Little Hog: 1967 Harley Davidson Aermacchi 250 Sprint
I normally don’t post too many Harleys on the site, simply because not many fit within our mission statement, aside from the odd XRTT that shows up for sale. But this little 250 Sprint looks very nice and fits the bill.
When Harley decided they needed a range of smaller displacement bikes to supplement their existing models, it made sense to go to an outside company, rather than try to reinvent the wheel and, by the early 1960’s, they owned a stake in Aermacchi, an Italian builder of small-displacement motorcycles. In the end, the relationship did not work out, as Harley fans never really embraced the little Italian singles: shades of their relationship with MV Agusta. Harley had the savvy to buy a really interesting asset, but lacked the vision to make the relationship work.
The Harley Davidson-branded Aermacchi was powered by a 246cc OHV single that produced just 21hp and could push the little bike to a top speed of 76mph. Wet weight was just 270lbs, with good brakes and excellent handling. This was obviously a bit of a joke to the lumbering, muscular behemoths favored by Harley, but many can still be found circling racetracks at vintage events.
From the original eBay listing: 1967 Harley Davidson Aermacchi 250 Sprint TV replica for Sale
All the sheet metal is straight and dent free from a European only TV model found in Italy and mounted on a stock US model 67 H with a few changes outlined here.. The front fork is pre 67 to mount the very rare Ala Verde Road race style front fender. The handlebars use the early solid mount triple clamp instead of the wobbly rubber mount and the handlebar is the 61/63 low rise European spec bar with attached lever perch’s. Handlebar clamps are first year super rare 61 sprint only aluminum cast and polished type. Exhaust header and muffler are NOS and Saddle is perfect with no defects. Chrome is very nice with some oxidation spots on rear rim and handlebar.
Rims are original Radaelli with painted spokes in very nice shape with vintage Pirelli tires, rideable but not suggested for spirited cornering. Front brake is more powerful later double actuated type. All wiring is stock and unmodified and all electrical is functional. Paint on tank is scratched here and there as it is I believe original as found used from Italy with factory paint . The rest of the paint is matched but the tank is more orange. Toolbox’s are perfect with no battery box rot. Battery is NOS Safa just activated. Overall looks great. The frame paint is very nice factory original. Bike starts on one or two kicks and shifts and stops perfectly. On startup after sitting some time you will likely see a puff of smoke and this is common with the horizontal cylinder configuration and clears up right away. Motor is unmodified. Carburetor filter assembly will tuck vertically into tank pocket but I believe it breaths better and looks cooler as seen. Also includes very rare center stand and retains the original side stand as well.
In Italy, bikes in this class were built as durable transportation, but here in the US they were used as beaters or starter bikes and often discarded. They’re worth resurrecting: like old air-cooled VW’s, Aermacchis are durable and infinitely rebuildable, but require regular maintenance. Mechanically simple and honest, easy to work on, they make ideal starter classics. With a Buy It Now price of almost $6,000, this is a pricey example, but would make a great introduction to vintage biking for a young person or someone of smaller stature.