Tagged: sprint

Little Hog: 1967 Harley Davidson Aermacchi 250 Sprint

1967 Harley Davidson Sprint 250 L Front

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.

1967 Harley Davidson Sprint 250 R Side Rear

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.

1967 Harley Davidson Sprint 250 Cockpit

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.

1967 Harley Davidson Sprint 250 Engine Detail

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.

1967 Harley Davidson Sprint 250 Rear Suspension

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.


1967 Harley Davidson Sprint 250 R Side

1984 Laverda RGA1000 Sprint for Sale

1984 Laverda RGA L Front

As you may have gathered from previous posts, Laverda is at the top of my list of companies I’d like to see resurrected, although I’m not sure where they’d fit into the current motorcycle market. The Laverda family started out making agricultural machinery, and their first foray into motorcycles seemed more like a hobby than a serious business endeavor. But the bike that resulted showed promise and reflected the quality and durability you’d expect from a company that made farming equipment. In the 1950’s, they made their name racing in the smaller-displacement classes and did surprisingly well.

1984 Laverda RGA L Rear

They eventually moved into deeper waters with their rugged 750 twin and howling 1000 triple, wisely choosing the very best outside components to suspend and wire their machines: Ceriani suspension, Bosch ignition components, and a Japanese Nippon-Denso starter were all chosen for their quality and reliability. As a result, Laverdas gained fame for their longevity and competed successfully in endurance racing.

1984 Laverda RGA Dash

Introduced in 1973, Laverda’s three-cylinder displaced 981cc’s, made about 80hp and a spine-tingling noise.  The first bikes used a 180 degree crank, with pistons oriented “one up, two down”, which was great for performance, but not so good for retaining blood-flow to the extremities: vibration was a bit of an issue.  In 1982, the motor was given a revised, 120-degree crank, which smoothed out the bike’s character but also made it a bit too “civilized” in the eyes of die-hard fans.

1984 Laverda RGA R Front

By the 1980’s, Laverda could no longer compete against the Japanese in terms of outright performance, so they recast their sportbikes in a more tour-y vein with the RGS sport-touring model that featured a full-fairing and integrated luggage. The RGA was a slightly downmarket machine, with a simplified “bikini” fairing and reduced bodywork

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGA Sprint for sale

Here we have a 1984 Laverda RGA w/Sprint fairing. Bike has 12k plus miles and runs strong with no weird noises or any smoke. Has new Michelin tires front and back and a new battery.  The fairing is very rare and worth around $1000.  The bike fell over on the right side while I was taking pictures and the only damage was to the right front turn signal housing plus my ego. Buyer arranges shipping.

1984 Laverda RGA Rider View

While not perhaps the most classic Laverda design, this RGA is certainly unusual and very striking. And really, pretty much all Laverdas are collectable at this point. They were always well-built machines, with good components, solid handling, and rarity. In their waning years, they focused on this type of quality, hairy-chested gentleman’s express machine designed to appeal to cognoscenti, since they simply were no longer able to compete with lighter, cheaper, often quicker hardware flooding in from Japan. But they had plenty of character, stable handling, and a dead-hard reputation for building serious sports machines.

This particular example has been modified with a Sprint fairing, and the result is very flattering, as the original had a bit of a cobbled-together look that wasn’t entirely successful. It has a great dual-headlamp style that has a better retro feel than the later, single square lamp in the RGS. While I definitely prefer the earlier naked bikes, this is a very cool machine you could use to chew up a whole lot of miles in style.


1984 Laverda RGA R Side

1968 Aermacchi / Harley Davidson 350cc Sprint Racer

1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint L Side

Watching riders hang off vintage race bikes like this 1968 Aermacchi/Harley Davidson 350 Sprint is inspiring, and has me dreaming of something like this. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Aermacchi and how they ended up being associated with Harley Davidson, here’s a little recap.

The old chestnut is that “history repeats itself” and in Harley Davidson’s case, it’s certainly true: in recent years, Harley bought boutique motorcycle manufacturer Buell and, after a few years of struggling with that unlikely union, dissolved the brand. What should have been a way for Harley to produce modern, sporting motorcycles was instead seen by “The Faithful” and Harley’s network of dealers as their “red-headed step child” and was shunned. Which is a real shame, since Erik Buell is a maverick in the truest sense of the word, something Harley claims as part of their image.

1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint L Side Engine

Back in 1960, an eerily similar situation was unfolding. After the Second World War, Italian seaplane manufacturer Aeronautica Macchi began manufacturing motorcycles to meet the needs of a population hungry for inexpensive transportation. Harley saw the brand as a way to quickly gain access to lightweight, sporting motorcycles they could sell to Americans, and purchased a 50% stake in the company’s motorcycle manufacturing operation. In the mid-70’s, Harley purchased the remaining shares and held on to Aermacchi until they sold it in 1978.

1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint R Side Engine

The seller helpfully describes the build of this track bike in detail. From the original eBay listing: 1968 Aermacchi/Harley Davidson 350cc Sprint Racer for Sale

After building, racing, and winning six national championships on 350cc Aermacchis, scoring victories with every vintage club in America and Canada, Giannini Racing is offering this race ready example for sale.

Built from the frame up with all new parts, this classic vintage Aermacchi road racer represents some of the finest workmanship in the country.

