1975 AMF Harley-Davidson Aermacci RR250
What do you get when you combine the style of Italy, a manufacture in Wisconsin, the money from bowling alleys and a little smoke? You get a 1975 AMF Harley Davidson Aermacci RR250 two stroke. A World Champion motorcycle that dominated for 3 years and then disappeared. The seller says that it is museum quality, and offers a bill of sale from The Chandler Museum, so you get a good idea what the bike has been doing for the last few years.
From the seller
This is one of the only Road Race bike’s that Harley Davidson Won A World Championship with, they dominated until the Japanese caught up on the design, anyone looking knows the history, the bike has compression and spark, compliance fittings are dry rotted as is the tach mount(just a large o ring), does have tech stickers, not sure who raced it but it was raced, comes with the Bill Of Sale From the Chandler Museum, and a title. The front brake calipers are; Motor -Scrab-Mozzi
Walter Villa was the Harley Davidson factory rider who took the RR250 to three consecutive World Titles in 1974, 1975, and 1976, and a 350cc Title in 1976 as well. The first Title coincide with the first year that the RR got its water jackets. First put to work in 1971 the RR250 and its brother the RR350, were Works racers only, no companion bikes offered to the public. The first air cooled short stroke 250’s produced 50hp at 10,000rpm. The engine and transmission design was unique in that you could quickly disconnect the engine, and simply plug in another 250cc unit, or the 350cc unit.
In 1974 Aermacci added the water jacket and the power jumped to 58hp at 12,000rpm. This combined with a light 230lbs was a factor in Walter Villa’s victory. While looking into the RR, I found an interesting way to stop the bike. Unlike this RR250 offered up on eBay, the factory bikes had an internal disk wheel by Campagnolo. Only being able to look from the outside, I am still trying to figure out how this might work.
By 1975 Harley started to offer the RR to privateers, but had poor technical support, and a poor parts supply. It was about this time the Aermacci and Harley started a 500cc two stroke project. The plug was pulled by AMF, the money at Harley during this time, because road racing was not necessary to win AMA National Championship in the US. There was no incentive to put money into a discipline that would not generate money in the showroom.
With the emergence of the Japanese in the two stroke power struggle, and the cash conscious managers at Harley Davidson, this RR250 offered up on eBay is a window into The Motor Company history. With the purchase of Aermacci, the experiment that was Italian bikes in the land of Hogs, this 2-stroke smoke generator did not last long. But while it was on the track, 3 World Titles are not a bad resume. If you are looking for a Vintage racer, you will not find many like this. That is if you see any. BB