Famous aircraft manufacturers, Aermacchi first made a scooter in 1956. Taken over in 1960 by America's Harley-Davidson, Aermacchi also made a line of lightweight motorcycles directed at the U.S. market.
In the early 1970s, 2-strokes for both the road and racing appeared. Though the road motorcycles still sold freely in the USA, they eventually fell victim to the anit-pollution legislation that outlawed 2-stroke motorcycles there. In July 1978 Harley-Davidson sold Aermacchi at Varese to a new company called Cagiva, and a famous name came to an end.