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Sunday, October 2, 2016


The original Google+ post is here:

To say that I stink at social media is like saying that the Empire's Death Star was big. I thought I posted the Day At The Track photos here but they ended up at Google+ instead. Hmmm ...

David posted a reply which went into my spam folder for me to find weeks later. Double Hmmm...

To answer David's question, the bike (#177) is an Aermacchi 350cc single cylinder made in Italy. It is ridden by Walt Fulton, a past national champion many times over, and the current national points leader in his class.

Why the H-D logo and the Halloween colors? In the '60s the Japanese motorcycle makers were dominating US sales and killing off all of the other heritage brands. The Honda CB350 was the little bike that anyone could afford and was out-selling everything in sight. They were light, quick, reliable, and affordable. 

Triumph brought in their TR25W 250 single to have an entry into this market and Harley bought Aermacchi for an instant product line. Neither were especially successful. The Triumph suffered from being British and all of the corporate problems the parent company was having.

The H-D/Aermacchi stumbled because it was the odd duck in the dealer's shop. They just didn't know what to do with it or how to sell it. It was a single to the Honda twin cylinder although it had split dual pipes to disguise the fact. It had kick start to Honda's electric button. Worst of all, it suffered from Harley's reputation for lack of reliability which it added to with its own very dicey electrical components.

Fast forward a few decades and it has become the darling of the vintage race crowd. It takes a few thousand modifications but it's light, fast, and has great handling. You just have to remember to fill the crankcase with olive oil instead of 20-50!

You can find out more about Aermacchi here.

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