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Aermacci Classic Motorcycles

The bikes produced by Aermacchi were quite successful in the postwar Italian market, also thanks to their repeated placements on the race tracks. The firm designed and produced models incorporating the Italian word "Ala" (wing) in its names, such as "Ala Verde", "Ala Blu" and "Ala d'Oro" (respectively "green wing", "blue wing" and "golden wing").

Former FB Mondial designer Alfredo Bianchi joined Aermacchi during 1956, the well known aircraft manufacturer having entered motorcycle production in the years following the Second World War, in order to make use of idle production capacity in their newly reconstructed facilities. The first machine to emerge for which Bianchi was responsible was the Chimera, designed to appeal to the "average" rider. Featuring radical styling and innovative engineering it proved to be disappointing in terms of sales. However, the over head valve engine with which it was equipped would prove to be amenable to tuning. The development of a more conventional twin shock chassis for the sporting 175 and 250cc variants of the Chimera, introduced shortly after the touring versions, provided the other half of the equation for the models development into a competitive road racing machine. The factory entered a 250 variant stripped of its road going equipment in the 1960 Assen TT finishing ninth in the hands of Alberto Pagani, a good enough result to warrant further development that would eventually see versions of the horizontal single being raced at all levels.
Production racers were built by the factory for sale to the public, whilst many of the road going sports variants have been converted to "racing specification" over the years.

In the 1960s, 50% of Aermacchi stock was acquired by Harley-Davidson to produce in its assembly plant at Schiranna (near Varese) several models of small bikes (with engine displacement between 125cc and 350cc) for the American and the European market, in an attempt to take back market sectors that were the time were increasingly being taken by Japanese manufacturers such as Honda and Yamaha. Aermacchi went on to have success in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing world with rider Renzo Pasolini finishing 2nd in the 1972 250 cc Roadracing World Championship. After 1974, when the American manufacturer acquired complete control of the Italian company, Aermacchi bikes re-badged as Harley-Davidsons won the 250 cc Roadracing World Championship three years in a row in 1974, 1975 and 1976. They also won the 350 cc World Championship in 1976. Upon the acquisition of Harley-Davidson by AMF in 1978, the Italian operations of the firm were sold to the Castiglioni brothers, founders of the Cagiva motorcycle company, which continued to produce bikes branded "HD Cagiva" until 1980.

Bike Image Description
1951 Aermacchi Cigno 1951 Aermacchi Cigno 125cc.
c1961 Aermacchi Racing Motorcycle
Aermacchi Racing Bike

This "barn find" is believed to be a 250cc example dating from approximately 1961 and equipped with a five speed gearbox.

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1968 Aermacchi Harley-Davidson Ala Verde 250 1968 Aermacchi Harley-Davidson Ala Verde 250 Picture courtesey of
1968 350cc Ala D'oro Aermacchi Race Bike 1968 350cc Ala D'oro Aermacchi Race Bike Image provided by
1966 Aermacci CR250 1966 Aermacci CR250
1968 Aermacchi ERS
Aermacchi ERS

By the late sixties a large number of the AMA flat track events which counted towards the all important Number 1 plate were being run on half mile ovals. These did not suit the large twins and as a result Harley looked to their Italian partners for a solution which arrived in the form of the ERS. The new model utilised an Ala d'Oro engine housed in a "Sprint" style frame to produce a comparatively light and powerful model.

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1971 Aermacci SK350 1971 Aermacci SK350
1971 Aermacchi M65 Aermacchi M65  
Classic Racing Aermacchi Ala Doro 350cc Replica Classic Racing Aermacchi Ala Doro 350cc Replica CRTT Type Frame Replica. 1972 Crankcases 1973 Knucklehead Engine Rebored and New Piston Grimeca Front Brake Dry Clutch Four Speed. Scitsu Rev Counter Alloy Levers Rentec Steering Damper. Chainguard Shark Fin Brake Arms Rocker Covers Polished .

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