, until the grandson of the original owner took it to James for a restoration. Now if you take a look at the before shot you will see this was not going to be an easy process. In-fact James himself wondered what on earth he had got himself into! Safe to say the end result was one that had everyone smiling and especially this old and tired Harley Davidson who got a new lease of life and once again got to see the sights around town!
Restoring a motorbike is quite a daunting job and what makes it harder is trying to keep the originality. Sometimes motorbike builders get tempted during the restoration process and end up replacing lots of the original parts instead, this was not the case with this build. To begin with the restoration James stripped the bike down to the frames with a few problems but nothing a grinder couldn’t fix.
James opened the transmission and the bottom end of the engine, and the good news was they both looked like the day they left the factory – The ‘Beast’ will rise again! James wanted to keep the original paint so after giving it a nice clean, sanding it down and a little buff with old turtle wax the bike was back in 1943.
“After being dropped out of a plane with a parachute, making it through a World War, and then finally being used as a tow truck to jump start the old 6 volt cars at the dealership, the handle bars were bent to shit, well not anymore!” says James.
The bike begins to take its shape and started resurrecting from a Harley-Davidson WLC 750 wreck! The new carb was mounted to the original air filter and the original hubs were completely rebuilt and painted. The last job on this bike was the saddle, James bought an original Harley seat pan for $16 and put some new foam on and covered it with some beautiful 100% cow skin.
In the end what we witness is a blast from the past, a motorbike with it’s history and heritage restored as it would be in the year 1943. For more from ‘Customs from Jamesville’ check out the website – James also makes some nice looking saddle bags!