The Aermacchi Project, Part 5: Fear of Plating


Left side of the engine
The cylinder head is on!

This is the fifth installment of a series detailing Margie Siegal's restoration of a 1973 Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint. Start at the beginning with Part 1.

When motorcycles were invented in the 1890s, the manufacturers nickel plated some parts. Chrome plating came in the early 1930s. At some point during this journey, motorcyclists started taking parts of their bikes to plating shops to fix or upgrade the shiny stuff. Shortly afterwards, motorcyclists started trading plating shop horror stories.

Most people who repair or own old bikes have heard these stories. The plating shop that lost original, irreplaceable 75-year-old parts worth a few zillion dollars and tried to pretend they had never taken them in in the first place. The plating shop that buffed out the logo stamped on the parts — important to verify authenticity. The plating shop that estimated turnaround time as three weeks that somehow stretched into three months and then wanted triple the estimate.

Right side of the engine
Right side, showing the teeny tiny cutouts around the cylinder head bolts.

The exhaust system that came with the Sprint I am restoring was pretty crusty and the shorty mufflers were not only not stock and loud, but also ugly. I was lucky enough to locate a decent stock 1-into-2 exhaust and two stock mufflers (Thanks, Brad, and best of luck racing this year!) but they weren't perfect and needed a rechrome.

4/25/2019 7:34:46 AM

I love the look of the Aermacchi. Love one, but they should have built a 500 short stroke for me.

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