Britain's Got Biking Talent: Time to pick your favourite special

Published: 31 August 2011

Britain's favourite and most prestigious bike competition is entering the final voting stages and we've invited a few of the top 50 into our studio for a closer look.

Britain's Got Biking Talent with Carole Nash has attracted some stunning entries from across the country as they aim for the top prizes on offer. And now it's your turn to vote for your favourites.

Our celebrity judges include Charley Boorman, MCN editor Marc Potter and Hawg Haven's Jon Quantrell selected their top 40 bikes from the thousands that entered this year's Carole Nash Britain's Got Biking Talent. Another 10 of the top 'likes' from the Insidebikes Facebook page have also gone through to make up the top 50.

Now it's your turn. Simply go to www.britainsgotbikingtalent.co.uk to pick up to 12 of your favourites and receive a free copy of Bike, Ride, Classic Bike or Performance Bikes magazine. Details on how to claim your free mag will be on your vote confirmation page. Voting closes at midday on September 14, 2011.

Nick Gale, 1942 Harley-Davidson WLC

This ex-Canadian Army Harley-Davidson WLC was bought by a Dorset farmer in 1945 at the end of the Second World War and then spent the next 36 years rotting in a barn. The owner then tried to get it running and fitted a pile of Honda parts including a fuel tank and wheels, sprayed it yellow and rode it.

Current owner Nick Gale, custom bike builder and bike restorer then bought it for £1000 in 2001 and kept meaning to restore it. He finally took the plunge earlier this year and three months, 75 man hours and a huge amount of searching for parts and this is the stunning result.

The WLC (the C stands for Canadian) was the Canadian version of the bike the US firm built in vast numbers for the Second World War. Canadian versions are rare than the WLA; the A stands for Army. They were abandoned, buried or sold in vast numbers as troops returned home.

Gale said: "I wanted to do this bike to show people Nick Gale Customs isn't just about chopppers. We can do anything and this is an example of the restoration work we can do."

Despite the decades of neglect the only non standard parts have been deliberately changed. The seat and fuel/oil tanks are all one offs. The seat is much lower than standard for a cleaner look, the fuel/oil tanks took three days to hand roll and weld.

Gale said: "I've ridden the bike quite a bit. It takes some getting used to because only the rear brake is where you expect it to be. It's got a three-speed left-hand gear shift, you adjust the timing on the left grip and the clutch is left foot operated. If you ride it like a 1942 bike with 1942 brakes then it's great. I want to keep it for a long time now but people have already been offering me money. I'll never say never on selling it!"

Power: 25bhp
Engine: 737cc, air-cooled, V-twin
Cost: £10,000
For sale? Possibly
Time to build: Three months