Paint and unnecessary parts stripped, lightened, reinforcement and modification welding, fitted with new bushings and tapered steering head bearings, painted with black epoxy enamel.

Internals completely rebuilt with new bearings on the crank, connecting rod, transmission, and camshaft.

New Aries high compression racing piston has been fitted into a re-bored cylinder and fitted with racing rings. Racing cam with longer duration and higher lift, working with lighter lifters and reground valves and seats fitted with R&D valve springs.|
New dry clutch drives a 4-speed transmission with new sprockets and a 530 special Regina racing chain.

A Dellorto vintage square slide carburetor with air stack and factory manifold has been fitted to a matched, ported head with a new cable and Domino twist throttle controlling the fuel delivery.

A specially fitted PVL, variable advance, self generating ignition supplies the spark with a kill switch mounted to the clip on handlebars.

Although these vibey little four-stroke singles aren’t the most refined machines, and lost out in terms of performance to two-stroke competition at the time, they’re stone-axe simple, well-built, and parts for them are readily available.

If you’re looking to get into vintage racing, this could be your ride: it’s ready to go, just add some vintage dinosaur juice. But move quickly: there’s not much time left on this auction!


1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint R Side

1968 Sprint Aermacchi 250cc

I have been  infatuated with 1960’s Italian Motorcycles lately. I really think that era of motorcycles had some of the best styling. That’s part of the reason I’m posting this Aermacchi today. The other reason is it’s a great example of an unrestored classic bike.

1968 Sprint Aermacchi 250cc For Sale on eBay

Seller’s description:

1968 Harley Sprint / Aermacchi 250cc  This is a great running and looking ORIGiNAL PAINT unrestored bike. These are very popular for the moto giro events.  Currently has cafe bars but I will include an NOS set of original handlebars. The bike does have a nice patina and elegantly shows its age. New tires last year with almost zero wear on them and new gel battery this year.  This bike is ready to ride and fun to ride.   I just have too many bikes and need to thin them out.  Also have a 68 Sprint flat tracker that has been beautifully restored that will be listed soon.  Will accept personal check that must clear prior to shipping. No warranty.  This bike is also for sale locally and the auction maybe ended at anytime. I do have a current NH title. The horn is a reproduction and I do have the original rear carrier / rack. 

A great bike for going to a vintage bike get together or to hang out with the hipster cafe racers.


Foreign Story: 1972 Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint

For Sale: 1972 Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint

In the early 1960s, the Harley Davidson Motor Company was branching out. Although best known for their big twins, H-D realized that not everybody embraced the “big iron” concept of motorcycling. Foreign competitors such as Honda were winning the new customer war by making motorcycles less intimidating and more approachable. Small bikes were in, and H-D had no expertise with small bikes. Italian firm Aermacchi had tons of small bike and scooter experience, and a deal was struck to market these smaller machines under the H-D banner in the US. In that deal, H-D purchased 50% of the Aermacchi company. In time, they would purchase the company outright.

The Sprint models – despite the appearance – were based on the Aermacchi four-stroke singles, where the cylinder jutted out at a nearly horizontal angle. The rockers were hidden behind a cover that made the bike look simple, like a two-stroke. Together with the reduced noise and improved fuel economy, the Sprint was an easily approachable motorcycle in a small package that would appeal to younger and new buyers.

From the seller:
1972 SPRINT IN GREAT CONDITION, has been in storage quite a while. needs points, carb cleaned, tires, the usual. very strong compression, seems to shift well.this bike has great possibilities. lost title but i will provide bill of sale and any other assistance. SET OF LIKE NEW TIRES INCLUDED IN PURCHASE SEE PICS !

The good:
seat not ripped or damaged
paint is very good (wrong decals 1971)
chrome wheels not rusty
strong compression
bike is complete with no broken cables

The Bad
needs points
aftermarket mufflers (but really good shape)
no battery
carb dirty needs original air cleaner put back on (included)

guy’s i have restored alot of bikes, this is a great start as many parts can be polished or touched up and left as is.

This bike is certainly not restored, and some work will be required. However it seems to be a fine canvas with which to paint the history of The Motor Company. Besides, there are some great resources such as the Harley Davidson Sprint Forums to help you get the information you need. Starting smaller with a restoration is usually less expensive and easier than going big, and there was much more to the history of Harley Davidson than just big twins. Somebody needs to tell that story, and here is a bike ready to do so!

For more information – or to contact the seller for details – click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!


1966 Harley-Davidson replica racer for sale in Marina, CA

1966 Harley Davidson Sprint race replica for sale – mint!

When you mention Harley these days, no doubt most people will immediately think of their line of land yachts cruiser and choppers.  However, did you know that in 1961 Harley purchased Italian motorcycle manufacturer Aermacchi to produce small capacity bikes for the US market?  Not only that, but HD/Aermacchi made some amazing race bikes?  Well, here’s one of them: :


The seller also has several nice classic bikes for sale, but I just wish that he would stop using all caps and use the correct punctuations! Whining aside, I’ve always wanted one of these small capacity HD/Aermacchis – just so that I can show up at the local HD ride out and let them know that HDs hasn’t always been about riding two-wheeled boat anchors cruisers / choppers while dressed up as Jack Sparrow.