On Wings of Green and Gold: Aermacchi Ala Verde

Found at a shop in Illinois, this Aermacchi Ala Verde is something special.


| May/June 2017



1967 Aermacchi Harley-Davidson 250 Ala Verde

Photo by Robert Smith

1967 Aermacchi 250 Ala Verde
Number built:
N/A
Engine:
248cc OHV air-cooled single
Bore x Stroke:
72mm x 61mm
Compression:
8.5:1
Output:
21hp @ 7,250rpm
Carburetion:
Single Dell’Orto 24mm
Transmission:
Helical gear primary, wet multiplate clutch, 5-speed
Ignition:
6v generator, coil and breaker points ignition
Final drive:
Chain
Suspension:
Telescopic fork front, dual shocks rear
Frame/wheelbase:
Tubular steel spine/52in (1,321mm)
Tires:
2.5 x 17in front, 3 x 17in rear
Brakes:
7in (178mm) SLS drum front and rear
Weight (dry):
247lb (112kg)
Seat height:
29in (736.6mm)
Fuel capacity:
4gal (15.1ltr)

1967 Aermacchi 250SS/CRTT café racer
Number built:
250SS: 7,000 (1967), CRTT: 35 (1967) 
Engine: 293cc (stock 248cc) OHV, air-cooled single
Bore x Stroke:
72mm x 72mm
Compression:
N/A (Stock CRTT: 11:1)
Output:
N/A
Carburetion:
Single Mikuni (Stock CRTT: Dell’Orto 30mm)
Transmission:
Straight-cut gear primary, dry clutch, 5-speed
Ignition:
6v generator (none stock), magneto ignition
Final drive:
Chain
Suspension:
Ceriani telescopic fork, dual shocks rear
Frame/wheelbase:
Tubular steel spine/52in (1,321mm)
Tires:
100/90 x 18in front, 110/90 x 18in rear
Brakes:
Oldani 8in (203.2mm) TLS drum front, 7in (178mm) SLS rear
Weight (dry):
N/A
Seat height:
N/A
Fuel capacity:
4gal (15.1ltr)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Italian aircraft manufacturer, banned from building planes after World War II, decides to focus on two-wheeled transportation. Sound familiar? You could choose from, among others: Piaggio (Vespa), MV Agusta or Aeronautica Macchi.

Giulio Macchi’s company built some of the world’s fastest aircraft in the interwar years and during World War II. In 1934, the Macchi MC72 set an absolute world record speed of 440.7mph that held for five years, and is still the fastest speed ever achieved by a propeller-driven seaplane.

Chimera

Much like Honda, Aermacchi had a Dream. On joining the company in 1956, chief designer Alfredo Bianchi was tasked with creating an all-new production motorcycle. Bianchi borrowed styling ideas from the automobile industry to produce a futuristic-looking motorcycle with fully enclosed bodywork that hid the mechanical components. These included a compact, lightweight 175cc 4-stroke engine and an ingenious swingarm rear suspension controlled by a single spring/shock unit.

While the Chimera (Italian for “dream”) created a sensation at the 1956 Milan show and was well received by the motorcycle press, it failed to impress potential buyers, and was an abject commercial failure (see Motorcycle Classics, March/April 2014).





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