Meteor: A 1946 Harley-Davidson WL flat tracker from Japan

Toshiyuki ‘Cheetah’ Osawa has had a busy year. Hot on the heels of a collaboration with Indian Motorcycle and Sideburn Magazine that debuted at the Bike Shed Show, he already had another deadline looming; Born Free 14. Osawa-san was on the prestigious invited builders list for the fourth time, and wanted to bring a bike worthy of the accolade.

Even though he’s a regular on the show circuit, Cheetah’s bikes aren’t trailer queens. With a background in flat track racing, he builds custom motorcycles that are fun to ride and look good beaten up. For Born Free 14, he delivered a vintage Harley-Davidson WL flat tracker with a handmade chassis and a plethora of tasty details, dubbed ‘Meteor.’

Cheetah started with a 1946 Harley-Davidson WL engine, then went to town modifying it. The stock 740 cc displacement hasn’t changed, but the rear cylinder’s been flipped around as a nod to the iconic Harley XR750 flat tracker. There’s a H-D KR750 cam inside too, with a pair of Lectron carbs sucking air through K&N filters.

Other additions include a Norton Commando transmission and a delightfully dangerous-looking open primary. Needless to say, none of these mods were straightforward.

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Meteor: A 1946 Harley-Davidson WL flat tracker from Japan
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Published Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2023 17:01:04 +0000


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