The Aermacchi Project, Part 8: It Starts!


Margie Siegal's Aermacchi
1973 Aermacchi, with spiffy new(ly re-chromed) pipes!

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

The 1973 Aermacchi (350 Harley Sprint SS) is all in one piece. The tank petcock is not leaking (another tale of woe), and there is gas in the tank and oil in the bottom end. I gingerly push the bike out of the garage and into the driveway. Turn on the key. Kick — I'm not expecting much, but am going to give it a try. It's surprisingly easy to kick. I am used to a Norton Commando, which needs to be put up on the centerstand and jumped on hard. Kick. Kick. Hey wait — What's that noise?

It started. After a year of work, ups, downs and a heavy learning curve, it started.

I have been working all day on the bike, and I am tired. I turn off the key, push my completed restoration project back into the garage and rent a truck. My goal for the last year has been to get the bike to the national AMCA meet in Dixon and enter it for judging. In order for the bike to be judged, it has to start within the hearing of a judge. Not that I plan to win any prizes — with the artistic tank and side covers, I will be lucky to not be thrown out. Dixon is now 10 days away. The bike is all together and it runs.

In the next few days, I work on improving the carburation. Figuring it is finally time to go for a ride, I push the bike out into the driveway, put on my riding gear and kick. Nothing. No spark. Augh. Dixon is now three days away. I call friends. Everyone is busy, but several people I know are going to be in Dixon, and will help. I get the truck, I put a box of tools together, a friend helps me load the bike, and off to Dixon I go.

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