The Aermacchi Project, Part 1: Lift On!

Reader Contribution by Margie Siegal
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Margie Siegal’s new-to-her 1973 Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint. Made by Aermacchi in Italy, the single-cylinder Sprints are simple, reliable machines.

This is the first installment of an ongoing series detailing Margie Siegal’s restoration of a 1973 Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint. You can read the Part 2 here.

As some of you might have noticed, I write about bikes for this magazine. Talking to people about their restoration projects got me inspired to get a restoration project of my own. I wanted to find a simple, relatively light machine that was a nice balance between being a little unusual and having good parts availability. I also wanted a bike that would be fun to ride once I got it sorted out.

Russ Puleo of Sonny’s Motorcycle Repair in Massachusetts sent me photos of a 1973 Harley-Davidson Sprint. Sprints are peppy machines that are fun to ride, they have only one cylinder, a reasonably low seat height (important for the inseam challenged), and the nice lines of almost all Italian bikes. Parts are reasonably available, and the 1973-1974 Sprints have an electric start. This Sprint had a period custom baby blue paint job in restorable condition with silver pinstriping. The paint job sold me. I bought it and had it shipped to my garage.

The next step was to ask questions and locate suppliers. Women like to ask directions before we get lost. Leslie from Moto Italia (call him at 707-763-1982) sent me a repro Harley-Davidson Sprint repair manual. “It’s really detailed and clearly written. Harley had GREAT repair manuals at the time!”

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