Hard Nine D’MX: A BMX-inspired Harley WLA

D'MX: Harley WLA custom by Hard Nine Choppers
Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing original in the chopper scene any more. It’s just bling and billet, and mostly pointless. But every now and then, a truly original chopper comes along—like this BMX-inspired custom from Danny Schneider of Hard Nine Choppers.

D'MX: Harley WLA custom by Hard Nine Choppers
They’re based in Bern, Switzerland, and yes, it seems an unlikely place to be ripping apart a vintage Harley-Davidson. This bike started life as a WLA, which means it’s powered by a 45ci ‘high-compression’ flathead—that compression being a lofty 5:1—and it was one of 90,000 built for the US army. (It’s listed as a 1942 model, but apparently “All the WLAs produced after Pearl Harbor, regardless of the actual year, would be given serial numbers indicating 1942 production.”)

The frame, fork and engine are original and restored, but Schneider has fitted Dell’Orto carburetion and a three-speed gearbox from a Servi-Car. Then he hand-made most of the other key components, including the gas tank, foot controls, air filter, frame guards, shifter and headlight.

The bars and pegs are modified BMX items, and the oil tank hides a six-volt battery. The pipes are stock, but that’s not an oversight on Schneider’s part: Swiss regulations on what you can and cannot do to motorcycles are very strict. Still, it doesn’t stop Schneider from enjoying his D’MX—it gets thrashed harder than most stock Harleys, let alone customs. And Schneider has the pictures to prove it.

D'MX: Harley WLA custom by Hard Nine Choppers