1968 Harley-Davidson Ala Verde

Always looking out for a small, red, sporting Italian single, this Aermacchi offered on eBay caught my eye. What is different from previous small, red, sporting Italian singles we have highlighted here on CSBFS, is that this Italian was made by Harley-Davidson.

After WWII small displacement bikes became popular with returning vets and their growing family. With reparations, or war booty, Harley was able to offer small 2-stoke bikes developed in Germany in the 1930’s and handed over to Harley after the war. By 1960 Harley decided that a 50% stake in an Italian Company named Aermacchi could fill dealerships with single cylinder bikes to take advantage of a need. But dealers had to start stocking a whole new parts catalog and its mechanics had to buy a strange tool, something called Metric. By 1978 the experiment was over and Harley sold Aermacchi to some guys named Castiglioni, who went on to also buy a company name Ducati.

From the seller

            Aermacchi Harley-Davidson is practically new with only 2 miles. This Ala Verde has been restored and was kept on display (inside) the owner’s shop in San Jose,CA This unique motorcycle was sold in limited numbers and it’s rarity is appreciated by collectors of Italian motorcycles. Harley-Davidson began to market the Ala Verde to satisfy the American customer demands of smaller motorcycles featuring a sporty race inspired gas tank, clip on handlebars and a small pexi-glass fly screen

It looks like the Ala Verde, which means “Green Wing”, was offered in two series. First offered from 1959-1967 with a 4 speed, and then again from 1970-1972 with a 5 speed. With the quirk of US titling, this bike is likly a 1967 that was not sold until 1968. The 246cc would give you 19hp and be able to fly you about at 87mph. Can you imagine walking into a Harley dealership and saying “I will take that Electa Glide, and throw that little bike in the saddle bags.”

Today there are many of thes Italian Harley’s being used for what the Italians intended; going fast, as fast as they can. BB

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